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Innes Ireland


1930 - 1993

Motor-racing champion. Born of Scottish parents in West Yorkshire (England), Ireland returned with his family to SW Scotland at the beginning of the Second World War, where he attended Kirkcudbright High School. He took an apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce in Glasgow, before moving with the company to London. After National Service in Egypt during the Suez Crisis (1953-54), Ireland took up motor racing. His first Formula One race was the Dutch Grand Prix in 1959, but came to public notice when he beat Stirling Moss twice in 1960. Known as a colourful and fiery character, he became the first Scot ever to win a Grand Prix when he led the field in the 1961 US Grand Prix. However, he was sacked from the Lotus team just weeks later to be replaced by Jim Clark (1936-68), which left a rift between the two Scots. Ireland took the job of Sports Editor with Autocar magazine in 1967, but soon left to take part in the London-Sydney Rally, which he wrote about in the book Marathon in the Dust (1970), the sequel to his well-received autobiography All Arms and Elbows (1967).

Ireland lived for a time in Borgue (Dumfries and Galloway), running a trawler from Kirkcudbright, but returned to England in the mid-1970s, where he resumed his career in journalism.

He served as President of the British Racing Drivers Club from 1992 until his death of cancer in Reading (Berkshire).


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