Poetry by Jeff Green


The Greatest Race

by cricketjeff on July 25, 2010.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

If there should be a heaven I shall watch one motor race
Where gods of men compete in pouring rain
Where Stirling Moss and Fangio will battle for a place
And Schumacher will find his touch again
My death may be unwelcome but it’s not completely dark
If I’ll see Ayrton Senna head to head with Jimmy Clark

We’ll gasp at Nicki Lauda and “Professor” Alain Prost
While Mike the Bike and Surtees tag along
Ascari will be drfiting letting Piquet count the cost
And even BRMs will be on song
Whoever else is racing they’ll be far behind the mark
When I see Ayrton Senna head to head with Jimmy Clark

With Jackie Stewart’s Tyrrell passing Graham Hill at speed
And Damon pushing Dad down every straight
Andrettis old and young compete to see who must concede
And Ronnie Petersen will show he’s great
But all these racing marvels will seem grannies in the park
When I see Ayrton Senna head to head with Jimmy Clark

The Bentley boys will be there, and Bugattis, ERMs
With Vanwall, Cooper-Climax, Lotus too
From all of motor racing there will be the finest gems
But nothing there will match the mighty two
Climb aboard the train to heaven, when it’s time to disembark
We’ll all see Ayrton Senna head to head with Jimmy Clark

Author notes

Ayrton Senna would have been 50 years old this year, those who raced against him all said he was the greatest of all time, and he had the results to back that up. He died at Imola in 1994 a race where another driver (Ratzenberger) died in practice an event which prompted the formation of a driver’s safety group which Senna would have lead. When Senna’s car was examined after his death they found an Austrian flag tightly furled, Senna had intended to wave it after winning the race in tribute to Ratzenberger. Three million people watched Senna’s funeral cortege in Brazil and the government declared 3 days of official mourning.

My other hero, Jim, or Jimmy, Clark, was the most dominant driver of any era in GP racing, he started 72 races, 33 of them from pole position, won 25 and set 28 fastest laps. He was F1 world champion twice as well as at F2 and various other levels, he finished the Indi 500 three times, winning once by 2 clear laps and finishing second on both other occasions. He competed at Le Mans (his best there was a 3rd) won World Championship rally stages and died in a pointless Formula Two race at Hockenheim when I was 10, the first time I remember crying for any reason other than being hurt.
Oh and the only reason Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton aren’t in the poem above is I assume they’ll outlive me by years!