Jim Clark was born on the 4th of March 1936 in Kinross-shire. He was the youngest of 5 children. It wasn’t until 1942 that when Jim was 6 years old that the family moved to the Scottish Borders. Jim’s father Bought a 1400 acre farm split over 2 sites, being Edington Mains and Edington Hill. They also briefly owned Edington Mill. Jim lived on the farm and helped his father out whenever he could, driving the farm vehicles, even going out shooting just to get a go at driving. Both Jims Uncle and Grandfather Died within 10 Days of each other which meant Jim Clark Sr had to move to Kerchester farm to take control and Jim Jnr although only 16 at the time was moved back into Edington Mains to Run the farm there, under supervision of Bill Campbell.
Jims 1st proper race opportunity came in the summer of 1956 when he ventured to Crimmond Raceway to mechanic for Ian Scott Watson. What he did not know is that Ian had secretly entered him into the race as a reserve driver. Jim finished 8th in this race. He then began competing in sprints and trials on various circuits in the next year. He went on to compete in 5 races at Charterhall and 2 at Winfield in 1957. He got his first race win at Charterhall quickly followed by another at Winfield, both in a Porsche 1600s. In may 1958 Jim made his 1st steps to getting known by racing in the Grand Prix De Spa finishing a creditable 8th.
1962 saw Jim coming so close to the World F1 Championship title finishing 2nd to Graham Hill. Jim retired from 5 Grand Prix that season. He took his 1st Grand Prix win at the Belgian circuit qualifying 12th but battling to the front by the finish then on July 12th taking his 1st Home Grand prix win at Aintree both in a Lotus 25 V8. On the final race of the season in South Africa either Hill or Clark could have won the title but while leading on Lap 61 Clark retired which handed the lead of the race and championship to Graham Hill. However his luck was to change in 1963 when he took an outstanding 10 Grand Prix race wins to secure the World Championship Title with 4 races still to go.
Just 5 days after Clark became Britain’s most famous motorsport person, he was seen, in a ring, at the Borders Annual Ram sale at Kelso making some purchases. That is what was so great about Clark, he never seemed to let fame faze him, treating everyone as an equal. In 64’ Clark was once again fighting for the World title after competing in many Saloon, Sports car and formula 2 races in Britain. He lost the title on the final lap of the final race of the season in Mexico when his engine seized up.
His luck was to change again in 1965 though when he regained the World title again, he showed why he was the world champion by starting of pole for 4 events in a row and leading from start to finish. Winning 5 races in a row was somewhat of an achievement and on May 31st Clark became the 1st British Winner of the Indy 500 in a lotus (Ford 4-cam). However in 1966 Clark only manage one win and a string of disappointing retirements from engine failure to water cooler problems. 1967 brought Clark better luck finishing 3rd in the title race 10 points behind eventual winner Denny Hulme.
Which brings us right up to the final season we would see Jim Clark race in? He started his season with a victory in South Africa at Kyalami in a Lotus 49 with a Cosworth Ford V8 which he drove for the 1st 9 races he partook in. The final race Jim won was at Sandown Park in Australia on February 25th. We would then see him swap to a Lotus 48 Chassis with a Cosworth FVA engine in. He crashed heavily on the Barcelona GP on the 31st of March and gave the team only 7 days to repair the car for him to be able to compete in the Deutschland Trophee at Hockenheim. It was here that his car suffered a fatal blow out that killed Jim Clark instantly, shocking and saddening the motorsport world. Graham Hill became the World Champion in this year.
Following Jims death in 1968 there was a Memorial rally run in his remembrance. The rally 1st ran in 1972, this was ran in the forests for many years, the event being blessed with top drivers like Andrew Cowan, Ari Vatenan, Roger Clark and also Dom Buckley.
The rally then moved away from the forests and headed for the closed roads in the surrounding are of Duns in 1998. Since then the rally has continued to grow from strength to strength now involving the British Rally Championship and even the Irish Tarmac Championship.