Stirling performances

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Goodwood bookends the story of Britain’s most famous racer. A teenage Moss sprang to public attention there and, before his career stopped short against one of its earth banks, won more races at the track than anyone else. Gordon Cruickshank speaks to people who saw him shine

1948

Inaugural meeting (September 18):

500cc race (3 laps) Cooper Mk II, 1st at 71.92mph, Fastest Lap 1:58 (73.20mph) Win 1.

In only his second race meeting, Moss wins by 26sec from Eric Brandon’s Cooper — after just seven miles.

******

1949

Easter meeeting (April 19):

500cc race (5 laps) Cooper Mk III, Rtd., piston.

Second Easter Handicap (5 laps) Cooper Mk III V-twin, 1st at 79.76mph, FL 1:44.8 (82.44mph) Win 2

Michael Tee, photographer: “One of the best races I saw at the track — it was obvious Moss was going to be brilliant. I was a new boy, and Autosport photographer George Phillips told me that Moss was one of the drivers you could trust. You could put your foot on the white line and he would not cross it. He would sometimes wave or lift a finger in the middle of overtaking. I thought he was being friendly until someone told me he did it to impress the onlookers.”

September meeting (September 17):

Madgwick Cup (5 laps) Cooper Mk III V-twin, 1st at 82.10mph, FL 1:42 (84.71mph) Win 3

Beats Brandon’s sister car by 3sec.

Tee: “Stirling’s 20th birthday! After he won, his mother and father unloaded a hamper and had a picnic in the paddock.”

Goodwood Trophy (10 laps) Cooper Mk III V-twin, Rid engine failure

Ken Gregory, later Stirling’s manager: “I first saw Stirling drive at this meeting. I’d been taken by Dean Delamont of the RAC Competitions Department who was very interested in the 500 scene. Reg Pamell’s Maserati 4CLT was on the front row with Moss [positions were by ballot]; Stirling got away in a blaze of glory but the engine failed on lap two. He was the only one in a small rear-engined car, up against Maseratis and ERAs, and he was rather laughed at.”

******

1950

Easter meeting (April 10):

Chichester Cup (5 laps) HWM-Alta, 6th

First drive in offset HWM.

Third Easter Handicap (5 laps) HWM-Alta, 2nd 2.2sec behind Duncan Hamilton’s Maserati 6CM.

Third members’ meeting (June 17):

1500cc race (5 laps) Cooper-MG, 5th, FL 1:56 (74.50mph)

Moss’s first sportscar encounter.

September meeting (September 30):

500cc race (5 laps) Cooper Mk V, 2nd, FL 1:59.6 (72.24mph)

Engine rebored and rebuilt in paddock after seizing.

Goodwood Trophy (12 laps) HWM-Alta, 7th

******

1951

Easter meeting (March 26):

Lavant Cup (5 laps) HWM-Alta, 1st at 80.91mph, Win 4:

Debut of single-seater HWM.

Richmond Trophy (12 laps) HWM-Alta, 5th

Whitsun meeting (May 14):

International 500cc Heat 1 (7 laps) Kieft, 9th

Debut of radical Kieft.

International 500cc final (15 laps) Kieft, 1st at 82.82mph, Lap Record 1:42.2 (84.54mph) Win 5

Tee: “He had won first time out in the HWM single-seater and now he did it again with the Kieft, even though he had missed practice because he was in Italy. He hardly had a proper lap in it before the race, yet he went straight to the front.”

John Blunsden, journalist: “He was measurably quicker in the Kieft than all the others, but you couldn’t tell if it was the car or him. But I remember how stable it was in Stirling’s hands most of them were tail-happy”

September meeting (September 29):

Madgwick Cup (5 laps) HWM-Alta, 1st at 84.83mph, FL 1:39 (86.54mph) Win 6:

Sportscar race (5 laps) Jaguar C-type, 1st at 83.67mph, Pole, FL 1:41 (84.83mph) Win 7

First British appearance of Le Mans-winning C.

Second Handicap (5 laps) Jaguar C-type, 1st at 84.16mph FL 1:39.6 (86.02mph) Win 8

Blunsden: “He was outstanding in that C-type quick and smooth, a bit like Jimmy Clark. Mind you, he could quickly come to terms with the inadequacies of any car; even in a beast, he was in control”

Third Handicap race (5 laps) HWM-Alta, 2nd 2sec behind Giuseppe Farina’s Alfetta.

Daily Graphic Trophy (15 laps) HWM-Alta, 5th

Farina wins to equal Moss’s tally of three victories.

