• Dutch Grand Prix

Clark dominates at Zandvoort

ESPNF1 Staff
June 23, 1963
Jim Clark gives the thumbs up after taking a comprehensive victory at Zandvoort © Sutton Images

Jim Clark continued where he had left off in Belgium, by winning the Dutch Grand Prix in style. He led from start to finish, and had lapped every other driver by the time he took the chequered flag.

Ferrari's Willy Mairesse's was still in hospital recovering from his horrific crash at Le Mans, where the petrol tank on his Ferrari exploded causing him severe burns on his face and shoulders. His place in was taken by Ludovico Scarfiotti, co-winner of the Le Mans 24-Hour.

An experienced sports car and rally driver, this was to be his first foray into Formula One, but his team-mate John Surtees was not worried, describing Scarfiotti as "an extremely fast, skilled driver". He was right, as the Italian ended up sixth, winning a championship point on his debut.

BRM arrived at Zandvoort with a brand new car for Graham Hill, with a lightweight semi-monocoque chassis and a completely redesigned six-speed gearbox. It proved to be effective in practice as Hill lined up on the front row of the grid just behind Clark on pole, but when the race started, Clark's superior speed took him into a commanding lead almost immediately.

For the first three laps Hill chased Clark, until Jack Brabham overtook him in his Brabham Climax. It was not until the 18th lap that Hill got the better of Brabham, retook second place and tried to chase down Clark. Brabham remained in third until the 55th lap when he was forced into the pits with a broken throttle spring.

Four laps later Hill had to make a pit stop for water to cool down his rapidly overheating engine, but was soon back on the track chasing down Dan Gurney and Surtees. By the 67th lap, Hill was right on Gurney's tail, but ten laps from the end the BRM overheated for the last time and came to a stop at the top of the Hunzerug Rise. A dejected Hill climbed out of the car and walked slowly back to the pits.

Clark, meanwhile, had been shattering the lap record, beating the 100mph mark at Zandvoort for the first time, and he came home to win over a lap ahead of Gurney. He was now in the lead in the world championship and was looking increasingly dominant.

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