IT is 50 years since Jim Clark won his first Formula 1 Motor Racing world title and next month, Berwickshire will have two chances to celebrate Scotland’s first ever F1 hero.
In 1963 Jim Clark won his first world F1 title with the Lotus Climax and this feat will be commemorated over the weekend of 18/19 May when Club Lotus will host a two day gathering in the town of Duns.
On the Saturday there will be a moving and nostalgic display of Lotus cars outside the Jim Clark Room in Newtown Street with two Lotus 25 Formula 1 cars taking centre stage flanked by a Lotus Cortina and a Lotus Elan, plus a whole host of other Lotus cars.
On Sunday, the two F1 race cars will be fired up and for 30 minutes will sound their own evocative tribute to a lost legend. The Club Lotus members will stage a few ‘controlled speed demonstration runs’ along Newtown Street. And if you think modern F1 engines are just noisy, this will bring a touch of melodious, mechanical music to even the most jaundiced ears.
There will also be more Lotus cars on display, and at 12.45 a procession will take place from Duns to Chirnside Parish Church to lay a wreath on Jim Clark’s grave.
Two weeks later, the roads and lanes of Berwickshire will echo to a rather different mechanical symphony when over 250 rally cars participate in the annual Jim Clark Rally over the weekend of Friday May 31 to Sunday June 2.
The rally will comprise six Special Stages on Friday evening and 10 Special Stages on Saturday, while eight Special Stages on Sunday will comprise the Jim Clark Reivers Rally.
The route and timetable have now been finalised and details will be issued over the weeks to come, and now that the Regulations and Entry Forms have been published, interest is rising, including one entry from overseas.
The organisers of the Jim Clark Rally are also planning to re-introduce a Rally Forum night which will give fans and followers the chance to ‘get up close and personal’ with some of the top British rally stars who will be competing over the weekend, including some of their own local top seeds.