******

1952

Easter meeting (April 14):

Earl of March Trophy (6 laps) Kieft, 1st at 78.07mph, Pole, LR 1:48.6 (79.56mph) Win 9

First Easter Handicap (6 laps) Jaguar C-type, 4th, FL 1:44.6 (82.60mph)

Jag’s first race with disc brakes. (New chicane)

Goodwood nine hours (August 16): Jaguar C-type, 5th

Moss and co-driver Peter Walker leading by five laps when a suspension arm fails late in the race.

September meeting (September 27):

Madgwick Cup (7 laps) ERA G-type, Rtd first-corner crash

Collides with Dennis Poore’s Connaught.

500cc race (5 laps) Cooper Mk V, 1st at 79.24mph Win 10

Sportscar race (5 laps) Jaguar C-type, 2nd, Pole, LR 1:41.2 (85.37mph)

Daily Graphic Trophy (15 laps) ERA G-type, 5th

******

1953

Easter meeting (April 6):

Lavant Cup (7 laps) Cooper-Alta Special, 7th;

Earl of March Trophy (5 laps) Cooper Mk VII, 3rd

Goodwood nine hours (August 22): Jaguar C-type, Rtd engine

Moss/Walker leading when failure occurs 3min into final hour.

John Horsman, engineer: “My sister Lois and I drove by Morris Minor from Lancashire. We walked around the outside of the circuit to find a gap in the spectators where I might try for some photographs with my father’s modest 35mm Retina. The spot we chose was somewhere near St Mary’s. I did get some reasonable shots of Stirling, and also of Tony Rolt, both in C-type Jaguars, and of Peter Collins in his DB3S. Even back then Stirling was my hero, but my favourite marque was Aston Martin, so my loyalties were divided. After three hours we left the track to find food in Chichester, and then go to the cinema. To my surprise, when we returned, the Aston Martins were leading. And they won comfortably.”

September meeting (September 26):

Madgwick Cup (7 laps) Cooper-Alta Mk II, 2nd;

Woodcote Cup (5 laps) Cooper-Alta Mk II, 4th;

500cc race (5 laps) Cooper Mk VII, Rid clutch;

Goodwood Trophy (15 laps) Cooper-Alta MkII, Rtd magneto

******

1954

Easter meeting (April 19):

500cc race (5 laps) Beart-Cooper Mk VIIA, 7th

September meeting (September 25):

500cc race (5 laps) Beart-Cooper Mk VIIA, 2nd, FL 1:43 (83.88mph)

Moss’s last 500 race at Goodwood.

Sportscar race (5 laps) Lister-Bristol, 2nd, FL 1:43.2 (83.72mph)

First race in Lister, replacing Archie Scott Brown, whose entry had been queried on medical grounds.

Brian Lister, Lister MD: “The BARC had insurance worries about Archie, but I think he was at a friend’s wedding that day anyway, so I went for the next best! Stirling was with BP as was Archie, so that made it easy. Stirling was quick in assessing the car, and put up a very good performance. I don’t think Archie had driven the car at Goodwood before so we couldn’t compare directly, but both Don Moore, our engine man, and myself thought the oil and water temperatures were a little higher, so perhaps he drove it a bit harder than Archie would have. But they both performed with flying colours in it.”

Goodwood Trophy (21 laps) Maserati 250F, 1st at 92.9mph, Pole, FL 1:33 (92.90mph) Win 11.

Woodcote Cup (10 laps) Maserati 250F, 3rd

******

1955

Easter meeeting (April 11):

Sportscar race (7 laps) Beart-Rodger-Climax, Rtd throttle.

Chichester Cup (7 laps) Maserati 250F, 3rd

Run as Formula Libre to allow BRM V16 entry; Collins wins in it, from pole.

Glover Trophy (21 laps) Maserati 250F, Rtd injection, Pole

Goodwood nine hours (August 20): Porsche 550, Rtd collision

Works car shared with Huschke von Hanstein is leading class when Moss hits spinning Cooper-Bristol of Tony Crook.

******

1956

Easter meeting (April 2):

Sportscar race (15 laps) Aston Martin DB35, 1st at 89.18mph, Pole, FL 1:35 (90.95mph) Win 12

Glover Trophy (32 laps) Maserati 250F, 1st at 95.79mph, Pole, LR 1:30.2 (95.79mph) Win 13

Simon Taylor, journalist: “I was taken as a child to this race meeting where Stirling had a great battle with Archie Scott Brown’s Connaught. Actually, I think Archie was being even more of a star than Stirling, but Moss wore him down and broke the Connaught.”

