Innes Ireland was feisty and tough, yet essentially a gentleman, and as humane an individual as I have known in racing. A character is what he was, and among the fastest drivers of his generation.
Take the Oulton Park Gold Cup in 1960, where his Lotus 18 simply left the rest behind - 'the rest' including Rob Walker's similar car, driven by one Stirling Moss. When the mood took him, Ireland could hack it with anyone, but invariably his luck was poor, and that day was typical in that the car eventually broke.
There was always a strong element of fatalism in Ireland, and indubitably his career was signposted by a number of sizeable accidents. Innes was under no illusions about Lotuses of the time, reluctantly accepting that if Colin Chapman's radical cars were mighty quick, they were also mighty fragile: "Setting off on a lap of Spa, lad, it was best to put your imagination on a very low light. Something would break, and you'd come in, and they'd Sellotape it together, or whatever, and send you out again..."