"If this can happen to Jimmy, what chance do the rest of us have? I think we all felt that. It seemed like we'd lost our leader." - Chris Amon, commenting on the death of Jim Clark at Hockenheim in 1968.

Well, what if it didn't happen to Jimmy? What would that mean for Motorsport as a whole, and how would those ripples spread?

A week before Jim Clark was killed he was involved in a minor accident with Jacky Ickx during the first lap of the Formula 2 Barcelona Grand Prix. The Point Of Departure is in this time-line this accident doesn't happen and instead a heavier crash occurs a few laps later, again involving Clark and Ickx. This accident is enough to tweak Clark's neck and keep him out of the car in Hockenheim . . . The resulting history of Formula One is very, very different.


From The Pages of Auto-Racer Magazine;

31st March, 1968 Barcelona - The Barcelona Grand Prix, Montjuïc Park

A bright and clear day at Montjuïc Park has seen Jackie Stewart triumph over an excellent field to win the Juan Jover Trophy under these pleasant Catalan skies. Driving the nimble MS7 for Ken Tyrrell's Matra International outfit the young Scot was never seriously threatened as he comfortably held off Henri Pescarolo round the twists and undulations of the mountain park in this beautiful Spanish city. New Zealander Chris Amon managed a solid third for Ferrari to round out the podium.

The most notable incident of the Barcelona Grand Prix actually occurred on the fourth lap. Young Belgian, Jackie Ickx (Ferrari) made an excellent start from 5th on the grid and, such was his keenness to forge to the front of the pack that he almost collected Jim Clark, out-braking himself and only narrowly avoiding the twice World Champion at the first sharp hairpin turn "El Anguilo". Not to be denied however Ickx got his head down and charged hard looking to catch the Scottish maestro and prove himself a man for the future.

As Ickx trailed Clark across the start/finish straight at the end of the third lap he was close enough to consider trying again. Jinking out of Clark's slipstream as the pair howled across the start line the pair were neck and neck, Ferrari vs Lotus, through the long gentle left-hand uphill curve which powers through the Estadio and Rasente sections towards El Anguilo. Unfortunately, as Ickx, who had the inside line and was well positioned to make the move, hit the breaks the tail of the Ferrari stepped out and, trying to correct, Ickx drifted into the side of Clark's Lotus.

The resulting tangle of wheels occurred at one of the fastest seconds of the circuit and the result could've been far worse for both men. Fortunately Ickx's Ferrari clattered the inside barrier and, divorced from it's two left hand wheels, slid to a comparatively gentle halt on the entry of the hairpin. The Lotus span a number of times down the centre of the track with Clark frantically trying to regain control, unfortunately he ran out of space and his car shot backwards into the hairpin and clouted the low crash barrier with a resounding thump.

Ickx climbed from his car much chastened but unhurt. Clark required the assistance of marshals and some well-meaning spectators to be extracted from the sorry remains of his Lotus 48 complaining of neck pain and a injured knee but otherwise unharmed. It makes Clark's attendance at the opener of the official European F2 Championship next weekend doubful, but those in the know say he will be fighting fit to defend his lead in the F1 World Championship at Jarama in May.
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From Team Lotus Correspondence File 1968

Doctor Jorge Pérez
Hospital de Sant Pau,
Carrer de Sant Quintí
Barcelona - Spain

March 31st 1968

Dear Mr Chapman,

I have concluded my examination of Mr James Clark Jr this evening following his unfortunate accident today at the Barcelona Grand Prix. With his consent I am sharing the following information with you.

Mr Clark has suffered severe bruising to his left knee and, most concerning, a badly strained right hand sternocleidomastoid muscle. This is undoubtedly extremely uncomfortable and I have prescribed painkillers along with some anti-inflammatory medication. It is my considered medical opinion that Mr Clark should suffer no strain to his neck for the next 4-6 weeks and certainly should refrain from motor sporting activities within this time. I understand that Mr Clark is currently based in Paris whilst the European Motor-Racing season takes place. I have provided him with a referral to an excellent physiotherapist I know who works out of the Boulevard Lefebvre.

I wish him and you both success for the coming season and we all hope to see Mr Clark back in action soon, but not to soon!


