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John Surtees OBE to be honoured at Silverstone Classic

John Surtees OBE continues to be the only man to win World Championships on both two and four wheels
John Surtees OBE continues to be the only man to win World Championships on both two and four wheels
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This summer's award-winning Silverstone Classic, to be held 25-27 July, will pay tribute to the accomplishments of John Surtees OBE

In 1964, John Surtees OBE became the first man to win World Championships on both two and four wheels, a title he retains 50 years after the act. The Silverstone Classic 2014 will pay a much-deserved tribute to Surtees' historical accomplishments at this year's event (25-27 July).

By the time Surtees won the Formula One World Championship, he already had four 500cc motorcycle titles under his belt, a unique feat which has proven to stand the test of time. Today, Surtees remains the only man to ever have achieved this. Thus, the Silverstone Classic will be celebrating his astonishing accomplishments.

It is fitting for Silverstone to pay homage to Surtees, since the champion has strong links with them. The legend fondly recalls watching his father compete at the famous Northamptonshire venue following its opening in the late 1940s. Furthermore, Surtees himself has raced countless cars and motorbikes in the circuit. His first F1 experience and his first grand prix podium both occurred at Silverstone.

"Formula One started for me at Silverstone when Colin Chapman - after I had tested his Lotus 18 there - said: 'John drive for me when you are not racing your bikes'," recalled Surtees - now 80. "It was then rather satisfying to get second place in the British Grand Prix with Colin in that first year of switching between two and four wheels in 1960. Obviously a lot has happened since then both in my career and that of Silverstone. The Formula One Grand Prix makes Silverstone the hub of motor sport in this country and none of this would have been possible without the ownership and development of the circuit by the BRDC."

The event will be held at the state-of-the-art Silverstone Wing building. The BRDC Silverstone Classic Dinner was initiated 12 months ago and has swiftly established itself as one of the major highlights at the World's Biggest Classic Motor Racing Festival. This year's dinner will take place on Friday, 25 July, and will be compered by veteran radio disc jockey and broadcaster, Johnnie Walker MBE.

"It promises to be a very special evening," enthused Derek Warwick, President of the British Racing Drivers' Club. "We are incredibly proud and privileged to be honouring John - a true racing legend whose remarkable accomplishments will never ever be equaled". Clearly, this is an extremely special year for him, and the BRDC is delighted to be paying its own tribute to one of its most outstanding members."

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