Jacky Ickx was always reticent, to consent to any sort of book or film documenting his life, or depicting his career. Only when filmmaker Philip Selkirk – well known also for his motor sports documentaries on the Mille Miglia and Rudolf Caracciola – approached him, Ickx agreed to support this 80-minute film project.
The Belgian racing driver is one of the major talents in motor sports around the track, to many, comparable only with Stirling Moss. With Selkirk, he reveals the experience of never becoming Formula 1 World Champion, even though he has been awarded second place in the World Cup, twice. In addition to his eight victories that he achieved in the Ferrari and Brabham teams fighting for a victory in the Formula 1 World Championship, the world of endurance racing in sports cars and prototypes was his actual domain; there he competed for Ford, Ferrari, Matra, Alfa Romeo and, above all, Porsche, before he successfully took part in the great desert rallye, the Paris-Dakar. Ickx was especially successful at the “24 Hours of Le Mans,” a title he won six times!
In this 80-minute film, Jacky Ickx addresses in full detail his sporting career, starting as a young motocross-rider, making his way into touring, car racing from Formula 2 to Formula 1 and, ultimately the sports car world championship. In a very sympathetic manner, this talented racing-driver never falls victim to vain showmanship; rather, he praises the profession, the various team members and their efforts towards – the engineers, the clerks of the racecourses, the mechanics and Jacky’s co-pilots in the sports car races. A very humbled player in the game.
Jacky Ickx is very forthright and “frank” when he speaks to his successful past, as well as poignant moments, such as the death of colleagues, from Jochen Rindt to Stefan Bellof and Paris-Dakar founder Thierry Sabine.
To further round out this story, Selkirk interviewed as well many of Jacky's contemporary witnesses: Sir Jackie Stewart, Ron Dennis, Sir Stirling Moss, Jean Todt, Jochen Mass, Norbert Singer and Klaus Bischof from Porsche, even delving into his personal life, to include his third wife Khadja Nin – the Burundian singer – and his two daughters Vanina and Larissa. The lives of these individuals are fantastically illustrated by original footage from various automotive and private archives. The fast-paced, action-packed sequences intrigue the audience, however with true depth brings to life Jacky’s days within this treacherous era of motor racing. Selkirk blends this balance of baring the emotional world of one of the most versatile racing drivers of all time.
Due to Selkirk’s sympathetic way of interviewing, Ickx goes far beyond the motor sport aspects and further explores the boundaries of racing events. His comments are meticulous, not only influenced by respect, but of a universal point of view.
Jacky Ickx himself has always treated his private life strictly as an off-limits area. Here, his daughters Larissa and Vanina get the opportunity, at least rudimentarily, to describe her father as a family man even though Vanina says: “Even for us, his children, it’s not easy to say who he is or what he thinks, how he feels – because he’s very private, very mysterious.” Therefore, it is even more interesting that Ickx was very open to the interviewer, Philip Selkirk.
The verbal descriptions are chronologically embedded into film and photo sequences from the time of Jacky’s racing career; these recordings range from the 1960s to the present day. While alternatively, the charismatic Belgian acts as a brand ambassador for the Volkswagen Group and the watchmaker Chopard, attending various events of historic motor sports. Despite its limited, sometimes poor quality, the footage from the 1960s, 70s and 80s show the fascinating but also perilous world of Formula 1 and the sports car races of this era.
In the summer 2011, when Selkirk presented the rough-cut to Jacky Ickx and his wife Khadja in their house in Brussels, Jacky Ickx had tears in his eyes and explained: “I would never have imagined that in 80 minutes my life could be that well presented. Well done!” Probably the best compliment the film director could have expected to receive from the protagonist who is known to be not only most sensitive, but also very critical about what one says about him…
“Frankly… Jacky Ickx” is a joint production of Selkirk & Heimann Media GmbH, Volkswagen AG and Chopard SA.
„Ich darf Ihnen sagen, dass Sie es mit der Dokumentation geschafft haben, ein überaus interessantes, facettenreiches und auch realistisches Bild über das Rennfahrer-Leben von Jacky Ickx zu zeichnen.” / “I must tell you that with your documentary you have succeeded to draw a highly interesting, diverse and realistic picture of the racing life of Jacky Ickx.”
Prof. Dr. Ferdinand K. Piëch, Chairman of the supervisory board Volkswagen Group
“The programme certainly covers Jacky’s racing career very well.”
Sir Jackie Stewart
“I am delighted to have been able to contribute to this beautiful project that pays tribute to a great driver and friend. I congratulate you on this beautiful production.”
Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)
„Der Film ist aus meiner ‚Rennfahrer-Sicht’ sehr fesselnd und faszinierend. Die Kommentare und Berichte sind ehrlich und authentisch zusammengestellt.“ / “In my view as a racing driver, the film is very captivating and fascinating. The comments and narration are honest and authentic. "
“Philip Selkirk’s exquisitely produced film charts the career of a man who would surely figure in any fan’s top-five all-rounders list. Jacky Ickx’s record – eight GP wins, six Le Mans 24 hour victories, and Bathurst 1000 and Dakar Rally success – is borne out in this 80min masterpiece.”
Autosport UK, November 2011
“I now see why the reviews were so favourable. I absolutely loved it. I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable and enthralling. A fascinating insight to an extraordinary man. The footage and the quality & depth of the interviewees was of the highest standard. Congratulations and well done on writing and producing such a great masterpiece.“
Henry Fyshe, Maserati Club UK
Runtime: 80 min.
Release date: July 2011