Thank You, Ford Heacock
Thursday March 8, 2018
Heacock Classic and The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA) just announced they will honor one of auto racing’s all-time greatest champions with a display of his Indianapolis 500 cars at its June 11-14 Brickyard Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Jimmy Clark, nicknamed by fans and press “The Flying Scot,” will be honored for his many accomplishments in the 50th anniversary year of his 1965 Indianapolis 500 triumph.
Regarded by many of his generation as the greatest race driver that ever lived the Hall of Famer and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) racked up an impressive list of achievements to earn such recognition. His Indianapolis career alone would have made him a legend but the two-time Formula 1 World Champion (1963 & ’65) was one of those versatile drivers who won in numerous branches of the sport from Formula One to Indy cars, stock cars and sports cars.
In just five Indianapolis 500s Clark not only won once but also came home second twice, both in controversial finishes, and he could easily have been a multiple winner. Victory was within sight in 1964 when tire chunking triggered suspension failure on his pole winning car. On the Formula One front Clark established the all-time record for race victories when he won his final Grand Prix outing at South Africa in 1968. While that record has been surpassed by several drivers Clark’s mark was set in just seven full seasons during an era that conducted about half as many events as are presented today. He still ranks at the top in winning percentage at nearly 35 percent. His record of F1 pole positions (33) even now ranks fifth in the history books.
“We just could not come to IMS on the 50th Anniversary of Jim Clark’s victory and not do justice to this great champion,” said SVRA President & CEO Tony Parella. “I also thought it appropriate to announce this decision to remember him on April 7, the anniversary of the very sad day of his passing.
The tribute to Clark will include an array of his Indianapolis 500 cars, all Lotus, including the entry he won Rookie-of-the-Year with in 1963, his ’65 winner and the Lotus Turbine he took his very last laps around the Brickyard in just before his fatal accident weeks later in Germany on April 7, 1968.
Heacock Classic is thrilled to participate once again, and especially eager to see the field for the The Indy Legends Pro-Am – the crowning event of the Brickyard Invitational. Like last year, the storied 2.5-mile oval will be utilized with exhibition runs by a wide variety of cars including several of the crowd-favorite 1950’s Indianapolis 500 “roadsters.” The 2015 weekend not only promises a huge gathering of race cars but also some of the finest collector cars, with the Saturday SVRA Car Show on the promenade and the Motostalgia auction of select automobiles from around the world.
The SVRA has 11 groups of race cars spanning 100 years of vintage machines and all will be at IMS. The array of entries include select pre-war machines, classic sports cars, Formula One and Le Mans prototypes as current as 2009. All entry fees will be donated to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum Foundation.
About SVRA – The Sportscar Vintage Racing Association is the premier vintage racing organization in the United States. Founded in 1981 by Heacock Classic Insurance President Ford Heacock III, the SVRA now has over 2,000 members. It currently sanctions 18 events at some of the finest racing venues in the United States, including: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sebring, Road America, Watkins Glen, Auto Club Speedway, Road Atlanta, Pocono Raceway, the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Sonoma Raceway, Portland International Raceway and Virginia International Raceway. The SVRA will host the third annual U.S. Vintage Racing National Championships at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas in 2015.
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