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John Surtees, OBE (born 11 February 1934 in Tatsfieldmarker, Surreymarker) is a former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver from Englandmarker. He remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels. He is also the ambassador of the Racing Steps Foundation.

Motorcycle racing career

Surtees was the son of a south Londonmarker motorcycle dealer. He had his first professional outing in the sidecar of his father's Vincent, which they won. However, when race officials discovered Surtees' age, they were disqualified. He entered his first race at 15 in a grasstrack competition. In 1950, when he was 16, he joined Vincent as an apprentice; whilst with them he bought his first car, a Jowett Jupiter. He made his first headlines in 1951 when he gave Norton star Geoff Duke a strong challenge in an ACU race at the Thruxton Circuitmarker.

In 1955, Norton race chief Joe Craig gave Surtees his first factory sponsored ride aboard the Nortons. He finished the year by beating reigning world champion Duke at Silverstonemarker and then at Brands Hatchmarker. However, with Norton in financial trouble and uncertain about their racing plans, Surtees accepted an offer to race MV Agustas.

In 1956 Surtees won the 500cc world championship. In this he was assisted by the FIM's decision to ban Geoff Duke for six months because of his support for a riders' strike for more starting money. In the 1957 season, the MV Agustas were no match for the Gileras and Surtees battled to a third place finish aboard a 1957 MV Agusta 500 Quattro.

When Gilera and Moto Guzzi pulled out of Grand Prix racing at the end of 1957, Surtees and MV Agusta went on to dominate the competition in the two big classes. In 1958, 1959 and 1960, he won 32 out of 39 races and became the first man to win the Senior TT at the Isle of Man TT three years in succession.



Racing car career

In 1960, at the age of 26, Surtees switched from motorcycles to cars full time, making his Formula 1 debut racing for Lotus in the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlomarker. He made an immediate impact with a second place finish in only his second Formula One race, at the 1960 British Grand Prix, and a pole position at his third race, the 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix. After spending the 1961 season with the Cooper racing team and the 1962 season with Reg Parnell Racing, he moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1963 and won the World Championship for the Italian team in 1964.

On September 25, 1965, Surtees had a life-threatening accident at the Mosport Circuit (Ontario, Canada) whilst practicing a Lola T70 sports racing car. A front upright casting had broken. Surtees made a full recovery and competed with a T70 in the inaugural Can Am series in 1966, winning three races of six to become champion over other winners Dan Gurney (Lola), Mark Donohue (Lola) and Phil Hill (Chaparral) as well as the likes of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon (both in McLarens).

The 1966 season saw the introduction of new, larger 3-litre engines to Formula One. Surtees' debut with Ferrari's new F1 car was at the 1966 BRDC International Trophy at Silverstone, where he qualified and finished a close second behind Jack Brabham's 3-litre Brabham BT19. A few weeks later, Surtees led the Monaco Grand Prix, pulling away from Jackie Stewart's 2-litre BRM on the straights, before the engine failed. A fortnight later Surtees survived the first lap rainstorm which eliminated half the field and won the Belgian Grand Prix.

Surtees arrived at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans expecting to be partnered with Mike Parkes, instead Ferrari team manager Eugenio Dragoni had put "big John" with Ludovico Scarfiotti. Surtees was not happy and quit Ferrari. Surtees finished the season driving for the Cooper-Maseratimarker team, winning the last race of the season and finishing second in the drivers' championship, 14 points behind Brabham.

Surtees moved to the new Japanese Honda team for the 1967 season. He took pole position for the non-championship Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, but the car's V12 engine suffered from reliability problems in the race. At the Italian Grand Prix Surtees slipstreamed Denny Hulme to take Honda's second F1 victory by 0.2 seconds. Surtees finished fourth in the 1967 drivers' championship.

The same year, Surtees drove in the Rex Mays 300 at Riversidemarker, near Los Angeles, in a United States Auto Club season-ending road race. This event pitted the best American drivers of the day — normally those who had cut their teeth as professional drivers on oval dirt tracks — against veteran Formula One Grand Prix drivers, including Jim Clark and Dan Gurney.

