• South African Grand Prix

Clark responds with dominant win

ESPNF1 Staff
January 1, 1965

Just five weeks after Jim Clark had the 1964 world championship dramatically snatched from his grasp on the last lap of the final race, he struck back with a convincing win in the South African Grand Prix on New Year's Day 1965.

There were a few changes to the driver line-ups, with Mike Spence joining Clark at Lotus and rising young star Jackie Stewart linking up with Graham Hill at BRM, after Richie Ginther had defected to Honda. Cooper replaced Phil Hill with talented Austrian Jochen Rindt, who became Bruce McLaren's team-mate.

Clark set the fastest time in practice by nearly a second, with John Surtees and Jack Brabham sharing the front row. He stormed into the lead from the very beginning and never relinquished it, winning by a margin of nearly 30 seconds and breaking the 100mph barrier for the first time at the East London track on his way to victory.

There was excitement at the end of the race when Clark was shown the chequered flag a lap too early, but he trusted his pit signals and completed the next lap at full speed. "Luckily, I knew there was a mistake," he said afterwards; "I just kept on and then I was given the winner's flag for a second time."

For most of the race Clark was shadowed by his new team-mate Spence, but two spins late on meant he dropped back to fourth, finishing behind new world champion Surtees in second and Hill in third. Stewart's Formula One debut resulted in sixth place and his first championship point.

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