Sir Stirling Moss retires from racing
|By Simon Strang and Bruce Jones||Thursday, June 9th 2011, 21:40 GMT|
Sir Stirling Moss has decided to retire from motor racing at the age of 81, after competing in qualifying for a historic support race at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Moss, one of Britain's most famous and successful racing drivers who became a household name after a career in Formula 1 that spanned ten years between 1951-1961 - called time on his career on Thursday after admitting that he had been frightened to drive a Porsche RS61 in the Le Mans Legends event.
"I was frightened before I even got in the car," said Moss. "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."
Moss is considered one of the greatest all-rounders of all time, and though he never won a world championship, he finished runner-up four times and won 16 grands prix during his career.
Among his victories he counted three Monaco Grands Prix, as well as classic sportscar events the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, the Sebring 12 Hours and Tourist Trophy. A massive accident at Goodwood in 1962 saw him hospitalised and he decided to retire from the top echelons of the sport not long afterwards.
Moss returned to the sport with Audi in 1980 in the British Touring Car Championship, but it was not a great success and he turned his attention to historic racing which he has done ever since.
Moss never won Le Mans, an event he claimed never enjoyed, but finished second twice in 1953 and '56. It's ironic then that La Sarthe was the venue at which he chose to finally hang up his hat.
The car he intended to drive in Sunday morning's race qualified 33rd after Moss pulled in early in the session. His co-driver Ian Nuthall will now drive both stints of the race.