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Motorsport icon, John Surtees OBE won the MIA Award for outstanding contribution to the motorsport industry at the MIA's reception in the House of Lords on Monday.
Peter Luff MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence, and pictured here with Surtees, presented the award in recognition of his unequalled career in motorsport, both as a driver and business leader for the past 60 years.
More than 300 from Parliament, Government and the business world of motorsport attended this, the most prestigious event in the business of world motorsport.
John Surtees OBE joins a very special group of previous MIA Award winners including, last year's winner, Adrian Newey, Ross Brawn OBE, Sir Frank Williams CBE, Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, Tom Wheatcroft and Bernie Ecclestone to name but a few.
Surtees, one of the greatest racers of all time, became World Champion on 350cc and 500cc motorcycles in 1956, 58, 59 and 60, Formula One World Champion in 1964, and Can-Am Champion in 1966. He is the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels.
He raced in both car and bike World Championships in the same year, 1960 - and took second place in only his second F1 race - the British Grand Prix at Sliverstone. He went on to become a successful manufacturer and team owner.
"It was such a surprise to win," said Surtees. "Throughout my career I've tried to follow my heart and set an example. Life has had its ups and downs but motorsport, both on and off the circuit has always been close to my heart. I see motorsport as an industry that can set an example, not necessarily so a person can become a Lewis Hamilton or a Jenson Button but because it's vibrant and offers so many exciting opportunities. It's a real honour to win this MIA award because it means that all of those years trying to achieve things, in such a wonderful industry, have been recognised."
"MIA members are delighted to honour John, such an inspirational man whose contribution to our industry has been exceptional, and of huge influence for so long," added Chris Aylett, chief executive of the MIA. "We are pleased that with the help of our President, Lord Drayson, we are able to host this unique annual event which brings together industry leaders from around the world and government representatives to celebrate the success of the British motorsport industry."
In this most special of years for his Queen, wouldn't now be the ideal opportunity to really recognise the achievements of this great ambassador for the sport and his country... and honour him with a Knighthood.
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