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Motor Sport on Innes Ireland


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#1 Roger Clark

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Posted 27 June 2002 - 21:21

This month's Motor Sport contains a profile of Innes Ireland. A couple of quotes:

"..at Goodwood in 1960 when, driving a Lotus in F1 and F2 races, Innes beat Stirling. And if at the time Ireland was less specific than he should have been about his Team Lotus cars being built to a higher specification than Stirling's Rob Walker machines (Stirling drove a Porsche in the F2 race)..."

(a picture caption) "the 1960 Goodwood Easter meting when he beat fellow Lotus pilot and friend Stirling Moss"

Do I hear the sound a a small man turning in his grave?

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#2 KJJ

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 12:12

I was disappointed with this article which started out by promising to discuss Ireland the driver rather than the usual “Good Old Innes”. In the end it was all still a bit predictable and perhaps they forgot that Moss drove a Cooper in the 1960 Glover Trophy race. Some nice photos though.

I guess how you rate Ireland depends on how good you think Jim Clark was, as in both 1960 and 1961 Innes had a much better racing record in F1 than his fellow countryman and team-mate, and that even after his Monaco crash. Clark seems to be in a minority, a great driver who didn’t immediately outperform a less rated team-mate at the start of his F1 career.

The Motor Sport article does point out Jimmy’s superior practice record in 1961. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on how important practice times were in the early Sixties. With often 4-3 unstaggered grids and plenty of over taking opportunities was practice that important then?

My own view is that Jim Clark was a great driver and Ireland wasn’t too far behind. I think Innes was always happy to acknowledge that Moss was in a different class to either of them.

#3 Liam

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 13:41

My copy of MotorSport hasn't arrived yet.... :(

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 14:12

Neither has mine.... :clap: :stoned: :p :up:

DCN

#5 Keir

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 14:29

:drunk: Innes was one of the great characters in F1 history. His book, "All Arms and Elbows" is still a great read today! Insightful and funny!!!

#6 KJJ

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 15:21

Keir I agree with you about “All Arms and Elbows”, it’s a great pity that Innes didn’t live long enough to complete the promised re-write, as I’m sure he could have written a really outstanding book, in general not just motor sport terms.

I’ve only read a few of his Road and Track pieces, but what I have seen is very good. It must have been galling for the other hacks, a mere racer having such a way with words.

#7 Keir

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 15:44

KJJ,
I have the original printing of "All Arms and Elbows." But I believe there is a newer version out there that might have an update or two. Anyone know if this is true???

#8 Joe Fan

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Posted 28 June 2002 - 20:36

Originally posted by Keir
KJJ,
I have the original printing of "All Arms and Elbows." But I believe there is a newer version out there that might have an update or two. Anyone know if this is true???


Yes there is a newer edition that I think came out in the early 90's. It has a red dust jacket and I have seen it before on Ebay.

#9 The Runner

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 07:41

Vitesse2 posted this obituary Innes Ireland wrote for Jim Clark in Autocar on another thread sometime ago, he wrote well...

JIM CLARK OBE

It all started as a subdued whisper – as if the whisperer was afraid to utter the words in case they were true: and even if they were, would be reluctant to believe them.

I was at Brands Hatch for the BOAC 500 race when I heard the rumour which finally contained such tragic truth – “Clark has had an accident at Hockenheim”. At first I thought it was just a motor racing incident: for even Clark has had those before: the possibility of anything more serious never entered my head. In the scramble for accurate information, the hope that it was all a mistake dwindled rapidly until only the stark, unreal and unbelievable fact was confirmed – Jim Clark was dead.

At first my mind refused to believe that this could be true. Drivers like Clark are indestructible, despite the fact that he may have had previous accidents. As confirmation piled upon confirmation, I reluctantly remembered having the same feelings about Alan Stacey, and slowly the finality of death impressed itself upon me. The inevitability of this realization shook, once more, the rules by which I have lived.

When the life of a young driver, so much in the public eye, is cut short at the height of a career, the man in the street begins to wonder “Why do they do it – what’s it all about – what are they thinking of?”

To begin with, all those who engage in the Sport, do so from the love of driving a fast car. This is something intangible, as is the feeling of conquering a mountain peak, or ski-ing down an Alpine slope over virgin snow, or jumping out of an aeroplane at 20000ft and pulling the ripcord at 1000ft, or sailing round the world singlehanded. It is a sensuous thing, and as such, is perhaps indefinable. The longer they do it, the more they realize the fact that there are risks involved, but without the risks there would be nothing. And so they adopt a fatalistic outlook on life, which is the only code by which one can live – or die.

I well remember a book which Peter Garnier wrote about the Monaco Grand Prix. In it he asked himself if a racing driver ever thought, as he closed his bedroom door on the morning of race day, “I wonder if I shall be alive to open it tonight?” Peter felt this was a question he could never, ever ask.

I can tell him the answer now: it is “Yes” – or certainly in my case. But it is a thought that lingers for but an instant, to be put aside with more important and realistic things, the belief in one’s own ability, the countless races that have gone before – the narrow squeaks, the accidents one has survived when all the indications were one shouldn’t have done, the raison d’etre as it were which brings us back to his fatalistic outlook.

I have known Jim Clark for perhaps longer than any of his contemporaries, for my father was a veterinary surgeon in the area of the Clark farms in Scotland – in fact I bought one of my first racing cars from his brother-in-law, another farmer nearby. We spent two good years together with Team Lotus in 1960 and 1961. But to my great regret, I did not know him as well as I might, for our early friendship was later clouded over by the circumstances surrounding my leaving Lotus.

