Jimmy Stewart: Racing driver brother of Jackie


James Robert Stewart, racing driver: born Dumbarton 6 March 1931; married (one son, one daughter); died Glasgow 3 January 2008.

When Sir Jackie Stewart was on the cusp of his remarkable career in motor racing, in the early 1960s, many impressed spectators within the sport would ask one question after watching him in action: "Who's the new boy?" In those formative days, the answer was usually: "It's Jimmy Stewart's younger brother."

Back then it was James Robert Stewart "JRS" who was the family's racing hero, taking up the sport thanks to genes inherited from his father Robert, a former Isle of Man motorcycle racer and the owner of a Jaguar dealership in Dumbuck, Dunbartonshire, and his mother Jean, who loved fast cars.

Jimmy Stewart's career began in a Healey Silverstone in local hillclimb events in 1951, and soon he had done well enough to attract the attention of the Edinburgh-based businessman and racing driver David Murray, who owned the Ecurie Ecosse team. Before long Stewart was racing their metallic blue Jaguar C-Types. His performances there led to opportunities in single-seaters, with a Formula Two Connaught and finally a Formula One Cooper-Bristol.

Stewart made his grand prix dbut with the latter, in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1953, having driven the car previously in several non-championship races. He qualified 15th out of 29 but climbed impressively to sixth place before spinning off the road with 11 of the 90 laps remaining. Subsequently he raced for Aston Martin in the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1954 but a serious crash saw him thrown from the DB3S coup and sustain a badly broken arm. When he injured the same arm again in 1955 following a crash driving for Ecurie Ecosse in the Nrburgring 1000km sportscar race, he decided it was time to retire.

From then on he encouraged his younger brother as he moved up the ranks; when the team boss Ken Tyrrell called him to ask whether Jackie was serious about his racing, prior to a Formula Three test at Goodwood that effectively launched the younger Stewart's single-seater career, Jimmy replied: "Serious? Try stopping him!"

Jimmy Stewart moved to America on his retirement, and subsequently suffered from alcoholism. Later, Jackie would speak movingly of his brother's determination to beat the addiction, which he did successfully in 1999 after Jackie had helped him to attend the Priory Clinic in Glasgow.

Immensely proud of the elder brother who had nurtured his own interest in the sport in which he would become so famous and in which he remains a beacon of integrity, Jackie Stewart said in his recent autobiography, "What do I owe Jim? I owe him almost everything because when I was a youngster struggling at school [with dyslexia], the world seemed an extremely dark place. I . . . found my real salvation in motor racing, and I found it because, in my difficult time of need and confusion, it was my elder brother who carried the torch and selflessly showed me the way. It was almost as if Jim was beckoning me to join him on a magic carpet ride, carrying me out of the wilderness at school into the exciting, glamorous, colourful world of motor racing."

David Tremayne

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor