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Snapshot, 1965: Jim Clark eyes a champagne supernova

It’s 13 March 1965, and ahead of the inaugural Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, former world champion Jim Clark eyes the winners’ champagne on his way to the grid. But there’s more than a few flutes of fizz at stake here if the Scot is to reclaim the title this year…

While the Daily Mail-sponsored Race of Champions at Brands Hatch is a non-championship event, Jim Clark is eager to prove that he and his Lotus team have got what it takes to reclaim the Formula 1 title in 1965, especially since it’s been over two months since his dominant victory in the first round in South Africa. Once he’s battled through the press to the grid for the first of two 40-lap heats, Clark will be joined by a diverse mix of veterans and newcomers including Jackie Stewart, Dan Gurney, John Surtees, and Bruce McLaren. While the first heat will go exactly to plan for Clark, who’ll lead from start to finish, the second sadly won’t – an exceptionally rare lapse of concentration will cause his Lotus-Climax to leave the road and spectacularly crest a mound of earth. Mercifully, he’ll walk away from the Kent circuit with nothing but a bruised ego, though the champagne will regrettably have to wait for another time. 

Photo: Hulton Archive via Getty Images