It has been said many times that to have witnessed Jim Clark driving a Lotus Cortina is to have seen something very special, be it on a racing circuit or a rally stage. Having injected gallons of zest into our morning by watching this footage of Simon Hadfield driving one at the Silverstone Classic a few years ago, we reckon this might be as close as we’re going to get to the great Scot’s antics in the modern era.
This was shot during the closing laps of the Alan Mann Trophy race for under 2000cc Touring Cars, with Mr Hadfield chasing down first place. In the end he didn’t make it, but the effort put in to catch the leader makes for spectacular viewing as he scythes his way past slower traffic, including a spectacular swoop around the outside of an Alfa Romeo Giulia without breaking stride.
If there’s one thing more remarkable than the distinctive smooth-yet-aggressive driving style, it’s how relaxed the driver seems to be. All that’s missing is a cup holder… with a Singapore Sling in it and a panatella smouldering away in the ashtray as the car transitions seamlessly from drifting through the corners to having all four wheel pointing in the same direction again. It’s just lovely to watch, although the punishment being dished-out to the screaming twin-cam motor may cause you to recoil once or twice.
But please, don’t take our word for it. Indulge us here for just seven minutes and see if this prime example of modern-era historic motorsport doesn’t put some much-needed wind in your sails on this Monday morning. We’re all going to watch it again now. Twice.