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The Grand Tour’s Segment on Jim Clark is Worth a Watch

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Richard Hammond on Jim Clark
Photo: The Grand Tour – Season 3

You may think of The Grand Tour and the former Top Gear as TV shows featuring three old men acting like fools in cars, and you’d be right but for the odd occasion when they produce excellent, high-quality and emotional documentary segments such as the one that was aired last week in the latest season three episode.

Centering around Jim Clark, whose birthday and anniversary of death are soon coming up, The Grand Tour’s twenty-minute segment delved into the unfortunately brief life of a man who still captures the admiration and awe of modern drivers even more than 50 years after his death, and of those who had known him personally. Many consider him to be the greatest Formula One driver of all time, ahead of Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.

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The segment covers the man’s numerous motorsport achievements, whose versatility across various racing series remains unparalleled to this day and would make Fernando Alonso’s recent branching out into IndyCar and endurance racing seem tame by comparison. Clark competed in Formula 1, Formula 2, USAC Championship Car, the Indy 500, the Tasman Series and various other series, sometimes all in the same year and more often than not with tremendous success.

Clark’s life is well documented, but The Grand Tour segment really helps put into perspective just how dominant the man was, and the sheer reverence and respect he had earned from his peers. It ends on a touching, somber note. “He was a gentleman and a gentle man,” says Billy Cowe, former Team Lotus mechanic. “It’s a pity that he’s not around now, because…it would be nice to have him.”

If you like cars in any capacity, we heartily recommend you watch the episode, if only for that 20-minute segment.

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