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Remebering the ’60s and Jimmy Clark

Sally “Stokes” Swart began dating Jim Clark in 1963, the year Clark won his first Formula One World Championship. Clark is seen here at the wheel of his Lotus-Climax after finishing 3rd in the 1963 USGP at Watkins Glen. Photo: Ed McDonough

I became involved in motor racing with some very good friends at the Midland Racing Partnership, located in my hometown of Wolverhampton, England. The team ran some really good drivers such as Richard Attwood, David Hobbs, and John Rhodes. David Baker and Alan Evans were the driving force behind the team, which promoted really good racing together with a very friendly atmosphere and a sense of fun. They were serious about their racing, without being over-the-top, but with a fair sense of rivalry. My job, at the circuits, was to take the lap times from the pit counter.

Sally ÒStokesÓ Swart
Sally “Stokes” Swart

I had one outing as a racing driver, at Brands Hatch, in what was described as a ladies’ race, organized by Nick Syrett of the British Racing and Sports Car Club. It is a race I hadn’t heard of before or since. The Midland Racing Partnership had prepared a Mini Cooper for me. The start was a handicapped start, for which I believe I was heavily handicapped, mainly because of the car I was driving rather than my driving ability. Among my fellow racers was Anita Taylor, who was a distinguished racer at the time. During the race I came up behind her and she seemed to lose control of her car and it rolled as she went down Paddock Hill. I checked my rear-view mirror and saw she had fortunately escaped unhurt. I went on to finish the race in a rather creditable 4th place; if I had seen that Anita had been in trouble I would have stopped immediately to help.

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