Priaulx pays tribute to racing legend Moss

RACING DRIVER Andy Priaulx has paid tribute to ‘the king who was never crowned’.

Andy Priaulx and wife Jo with Sir Stirling Moss.
Andy Priaulx and wife Jo with Sir Stirling Moss.

Sir Stirling Moss died on Sunday, aged 90, after a long illness.

He was widely regarded as the greatest Formula One driver never to have won the world championship, finishing runner-up four years in succession.

He won 16 of the 66 F1 races he competed in from 1951 to 1961 and became the first British driver to win a home grand prix in 1955 at Aintree.

‘He had amazing car control, commitment, and awareness and he was capable of winning many more races than he did,’ said Priaulx.

A crash at Goodwood in 1962 that left Moss in a coma for a month and partially paralysed for six months effectively forced his retirement, but he continued to race up to the age of 81.

‘He was an absolute gentleman who still raced cars into his latter years and was still driving them hard,’ said Priaulx.

The Guernsey driver met Sir Stirling on many occasions, including race meetings, formal appearances, and through the British Racing Drivers’ Club, arguably the most exclusive club in motor racing and the ‘guardian of British motorsport’.

Sir Stirling endorsed the Guernsey three-times World Touring Car champion’s autobiography, which was published in 2008.

He raced at a time when motorsport was far more dangerous, said Priaulx, and when drivers were being killed on a regular basis.

One such race was the 1955 Mille Miglia, a round of the World Sports Car Championship held over 992 miles of public roads in Italy.

Moss took victory from a starting line-up of 534 drivers, which included many of the world’s best, including the Argentinian Juan Manuel Fangio, who was runner-up.

‘Motor racing is far more technical now than it was then and the margins are much smaller, but the best drivers will always shine through and he was one of the best,’ said Priaulx.

‘He was still travelling the world in 2018 and people still wanted him to be at their events.

‘He was fun, very supportive of the young drivers and a massive ambassador for the BRDC, of which I am guardian.’

Moss was regarded as a motor racing all-rounder with 212 victories to his name in all categories.

He famously lost out on the F1 title in 1958 to rival Mike Hawthorn by a single point after vouching for his rival and preventing him being disqualified when he was accused of reversing onto the track in the late-season Portuguese Grand Prix.

He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1961 and was knighted in 2000.

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