Jorge Pérez
From The Pages of Auto-Racer Magazine;

7th April, 1968 Hockenheim - European Formula 2 Championship - The Deutschland Trophäe, Hockenheim

A drizzly grey day at Hockenheim provided not a great deal in the way of excitement and, sadly, the sort of tragedy which befits the misting rain that hangs in the dark forests that surround this un-charismatic venue. Victory was taken, over the course of both heats, by Jean-Pierre Beltoise who managed his Matra well in the damp conditions and can be very pleased with a performance which bodes well for rest of this F2 Campaign.

As in Barcelona last week, Lotus were disappointing. With Jim Clark out injured following his Spanish shunt, the Red and Gold cars were only entered for Graham Hill and Jackie Oliver here however it seems that the Firestone tyres weren't working well for the Norfolk team and both were confined to the midfield for much of the race, unable to threaten the Matras or Brabhams which dominated here, though a spirited run in Heat 2 saw Hill come home 4th and Oliver in 6th after a close scrap with the McLaren M4A of Robin Widdows.

All this however is of little enough account when weighed against the tragedy which unfolded early in Heat 1. In what was his first Formula 2 start, Max Mosely (racing as part of the London Racing Team, running Brabhams, along with Chris Lambert, a highly creditable 3rd) left the road on the 4th lap whilst running alone. At present the cause of the accident is unknown however the forest sections here at Hockenheim are not overly demanding so it seems a mechanical failure of some kind is most likely. There were no witnesses to see Mosely's Brabham plunge into the trees at was has been estimated to be over 140mph. The Brabham collided side-on with a sturdy evergreen in the vicinity of the cockpit and Mosely was in all likelihood killed instantly, though it took some little time for marshals to reach the wreck. Chris Lambert did not know of his team-mate's death until after he had taken his 3rd place and, understandably, chose to withdraw from Heat 2 along with Robert Lamplough. Max Mosely will be familiar to some as the son of controversial British Fascist Oswald Mosely and had been trying to make his own way in motor-sport for the last few seasons as well as working in the legal profession. He was maturing into a driver of good pace and sound judgement and his loss will be felt keenly by those who competed against him.
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Interesting start; what's the PoD?

In the Barcelona Grand Prix of 1968, Jacky Ickx did indeed hit Jim Clark, however this was going into the first turn and at comparatively low speed. Clark was unhurt (but annoyed by all accounts).

In this TL Ickx avoids Clark at the first corner (only just), but the two have a much bigger shunt on the 4th lap. This causes Clark a minor neck injury which prevents him from starting at Hockenheim (IOTL this is the event where Jim Clark is killed).

Of course, Hockenheim in the rain is a treacherous place, and in 1968 motor-racing is exceedingly dangerous . . . It's very possible that an inexperienced F2 driver might be killed there if something went wrong. Max Mosley, making his first F2 start at that event, is potentially such a driver . . .
From The Times Obituaries Column, Monday April 8th 1968;

Max Rufus Mosely - 13th Of April 1940 - 7th April 1968 (27 Years)

Max Mosely, Barrister and Racing Driver was killed yesterday in Germany during a motor-racing event. Son of Sir Oswald Mosey, the founder of the British Union Of Fascists, Max was born in London shortly before his parents were interned under Defence Regulation 18B resulting in Max having little contact with his parents for the first few years of his life. Upon their release Max moved around Europe a great deal and the young Max learned German fluently before returning to England where he attended Millfield Boarding School and joined the Territorial Parachute Regiment in 1961.

In 1961 Mosley was an election agent for his father's party, the Union Movement, supporting Walter Hesketh as parliamentary candidate for Moss Side.

Mosely attended Christ Church Oxford where, after flirting with physics, he studied law and qualified as a barrister in 1964. Soon after this his interest in motor-racing began to flourish and by 1966 Max was competing regularly in UK events. Increasing confidence in his abilities saw him progress from category to category and, with his friend Chris Lambert, set up the London Racing Team (under whose colours Max was competing when he was killed).

