While trolling through the YouTube library today I came across this recently-uploaded gem. Thanks, straight way, to Patrick Pagnier for its discovery. It’s a little cameo interview conducted for Swiss TV by Jo Bonnier on August 22, 1965. Jo Siffert, fresh from his spectacular F1 win at Enna the previous Sunday, sits on Bonnier’s left while Jim Clark lies back in a replica of his Indy 500-winning Lotus 38-Ford prior to a “demonstration run” up the formidable Ste Ursanne-Les Rangiers hill-climb, south-west of Basle. Jim never took these sorts of events half-heartedly, of course. His early days in Scotland were filled with autotests and hill-climbs, and he climbed an F1 Lotus 21 (a difficult Filipinetti car) at Ollon-Villars in 1962 before returning to Switzerland again with the Indy car in ’65. It seems amazing today that Jim would go along with the concept of threading the big four-cam, 500bhp Lotus Indy car up between the unprotected pine trees over three miles of semi-wet road, through very fast sweepers and unguarded hairpins, but such was the character of the man. As he says in the interview, it was “different”. For this event, Lotus converted the 38 back to symmetric suspension and fitted a five-speed ZF gearbox, so in this sense, too, there was more than a hint of seriousness about the performance.
Despite having no chance of outright victory, Jim was determined to put on a show for the vast crowds. He completed six practice runs with the 38 on a dry-ish Saturday, the best of which was only four seconds slower than the much more suitable Rob Walker Brabham BT7-BRM of Jo Siffert, but his heart would have sunk on Sunday, when rain shrouded the mountains. Still on its dry, Indy-spec Firestones, the 38 was virtually undriveable. Even so, Clark gave it his all and finished the day – and the event as a whole – with a climb in 2min 36.9sec (or about 10sec slower than Siffert). Words like “Wheelspin” and “opposite lock” don’t even begin to do justice to his performance. Jim looks typically shy in this video and he shows his humility when Bonnier asks him about Siffert’s recent win at Enna. “Very good! What can I say?” replies Jim – although a driver of today’s times might then also have added “but then you have to remember that they dropped the flag early, I was caught in neutral, I drove up through the field, caught Seppi (Siffert) and only lost out because his BRM engine had more top end power than the Climax – particularly on lighter tanks.” He said none of that, though. Instead, as you can see, he just laughs. (Mind you, Siffert also beat Jim in the 1964 Mediterranean GP at Enna, so Jim had an excuse to be non-plussed!) Jo Bonnier, incidentally, also drove a Rob Walker Brabham (Climax) up the Ste Ursanne hill. He finished fourth.
Enjoy then, this little chat. Note the “Jim Clark” name across the 38′s number roundel in the first few seconds of the video and the boys in the background working on a lightweight Lotus Elan.
Perfil de Peter Windsor:
Born in the UK (1952) but raised in Sydney, Australia, Peter became Press Officer of the Australian Automobile Racing Club (AARC) at the age of 17 and played an active role in the organization of the famous Warwick Farm circuit near Liverpool, Sydney.
Peter joined Williams full-time in 1985 as Manager of Sponsorship and Public Affairs but switched to Ferrari in 1989 to manage their UK F1 facility. He then returned to Williams as Team Manager in 1991, winning both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ World Championships.After moving to the UK in 1972, Peter wrote for Competition Car magazine and was appointed Sports Editor of Autocar magazine in 1975. He went on to win five international awards for his writing, including Sports Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year. In 2013 he has also been awarded the Gold Medal of Imola by the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy Committee for his services to motor sport. Peter quickly diversified into F1 driver and team management, working with Frank Williams from 1978 onwards (developing Williams’ new Saudi sponsorship) and with drivers Carlos Reutemann and Nigel Mansell. Reutemann went on to finish runner-up in the 1981 World Championship and Mansell to win the title in 1992. Today he works closely with the world’s pre-eminent driver coach, Rob Wilson.
Peter was Grand Prix Editor of F1 Racing magazine from 1997-2009 and today is that magazine’s Senior Feature Writer and Columnist. He also writes for the BRDC Bulletin, AutoSport (Japan), the Goodwood magazine and presents his own, weekly, on-line chat show, The Racer’s Edge in association with F1 Racing magazine.
Peter Windsor en:
Canal de Youtube (The Racer’s Edge): http://www.youtube.com/peterwindsor
Twitter F1 Racing: @F1Racing_mag
Agradecemos a Peter Windsor por su colaboración en HolaQueretaro.com