Jimmy Stewart (1931-2008) was a British racing driver from Scotland who recorded one start in the Formula One World Championship but his main discipline was the sports car racing. Besides his racing achievements, Jimmy Stewart is better known as the elder brother of three-time F1 champion Jackie Stewart. They never raced against each other because Jimmy already ended his career when Jackie started to race.
Jimmy (left) and Jackie Stewart
Racing with Ecurie Ecosse since 1953
Born in March 1931 in Milton near Glasgow, where his family owned the Austin and Jaguar dealership, James Robert Stewart followed the footsteps of his father Bob who was an amateur racing driver. He gained his first racing experience driving an MG in sprints and hill climb races. Then, Jimmy moved to a higher level through the national sports car events, driving a Healey Silverstone in 1951 and 1952.
He impressed David Murray, a founder of Ecurie Ecosse, the best known Scottish racing team of all time which has been established in 1951 and started to drive Jaguar C-Type for the team in 1953. After several podiums, Stewart scored his first win in the National Sports Unlimited race at Thruxton in May 1953. In June, he finished sixth at British Empire Trophy.
Jimmy Stewart at 1953 British Grand Prix
Formula 1 Championship debut at 1953 British Grand Prix
On July 18, 1953, Jimmy attended Silverstone to participate in the British Grand Prix. The part of the event wasn't just a Formula 1 race but also the sports car race and Jimmy participated in both. In his F1 debut, he was driving the #18 Cooper T20-Bristol for Ecurie Ecosse. He was the 15th-fastest qualifier and progressed through the field during the race but spun off after 79 laps, not finishing the race. The winner was Alberto Ascari (Ferrari)
In the sports car British Grand Prix, Stewart was driving the #9 Jaguar C-Type for Ecurie Ecosse, finishing in the sixth place, one lap behind race winner Reg Parnell in an Aston Martin DB3S.
Racing with Jaguar in the World Sportscar Championship
Later in 1953, Stewart continued to race in a Jaguar C-Type in different national events. At Goodwood 9 Hours, he was sharing a car with Bob Dickson, finishing fourth.
In August, he joined Ecurie Ecosse at Nurburgring's round of the FIA World Sportscar Championship, sharing the #54 Jaguar C-Type with Jock Lawrence. They finished in the sixth place overall and second in PS class.
A bad crash at 1954 Le Mans 24 Hours
In 1954, Stewart continued to compete and collect national victories with Ecurie Ecosse in a Jaguar C-Type but also recorded starts in some races with single-seater cars. He finished second in a Formula Libre race at Castle Combe, driving a Connaught Type A.
In June 1954, Stewart joined Aston Martin works team to race at Le Mans 24 Hours. He was driving the #21 Aston Martin DB3S, having a crash with another car and rolling his car. He was badly injured, breaking an arm. That injury later contributed to his early retirement from racing. Stewart's co-driver in that race was Graham Whitehead.
Retiring from racing after a crash at Nurburgring
Stewart returned to racing in May 1955 but he crashed in a Jaguar D-Type during practice for Silverstone International race. Three weeks later, he went to Nurburgring to race in the annual ADAC Eifelrennen but he crashed again during practice and didn't start the race.
A few years later, Jimmy participated in one test session with his younger brother Jackie. They raced Aston Martins against each other at Oulton Park and Jackie was a couple of seconds faster, proving that a new talent from Stewart family is ready to conquer the world.
Jimmy returned to run a family dealership, selling Rolls-Royce cars in Scotland. He was cheering his brother in a stellar career, taking a pride in his success.