September 9, 1973
JACKIE STEWART had already secured two Formula One drivers’ titles…
… matching his late, great friend Jim Clark – in 1969 and ’71 before becoming Britain’s first three-time champion in 1973.
With the title secured after five wins that season and with Stewart having taken his Grand Prix victories to 27 – a total that would not be passed until Frenchman Alain Prost did so 14 years later – the Scot planned to retire at the end of that campaign after the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, following his 100th F1 race.
However, fate conspired to end his career one race short of his century.
His French team-mate at the Tyrell-Ford team, Francois Cevert, was seen as the heir-apparent to Stewart’s position as team leader and undoubtedly the man to fill Stewart’s seat for the 1974 season.
Cevert was indeed very close to the ‘Flying Scot’, much more so than any other team-mate had ever been.
In practice for the American race Cevert crashed out and was killed. This led Stewart to call time on his race career there and then.
A talented shooter as well as a racing driver, Stewart came close to representing Great Britain in shooting at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
In recognition of the importance of the two sports to him, Sir Jackie – knighted in 2001 for services to motor racing – has named every home he has ever owned, wherever that may be in the world, Clayton House.
This is from ‘clay’ – his love of clay pigeon shooting – and ‘ton’ – for doing the ton, reaching 100mph behind the wheel.