Horsman: “It was a lovely spring day. I had met Archie Scott Brown while up at Cambridge and had become reasonably close to him. He would always stop and chat if he saw me at the circuits, so he was now my number one hero and Stirling had slipped to number two! The Formula One race that day was fantastic. Archie really had the Connaught wound up and was leading Stirling, who was followed closely by Hawthorn until a wheel fell off his BRM. Stirling was leaning out of the cockpit in his efforts to keep up. He was really trying. But then the Connaught expired, and Moss got a lucky win to make up for all those unlucky retirements that dogged his carver He gave Archie a lift back to the pits on the back of the 250F, which must have been the most dangerous part of the day for Archie. The crowd applauded the two drivers wildly, Moss for the win and Archie for his great drive.”

******

1957

Easter meeting (April 22):

Glover Trophy (32 laps) Vanwall, Rtd throttle, Pole

Revised Vanwalls plus Moss/Tony Brooks pairing looks like perfect team, until both suffer exact same failure, Moss while leading.

******

1958

Easter meeting (April 7):

Sussex Trophy (21 laps) Aston Martin DBR2, 1st at 89.94mph, Pole, LR 1:33.4 (92.50mph), Win 14.

Glover Trophy (42 laps) Cooper T43, Rtd engine

Stalls at start and has recovered to second by time of failure. Shares outright lap record with Hawthorn, whose win aboard 246 Dino remains the only Goodwood success for a works Ferrari.

RAC Tourist Trophy (September 13): Aston Martin DBR1, 1st (148) laps) at 93.33mph, Pole, LR 1:32.6 (93.90mph) Win 15

Co-driven by Brooks.

Michael Cooper, photographer: “I looked forward to the TT — the weather always seemed to be beautiful and it was the best race of the year It was Moss who got me into racing photography. I’d seen one or two club meetings, but suddenly here he was in a full-blooded drift, with the Aston bouncing up and down. He was the first top driver I saw and I was hooked.”

******

1959

Easter meeting (March 30):

Glover Trophy (42 laps) Cooper 151, 1st at 90.31mph, FL 1:31.8 (94.12mph) Win 16

Car in older spec than works Coopers. Crashes in practice. Starts from second row. Sticky throttle. Gearbox lets go on final lap. Wins by 12sec.

RAC Tourist Trophy (September 5) Aston Martin DBR1, 1st (224 laps) at 89.41mph Win 17

Moss is co-driving Roy Salvadori until pitstop fire, then takes over Carroll Shelby/Jack Fairman car.

Taylor: “One of his greatest drives. After his car burned he did a long stint in the second Aston a classic case of Moss facing a challenge and delivering the goods.”

******

1960

Easter meeting (April 18):

Lavant Cup (15 laps) Porsche 718, 2nd

Lotus 18 of Innes Ireland wins by 6sec.

Glover Trophy (42 laps) Cooper T51, 2nd, Pole

F1 version of Ireland’s Lotus 18 wins by 3sec.

Tee: “Moss was not always supreme, and many people thought at this time that Innes was going to prove the better driver:”

Fordwater Trophy (10 laps) Aston Martin DB4GT, 1st at 83.03mph, Pole, FL 1:42.8 (84.05mph) Win 18

RAC Tourist Trophy (August 20) Ferrari 250GT SWB, 1st (108 laps) at 85.88mph, Pole, LR 1:36.6 (89.44mph) Win 19

Listens to race commentary on car’s radio!

******

1961

Easter Meeting (April 3):

Lavant Cup (21 laps) Cooper 153, 1st at 90.47mph, Win 20

Race runs to Intercontinental Formula rules.

Glover Trophy (42 laps) Lotus 18, 4th, Pole

Sussex Trophy (15 laps) Lotus 19, 1st at 81.57mph, Pole, Win 21

Fordwater Trophy, Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato, 3rd, Pole

RAC Tourist Trophy Ferrari 250GT SWB, 1st (109 laps) at 81.57mph Win 22,

Last of his seven TT wins.

Blunsden: “I was watching at Madgwick. The notorious bump often destabilised cars, but his accuracy of line was wonderful. He was correcting before anything happened.”

******

1962

Easter meeeting (April 23): Glover Trophy (42 laps) Lotus 18/21, Rtd crash, Pole, Joint LR (with John Surtees) 1:22 (105.37mph)

Runs third initially, but loses a lap with a pitstop to check gear linkage. Is attempting to unlap himself from leading BRM of Graham Hill when…

Eric Tobitt, Commentator: “I was doing a radio commentary when Stirling crashed right in front of me. Although he was in a dangerous place they didn’t stop the race and! had to keep commentating. Afterwards one of the Fleet Street boys accused me of being too matter-of-fact. He said, ‘You could have made a name for yourself there.’ I told him to get lost!”