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John Surtees (1934-2017)

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  • John Surtees (1934-2017)

    Just heard this -- two weeks late.

    Tributes have been paid to John Surtees, who died on Friday. He was an acknowledged great of the motor sport world and the only racer to have won world championships on motorbikes and in Formula One. . . .

    Surtees won the 500cc motorcycle world championship in 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 with the MV Agusta factory team, for whom he scored 22 wins at the top level before switching to cars, making his debut for Lotus and winning the Formula One title for Ferrari in 1964, which included a remarkable win at the Nürburgring and one at Monza.

    It was an achievement made all the more impressive given the level of competition he faced, beating Graham Hill and Jim Clark into second and third places. During the 12 years he raced in F1 he won six races from 111 starts. He also took a third place for Ferrari at Le Mans in 1964.

    He left the scuderia having been at odds with the then manager in 1966, a decision Enzo Ferrari, who hugely admired the British driver to the extent that he invited him to join the team twice – something unheard of at the time – believed was a mistake for both parties and cost them a further championship. . . . .

    In 1966, he also won the CanAm Championship in a Team Surtees Lola, again notable for the level of competition in a field that included Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney and Phil Hill.

    During his time on bikes he won the Isle of Man Senior TT four times, becoming the first man to win it three times in succession between 1958 and 1960. During the 1970s he ran his own team, the Surtees Racing Organisation, but although he was appointed MBE, OBE and CBE, many were disappointed he was never recognised with a knighthood. . . . .

    "John Surtees, former F1 and motorcycle world champion, dies aged 83," by Giles Richards, The Guardian, 10 Mar 2017
    I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

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