John Surtees

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Surtees
CBE
John Surtees.JPG
Surtees sitting in his Ferrari signing autographs at Brands Hatch in 1964
Nationality British
Born (1934-02-11)11 February 1934
Tatsfield, Surrey, England
Died 10 March 2017(2017-03-10) (aged 83)
St George's Hospital, Tooting, London, England
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 19521960
First race 1952 500cc Ulster Grand Prix
Last race 1960 500cc Nations Grand Prix
First win 1955 250cc Ulster Grand Prix
Last win 1960 500cc Nations Grand Prix
Team(s) Norton, MV Agusta
Championships 350cc – 1958, 1959, 1960
500cc – 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
51 38 45 N/A 34 350
Formula One World Championship career
Active years 19601972
Teams Lotus, Cooper (Inc non-works), Lola, Ferrari, Honda, BRM,
non-works McLaren, Surtees
Entries 113 (111 starts)
Championships 1 (1964)
Wins 6
Podiums 24
Career points 180
Pole positions 8
Fastest laps 11
First entry 1960 Monaco Grand Prix
First win 1963 German Grand Prix
Last win 1967 Italian Grand Prix
Last entry 1972 Italian Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Years 19631965, 1967
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Lola Cars/Team Surtees
Best finish 3rd (1964)
Class wins 0

John Surtees, CBE (11 February 1934 – 10 March 2017) was an English Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver. He was a four-time 500cc motorcycle World Champion – winning that title in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 – the Formula One World Champion in 1964, and remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels. He founded the Surtees Racing Organisation team that competed as a constructor in Formula One, Formula 2 and Formula 5000 from 1970 to 1978. He was also the ambassador of the Racing Steps Foundation.

Motorcycle racing career

Surtees was the son of a south London motorcycle dealer.[1] He had his first professional outing, which they won, in the sidecar of his father's Vincent at the age of 14.[1] However, when race officials discovered Surtees's age, they were disqualified.[1] He entered his first race at 15 in a grasstrack competition. In 1950, at the age of 16, he went to work for the Vincent factory as an apprentice.[1][2] He first gained prominence in 1951 when he gave Norton star Geoff Duke a strong challenge in an ACU race at the Thruxton Circuit.[1]

In 1955, Norton race chief Joe Craig gave Surtees his first factory sponsored ride aboard the Nortons.[1] He finished the year by beating reigning world champion Duke at Silverstone and then at Brands Hatch.[1] However, with Norton in financial trouble and uncertain about their racing plans, Surtees accepted an offer to race for the MV Agusta factory racing team, where he soon earned the nickname figlio del vento (son of the wind).[3]

In 1956 Surtees won the 500cc world championship,[4] MV Agusta's first in the senior class.[3] In this Surtees was assisted by the FIM's decision to ban the defending champion, Geoff Duke, for six months because of his support for a riders' strike for more starting money.[5] 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.[1][4][6]

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 larger displacement classes.[1] 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.[4][7]

Racing car career

Surtees (left) and Mauro Forghieri in 1965
Surtees at the 1965 1000 km Nürburgring.
Surtees and Yoshio Nakamura at the 1968 Dutch Grand Prix.
Surtees at the 1969 Dutch Grand Prix
Surtees at the wheel of the Surtees TS7.

In 1960, at the age of 26, Surtees switched from motorcycles to cars full-time, making his Formula 1 debut racing in the 1960 BRDC International Trophy[8] at Silverstone for Team Lotus.[9] He made an immediate impact with a second-place finish in only his second Formula One World Championship race, at the 1960 British Grand Prix, and a pole position at his third, the 1960 Portuguese Grand Prix.[2] After spending the 1961 season with the Yeoman Credit Racing Team driving a Cooper T53 "Lowline" managed by Reg Parnell and the 1962 season with the Bowmaker Racing Team, still managed by Reg Parnell but now in the V8 Lola Mk4, he moved to Scuderia Ferrari in 1963 and won the World Championship for the Italian team in 1964.[2][10]

On 25 September 1965, Surtees had a life-threatening accident at the Mosport Circuit (Ontario, Canada) while practising in a Lola T70 sports racing car.[2] A front upright casting had broken. A.J. Baime in his book Go Like Hell says Surtees came out of the crash with one side of his body four inches shorter than the other.[11] Doctors set most of the breaks nonsurgically, in part by physically stretching his shattered body until the right-left discrepancy was under an inch – and there it stayed.

