Born on this day, John Surtees, the only man to win world titles on two and four wheels


Sunday 11th February 1934

Born on this day, John Surtees, the only man to win world titles on two and four wheels. After winning four 500 cc and three 350 cc motor cycling world titles between 1956 and 1960. Surtees switched to the four-wheel branch of the sport. His Formula 1 debut came with Lotus in the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix and he finished his second Formula 1 race in 2nd place in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Four years later, now with Ferrari, he clinched the Formula One title in a dramatic 1964 Mexican GP. In 1965 he was badly injured when his Can Am Lola T70 crashed at Mosport Park in Canada. Always wanting to get deeply involved with the technical side of things, Surtees quit the Ferrari F1 team in mid-season 1966 after some attrition. Finally, in 1970, unhappy with almost every team he’d been with, he decided that founding his own team, the Surtees Racing Organisation, was the way to go to do things the right way. This was probably when he found out how hard it is to run an F1 team properly, let alone a successful one. He retired from driving at the end of 1971, save a single outing at the 1972 Italian Grand Prix, in order to concentrate on the running of his Formula 1 team only. Due to increasing costs his outfit folded at the end of the 1978 season.


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