2018 ELITE 2 Division Champion Ulysse Delsaux lived a unique experience last week, when he was invited to the official opening of the museum dedicated to his idol Jim Clark in the legendary driver’s hometown of Duns, Scotland.
Clark was one of the best Formula One drivers in history, not only for his two World Championships (1963 and 1965), the 25 wins, the 33 pole positions, but also for is masterful driving style and the aura of respect that surrounded him. He would have collected many titles for sure, hadn’t he perish in a tragic Formula 2 accident at the Hockenheimring in 1968.
The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series will visit the German track on September 21-22 for the start of the 2019 NWES playoffs and the NASCAR GP Germany is always a very special race for RDV Competition driver Ulysse Delsaux. The 21-year-old Frenchman from Troyes found in Jim Clark an idol and a role-model since the very beginning of his career.
Before heading to Germany, Delsaux had the chance to visit Clark’s hometown of Duns in Scotland. He met members of Clark’s family and was invited by Ian Calder and Doug Niven to the official opening of a special museum dedicated to the late Formula One driver. Those were very special days for Delsaux, who saw a dream come true.
EuroNASCAR.com (EuroNASCAR): Tell us about your trip to Scotland and the Jim Clark museum. What was it like to be there?
Ulysse Delsaux (UD): "I wanted to visit Jim Clark’s family since a long time to find out how and where he lived. I was invited on the occasion of the official opening of his museum and I couldn’t miss it. I lived one of the greatest moments of my life. Jim Clark is my idol, a role model for me. Visiting the museum I discovered a ‘gentleman farmer’. I was greeted by Ian Calder and Doug Niven, Jim Clark’s cousins in a fantastic way and I thank them so much. I lived to the rhythm of a Scottish man on Jim Clark’s land and that’s just amazing".
EuroNASCAR: What does it mean to you, to visit Clark’s family and his hometown?
UD: "I met a lot of people who knew him well: of course his family and cousins but also one of his sisters. I met his girlfriend during the 60s, she told me about important moments like his victory in Indianapolis, his victories in F1 and more. I was able to visit the farm where he worked, the places he frequented, where he would fish and hunt. But one of the most incredible moments for me was getting behind the wheel of the cars he drove. Especially the one he had in Paris, a 1955 Jaguar D- type. The room with the trophies he won is impressive, and the 1965 Formula 1 Lotus he won the Formula 1 World Championship with is simply unique".
EuroNASCAR: Why have you picked Jim Clark to be your idol, what makes him so special?
UD: "Jim Clark is for me one of my greatest motorsport idols, he is one of the best drivers in history, because of his talent and his records. What I really appreciate is his attitude. He was a fighter, but respectful of the rules and the other drivers. His driving style was so clean and precise".
EuroNASCAR: You’ve also met Sir Jackie Stewart at the museum. What was it like to meet such a legend of motorsports?
UD: "I must say it was a magic moment, I was introduced to Jackie Stewart, I was able to discuss with him about his way of life and driving. It’s incredible to say but he faced many of the same adversities I did, he told me about his late-detected dyslexia and there are many similarities to what happened to me with my autism".
"He’s really a legend, I was very impressed, he encouraged me to continue my adventure as a driver and I have had the privilege to sign my booklet for him. It was really a special atmosphere, he loved and respected Jim Clark, his fellow countryman. I will never forget these moments spent with a triple Formula 1 World Champion".
EuroNASCAR: The playoffs will start at Hockenheim, the place where Jim Clark lost his life. What is your plan to be successful at this meaningful track?
UD: "This trip gave me lots of energy, I met a lot of people, extraordinary people who will support me for the playoffs. It starts in Hockenheim, and it’s a symbolic circuit for the Scots because that’s where Jim Clark lost his life, it’s important for me to do my best there. I will work hard to raise the bar with my team, and my engineer. I have a good feeling on this circuit, I hope that the work carried out since the beginning of the season will continue to pay off. The points count double, so you have to be focused and consistent".
EuroNASCAR: What would you have to say to your fans?
UD: "I was very happy to represent the Nascar Whelen Euro Series in Scotland at the museum dedicated to the memory of Jim Clark. I saw people passionate about motorsport and pure racing. To all fans of motorsport, a trip to Duns in Scotland is a must! I want to thank Ian Calder and Doug Niven who have given me an extraordinary and unforgettable welcome and the entire Jim Clark Trust team. They noted in their agenda the date of the NWES Finals in Zolder!"