Most of us have our sporting heroes, and Jacky is mine. I’ve been lucky enough to have seen him race many times both in Formula One and in sportscars.
I recently tweeted Derek Bell and said it would be nice to see Jacky tweeting. He replied saying, Jacky is to laid back!. A comment that describes Jacky perfectly.
Although he was a winner of eight Grand Prix’s, he is probably remembered more for his success in sportscar racing. Twice a world champion and six time Le Mans winner. His first Le Mans win came in 1969. That was the last year of the traditional Le Mans start, where the drivers lined up, ran across the track, got in to their cars, many without putting there seat belts on, and started to race. Jacky considered this unsafe, so as a protest he did not run across the track to his car, he walked! Winning the race with Jackie Oliver beating the Porsche of Herrmann/Larrouse by about 120 metres after 24 hours of racing. Which I believe is still the closest non staged finish in the history of the race. In 1977 his epic drive through he field in a Porsche 936 to win again, is considered by many to be his greatest ever race.
Jacky also took part in many other races. A one off visit to Australia in 1977 to race in the Bathurst 1000. Sharing a Ford with Allan Moffit, they won of course. Can-Am in North America, winning the championship in 1979. He has even taken part in the Paris-Daker rally, winning in 1983.
The term rainmeister, is often over used, but Jacky truly was. So I’ll finish with this. At Le Mans this year when ex driver and entrant Alain de Cadenet was asked about a memory of the race he replied. Very strange one. Jacky Ickx in a Porsche 936, on slicks in the pouring rain, going past me in my car on deep river wet tyres. How the heck did he do that, it’s impossible.
The Mighty Arms Of Atlas