A crowdfunding campaign to raise £300,000 for a new museum honouring Fife-born Formula One legend Jim Clark is on target to take the chequered flag after massive global support and big name backing.
The Jim Clark Trust is behind the six-figure plan for a major expansion of the museum at Duns which already showcases the achievements of the double F1 World Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner.
Regarded by many as the greatest ever motor racing driver, Clark farmed in the Borders after moving there as a youngster from the Courier Country hamlet of Kilmany, where he is also honoured with a life-size bronze statue unveiled in 1997 by friend and rival, three-time F1 champ Sir Jackie Stewart.
Clark suffered a fatal crash at Hockenheim in Germany on April 7 1968 and, on the anniversary of his death, trust officials expressed confidence that, with two weeks to go until the crowdfunding deadline, they will reach the £300,000 mark.
Ahead of the weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, the trust has confirmed the campaign has raised more than £200,000 since it was launched six weeks ago, with £58,000 in pledges from more than 400 members of the public in 58 countries across the globe.
Direct donations of another £70,000, pledges for a further £35,000 and £75,000 from trusts and foundations have boosted the fund.
Scots racing legend Dario Franchitti, a three-time Indy 500 victor and patron of the Jim Clark Trust, said: “Jim Clark’s combination of massive talent and low-key approach to life fascinates fans all over the world 50 years after he died. He was my hero.
“The expanded Jim Clark Room at Duns will keep his wonderful memory and legacy alive for generations to come.”
Doug Niven, a cousin of Clark and family trustee added: “The outpouring of support to honour Jim’s legacy with this museum has been staggering and getting the project to this stage would not have been possible without that support.
“Thanks to the generosity of the general public and private advocates of the museum we are close to our target, but with the chequered flag approaching we want to raise as much as possible to create a special place at Duns which will draw interest and visitors from around the globe.”
The redevelopment of the existing Jim Clark Rooms in Duns aims to create a modern museum with space to display a huge array of and two of Clark’s race cars. If the target can be exceeded there is potential for an extension to display up to 10 cars or more.
Donations to the appeal can be made at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/jim-clark-museum ahead of the April 21 deadline and claim a wide range of rewards from £25 to over £1,000 – which include exclusive replica Jim Clark driving gloves produced especially for the campaign by the famous Bridge of Weir leather company.