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Jim Clark: Last TV appearance in the ZDF sports studio

Jim Clark's TV appearance at the ZDF sports studio
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J in the Clark pushes the smiling Brabham BT23C with Kurt Ahrens in the cockpit of the TV studio. Both drivers are in overalls. Ahrens even has his helmet on. The Martini stickers are taped on the Brabham. Instead, the “Gold Leaf” lettering can be clearly seen on Clark's overall on the back and the right side of the chest. At that time, cigarette advertising was still allowed on television. No alcohol advertising. Moderator Werner Schneider welcomes the two racing drivers.

Moderator: Yes, straight from the racetrack to us in the studio: Kurt Ahrens. Congratulations on your best training time. You didn't know anything about it when you got here.

Ahrens: That's right. I didn't know anything about it yet. I hope that's true.

Note. of the editorial team: Ahrens was on the front row, but was only third behind the two Matra by Jean-Pierre Beltoise and Henri Pescarolo.

Jim Clark pushes Kurt Ahrens' F2 car into the TV studio.

Moderator: And that is your car?

Ahrens: Yes. (takes off the helmet)

Moderator: So this is a Braham-Repco, as we have heard. Is the car in good shape?

Note. the editor: It was a Brabham-Ford. Brabham only drove with Repco engines in Formula 1.

Ahrens: I hope. So far it has turned out to be like this.

Moderator: You won last year and are therefore also among the favorites tomorrow?

Note the editor: Ahrens did not win a race at Hockenheim the year before. The 1967 winners were Frank Gardner and Robin Widdows.

Ahrens: Yes, I want thatbut don't say so loudly.

Moderator: Here you have to say it out loud. The microphone is a bit far away.

Ahrens: I secretly hope so, but it would be too good to be true.

Schneider suddenly points to Jim Clark, who is standing on the other side of the car.

Moderator: Who is the gentleman here? Is that your fitter?

Ahrens (somewhat embarrassed): No, that's Mr. Jim Clark from England.

Jim Clark and Kurt Ahrens came to the TV appointment in racing overalls at the request of ZDF.

Moderator: Hi Jim Clark, nice to have you here in the studio.

Clark: Nice to meet You.

Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to: Jim Clark, two-time world champion from Scotland and a very international man. What camera do we have? Over there. Thank you, now the red light is here. Jim, this is our camera. We are very happy to have you here in our studio and let me explain to our audience who you are. You are 32 years old.

Clark: That is true.

Moderator: You can say that to a gentleman . You're not a woman.

Clark grins: Yes, very young.

Moderator: So, he's 32 years old old and from Scotland, from a sheep farm that he took over from his parents. He has an office in London and his secondary residence in the Bahamas. Who wouldn't want that, ladies and gentlemen. In order to be able to fulfill all obligations on time, Jim Clark travels with his own twin-engine airplane. (Schneider translates)

Clark: That's right.

Moderator: So you're starting at Hockenheim tomorrow?

Clark: Yes.

Moderator: So Jim Clark will also compete in Hockenheim tomorrow, although he is a Formula 1 pilot is. And the European trophy is blocked for the A drivers, the best six A drivers. (Schneider translates)

Clark: Yes, the European Trophy has a series of races forB-drivers, but in all these races there is a race in itself, where we are competing for the race only.

Moderator: Jim Clark means that he is only for tomorrow's race starts there. So that means that he expects to win the race even though he cannot take part in the points classification of the European Cup. That's why he does it in Formula 1. (Schneider translates).

Clark: Oh, yes. That has already started.

Moderator: Formula 1 has already started, and he has already won the first race. In?

Clark: In South Africa.

Moderator: In Johannesburg.

Clark: Yes.

Moderator: So Jim Clark won his first run in Johannesburg. He had a bad season last year but I think he has the most Grand Prix wins of any driver now. (Schneider translates and Clark nods). I think you equalized Juan-Manuel Fangio or did you overtake him?

Clark: I overtook him at South Africa, yes.

Moderator: So in South Africa he overtook Juan-Manuel Fangio. How many?

Clark: He has 24, I now have 25.

Moderator: So he has 24 and Jim Clark 25 wins. So this is an anniversary, a special day, isn't it?

Clark: It was for me, yes.

Moderator: Jim Clark, what's the difference between one of these Formula 2 racing cars and the Formula 1 that you are driving for the world championship. (Schneider points to the Brabham and translates)

Moderator Schneider put the questions to Clark in English and translated them into German, just like the answers themselves.

Clark: The Formula 2 car basically has got a 1600 ccm engine.

