|A Brief Biography, part 2|
|1957 was Innes's first serious year of motor racing and his progress was exceptional. A season of success in sportscars at Goodwood saw him win the Brooklands Memorial Trophy. In July he won the USAF Trophy for Tommy Sopwith. By August he was competing for Team Lotus in the Swedish Grand Prix, a World Sports Car Championship event. September saw Innes competing in his first Formula One race, albeit in a Formula Two Cooper - the International Trophy at Silverstone. Innes came sixth in Heat One, first F2 car home, before breaking a half shaft in the Final|
|Innes often raced his own car under the Team Lotus banner and his machine, prepared by one armed mechanic Brit Pearce, was usually in better shape than the works versions. Innes also prepared and transported other privately owned Lotus 11's to meetings. These cars were often entered under Innes's name and it is perhaps this fact which led to the early and persistent impression that he was some kind of toff, a throwback to the Gentlemen Racers of Pre-War Brooklands.
A victory against a pack of Ferraris in the Trophee d'Auvergne at the newly opened Clermont Ferrand trophy was a season highlight in 1958. One weekend in September saw Innes at the height of his powers with three victories at Full Sutton, two at Charterhall - one of the few occasions when he raced in his native Scotland.
|Innes made his Formula One debut at Zandvoort for the 1959 Dutch Grand Prix, he drove a steady race, seeing off Behra in the Ferrari to finish fourth. All in all this was an unsuccessful season. The Lotuses were under-powered, unreliable and downright unsafe. By the end of the season Graham Hill had had enough and had moved on to BRM, leaving Innes as the team leader of Chapman's equipe.|
|1960 and especially the two victories in a day over Stirling Moss at Goodwood made Innes Ireland a household name in Britain. He finished fourth in the world championship and recorded three victories in non-championship Formula One races. Innes moved from Surrey to Downton House, a Georgian mansion near New Radnor in Mid Wales. To the newspapers he was now the Scot called Ireland who was born in England and lived in Wales.|
|The promise of 1960 turned into disappointment in 1961. A crash in the tunnel at Monaco left Innes with serious leg injuries and although he fought back bravely to record three Formula One victories, he was sacked at the end of the season by Chapman.
Why was he dismissed? Maybe his decision to give up his car to Moss at Monza had upset the sponsors, perhaps Chapman could not cope with Ireland's personality, or was it simply a question of money as Trevor Taylor suggests? Whatever the reason Ireland was never to have a frontline car again and his chance of reaching the very top was gone.
|Relaxing at Downton in the aftermath of his victories over Moss in 1960|
|For the next three seasons Innes drove for the British Racing Partnership, a team formed by the Moss family and Stirling's manager Ken Gregory. In some ways this team, with its outside sponsors like the insurance firm UDT-Laystall was the forerunner of the modern F1 team, what they lacked were the cars to match the talents of their main driver. Read the contemporary Grand Prix reports and you will gain an insight into how hard Ireland drove. He managed to win three non-championship F1 races during this period as well as the Tourist Trophy in a Ferrari 250GTO at Goodwood, but was so often cursed with bad luck - the luck of old Ireland - as well as an uncompetitive car.|
|By 1965 Innes was driving in Tim Parnell's back of the grid F1 team and a lot of the fire had gone out of his racing. He also found work as a more or less journeyman driver in the long distance sports car races of the day. No doubt there were personal problems in the background which were not helped by Ireland's sacking from the Parnell team at the 1965 Mexico Grand Prix. A number of drivers were late for practice because their chauffeur, Bruce McLaren, had got lost on the way to the circuit. Although he was blameless for the late arrival Innes did not take kindly to being shouted out by the young Parnell, angry words were exchanged and Innes lost his seat in the race.|
|1966 saw Innes concentrating on long distance sportscar events, with a brief return to Formula One towards the end of the season in Bernard White's happy go lucky outfit. Bill France had tempted Ireland to compete in the 1967 Daytona 500, a race in which he ran 7th before retiring. Innes made occasional forays into motor sport - the London-Sydney rally in 1968, some drives for Lancia in 1969, the World Cup Rally in 1974, the Playboy Endurance Series with Moss in 1985. A career which had promised so much, which had been pursued with such passion, finally ended in a whimper.|