The 1966 season saw the introduction of new, larger 3-litre engines to Formula One.[12] Surtees's 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.[13] 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.[14]

Due to perennial strikes in Italy, Ferrari could afford to enter only two cars (Ferrari P3s) for the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans instead of its usual entry of three prototypes. Uncertainty and confusion surrounds subsequent events and their consequences, and a number of different explanations have been offered in the decades since. The narrative explained by Ferrari at the time states that under Le Mans rules in 1966 each car was allowed only two drivers.[15] Surtees was omitted from the driver line-up[15] with one works Ferrari to be driven by Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti, and the other by Jean Guichet and Lorenzo Bandini. When Surtees questioned Ferrari team manager Eugenio Dragoni as to why, as the Ferrari team leader, he would not be allowed to compete, Dragoni told Surtees that he did not feel that he was fully fit to drive in a 24-hour endurance race because of the injuries he had sustained in late 1965.[15] However, Surtees himself described things somewhat differently. In his recollection, when the pairings were announced he was to drive alongside Scarfiotti. As the faster driver of the two, Surtees argued that he should take the first stint and "try to break" the Ford opposition by driving "flat out from the start".[16] Dragoni denied Surtees's request and insisted that Scarfiotti take the start, supposedly to please Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli, Scarfiotti's uncle, who was in attendance as a spectator.[16] Either way, the decision and subsequent lack of support from Enzo Ferrari himself were deeply upsetting to Surtees and he immediately quit the team.[15] This decision likely cost both Ferrari and Surtees the Formula 1 Championship in 1966. Ferrari finished second to Brabham-Repco in the Constructors' Championship and Surtees finished second to Jack Brabham in the Drivers' Championship.[2][17] Surtees finished the season driving for the Cooper-Maserati team, winning the last race of the season and finishing second in the Drivers' Championship.[18]

Surtees competed with a T70 in the inaugural 1966 Can-Am season,[19][20] winning three races of six to become champion[21] 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).[22]

In December 1966, Surtees signed for Honda.[23] After a promising third place in the first race in South Africa, the Honda RA273 hit a series of mechanical problems. The car was replaced by the Honda RA300 for the Italian Grand Prix, where Surtees slipstreamed Jack Brabham to take Honda's second F1 victory by 0.2 seconds. Surtees finished fourth in the 1967 Drivers' Championship.[10]

The same year, Surtees drove in the Rex Mays 300 at Riverside, 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.[24]

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.[2] 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.[25] The team was finally disbanded at the end of 1978.[26]

After Formula One

John Surtees in 2011

For a while in the 1970s Surtees ran a motorcycle shop in West Wickham, Kent, and a Honda car dealership in Edenbridge, Kent.[27] He continued his involvement in motorcycling, participating in classic events with bikes from his stable of vintage racing machines. He also remained 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 to 2007.[28] His son, Henry Surtees, competed in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Formula Renault UK Championship and the Formula BMW UK championship for Carlin Motorsport,[29] before he died while racing in the Formula 2 championship at Brands Hatch on 19 July 2009.[30]

In 1996, Surtees was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.[31] The FIM honoured him as a Grand Prix "Legend" in 2003.[32] Already a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours[33] and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to motorsport.[34][35][36]

In 2013 he was awarded the Segrave Trophy in recognition of multiple world championships, and being the only person to win world titles on 2 and 4 wheels.[37]

In 2015, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering by Oxford Brookes University.[38][39]

Personal life and death

Surtees married twice, first to Patricia Burke in 1962; the couple divorced in 1979. His second wife was Jane Sparrow, whom he married in 1987, and with whom he had three children, Leonora, Edwina and Henry.[40]

Surtees died of respiratory failure on 10 March 2017 at St George's Hospital in London, at the age of 83.[28][34]

A moving tribute to Surtees was held at the Goodwood Members Meeting in the UK on 19 March 2017.[41]

Racing record

Motorcycle Grand Prix results[4][7]

