Sir Stirling Moss retires at 81

Racing legend Sir Stirling Moss has officially retired from motor racing at the age of 81.

Sir Stirling 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 yesterday: "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."

Sir Stirling competed in 66 grand prix events between 1954 to 1961, winning 16 of his races, but unfortunately finishing runner-up in the championship on four successive occasions from 1955 to 1958.

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

It was an accident in 1962 in the Glover Trophy at Goodwood that left him in a coma for a month and paralysed the left side of his body that hastened his exit from top-level motor racing.

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