He leaves behind his wife, Jean (formerly Jean Taylor) whom he married in 1960.
From The Pages of Auto-Racer Magazine;

12 May, 1968 Jarama - Formula One World Championship - The Spanish Grand Prix

It's been four and a half months since the last World Championship event, in South Africa. Team Lotus, now resplendent in the gaudy Gold and Red of the Gold Leaf Cigarette Company (the first time we've seen car sponsorship in Formula One), will be gratified to know that the Lotus 49 in the hands of the incomparable Jimmy Clark still seams to be the class of the field. This race was another metronome sharp performance from the Scot who romped away to a victory where he started from pole, lead every single inch of the way and also took fastest lap. Lotus team-mate and 1962 World Champion Graham Hill was the only man to stay on the same lap as Clark who's 26th World Championship victory extends his lead at the top of the World Championship to 6 points.

Attrition was high here, with only 6 of the 15 cars which made the start of the race running at the end, with Beltoise's ailing Matra the last of these many laps down. Particularly unfortunate was Chris Amon in the Ferrari 312 who, during practice, looked the only man able to live with the pace of the Gold Leaf Team Lotus cars and managed to record the second fastest time on grid. After a fine duel with Graham Hill for much of the race, and holding a narrow 2nd place, he was sidelined by an Oil Leak on the 77th Lap. This gave Hill an uncontested 2nd with defending World Champion Denny Hulme rounding out the podium. Cooper had a strong showing with 4th and 5th being taken by Redman (his first ever Formula One points) and Scarfiotti respectively (albeit two laps adrift of the imperious Clark). Special mention should also be made of Mike Spence who was going extremely well in the BRM and holding a solid 5th, up from 8th on the grid before he suffered a fuel pump failure on lap 38.

This is the sort of form which reminds this journalist of Clark at his absolute best, as in 1965 when he swept all before him and won the Indy 500 into the bargain. Of course, Clark, will be heading to Indianapolis next weekend with the new, dangerous looking, Lotus 56 to try out for pole. After that it's back to Monaco later this month (a race Clark is yet to win) before Indy proper. On this form it will be a brave man who bets against him in either event.

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From The Pages of The Indianapolis Courier;

Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 18th May 1968


An utterly dominant Pole Day performance from the STP Oil Treatment cars of Andy Granatelli will see the '65 winner of the 500 Mile Classic, Jim Clark (Duns, Scotland) start from pole for the second time (just as he did in 1964). The turbine powered wedge shaped Lotus cars seem to have a significant speed advantage if their performance today has been anything to go by. Californian Joe Leonard and 1966 Winner Graham Hill locked out the front row with all three STP cars clocking an average of over 171mph (with Clark's 171.775mph effort a new track record).

Next up was Bobby Unser, fresh from his USAC win at Trenton, who's Offy powered Eagle was the quickest of the non-turbine cars coming in at 169mph, comfortably faster than Mario Andretti's Hawk III Ford who will start 5th. Then it's Lloyd Ruby, Bobby's brother Al (who finished 2nd in last year's race) and Roger McCluskey rounding out the top 8.

With Clark & Hill in superb form in the European Grand Prix season and the STP Lotus team looking so quick, it'll be hard to see who can stop the three "Flying Wedges" on Memorial Day.
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From The Pages of Auto-Racer Magazine;

26 May, 1968 Monaco - Formula One World Championship - The Monaco Grand Prix

Today's Monaco Grand Prix has seen Graham Hill take his fourth victory around the streets of the principality and regain the lead of the World Driver's Championship. Driving an assured race Hill took the flag ahead of Mike Spence who took his second World Championship podium after a very strong drive through the field from 7th in his BRM. An even more storming drive by Lucien Bianchi rounded our the podium as he took a well deserved third place for Cooper after starting in 14th. Indeed, Cooper followed up their good performance in Spain with another strong effort here with Scarfiotti also finishing in the points in 4th.

It might have been a very different race with Clark converting his pole position into commanding lead, however his Lotus let him down on lap 70 when a broken half-shaft lead to him coasting to a halt in Casino Square. Clark, who has never won here in Monaco, will need to look to the next round in Spa (where he has won 4 of his 26 World Championship victories) to attempt to regain the lead of the World Championship. Of course, before then comes the glitz and glamour of the Indianapolis 500 next week where both Clark and Hill will attempt to take the first victory for a turbine powered car.

A glance at the classified results will highlight that Scuderia Ferrari were missing from today's race. A dispute with the organizers following alterations made the the circuit in the wake of last year's tragic accident involving Lorenzo Bandini lead to the Italian Marque choosing not to attend this race. They will be looking to convert their undoubted pace, and the raw power of that V12 engine into points in Belgium.

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