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

(key) (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
-
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
ULS
6
NAT
-
ESP
-
1 18th 0
1953 125cc EMC IOM
DNS
NED
-
GER
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
350cc Norton IOM
DNS
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
FRA
-
ULS
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
0 0
500cc Norton IOM
DNS
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
FRA
-
ULS
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
1954 350cc Norton FRA
-
IOM
11
ULS
Ret
BEL
-
NED
-
GER
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
500cc Norton FRA
-
IOM
15
ULS
5 †
BEL
-
NED
-
GER
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
1955 250cc NSU FRA
-
IOM
-
GER
Ret
NED
-
ULS
1
NAT
-
8 7th 1
350cc Norton IOM
4
GER
3
BEL
-
NED
-
ULS
3
NAT
-
11 6th 0
500cc Norton ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
29
BEL
-
NED
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
BMW GER
Ret
1956 350cc MV Agusta IOM
DSQ
NED
2
BEL
1
GER
Ret
ULS
-
NAT
-
14 4th 1
500cc MV Agusta IOM
1
NED
1
BEL
1
GER
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
24 1st 3
1957 350cc MV Agusta GER
Ret
IOM
4
NED
Ret
BEL
Ret
ULS
Ret
NAT
Ret
3 10th 0
500cc MV Agusta GER
Ret
IOM
2
NED
1
BEL
Ret
ULS
Ret
NAT
4
17 3rd 1
1958 350cc MV Agusta IOM
1
NED
1
BEL
1
GER
1
SWE
-
ULS
1
NAT
1
48 1st 6
500cc MV Agusta IOM
1
NED
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
NED
1
BEL
1
ULS
1
NAT
1
56 1st 7
1960 350cc MV Agusta FRA
3
IOM
2
NED
1
ULS
1
NAT
Ret
26 1st 2
500cc MV Agusta FRA
1
IOM
1
NED
Ret
BEL
1
GER
1
ULS
2
NAT
1
46 1st 5

† The 500 cc race was stopped by bad weather, and the FIM excluded the race from the World Championship.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[10]

(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 Pts
1960 Team Lotus Lotus 18 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 ARG MON
Ret
500 NED BEL FRA GBR
2
POR
Ret
ITA USA
Ret
14th 6
1961 Yeoman Credit Racing Team Cooper T53 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 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 FWMV 1.5 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 SpA SEFAC Ferrari 156 Ferrari 178 1.5 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 SpA SEFAC Ferrari 158 Ferrari 205B 1.5 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 SpA SEFAC Ferrari 158 Ferrari 205B 1.5 V8 RSA
2
MON
4
BEL
Ret
FRA
3
5th 17
Ferrari 1512 Ferrari 207 1.5 F12 GBR
3
NED
7
GER
Ret
ITA
Ret
USA MEX
1966 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312 Ferrari 218 3.0 V12 MON
Ret
BEL
1
2nd 28
Cooper Car Company Cooper T81 Maserati 9/F1 3.0 V12 FRA
Ret
GBR
Ret
NED
Ret
GER
2
ITA
Ret
USA
3
MEX
1
1967 Honda Racing Honda RA273 Honda RA273E 3.0 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 RA273E 3.0 V12 RSA
8
7th 12
Honda RA301 Honda RA301E 3.0 V12 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 P142 3.0 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 McLaren M7C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 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 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 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 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG RSA ESP MON BEL FRA GBR GER AUT ITA
Ret
CAN USA
DNS
NC 0

Non-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 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
1960[42] John Surtees Cooper T51 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 GLV INT
DNS
Team Lotus Lotus 18 INT
Ret
SIL
6
LOM
Ret
OUL
Ret
1961[43] Yeoman Credit Racing Team Cooper T53 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 LOM
3
GLV
1
PAU BRX
Ret
VIE AIN
4
SYR
Ret
NAP LON SIL
Ret
SOL KAN
3
DAN
DNS
MOD
Ret
Cooper T56 FLG
10
OUL
Ret
LEW VAL RAN NAT RSA
1962[44] Bowmaker-Yeoman Racing Team Lola Mk4 Climax FPF 2.5 L4 CAP BRX
Ret
LOM
Ret
LAV
Ret
Climax FWMV 1.5 V8 GLV
Ret
PAU AIN
Ret
INT
3
NAP MAL
1
CLP RMS
Ret
SOL KAN
Ret
MED OUL
Ret
RAN
3
NAT
Lola Mk4A DAN
Ret
Lotus 24 MEX
Ret
1963[45] Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 156 Ferrari 178 1.5 V6 LOM GLV PAU IMO
WD
SYR
WD
AIN INT
Ret
ROM SOL KAN MED
1
AUT OUL RAN
1
1964[46] Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 158 Ferrari 205B 1.5 V8 DMT NWT SYR
1
AIN SOL
2
MED RAN
Ferrari 156 Ferrari 178 1.5 V6 INT
Ret
1965[47] Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 158 Ferrari 205B 1.5 V8 ROC
Ret
SYR
2
SMT INT
2
MED RAN
1966[48] Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 312 Ferrari 218 3.0 V12 RSA SYR
1
INT
2
OUL
1967[49] Honda Racing Honda RA273 Honda RA273E 3.0 V12 ROC
Ret
SPC
3
INT SYR OUL ESP
1968[50] Lola Racing Lola T100 BMW M12 2.0 L4 ROC
DNS
INT OUL
1969[51] Owen Racing Organisation BRM P138 BRM P142 3.0 V12 ROC
DNS
INT MAD OUL
1970[52] Team Surtees McLaren M7C Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC
Ret
INT
Surtees TS7 OUL
1
1971[53] Brooke Bond Oxo Team Surtees Surtees TS9 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ARG ROC
3
QUE SPR
Ret
INT
12
RIN
3
OUL
1
VIC
6
1972[54] Team Surtees Surtees TS9 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 ROC BRA INT
3
OUL REP VIC

