Today in Automotive History
1969 Jim Clark Tragedy
Jim Clark, one of the greatest grand prix racers of all time, died in a tragic accident during a Formula 2 race in Hockenheim, Germany. Clark, widely regarded as the most naturally gifted F1 racer of all time, competed his entire career on behalf of Colin Chapman's Team Lotus. He won two World Championships, in 1963 and in 1965. Clark's 1965 season is undoubtedly the sport's greatest individual achievement. Clark led every lap of every race he finished, and he won the Indy 500. Known for his soft-spoken manor, Clark was known for his ability to win on all types of courses, including those that he personally detested. He won four straight Belgian GPs at his least favorite course, the arduous Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Clark died in a meaningless race at Hockenheim, when his car mysteriously left the track and collided with a tree. His death shocked the racing world. Chris Amon, then with Ferrari described his own feelings about the accident, "If it could happen to him what chance did the rest of us have? I think we all felt that. It seemed like we'd lost our leader."