Moderator: 1,600 cubic centimeter machine.

Clark: Yes. And it must weigh a minimum of 420 kilos.

Moderator: At least 420 kilos weight.

Clark: Formula 1 has a 3 liter engine

Moderator: Formula 1 is three liters, or 3,000 cubic centimeters, almost twice as much.

Clark : With 500 kilos.

Moderator: 500 kilos minimum weight.

Clark: That's right.

Moderator: What's the difference in speed?

Clark: A Formula One is obviously a bit quicker, quite a bit quicker.

Moderator: How much?

Clark: Oh, 40 miles, that's about 70 kilometers per hour. 60 to 70 kilometers per hour.

Moderator: So Jim Clark thinks that Formula 1 is about 40 miles, as a Brit he speaks of course in miles, around 65 kilometers per hour faster than this Formula 2 racing car. What is the maximum speed of this car here? (Schneider points to the Brabham and translates)

Clark: I have no clue.

Moderator: Mr. Ahrens, you surely know better, or is it a secret before tomorrow's race?

Ahrens: That's no secret. We all drive pretty much the same speed.

Moderator: The Motodrom is a pretty fast track.

Ahrens: Yes, Absolutely on the straight.

Moderator: What are you doing on the straight?

Ahrens: About 260 kilometers per hour.

While Jim Clark was standing, Kurt Ahrens had to stay in the car the whole time so that his martini Advertisement was not in the picture.

Moderator: 260. Ladies and gentlemen, never do that. Better let Kurt Ahrens and Jim Clark do that, they're better calibrated for it. So I went here yesterday and only managed 200. And then I was shaking a bit. (Clark laughs) What about you when you drive such top speeds, Mr. Ahrens?

Ahrens: It is the case with us. The car is built for that. The dimensions of the tires have an incredible grip.

Moderator: What would you say for a normal viewer with this 260 car, what would that correspond to a VW?

Ahrens: Well, that's hard to judge. I've rarely driven a VW.

Moderator: Yes what. Any other car, a common brand.

Ahrens: That corresponds to a medium speed, about 110 kilometers per hour.

Moderator: 110. So no more, no more risky.

Ahrens: On the straight, completely risk-free. The car is really very quiet.

Moderator: I want to drive in.

Schneider turns back to Clark

Moderator: Jim Clark, if you drive privately, you use a car with an automatic transmission, is that correct?

Clark: Normally yes, if I don't drive my sports car. (Schneider translates)

Moderator: Why?

Clark: Because my sports car doesn‘t have one. In a normal car, I quite often drive an automatic.

Moderator: Are you not used to constantly changing gears from the racing car yourself? Doesn't that give a sportier driving experience? One thinks that a racing driver drives a little differently on the road than a normal driver. (Schneider translates)

Clark: But you are driving every weekend on the track, so you don‘t have to go through the gears all the time outside. (Schneider translates)

Moderator: How many races do you drive a year?

Clark: It varies between 40 and 55 per year.

Moderator: Between 40 and 45 (translation error) . I would now like to ask a question that is perhaps a little indiscreet. How much money can you make as a top racing driver like yourself? This is for the young people who want to become a famous racing driver.

Clark: I don‘t know (laughs). I don't have time to add it up.

Clark has to explain to moderator Schneider why he can turn the steering wheel in a racing car more relaxed than in the carStreet car.

Moderator: So Jim Clark doesn't even have the time through his many races and commitments to do just that calculates. But maybe let's ask about Hockenheim. What can a top-class driver earn at Hockenheim? (Schneider translates)

Clark: Well, ah, you get starting money and then money to win the race as well, but I don't even know what the prize money for the first is.

Moderator: So he doesn't know exactly what the first prize will be.

Clark: Possibly about 1,000 pounds.

Moderator: He reckons on about 1,000 pounds. It's a little less. Mr. Ahrens, can you tell us what is to be won tomorrow?

Ahrens: Well, I only know from the B drivers what is possible for us. We don't get an entry fee, just prize money that we have to win. That's 7,500 marks for the first one.

Moderator: I think if Mr. Clark wins tomorrow, he'll only get half of it.

Ahrens: That's right, but he has a firm commitment, and that makes up for that or is even more.

Schneider turns back to Clark.

Moderator: I know it too, may I say that. I know your entry fee for tomorrow, Mr. Clark, may I reveal it? (Schneider translates)

Clark: You may know the car's starting money for tomorrow, but you don't know my starting money.

Moderator: Oh, that's different?

Clark laughs: Yes.

Moderator: You start for a team ...