In 1970, Surtees formed his own race team, the Surtees Racing Organisation, and spent nine seasons competing in Formula 5000, Formula 2 and Formula 1 as a constructor. He retired from competitive driving in 1972, the same year the team had their greatest success when Mike Hailwood won the European Formula 2 Championship. The team was finally disbanded at the end of 1978.

After Formula One

John Surtees in 2006
For a while in the 1970s Surtees ran a motorcycle shop in West Wickham, Kent. He continues his involvement in motorcycling, participating in classic events with bikes from his stable of vintage racing machines. He also remains involved in single-seater racing cars and held the position of chairman of A1 Team Great Britain, in the A1 Grand Prix racing series from 2005-7. His son, Henry competed in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Formula Renault UK Championship and the Formula BMW UK championship for Carlin Motorsport, before he died whilst racing in the Formula 2 championship at Brands Hatch on 19 July 2009.

In 1996, John Surtees was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Famemarker. The FIM honoured him as a Grand Prix "Legend" in 2003. Already a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours.

Motorcycle Grand Prix results

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6
Points 8 6 4 3 2 1


() (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Points Rank Wins
1952 500cc Norton SUI

-
IOM

-
NEDmarker

-
BEL

-
GER

-
ULS

6
NAT

-
ESP

-
1 18th 0
1954 350cc Norton FRA

-
IOM

11
ULS

-
BEL

-
NEDmarker

-
GER

-
SUI

-
NAT

-
ESP

-
0 - 0
500cc Norton FRA

-
IOM

15
ULS

-
BEL

-
NEDmarker

-
GER

-
SUI

-
NAT

-
ESP

-
0 - 0
1955 250cc NSU FRA

-
IOM

-
GER

-
BEL

-
NEDmarker

-
ULS

1
NAT

-
8 7th 1
350cc Norton IOM

4
GER

3
BEL

-
NEDmarker

-
ULS

3
NAT

-
11 6th 0
500cc Norton ESP

-
FRA

-
IOM

29
GER

-
BEL

-
NEDmarker

-
ULS

-
NAT

-
0 - 0
1956 350cc MV Agusta IOM

-
NEDmarker

2
BEL

1
GER

-
ULS

-
NAT

-
14 4th 1
500cc MV Agusta IOM

1
NEDmarker

1
BEL

1
GER

-
ULS

-
NAT

-
24 1st 3
1957 350cc MV Agusta GER

-
IOM

4
NEDmarker

-
BEL

-
ULS

-
NAT

-
3 10th 0
500cc MV Agusta GER

-
IOM

2
NEDmarker

1
BEL

-
ULS

-
NAT

4
17 3rd 1
1958 350cc MV Agusta IOM

1
NEDmarker

1
BEL

1
GER

1
SWE

-
ULS

1
NAT

1
48 1st 6
500cc MV Agusta IOM

1
NEDmarker

1
BEL

1
GER

1
SWE

-
ULS

1
NAT

1
48 1st 6
1959 350cc MV Agusta FRA

1
IOM

1
GER

1
SWE

1
ULS

1
NAT

1
48 1st 6
500cc MV Agusta FRA

1
IOM

1
GER

1
NEDmarker

1
BEL

1
ULS

1
NAT

1
56 1st 7
1960 350cc MV Agusta FRA

3
IOM

2
NEDmarker

1
ULS

1
NAT

-
26 1st 2
500cc MV Agusta FRA

1
IOM

1
NEDmarker

-
BEL

1
GER

1
ULS

2
NAT

1
46 1st 5


Complete World Championship Formula One results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 WDC Points
1960 Team Lotus Lotus 18 Climax Straight-4 ARG

