Sliding to victory
Jim Clark slides his Lotus 49 around a corner at Silverstone.
All weekend, Team Lotus has looked quick, despite a handful of problems putting the squad on the back foot heading into the race.
Clark’s team-mate Graham Hill had suffered a massive crash half way through the final practice session after a rear radius arm mounting gave way, wrecking his Lotus, while debris from the incident punctured Clark’s tyre and ruled him out of the remainder of the session.
Lotus worked overnight to prepare the 49/3 for Hill, but the car was designed to be a modified version of the 49, almost a Lotus 49 Mark II, so many of the parts Hill was used to didn’t fit into the car he would be driving on race day.
Add to that a small hole in the fuel injection system that had made the engine misfire all through the first day of practice, and Clark had enjoyed far from ideal preparation for his home GP, but he still topped the times and put himself on pole.
By the time this photo is taken, Clark has put all his problems behind him. The engine is fixed, he’s out in the lead, and Lotus has a comfortable advantage over the rest of the field. The only man he has to worry about is his own team-mate.
Hill comes past on lap 26 of 80 to take the race lead, but Clark is happy to sit behind as the pair continue to grow the lead over Denny Hulme in third.
Less than 30 laps later, Clark retakes the lead when Hill’s suspension collapses and he’s forced to crawl to the pits. From then on, it’s fresh air for the Brit; the only cars he comes across are lapped. Now it’s just the car itself that can deny him victory, but there’s no repeat of his team-mate’s problems and Clark takes the chequered flag almost 13 seconds ahead of Hulme.
It’s the last time Clark would win the British Grand Prix, with a Formula 2 accident taking his life just nine months later.