Autosport Awards: Jacky Ickx earns lifetime achievement honor

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: Jacky Ickx earns lifetime achievement honor

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.

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, and added: "What I admire is the satisfaction to have done the right job and it is clear that without them, even if you have the talent, you need them. 

"It is easy to drive a good car in the way, 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. 

"The thing to know, because Jean [Todt] mentioned it, safety in those years you could not leave home on Friday without being 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 Jackie 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 competitiveness, 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 a 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
Autosport Awards: FIA's Todt honoured for halo introduction

Previous article

Autosport Awards: FIA's Todt honoured for halo introduction

Next article

Autosport Awards: Mika Hakkinen receives Gregor Grant Award

Autosport Awards: Mika Hakkinen receives Gregor Grant Award
Load comments
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Prime

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 20, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Prime

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. Mark Gallagher analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

General
May 2, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Prime

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 real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Prime

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
The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home Prime

The cherished curios kept by motorsport's professionals at home

Keeping trophies and momentos of key triumphs is par for the course for motorsport professionals, but what are the most cherished souvenirs picked up by the drivers and engineers who have seen and done it all?

General
Dec 26, 2020
Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future Prime

Why motorsport should consider a mid-week future

International motorsport has been the preserve of weekends, but the pandemic forced Formula E to get creative with its Berlin season finale as four races were held mid-week. Should FE and other series break with tradition and repeat the experiment?

General
Oct 5, 2020
How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend Prime

How pragmatic principles made Ron Tauranac a design legend

Jack Brabham's 1966 world championship campaign in his eponymous car was also a defining moment in the career of designer Ron Tauranac, who would apply the same ethos to his ultra-successful production racing car business, Ralt.

General
Jul 23, 2020
The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars' Prime

The ingrained failure motorsport must fix to avoid 'turf wars'

OPINION: The FIA has warned that the major motorsport championships must not get engaged in 'turf wars' when it comes to the urgent need to re-organising the 2020 calendars, but there are tedious past problems that must be addressed to satisfy all.

General
May 3, 2020