‘Best of the best’ Jim Clark honoured with first-ever stage play

by Jon Burgess
1 June 2022 2 min read
‘Best of the best’ Jim Clark honoured with first-ever stage play
Photo: Harry Benson/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Visitors to the second round of the British Rally Championship had more to watch than sideways action on the stages, as a musical celebrating the life of Jim Clark OBE took place in the Formula 1 World Champion’s childhood home of Duns, in the Scottish Borders.

Run alongside the eponymous Jim Clark Rally, the sold-out show performed across three days from May 26-28.

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The play told of Clark’s life, contrasting his sheep farming days with his first encounter with motorsport at the age of 18, culminating in two Formula 1 world championship wins (1963 and 1965). In all, the Scottish star won 25 races in F1, out of 73 starts.

Clark also took the 1964 British Saloon Car Championship, as well as wins in Formula Two, the Tasman Series, and a famous win at the 1965 Indy 500 – despite being forced to take a rookie drivers’ test for ‘The Brickyard’ by the United States Auto Club.

Jim Clark The Musical poster
Photo: Jim Clark The Musical

His achievements in motorsport remain legendary, attaining eight Grand Slams (pole position, fastest lap, leading every lap, and race win) and still sits fifth in the all-time polesitters list, despite attending far fewer Grands Prix than the modern drivers ahead of him. Clark was killed at the Hockenheimring during Formula 2’s Deutschland Trophäe, in April 1968, when mechanical issues forced his Lotus 48 off the track.

Jim Clark The Musical was performed at the Volunteer Hall in Duns, a stone’s throw away from the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum. Clark was made an Honorary Burgess and the first Freeman of Duns at the Volunteer Hall in 1965, during his incredible 1965 season. Despite his 1965 successes, Clark maintained that those bestowed at the Volunteer Hall were some of his greatest honours.

“People seem to have loved it”, said writer and director, Alex Watson. “We did film the show, so maybe we could organise a viewing of that.”

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