Border Reivers (racing team)

Border Reivers was a motor racing team from Chirnside, Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders. The team was named after the raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border. Its most successful achievement was third place at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is most notable for its involvement in the early racing career of Jim Clark, who was one of the drivers in the 1960 Le Mans entry.



Jock McBain owned an engineering business and a car dealership in Chirnside, Berwickshire. He was a keen amateur racing driver and was instrumental in developing local airfields Winfield and Charterhall as motor-racing circuits. He encouraged friends to take up motor racing, primarily in Cooper 500s, and between them they formed Border Reivers. However, unlike rivals Ecurie Ecosse funding was in short supply and McBain closed down the team in 1956.[1]

In late 1957, McBain was comprehensively beaten at Charterhall by Jim Clark and suggested to Clark's mentor Ian Scott-Watson that he manage a revived Border Reivers with Clark as driver. A Jaguar D-Type was purchased and Clark immediately began winning sports-car races the length and breadth of the UK. A trip to Brands Hatch to evaluate a possible purchase of a Formula 2 Lotus led instead to the purchase of a Lotus Elite.[2] This car was entered in the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans to be driven by Clark and Sir John Whitmore. They finished tenth overall and second in class.[3] An ex-works Aston Martin DBR1 was then purchased and this car finished third at the following year's Le Mans, driven by Clark and Roy Salvadori.[4] In 1961, with Clark now partnered by Ron Flockhart, the Aston failed to finish.[5]

Border Reivers never entered a World Championship F1 race but did compete in several non-championship events, their best result being third place in the 1954 and 1955 Curtis Trophy with Jimmy Somervail's Cooper T20-Bristol.[6]

In 1961 Jim Clark moved on to greater things and with the death of Jock McBain in that same year the team was wound up, but not before Flockhart had some success in Australia and New Zealand running a Cooper T51-Climax under the Reivers' banner.

The Border Reivers name has been revived on several occasions since, most recently running cars in Formula Ford 1600 and sports-car racing.[7]

24 Hours of Le Mans

Year Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1959   Jim Clark
  John Whitmore
Lotus Elite Mk.14-Climax GT
257 10th 2nd
1960   Jim Clark
  Roy Salvadori
Aston Martin DBR1/300 S
306 3rd 3rd
1961   Jim Clark
  Ron Flockhart
Aston Martin DBR1/300 S


  • Gauld, Graham: Scottish Motor Racing and Drivers: One Hundred Years of Scotland's Involvement with Motor Racing (Havelock Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0954916700)


  1. ^ "The Border Reivers Motor Racing Syndicate – A Potted History". Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  2. ^ Dymock, Eric. "Jim Clark: Racing Legend" London: J.H. Haynes & Co. Ltd., 1997
  3. ^ "24 Hours of Le Mans 1959". Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  4. ^ "24 Hours of Le Mans 1960". Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  5. ^ "24 Hours of Le Mans 1961". Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  6. ^ "The Formula One Archives". Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  7. ^ "Border Reivers Racing". Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  8. ^ "All Results of Jim Clark". RacingSportCars. Retrieved 11 February 2019.