Included on the Queen’s New Year Honors List this time around is the name of John Surtees, who has been made a Commander of the British Empire for his services to motor racing.
The 81-year-old Surtees remains, of course, the only man to win World Championships on both two wheels and four, with his 1964 Formula One World Championship for Ferrari added to his four 500cc Class Motorcycle World Championships aboard MV Agusta bikes.
After recovering from serious injuries sustained in the crash of his Lola T70 sportscar at Mosport Park in Canada, Surtees won three of six races in a T70 to claim the inaugural Can-Am championship in 1966. He also won World Sportscar Championship rounds at Sebring, Monza and the Nürburgring. He retired from driving in 1972.
Surtees had established Team Surtees to run his Can-Am efforts, and in 1968 expanded the effort to produce racecars bearing his name, the first of them in Formula 5000, where they were immediately competitive. Formula One and Formula Two cars followed, winning the Formula Two crown with Mike Hailwood driving in 1972. Team Surtees F1 cars contested nine GP seasons before the doors were closed.
He remained involved in racing through his son, Henry, who was then tragically lost in an F2 accident in 2009, so that John now devotes himself to charitable work for the Henry Surtees Foundation.
The CBE follows his previous MBE from 1959 for his bike racing accomplishments, and his OBE from 2008, shouldn’t a full knighthood be next?