Friday 26 May 2023

Race - Another sad loss

Ian chatting with Clive Chapman
at a Club Lotus event in Duns ten years ago
Whilst we celebrate the return of rallying to Duns this weekend, there is a sad footnote to add to the event. Local farmer, architect, author, motor racing fan, Ingliston race track designer and discoverer of talent, Ian Scott-Watson passed away earlier this week. He celebrated his 93rd birthday just last month and still every bit as interested in motor sport as he ever was.

Ian was the man credited with discovering a young driver possessed of a raw talent and uncanny ability behind the wheel, regardless of whatever machine he was driving from a tractor to a Formula 1 car, from a rallying DKW to a British Touring Car Championship Ford Cortina Lotus. His name was Jim Clark.

Clark’s talent was spotted on early road rallies in Berwickshire where Ian quickly realised that Clark was a better driver than navigator so they swapped roles. It was also Ian who persuaded him to go motor racing occasionally loaning him cars to help progress his career. In fact Ian managed the young man’s sporting affairs for the first few years until Clark’s potential was spotted by the more professional teams. A star was born.

However, it cannot be emphasised strongly enough that without Ian’s encouragement guidance and influence that star might never have been discovered.

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