Monterey, California - A classic Aston Martin raced by Sir Stirling Moss has become the most expensive British car after it was bought for $22.55 million (R298 million).

The 1956 DBR1 was built to be raced at Le Mans and has been labelled the ‘most important’ Aston Martin produced. It was the headline lot at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale in California and drew a huge crowd.

Two rival collectors battled for almost seven minutes to get their hands on the green racing car. It went for R2.5 million more than the guide price – enough to buy 120 brand new Aston Martin DB11 supercars. It is also now the seventh most valuable car ever sold publicly, with only five Ferraris and one Mercedes fetching more.

The Jaguar D-Type that won at Le Mans in 1955 was previously the most expensive British car, going for $21.78 million (R288 million) in 2016.

Five Aston Martin DBR1s were built from 1956 to 1958. The original 250km/h engine is included in the price but has been taken out so the car can be driven. Moss raced it to victory with fellow Briton Jack Fairman at the Nurburgring 1000km in 1959.