One of the all-time motor racing legends, Sir Stirling Moss, celebrated his 90th birthday on September 17, prompting a wave of good wishes from all regions of the sport.
Moss remained at his London home to celebrate his milestone birthday, as he continues his fight against health issues that brought about his retirement from public life at the end of 2016.
A veteran of 67 Formula 1 grands prix between 1951-1961 – scoring 16 wins in that time – Moss remains known as ‘Mr Motor Racing’, even if his front-line career ended nearly 60 years ago when he retired from racing at the age of 32 following a major accident.
However, Moss’s career stats remain remarkable. He entered a total of 529 races between 1948 and 1962, winning 212 of them – the vast majority using British-built machinery from marques such as HWM, Vanwall, Jaguar, Cooper and Aston Martin.
“He had God-given talent to match the most natural of drivers”
Considered by many as the greatest driver never to win the world championship – he was either second or third every year from 1955 to ’61 – Moss’s anniversary was marked by a very special presentation at the recent Goodwood Revival, attended by Moss’s wife – Lady Susie Moss – as well as racing luminaries such as Tom Kristensen, Derek Bell, Dario Franchitti, David Brabham and NASCAR ace Jeff Gordon.
The Duke of Richmond paid tribute to one of the sport’s greats, saying: “Seventy-one years ago, on September 17, 1948, an aspiring young racing driver celebrated his 19th birthday. The following day the Goodwood Motor Circuit opened for the first time and Stirling Craufurd Moss entered his first motor race.
“Driving a Cooper-JAP, Stirling didn’t just win, he overwhelmed the opposition. In a three-lap race lasting just over six minutes, he won by nearly 30 seconds. It was the shape of things to come and the birth of a legend. He had God-given talent to match the very greatest natural drivers. He combined that with a fierce professionalism and will to win that made him almost unbeatable from 1958 to 1961. If he didn’t win, the car had let him down.”
Five-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton also lauded Moss on his birthday, saying: “Stirling is a great ambassador for the sport and the UK. He is a living legend.”
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