He not only overcame the deficit but extended his lead to win by half a minute. In that instant and against absurd odds including a field comprising five former or future F1 champions and full works teams from both Ferrari and Porsche, Moss delivered to Aston Martin the World Sports Car Championship when all had seemed lost.
It’s a long drive home to Wales from Goodwood but, if the traffic is light and you’re in a GranTurismo and need time to think, not an unpleasant one. To me, Moss is the greatest driver this country has produced, not just for all he won but the way he won them. All top-level drivers will tell you they were as good as anyone, except those from that era, who tend to add to the little codicil ‘except for Stirling’.
Tough as they come but scrupulously fair, a man who raced not despite the dangers but because of them, who’d scrap for tenth as hard as for first and who’d give up the title to defend you if he thought it the right thing to do, he is one of a tiny number of sportspeople from all fields and eras genuinely to deserve to be called ‘hero’. So enjoy your retirement, Sir Stirling: more than any other I know, you deserve it.
FIVE MORE STIRLING DRIVES - MOSS’S MOST MEMORABLE PERFORMANCES OUTSIDE THE UK
REIMS SPORTS CAR RACE 1952
This was a race he won in a Jaguar C-Type, the first victory ever by any car equipped with the disc brakes he had personally helped develop.
ITALIAN GRAND PRIX 1954
Okay, Moss came 10th, but he was leading Fangio in his dad’s Maserati 250F when his engine blew. He then pushed the car half a mile to the finish.
MILLE MIGLIA 1955
Probably his most famous win, driving a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR at an average speed of almost 100mph, setting a course record that would never be broken.
US GRAND PRIX 1960
Who won the first World Championship F1 race in a Lotus? It wasn’t a Lotus driver but Moss in Rob Walker’s private car, beating the factory car of Innes Ireland by 40sec.
MONACO GRAND PRIX 1961
Driving an outdated private Lotus 18 against the cream of Ferrari’s works drivers, it was Moss’s mastery alone that ensured him a famous victory.
A GRAND NATIONAL TOUR
Our Stirling Moss trail took in some of Britain’s most historic racing venues, starting at Aintree in Merseyside (where it’s now mainly horses doing battle) and culminating 370 miles later at Goodwood on the south coast.