• Belgian Grand Prix

'Nearly blind' Clark triumphs at Spa

ESPNF1 Staff
June 13, 1965
Jim Clark masters the rain on his way to victory © Sutton Images

On a dark and stormy day, Jim Clark became the first man to win the Belgian Grand Prix four times in a row. Returning fresh from his win in the Indianapolis 500, Clark led from start to finish, driving supremely in the wet conditions.

Graham Hill was fastest in practice, taking pole ahead of Clark, and he surged into the lead at the start, only to be overtaken by Clark before the end of the first lap. Hill was having trouble with his BRM's handling and Jackie Stewart took over in second place, but he couldn't catch the flying Lotus.

Steadily Clark increased his lead, and when the heavens opened on the 10th lap, he was so far in front the race had ceased to be a contest. Negotiating the rolling Ardennes circuit like a master, Clark was so dominant that he was soon lapping Hill, who was lying fourth. Stewart tried to make a fight of it, but, even though he finished second, he was 44 seconds behind Clark. It was a superb effort by the young rookie driver, and he was quickly making a name for himself in Formula One.

Clark said that his car behaved faultlessly, despite the conditions; "The slowness of our lap times was due to the terrific spray being thrown up as we hit the thunderstorm on the other side of the circuit. Spray was being hurled for three hundred yards by the cars we were lapping. For much of the time I was driving blind."

British driver Richard Attwood had a spectacular crash towards the end of the race when his Lotus BRM lost control, hit a telegraph pole and burst into flames. He was taken to hospital with burns to his hands, shoulders and face, but was not severely injured, returning to race in the British Grand Prix four weeks later.

With this result Clark regained the lead in the championship, three points ahead of Hill and seven ahead of Stewart.

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