Motor sport legend John Surtees OBE to support Edenbridge Fun Day

Spring Holiday Monday 26 May 2014The exciting sights sound and smell of Grand Prix Racing to roar into life at Edenbridge, Kent

Motor sport legend, John Surtees OBE, the only person to have won world championships on both two and four wheels, will be supporting the Edenbridge Fun Day on Monday 26th May 2014. Edenbridge has been Surtees' business base for the past 56 years, and the fun day will celebrate his remarkable achievements on two and four wheels as well as that of Team Surtees which gained worldwide success winning American and British championships with its Formula 5000 cars and the European Formula 2 Championship in 1972 (runner-up in 1973).

The special event will feature a parade of John’s rarely seen F1 race cars and bikes run twice through Edenbridge High Street before returning to the site that was the Surtees team factory base. This will be followed by a large procession of veteran and classic vehicles all drawn to Edenbridge by the festivities.

Peter Kingham, Head of Edenbridge Chamber of Commerce said “2014 marks not only John’s 50th anniversary of winning the Formula 1 World Championship, but also his 80th birthday. We are very much looking forward to celebrating those two anniversaries with him at the fun day, as well as raising funds for our chosen charities”.

The Edenbridge Fun Day will raise awareness and funds for local charities including the Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and Henry Surtees Foundation, established by John Surtees following the tragic death of his son Henry while competing in Formula 2 race in 2009 aged just 18.

The Team Surtees and John Surtees related vehicles taking part in the Edenbridge Fun Day and parade include:

· Ferrari 158 - This is the actual car that John Surtees won his 1964 Formula One Driver's World Championship racing title in

· The first Formula 1 car built by Team Surtees at its Edenbridge base. The TS7 Formula 1 car had its first race in the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch in 1970. In that year It won the Gold Cup competing against a World Championship grid and finished 5th in the Canadian Grand Prix.

· The TS14 Formula 1 car - The first car to be introduced to the new safety regulations in 1972 and was driven by Mike Hailwood and Carlos Pace setting lap records in the German and Austrian Grand Prix. Mike Hailwood took 2nd place at the Italian Grand Prix. The team finished 5th in the World Championship (one place behind Ferrari).

· The TS15 2-litre Formula 2 car built in 1973 which finished 2nd in that Championship, this car is the prototype that won the prestigious Interlagos race in Brazil driven by Carlos Pace

· A 1960 MV Agusta four-cylinder GP motorcycle – John Surtees won seven World motorcycle championships riding for MV Augusta and 6 Isle of Man TT’s

· A 1954 BMW Rennsport twin-cylinder motorcycle – John Surtees raced for the factory team at the Nurburgring in 1955.

· Mercedes-Benz 300SL this is one of the limited production cars made by Mercedes-Benz following the success on their return to racing of the 300SL prototype in Carrera Panamerica

· 500cc 1949 Vincent Grey Flash motorcycle built by John in 1979 using a large number of parts from the original machine that he built in 1950 whilst working as an apprentice at the Vincent Company. John won his first ever race on a Grey Flash at Aberdare Park in Wales, that he had built whilst working as an apprentice at the Vincent company. It was the first of many wins before he transferred to a Norton to compete in International events.

· 350cc Works Norton this is one of the last works machines built by the original Norton company in the early Sixties and featured an ultra-short-stroke engine of 86mm x 60mm and outside flywheel

The vehicles will be based at the original building that housed Team Surtees where the cars were manufactured and built predominantly by local skilled residents. Two local businesses, Bradford Electrical and Whitmore’s car dealership have traded from this base in recent years at north end of town. It is soon hoped that an exciting new development will be taking place on this site with the construction of a Sainsbury’s store and petrol station.

The parade will start at 4.00pm following an Aston Martin DB8 course car – John Surtees will lead the procession in the Ferrari 158 car along closed roads through Edenbridge before returning to Station Road.

To tie in with the event, Topfoto Gallery based at Roman Road, Fircroft Way, Edenbridge will be holding a Surtees photographic exhibition tracing his life and career from 18 April until 12 June 2014.

 John Surtees OBE claimed the 500cc World Championship GP title on two wheels four times and the 350cc category three times before winning the 1964 Formula One World Championship. He started competing as a sidecar passenger for his father – although in their debut race together the duo were disqualified after crossing the finish line first because John was too young to compete within the rules. He was not put off and after a spell riding Vincent, Norton and NSU machines winning British titles and his first GP he moved to MV Augusta winning the 500cc World Championship in 1956 – the first of seven world titles he secured in just five years and which resulted in the award of an MBE. By 1960 Surtees was competing on two and four wheels – winning two World Championships on two wheels and finishing second in the Formula 1 British Grand Prix and setting pole position and record lap in the Portuguese Grand Prix on four wheels. He moved to Ferrari for 1963 winning prestigious Sportscar events and his first Grand Prix on four wheels. In 1964 he won the World Championship Driver Award driving for Ferrari. He survived a terrible crash at the Canadian GP for sports cars in 1965 returning to winning the Can-Am Championship in his Lola T70 that he helped develop. Drives for Honda and BRM followed, and then in 1970 Team Surtees entered its own cars in F2, F5000 and F1 events. He won the non-championship Oulton Park Gold Cup in two consecutive years and the Japanese GP in the Surtees TS10 Formula 2 car, then retired from the cockpit in 1972 with a third place in the F1 International Trophy Race at Silverstone and two wins in F2 – driving Surtees cars, all of which he designed and built. Surtees continued to manage Team Surtees until 1978 with drivers Carlos Pace, Mike Hailwood, John Watson, Alan Jones and René Arnoux, before having to close the team due to the failure of a sponsor

 Surtees is a Vice President of the British Racing Drivers' Club and supports initiatives to encourage young drivers. In 2008 he was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for 'services to motorsport and charity'.

 John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels.

On June 19 2014, John will also be launching his book: John Surtees: My Incredible Life on Two and Four Wheels. Its 304 pages contain over 250 photographs from Surtees’ own collection as well as the world’s finest motorsport picture libraries. The standard edition costs £50 and the leather-bound limited edition – 80 copies signed by John Surtees in his 80th birthday year – costs £175. Royalties from sales of the book will go to the Henry Surtees Foundation. www.evropublishing.com

The Henry Surtees Foundation:

The Henry Surtees Foundation was inspired by motor sport legend John Surtees OBE, following the tragic death of his son Henry whilst competing in Formula 2 race in 2009 aged just 18 years old.

The aim of the Henry Surtees Foundation is: to:

· Assist people with brain or physical injuries caused by accident to return to community living by the provision of equipment and facilities

· Provide education and training associated with motorsport-related programmes in technology, engineering, and road safety instruction

· A resource for young people (up to 18 years old) providing advice, assistance and organising physical and educational activities to develop personal skills so that they can participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals

Last year the foundation donated monies raised to purchase equipment for the Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance to enable them to introduce blood transfusions. Working in conjunction with Honda, they supplied two Honda CR-V vehicles to transport blood to the Air Ambulance service. For further details, please visit: www.henrysurteesfoundation.com