The farmer who became a Formula 1 world champion. Jim Clark’s personality was extremely complex and dual. On the one hand, a star of the racetrack, a real fighter, and on the other, a farmer who was happy to work on his land and didn’t mind getting his feet muddy. If you would asked him what it was like to be a world champion, Clark said that being a champion didn’t really mean anything. He was the quiet, humble figure of the field.
He was born on 4th of March, 1936, and he was the biggest star of Formula One racing in the 1960s. He made his debut in higher-level racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959. His instinct and flair for cars made Clark not only world class, but also versatile. Sports cars, rally cars, touring cars, Formula 1 cars – he mastered them all.
He won his first F1 race in 1962 and celebrated world titles in 1963 and 1965 with impressive confidence, scoring maximum points in both years. In addition to his world championship titles, he also won the Indianapolis 500 in the United States. He is also the only driver who have won the F1 and Indy 500 in the same year. In the Indy 500, Clark led 190 of the 200 laps, two minutes ahead of second-placed Parnelli Jones. It was one of the biggest victory in Indy 500 history.
His budding success story came to an abrupt and tragic end in 1968. During the break in the Formula 1 season, Clark took part in a Formula 2 Grand Prix in West Germany. On lap five, his car went off the track and crashed into a tree. He was fatally injured and died before being taken to hospital. He was only 32 years old.
The cause of the accident has never been fully clarified, with investigators concluding that a deflated rear tyre is the most likely explanation. The possibility of driver error was dismissed by Clark’s fellow drivers, who refused to believe that the brilliant Scot was capable of such a mistake.
His results have stood the test of time. In 72 Formula 1 Grand Prix races, he has 25 wins and 33 pole positions. His 70% win rate for the 1963 championship season has never been surpassed. Those who raced alongside him and those who worked closely with him all agreed that he had a unique knowledge of how to maximise the machine which available to him.
Clark has a special bond with Ayrton Senna, three-time Formula 1 world champion, who said that Jim Clark was his hero. In 1994, Senna’s life ended in eerily similar circumstances when he crashed at the San Marino Grand Prix and died aged 34.
Both passed away in their prime, and the legends about them have lived on ever since. In the controversy surrounding the greatest racing driver in history, the names of Clark and Senna are sure to appear.

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