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Home town to pay tribute to Surtees

NEWS STORY
01/04/2014

As part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of his championship winning F1 season, John Surtees is to lead a parade of his cars and bikes through the town of Edenbridge next month.

Surtees the only person to have won world championships on both two and four wheels, will be supporting the Edenbridge Fun Day on Monday 26th May 2014. Edenbridge has been Surtees' business base for the past 56 years, and the fun day will celebrate his remarkable achievements on two and four wheels as well as that of Team Surtees which gained worldwide success winning American and British championships with its Formula 5000 cars and the European Formula 2 Championship in 1972 (runner-up in 1973).

The special event will feature a parade of his rarely seen F1 race cars and bikes run twice through Edenbridge High Street before returning to the site that was the Surtees team factory base. This will be followed by a large procession of veteran and classic vehicles all drawn to Edenbridge by the festivities.

"2014 marks not only John's 50th anniversary of winning the Formula 1 World Championship, but also his 80th birthday," said Peter Kingham, Head of Edenbridge Chamber of Commerce. "We are very much looking forward to celebrating those two anniversaries with him at the fun day, as well as raising funds for our chosen charities".

The Edenbridge Fun Day will raise awareness and funds for local charities including the Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and Henry Surtees Foundation, established by John following the tragic death of his son Henry while competing in a Formula 2 race in 2009 aged just 18.

The Team Surtees and John Surtees related vehicles taking part in the Edenbridge Fun Day and parade include:

Ferrari 158 - The actual car that John Surtees won his 1964 Formula One Driver's World Championship racing title in.

The first Formula 1 car built by Team Surtees at its Edenbridge base. The TS7 Formula 1 car had its first race in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1970. In that year It won the Gold Cup competing against a World Championship grid and finished 5th in the Canadian Grand Prix.

The TS14 Formula 1 car (pictured) - The first car to be introduced to the new safety regulations in 1972 and driven by Mike Hailwood and Carlos Pace setting lap records in the German and Austrian Grand Prix. Mike Hailwood took 2nd place at the Italian Grand Prix. The team finished 5th in the World Championship (one place behind Ferrari).

The TS15 2-litre Formula 2 car built in 1973 which finished 2nd in that Championship, this car is the prototype that won the prestigious Interlagos race in Brazil driven by Carlos Pace.

A 1960 MV Agusta four-cylinder GP motorcycle - John Surtees won seven World motorcycle championships riding for MV Augusta and 6 Isle of Man TT's.

A 1954 BMW Rennsport twin-cylinder motorcycle - John Surtees raced for the factory team at the Nurburgring in 1955.

Mercedes-Benz 300SL this is one of the limited production cars made by Mercedes-Benz following the success on their return to racing of the 300SL prototype in Carrera Panamerica.

500cc 1949 Vincent Grey Flash motorcycle built by John in 1979 using a large number of parts from the original machine that he built in 1950 whilst working as an apprentice at the Vincent Company. John won his first ever race on a Grey Flash at Aberdare Park in Wales, that he had built whilst working as an apprentice at the Vincent company. It was the first of many wins before he transferred to a Norton to compete in International events.

350cc Works Norton this is one of the last works machines built by the original Norton company in the early Sixties and featured an ultra-short-stroke engine of 86mm x 60mm and outside flywheel.

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1. Posted by jo6pac, 02/04/2014 16:32

"2. Posted by jasman, 15 hours ago

Here's another for you, at Laguna Seca the week before P. Jones crashed twice in the opening laps then was finally black flagged out of the race for not coming into the pits to check the car. JS said after the race if PJ was allowed to go to Riverside then he was going home. PJ went home instead.

Thanks for your comment Fast_ian"

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2. Posted by Fast_ian, 02/04/2014 6:26

"Cool memories guys! I worked on his F1 team for a while. Great guy, and a tough,fair, boss too! ;)

However, could someone please change the headline!.... I almost ****!..... ;)

Cheers,
Ian"

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3. Posted by jasman, 02/04/2014 1:28

"jo6pac,
I too was at that race at Riverside in 1966 which was the first season of the CanAm. The McLaren steamroller began in 1967. Back to 1966. There was a young local driver that qualified last, but he did qualify. The organizers of the race bumped him from the grid Saturday afternoon in favour of another driver who was paid appearance money but failed to qualify. We saw this young fellow and the end of the day and he was just crushed and didn't know what to do. Word of this got back to Surtees and he threatened a drivers strike if this guy wasn't put back on the grid. The organizers relented and added an extra car to allow for their guy that hadn't qualified. That was the character of John Surtees. I will never forget that. "

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4. Posted by jo6pac, 01/04/2014 19:23

"I was lucky to see John and Jim Hall go at in the old pre-CamAm series at Riverside, Calif. he was so smooth and win the race and series title. Happy Birthday JS and why isn't it Sir John Surtees?"

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