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F1 legend quits at Le Mans

2011-06-10 08:05

MOTORSPORT LEGEND: Stirling Moss is retiring from motorsport after a career spanning over half a century.

 
LONDON, England - Formula 1 great Stirling Moss announced his retirement from motor racing. He is 81.

The Briton, widely regarded as the greatest driver never to have won the Formula 1 championship, made his decision in the Le Mans pits lane where he had been due to race his own restored 1961 Porsche RS61 in a Legends race.

"This afternoon I scared myself and 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," he declared on his website. "I love racing, but now it is time to stop."

PROFESSIONAL AT 18

Four times a Formula 1 World championship runner-up, Moss ended his professional career after a serious accident at Goodwood in England 1962 but continued to race historic cars for pleasure. The Porsche he would have raced at Le Mans was damaged at Laguna Seca in California in August 2010 when he spun off and was hit by a Lotus.

Moss turned professional at the age of 18 in 1948, racing a Cooper 500 two years before the Formula 1 World championship started, with his 1955 Mille Miglia victory for Mercedes a career highlight.

He survived a three-storey plunge down a lift shaft at home in March 2010, breaking both ankles and four bones in his feet, but recovered to get back behind the wheel again by July.

SOCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Moss was a contemporary of the late Argentine world champion Juan Manuel Fangio and won 16 Grands Prix. He lost the 1958 title by one point to compatriot Mike Hawthorn, his country's first champion, despite winning four races to his rival's one.

As a keen follower of social media and the latest technology, Moss had earlier advised more than 13 700 followers on Twitter of his decision.

"It's official - the white Patey helmet has been hung up for good. Stirling Moss has retired from competitive racing," the message declared.

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