It was so good to see Sir Jackie Stewart OBE being honoured at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed as part of his 80th birthday celebrations which were also marked with a lunch at the Royal Automobile Club with Her Majesty The Queen.
A long-time supporter of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Sir Jackie was honoured with a special tribute, as 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of his first of three Formula One World Championship drivers’ titles.
Sir Jackie’s remarkable motor racing career saw him win 27 World Championship Grands Prix from 99 starts. He also took victories in Can-Am and Touring Cars and became well-known in crusading for increased driver safety in motor sport.
After retiring from racing, Sir Jackie established a team which enjoyed great success in junior formulae before launching Stewart Grand Prix with its white livery and tartan stripe that ran down the length of the car. His team won in Formula 1 in its third season before becoming Jaguar Racing, and now today the successful Red Bull Racing team.
Sir Jackie is also a tremendous supporter of the Race against Dementia charity and says: “In my world of motorsport I have seen extraordinarily creative systems introduced, as well as incredible work to prevent the fatalities that the sport once endured. I have no doubt that finding a cure for dementia is one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced. But my vision is that by thinking out of the box and finding new ways to achieve success. We will find a solution to allow millions of people to live without dementia.”
Goodwood managed to gather together a fantastic selection of Sir Jackie’s old cars, which included the Matra-Cosworth MS80, in which he claimed his maiden drivers’ win, and going on to claim victories in six rounds towards taking the 1969 championship crown. Sir Jackie drove a Matra all weekend, which is now owned by Bruno Fabre, and was joined by his sons Mark and Paul in a Tyrrell 003 and 006 respectively.
Successful Indy racing driver Dario Franchitti interviewed Sir Jackie, who said: “Well, it’s a wonderful privilege to be here… I’ve had a wonderful life; blessed. Helen here has looked after me for 57 years of marriage, I’ve got my two sons, I’ve got the Matra in which I won my first British Grand Prix, the two Tyrrells and the BRM in which I set my first lap record and won the Monaco Grand Prix… His Grace puts on a magnificent show; there’s really nothing like it. The British fans know more about the sport than anyone else in the world; they have such an appreciation. It is a real honour to be here.”
Sir Jackie was also reunited at Goodwood with former Formula One drivers Emerson Fittipaldi, the Brazilian Formula One and CART racing driver and Jacky Ickx, the Belgium racing driver, who won Le Mans six times and got six wins and 25 podium finishes in Formula One.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs by Gary Harman