Clark: Yes, so you probably know the team's starting money, which they have to pay to me, to pay the mechanics and to bring the cars all the way from England and to replace the two broken motors, we already did today.

Moderator: So that's a big difference to what they do in the Read newspaper. From the entry fee for Jim Clark, the expenses to bring the cars from England are deducted, the fitters have to be paid, the travel expenses have to be paid and also, as happened with Jim Clark's team, two broken ones Engines. Two damaged engines, they also have to be paid for. We don't want to go into it any further, but maybe we'll take a look at this engine. Can you explain a little.

Schneider points to the Ahrens car and translates. Moderator and Clark painstakingly remove the engine cover from the Brabham. Clark fingers for the quick release fasteners.

Clark jokes: I am no mechanic.

During the interview, Clark has to explain some components of Kurt Ahrens' car.

Moderator: So Jim Clark says he's not a mechanic, he's a driver, and maybe the camera can now capture this machine. It is important for this machine, I may also say, a 1,600 cubic centimeter machine and it has to be homologated, as they say in racing. This means that at least 500 of the block of this machine must have been built in the last 12 months. Is that true, Mr. Clark? (Schneider translates)

Clark: That's right. 500 of the block. You can change the other pieces. This is four valves per cylinder.

Moderator: Mr. Ahrens?

Ahrens: Four valves per cylinder.

Moderator: What is this here? (points to the injection bar) .

Clark: That's the injection.

Moderator: These are the injection pumps that you already have in normal cars. Touring cars too. (Schneider translates)

Clark: A few touring cars.

Moderator: What is this part here? (points behind the engine)

Clark: That is the gearbox.

Moderator: So that's the gearbox back here. So the circuit. How many gears does it have?

Clark: Five forward, one reverse.

Moderator: Five forward gears, one reverse. What do you need reverse gear for, are you only driving forward? (Schneider translates)

Clark: You may spin off and need to come back.

Moderator: So if you can turns and walks down the slope and has to come back. So back out again. Anything else interesting about this car, the suspension, where the wheels are? (Schneider translated)

Clark: It is an independant suspension.

As a farewell, presenter Schneider wishes the pilot a 'broken neck and leg.'

Moderator: So independent wheel suspension, Jim Clark tells us. These tires are also very interesting. Would you recommend these tires on a normal sports car? Not that wide I think? (Schneider translates)

Clark: It would hold the road very well, but it might be a bit rough.

Moderator: So it would improve the road holding, i.e. the road grip, but it would be a bit rough. Something else? Mr. Ahrens, did we forget something about your car?

Ahrens: No, I don't think so. We have everything. It is of course particularly difficult for Mr. Clark to explain because he drives the competition.

Moderator: Ah, did I do something wrong now, that I let him look in on you?

Ahrens: No, but it's difficult for him to explain because he drives a different car.

Moderator: Yes, we didn't want you out of your little cockpit.

Ahrens: Yes, that's a little difficult to crawl out of.

Schneider takes off the helmet that Ahrens is holding in his hands.

Moderator: Well, I don't want to sit in the car like that. But show us for a normal driver how you sit in the car with your arms stretched out, almost lying down. Would you suggest that to the average car user? Is that how you drive a touring car?

Ahrens: Yes, arms outstretched, but not as prone as at this moment.

Moderator : So a little further back with the buttocks?

Ahrens: Yes back, but your arms also far away.

Moderator : Slightly angled.

Ahrens: Exactly.

Moderator: Would you also drive like this, Jim, sit like this in a private car and not so close to the steering wheel? (Schneider translates)

Clark: Yes, I much prefer.

Moderator: Why?

Clark: It is more comfortable. You are lying back. You are not so uptight here (points to shoulders) . It is more relaxed.

Moderator: So,he says it's more beneficial. It's more convenient. You drive more relaxed.

Clark: You have more room to steer. More movement. Otherwise you stuck here (makes steering movements) .

Moderator: So you have more freedom of movement, even when cornering. Yes, a small driving school for everyone. I no longer need to tell you how to drive tomorrow, Mr Ahrens. We'll keep our fingers crossed that you can win again like last year at Hockenheim and play a good role, even against aces like Jim Clark.

Schneider turns back to Clark.

Moderator: You don't mind if we keep our fingers crossed for Kurt Ahrens? We keep our fingers crossed for them in the Grand Prix races and him in the Formula 2 races. Is that okay?

Clark (smiling politely) : No, well, ah. For second.

Moderator: So you want to be second tomorrow.

Clark: I didn't say that.

Moderator: Thank you for coming, gentlemen. And for tomorrow: broken neck and leg.


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