Autosport Awards
Topic

Autosport Awards

Autosport Awards 2018 celebrates Jacky Ickx's career

Sportscar legend and Formula 1 grand prix winner Jacky Ickx's incredible motorsport career was celebrated at the 2018 Autosport Awards with the presentation of a Gregor Grant Award

Autosport Awards 2018 celebrates Jacky Ickx's career

One of the most versatile drivers in history, Ickx's achievements include six Le Mans 24 Hours victories, eight GP wins, a Can-Am title and even a Paris-Dakar Rally triumph in 1983.

His Award was presented by another Le Mans hero - nine-time winner Tom Kristensen.

Ickx praised crucial people in his life who steered his early career, including his Formula 2 team bosses Ken and Norah Tyrrell, and added: "What I admire is the satisfaction to have done the right job.

"It is easy to drive a good car, it is much easier [with the right people] and timing plays an important role.

"It was a privilege to race Jim Clark, to gave known [Juan Manuel] Fangio, Stirling [Moss], all my admiration as he was incredible.

"It was nice to drive for John Surtees, Bruce McLaren and Jackie Stewart who gave me my first lesson.

"Safety in those years... you could not leave home on Friday and be sure that you would be back the next Monday.

"All these improvements in motor racing through the years, it was dangerous, and I am happy to see the young generation going into a system where there is battles and fights but they can do it with a maximum of safety."

Ickx was already a champion on trials bikes in his native Belgium before launching his car-racing career with a domestic saloon title in 1965.

He rapidly moved into Formula 2 and the international sportscar scene, winning the 1967 European F2 title in the same year that he scored a point on his F1 debut with Cooper in the Italian GP.

Ferrari signed him for 1968, and he gave an early taste of the skill that would make him one of the all-time great wet-weather drivers by taking his maiden F1 win at a soaking Rouen.

The following year featured his first Le Mans win - as part of John Wyer's Ford GT40 team - and a single-season switch to Brabham for his F1 campaign, where he was champion Stewart's closest rival.

Back with Ferrari for 1970, Ickx was F1 runner-up again as he fell just short of posthumous champion Jochen Rindt's tally.

But his career went into a fallow spell thereafter along with Ferrari's competitive and his 1972 win on the Nurburgring Nordschleife would be his last in F1.

He split with the team halfway through the following year, moving via the fledgling Williams team and McLaren to Lotus for what became his final full F1 seasons before various cameo roles culminating in a final appearance as Patrick Depailler's injury substitute at Ligier in 1979.

By that time, his sportscar career had taken precedence - and in style. He won Le Mans three times in a row from 1975-77 and began to build a relationship with Porsche that led to him being a key part of its Group C programme in the 1980s.

Further Le Mans wins in 1981 and '82 and a drivers' title in the latter year followed, before he retired from frontline competition at the end of the '85 season.

Ickx retained an active motorsport involvement as Monaco GP Clerk of the Course, with occasional appearances in historic and sportscar events, and this year as Grand Marshal of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

In his detailed speech Ickx also revealed: "I never did what I wanted.

"When I was younger I wanted to be away from the noise and I would have loved to be a gardener and eventually a game keeper.

"It never happened simply because in life you depend a lot on the people and the timing."

shares
comments
Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff receives John Bolster Award

Previous article

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff receives John Bolster Award

Next article

Autosport Awards 2018: Mika Hakkinen receives Gregor Grant Award

Autosport Awards 2018: Mika Hakkinen receives Gregor Grant Award
Load comments

About this article

Series General
Author Matt Beer
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

General
Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

General
Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

General
Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

General
Nov 24, 2020
Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool Plus

Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool

Although brake pressure and temperature logging is commonplace, measuring and understanding braking performance hasn't been so straightforward. But that's about to change following the introduction of a groundbreaking new sensor

General
Oct 1, 2020