Sir Stirling Moss has finally called timed on his motorsport career, bringing down a curtain on one of the most incredible motorsport careers ever. The knight of the realm called it quits after qualifying for an historic support race at this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
One of Britain’s most accomplished and famous motorsport stars enjoyed legendary status during and after his Formula 1 career – spanning 1951-61 – in which he finished championship runner-up on four occasions and won a total of 16 Grands Prix.
The 81-year-old admitted that he had spooked himself driving a Porsche RS61 in the Le Mans Legends event.
“I was frightened before I even got in the car,” Moss admitted. “This afternoon I scared myself and I have always said that if I felt I was not up to it or that I was getting in the way of fellow competitors, then I would retire.”
Among Moss’ many accolades are three Monaco Grand Prix victories, and wins in endurance events such as the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Sebring 12 Hours and Tourist Trophy.
In 1962, Moss suffered a massive accident at Goodwood and he decided to retire after recovering from his horrific injuries – a decision he later admitted he had made prematurely.
Sir Stirling eventually got behind the wheel in 1980 – competing in an Audi in the British Touring Car Championship without much success – before switching to historic racing, in which he has participated ever since.
A dashing extrovert and raconteur, Sir Stirling is a true legend in the sport revered globally. His retirement – a brave decision, we will add – will be greeted with great sadness across the world.
Earlier this year, he suffered critical injuries when he toppled down his elevator shaft, thankfully making a complete recovery after sustaining multiple fractures.
[Original image via LAT]