Ready, Set – GO!

Jackie Stewart, Silverstone, BRM, Honda

They don’t let the crowd stand this close to the grid today. Everyone is perched right at the edge of the track, and just on the exit of the 140 mph Woodcote Corner. If two cars had come together leaving the grid…

But this was at Silverstone for the start of the British Grand Prix on July 10, 1965. Closest to the camera is Jackie Stewart with his BRM 61/2. Then going across the front row, next is Richie Ginther with the Honda RA272, Graham Hill in the other BRM and, on pole, the great Jim Clark with a Lotus 33. Visible in the second row is John Surtees in a Ferrari 158/63 but now with a V12 1.5 liter motor.

Clark’s pole time of 1’30.8 was the first time anyone had lapped under 1’31, indeed the first three rows were under the prior lap record! In the race, Ginther made a great start to lead Clark into Copse and out onto Hangar Straight before the Lotus took over the lead and began to pull away. After Ginther slowed with ignition problems on lap 2 to finally retire, Graham Hill took over the chase with Surtees following in third. Clark’s engine began to misfire and lose oil, such that he had to coast around Silverstone’s long high speed bends to avoid losing oil pressure. Hill, well advised by his pit  of Clark’s problems, came inexorably closer, taking fastest lap in the process, but was still 3.2 seconds adrift at the finish. Clark thus won his fourth British GP in a row. 1965 was perhaps his greatest year: taking his second World Championship in F1 and winning the Indy 500, plus many other races.

Photo by Colin Waldeck ©The Klemantaski collection –




  1. Jim Sitz · · Reply

    My own memory of the British Grand Prix that year was Ginther improving the
    Honda so much. after the new team had struggled. Seems to me the first time
    car was on front row, and made fantastic start..Putting the squeeze on Clark.
    As Denis Jenkinson put it, ” Fantastic start!”

    Richie, who was my friend had no false modesty and felt that even before
    he could compete with the best of them,, He was truly frustrated being
    at B.R.M. with Graham Hill being favored on British Team.

    He had proven his worth in 1961 as ” new boy” challenging the greatest
    driver then–Stirling Moss–at Monaco.

    Jim Sitz
    G.P. Oregon


  2. Jim – I remember speaking with Richie in France in the early 80s about his BRM days and he mentioned the huge crash he had had at Aintree. He said Phil and the others who visited him in hospital were almost embarrassed that he was still alive!


  3. Jim Sitz · · Reply


    Wrote letter to Richie of concern on crash
    it was forwarded to home of Tony Rudd where
    Ginther recovering.

    To my utter amazement, in 1992, the letter I had written to him
    surfaced when his collection of personal items sold off, The manager
    of bookstore tossed it up on the counter to see,,
    Jim sitz


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