Complete 24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Driver Car Class Laps Pos.
1963[55] Italy Ferrari Belgium Willy Mairesse 250P P 3.0 252 15 (DNF)
1964[56] Italy Ferrari Italy Lorenzo Bandini 330P P 5.0 337 3
1965[57] Italy Ferrari Italy Ludovico Scarfiotti 330P2 P 5.0 225 17
1967[58] United Kingdom Lola Cars United Kingdom David Hobbs Lola T70 P 5.0 3 53 (DNF)

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Noyes, Dennis; Scott, Michael (1999), Motocourse: 50 Years Of Moto Grand Prix, Hazleton Publishing Ltd, ISBN 1-874557-83-7 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Formula 1 Hall of Fame". formula1.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
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  4. ^ a b c d "John Surtees career statistics at MotoGP.com". motogp.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Geoff Duke Must Finish Six Months' Suspension". The Bulletin. 18 August 1956. p. 8. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Alan Cathcart (July–August 2007). "1957 MV Agusta 500 Quattro". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 12 August 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "John Surtees Isle of Man TT results at iomtt.com". iomtt.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  8. ^ Adam Cooper, Obituary: John Surtees, 1934–2017, www.motorsport.com Retrieved 12 March 2017
  9. ^ XII B.R.D.C. Daily Express International Trophy 1960, www.formula2.net Retrieved 12 March 2017
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  11. ^ Baime, A. J. (2011). Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans. Random House. p. 262. ISBN 9781446497463. 
  12. ^ Buckland, Damien (2015). Collection Editions: Ferrari In Formula One. Lulu Press, Inc. p. 143. ISBN 9781326174880. 
  13. ^ Masin, Michael. "Of His Own Construction – 1966 Repco Brabham BT19". drivetribe.com. 
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  17. ^ Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans. by A.J.Baime Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. ISBN 978-0-618-82219-5
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  19. ^ Dowsey, David (2010). Aston Martin: Power, Beauty and Soul (illustrated ed.). Images Publishing. p. 21. ISBN 9781864704242. 
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  21. ^ Orr, Frank (1970). George Eaton: Five Minutes to Green: The Anatomy of a Young Canadian Auto Racer's First Season as a Professional Driver in Competitive Cars. Longman Canada. p. 21. 
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  24. ^ Auto Driver. 67. Counterpoint. 1967. p. 123. 
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  29. ^ "How to become F1 champion". Sarah Holt. www.bbc.co.uk. 22 August 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007. 
  30. ^ "John Surtees' son Henry killed in Formula Two accident". The Telegraph. 19 July 2009. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  31. ^ "John Surtees at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame". motorsportshalloffame.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  32. ^ "MotoGP Legends". motogp.com. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
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  57. ^ ExperienceLeMans.com. "1965 24 Hours of Le Mans Results and Competitors". 
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External links

  • John Surtees official web site
  • Biography from GrandPrix.com
  • Biography from F1db.com
  • Sky Sport video documentary on John Surtees
  • John Surtees Isle of Man TT statistics at iomtt.com
  • Grand Prix History: Hall of Fame John Surtees
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Geoff Duke
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1956
Succeeded by
Libero Liberati
Preceded by
Libero Liberati
500cc Motorcycle World Champion
1958–1960
Succeeded by
Gary Hocking
Preceded by
Jim Clark
Formula One World Champion
1964
Succeeded by
Jim Clark
Preceded by
Inaugural
Can-Am Champion
1966
Succeeded by
Bruce McLaren
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Ian Black
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
1959
Succeeded by
David Broome
Preceded by
Jim Clark
Hawthorn Memorial Trophy
1964
Succeeded by
Jim Clark
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