Stirling won his first single-seater race here, at the first Goodwood meeting in 1948, and was still racing at the Revival 62 years later. For us he was simply ‘Mister Goodwood’, a hugely popular presence at all our motorsport events. The Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard and Revival haven’t been the same without him these past few years, though it was still wonderful for me to be able to celebrate his 90th last year by driving Susie around the track in his DBR1. Ever the complete professional, he was our sport’s greatest ambassador, an example to every young driver who wants to make his mark in a business that Stirling always said was first and foremost a sport.
Still the world’s most famous racing driver, Stirling will forever be revered as the most versatile racing driver ever. Looking back at his Grand Prix career it’s hard to believe he never won the World Championship, but that hardly matters when you consider his other achievements. His record-breaking victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia, for example, or beating the Ferraris at Monaco in his little Rob Walker Lotus, winning the World Sports Car Championship for Aston Martin at Goodwood in 1959, and his famous Tourist Trophy win here in the Ferrari 250 SWB – so far ahead of the field he was listening to the race commentary on the radio!