His past performances need no recollection here – they are indelibly printed in the record book for posterity. He had a great love for his heritage, which was the basically simple, rustic life of farming and animal husbandry: but his dedication to motor racing was even greater, for he forced himself to leave all this behind to concentrate on his chosen profession. And it is in this light that we must regard him, for he died as he lived, giving his all in a racing car. I am sure that he would express no regrets at the violence of his passing, and surely this is answer enough for those of us who are left.

I know, from past experience of being with Colin Chapman during such a trial, how utterly futile life and effort must seem at this time. But to him, and to Jim’s parents, relatives and friends, I can only say to look at it as he would have done – otherwise his life has been in vain.

And to those who still question the wisdom of people who wish to risk their lives in racing carsI would say that motor racing, as a sport, is the most exacting, demanding, exhilarating and, above all, satisfying sport in which a man with red blood in his veins could indulge.

To Jim’s parents, his sisters and relatives, I, and the staff of Autocar, extend our most sincere condolences.

#10 The Runner

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Posted 29 June 2002 - 07:45

and UAtkins posted this lovely excerpt from Innes's book...

Excerpt out of All Arms and Elbows by Innes Ireland, enjoy:

The axe fell during the 1961 Motor Show in London, I remember the occasion very clearly. It was October 24-16 days after the American GP. I had been over to Paris and returned on the Wednesday before the Motor Show closed. I had been wandering around the place, looking at odd cars and things - I do not truly have much interest in going to the Motor Show, but it is the expected thing and you are supposed to go and talk to people about what is happening next year and so forth - and I met there a new competitions manager for Esso, a chap by the name of Geoff Murdoch.
Feeling in rather good spirits, I naturally talked to him and think I said something like: "Well, Geoff, what's the form for next year?"
I was a bit surprised to find that he looked very bashful, ill at ease and embarrasssed as he said: "Haven't you spoken to Colin?"
When I said I hadn't, he looked even more embarrassed and suggested I ought to go and have a word with him.
Still not smelling a rat, I trotted off and found Chapman. I told him I had been speaking to Murdoch and that Murdoch has advised me to see him. I then asked him what it was all about.
And Chapman, to my complete surprise, and looking down at his feet, said: "Oh, I won't be requiring your services next year."
That was it. That was the end of my association with Team Lotus.
Of course, I was absolutely shattered, I couldn't speak a work. I didn't even go back and speak to Murdoch, I simply left the Motor Show, got in my car and drove home to Wales.........

.....In all, my three years with Chapman and Lotus taught me a great deal. Not so much about motor racing as about the people in it. When I went in, I was prepared to give everything for the sake of the underdog, as it were - for Lotus was the underdog in those days, struggling to find a good car.

But when I left, I was much more realistic and not a little bitter about the treatment that I felt had been handed to me.
I think, in the circumstances, I can claim to have been quite devoted to the interests of Colin Chapman and Lotus. At that stage of my career, Chapman was being criticized by the Press for the poor state of preparation of his cars. But throughout, I had this "we'll show 'em" attitude. We were the underdogs, but I was determined to get up and bite now and again. I always tried my best. Maybe my best was not good enough for Chapman - I just don't know.
What I do know is that my experience with Lotus changed my outlook on motor racing. It was always a sport to me up until then, but if the people in it were capable of this kind of behaviour, then the sport was being corroded.

Later in the book he speaks about his getting his feelings sorted out about Lotus:

It was at the French Grand Prix in Reims that year that I got myself a bit sorted out with regard to my attitude to Team Lotus and the people in it. Up until then I must admit I had let some of the bitterness in me spill over on to Trevor Taylor, the man who had replaced me in the Lotus team which went to South Africa at the end of the previous year. Quite ridiculously, I had allowed myself to get my relationship with him completely out of proportion.
I never, of course, went out of my way to be unpleasant to Trevor, but equally I never bothered to be too friendly. I knew for a long time that I was being stupid and that my attitude puzzled him, since beforehand, we had been perfectly friendly. In the end, he gave up being friendly with me. It was absolutely childish of me, I know.
A couple of days before the race, I went out on the town, found myself in a dim and dark little club somewhere, and came across Trevor. He had been having quite a good time and called me over. Before long we began to get things sorted out.
Trevor is extremely blunt and called me all kinds of strange Yorkshire names when he found out what was bugging me. I was in a mood to be honest with myself and once I got that cleared off my chest, it did me a power of good.
We had quite a lot of drinks to celebrate the fact that we had unscrambled the problem. I remember that by the time we left the club, the sun was well up in the sky and we were behaving like two long-lost blood brothers. It was very satisfying to have ironed out the whole affair like that and since then, Trevor and I have been the best of friends again.

#11 KJJ

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 07:07

The red cover All Arms and Elbows came out after Ireland's death. Different pictures and a new introduction but not the re-write envisaged in Nigel Roebuck's Legend profile in Motor Sport. There is also a French language version of All Arms and Elbows called 'Pied a la Planche' but I've not managed to buy a copy yet.

Marathon in the Dust, Innes's account of the London-Sydney rally is a good read, there is an American version called 'Sideways to Sydney'.

Innes's first book 'Motor Racing Today' was published in 1961, there are plenty of copies about priced around £15. Boddy in Motor Sport gave it a very good review although he complained there were too many pictures of Ireland with beard but without shirt recovering from his Monaco crash.

Anyone know of any other good sources for Ireland's writings?

#12 Keir

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Posted 01 July 2002 - 13:45

As mentioned earlier, some of the old "Road & Tracks" have excellent bits of Irelandism!