MON
Ret
500

NED

BEL

FRA

GBR
2
POR
Ret
ITA

USA
Ret
14th 6
1961 Yeoman Credit
Racing Team
Cooper T53 Climax Straight-4 MON
Ret
NED
7
BEL
5
FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
GER
5
ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
12th 4
1962 Bowmaker-Yeoman Racing Team Lola Mk4 Climax V8 NED
Ret
MON
4
BEL
5
FRA
5
GBR
2
GER
2
USA
Ret
RSA
Ret
4th 19
Lola Mk4A ITA
Ret
1963 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 156 Ferrari V6 MON
4
BEL
Ret
NED
3
FRA
Ret
GBR
2
GER
1
ITA
Ret
USA
Ret
MEX
DSQ
RSA
Ret
4th 22
1964 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 158 Ferrari V8 MON
Ret
NED
2
BEL
Ret
FRA
Ret
GBR
3
GER
1
AUT
Ret
ITA

1
1st 40
North American Racing Team USA

2
MEX

2
1965 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 158 Ferrari V8 RSA
2
MON
4
BEL
Ret
FRA
3
5th 17
Ferrari 1512 Ferrari Flat-12 GBR
3
NED
7
GER
Ret
ITA

Ret
USA

MEX

1966 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 312/66 Ferrari V12 MON
Ret
BEL
1
2nd 28
Cooper Car Company Cooper T81 Maseratimarker V12 FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
NED
Ret
GER
2
ITA

Ret
USA

3
MEX
1
1967 Honda Racing Honda RA273 Honda V12 RSA

3
MON
Ret
NED
Ret
BEL
Ret
FRA

GBR
6
GER
4
CAN

4th 20
Honda RA300 ITA

1
USA

Ret
MEX

4
1968 Honda Racing Honda RA300 Honda V12 RSA
8
7th 12
Honda RA301 ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
BEL
Ret
NED
Ret
FRA
2
GBR
5
GER

Ret
ITA

Ret
CAN

Ret
USA

3
MEX

Ret
1969 Owen Racing Organisation BRM P138 BRM V12 RSA

Ret
ESP
5
MON
Ret
NED
9
FRA

11th 6
BRM P139 GBR
Ret
GER
DNS
ITA

NC
CAN
Ret
USA

3
MEX

Ret
1970 Team Surtees McLarenmarker M7C Cosworth V8 RSA

Ret
ESP
Ret
MON
Ret
BEL
NED
6
FRA

18th 3
Surtees TS7 GBR
Ret
GER
9
AUT
Ret
ITA

Ret
CAN
5
USA

Ret
MEX

8
1971 Brooke Bond Oxo / Team Surtees Surtees TS9 Cosworth V8 RSA

Ret
ESP
11
MON
7
NED
5
FRA
8
GBR
6
GER
7
AUT
Ret
ITA

Ret
CAN
11
USA

17
19th 3
1972 Team Surtees Surtees TS14 Cosworth V8 ARG

RSA

ESP

MON

BEL

FRA

GBR

GER

AUT

ITA

Ret
CAN

USA

DNS
NC 0


External links



References

  1. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  2. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  3. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  4. Formula 1 Hall of Fame
  5. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  6. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  7. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  8. John Surtees career statistics at MotoGP.com
  9. John Surtees profile at MotoGP.com
  10. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  11. John Surtees career statistics at MotoGP.com
  12. 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix (1st edition). Hazelton Publishing Ltd, 1999. ISBN 1-874557-83-7
  13. John Surtees career statistics at MotoGP.com
  14. John Surtees Isle of Man TT results at iomtt.com
  15. Formula 1 Hall of Fame
  16. Formula 1 Hall of Fame
  17. John Surtees Formula One statistics
  18. Formula 1 Hall of Fame
  19. Formula 1 Hall of Fame
  20. Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans. by A.J.Baime Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. ISBN 978-0618822195
  21. Formula 1 Hall of Fame
  22. John Surtees Formula One statistics
  23. Formula 1 Hall of Fame
  24. www.formula2.net
  25. www.telegraph.co.uk
  26. John Surtees at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame
  27. MotoGP Legends at MotoGP.com
  28. John Surtees career statistics at MotoGP.com
  29. John Surtees Isle of Man TT results at iomtt.com
  30. John Surtees Formula One statistics



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