Along with the fiftieth anniversary of Silverstone hosting the British Grand Prix this weekend, there is another historic milestone that is also being celebrated. It has been fifty years since John Surtees won the Formula One World Championship with the iconic Ferrari 158 in 1964.
Surtees, who also celebrates his eightieth birthday this year, was back behind the wheel of the car that he won the title with, which was specially brought over to the UK by the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum, and led a procession of historic cars that chronicle his involvement in racing as a driver and team owner.
The parade included the first Team Surtees Cosworth-powered TS7 from 1970, which was driven by a good friend of the family, Ecurie Ecosse GT driver Alexander Sims. It was the first car that was built and raced by the only man to have won world titles on both two and four wheels, and secured victory at the Oulton Park Gold Cup and took fifth in the Canadian Grand Prix.
The event took place as part of the third annual running of the Henry Surtees Foundation Brooklands Team Challenge, which helps to raise funds for those individuals affected by severe trauma, resulting from road traffic accidents. The event saw the likes of Sky Sports F1’s Simon Lazenby and NBC Sports’ Will Buxton take part alongside some of the young racing talent of today, celebrities and business moguls, with TW Steel’s Jordy Cobelens also getting his racing fix.
Mike Hailwood’s TS14/04 from 1973 was being piloted by Marussia’s Max Chilton during the display, and was the car that set lap records at both the Nürburgring and the Österreichring that year.
The TS15, driven by FIA Formula 3 Carlin driver, Jake Dennis, was driven to victory at Interlagos in Formula 2 by one of Brazil’s very own, Carlos Pace, in 1973. Ferrari WEC and Virgin Formula E driver, Sam Bird, put on a show for the crowds at the very end of the display in the restored TS19. The 2013 GP2 runner up burnt rubber in the Durex-liveried car, but suffered a bit of a false start on his first attempt.
After the two-hour endurance race that saw Team LNT Ginetta triumph after a dramatic race, which also had two red flag periods within the first twenty-five minutes, an auction of motorsport memorabilia took place in the Mercedes-Benz World facility.
Race suits worn by Kimi Räikkönen, Sebastian Vettel and Lucas Di Grassi, the latter of which was there racing in person, helped to raise £27,000 during an auction compered by Malcolm Barber of Bonham’s, which goes towards the ongoing work that the Foundation has continued to do so far.
A Scalfaro “John Surtees” edition watch was another item of interest, as it has parts from his MV Augsta and Ferrari 158 integrated into the workings of it, being number 23 of a 300 limited-edition run. The watch alone contributed £5,000 to the money raised that evening.
The work that it does helps to honour the memory of the late Henry Surtees, who was following in the footsteps of father John, when his life was tragically ended out on track. Henry, who was being tipped for the top tier of racing, was competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship at Brands Hatch, when a wheel struck his race helmet on July 19th, 2009.
Henry will be remembered for the laughter he brought to so many people, and the Henry Surtees Foundation continues its work to help keep those good memories alive by helping others in the process.
Images © RichlandF1