Vintage News

3/16/2017 - Remembering the Legendary John Surtees

London, England -- The only racer to have won world championships on both two wheels and four is being remembered for his achievements on and off the track. John Surtees died March 10 at age 83 in London's St. George's Hospital. Details of services have not yet been announced.

Multiple World Champion and a true gentleman, John Surtees. photo: Steve Havelock

Surtees won the 500cc motorcycle world championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 with the MV Agusta factory team. He compiled 22 top-level wins for them before switching to cars, making his debut for Lotus and winning the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1964. Throughout the season, he faced impressive competition from Graham Hill and Jim Clark, who finished in second and third place, respectively. During the 12 years he raced in F1, he won six races from 111 starts.

Surtees suffered a life-threatening accident in a Lola at Mosport, Canada in 1965, from which he recovered. He went on to win the Can-Am Championship in 1966 in a Team Surtees Lola, triumphing over a field that included Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill.

In 1970, Surtees formed the Surtees Racing Organization 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 disbanded at the end of 1978.

After his son, Henry, was killed in a racing accident at Brands Hatch in 2009, he created the Henry Surtees Foundation to raise funds for people with brain injuries.

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