British legend Moss retires at 81

British legend Moss retires at 81

Published Jun. 11, 2010 1:00 a.m. ET

British motorsport legend Sir Stirling Moss on Friday officially retired from motor racing -- at the age of 81.

Moss decided to call it a day following a qualifying session at Le Mans for the Legends race in which he was due to compete in his own restored Porsche RS61.

Making the announcement, the man rated as the greatest driver never to win the Formula One world championship, said, “This afternoon I scared myself. 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. I love racing, but now it is time to stop.”

He competed in 66 grand prix events between 1954 and 1961, winning 16 of his races, but finishing runner-up in the championship on four successive occasions from 1955 to 1958, The (London) Times reported.


Moss was beaten by Juan Manuel Fangio in the first three of those years, before missing out by a point in 1958 to Mike Hawthorn.

An accident in 1962 in the Glover Trophy at Goodwood, which left him in a coma for a month and paralyzed the left side of his body, hastened his exit from top-level motor racing.

Although he recovered, it was in a test the following year that he chose to step aside, believing he now lacked the skills that had marked him out as one of the best racing drivers of the time.