Monday, July 4, 2011

Surtees and Haslam entertain at Goodwood

John Surtees and works rider Leon Haslam tackled the hillclimb at the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed on old and new BMW motorcycles. This weekend, the Goodwood House estate of Lord March near Chichester (GBR) is again the venue to be for motorsport enthusiasts. Today’s stars and heroes from the past, historic and modern race vehicles again lured more than 150,000 fans to the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The highlights were the hillclimb runs up the world-famous 1.16-mile road through the grounds. This run was also tackled by a selection of the most prestigious BMW motorcycles and racing cars, with riders being the legend John Surtees (GBR) and BMW Motorrad Motorsport works rider, Leon Haslam (GBR). Surtees, the only man to be world champion on two and four wheels, tackled the hillclimb with the historic BMW Type 255 Kompressor. With this bike, Georg Meier (GER) won the “Tourist Trophy” on the Isle of Man (GBR) in 1939, being the first non-British winner of this legendary race. Surtees has a very close personal relation to this motorcycle. Being fascinated by the pictures of Meier winning on the Isle of Man, he traced the journey of the bike through several countries and finally found it in the late 1970s. He bought it and painstakingly restored the bike that was in bits in the 1980s. Later he sold it back to BMW to bring the only remaining example of the BMW Type 255 Kompressor back to its home in Germany. “In life you have relationships with people, but you also have relationships with machines. Some relationships are not so good and others are a bit special. This relationship is a bit special. If BMW were to give the machine away again, I would have it back,” said Surtees. “I also have a very long relationship with BMW and a collection of BMW cars. So I still have my original 507.” Surtees was delighted to ride “his old friend” again at Goodwood and certainly did not cruise, but raced up the hill at high speed: “It might sound silly, but you do this to satisfy yourself. And you want to make the machine happy.” While Surtees and the BMW Type 255 Kompressor were the ambassadors of times long gone, Leon entertained the spectators with a BMW bike of the latest generation, the BMW S 1000 RR that he is competing with in the FIM Superbike World Championship. “I have been coming to Goodwood for a few years now. It is always a fantastic show, with all the greats like Stirling Moss and John Surtees, all these old cars and all the bikes old and new,” said Leon. Leon continues: “This year with the BMW it was fantastic, and the atmosphere is always great. It is a pleasure to be here. I did some autograph sessions with John Surtees and I asked him about the bike. Obviously he is the only guy having won the world championship in Formula One and on two wheels, so he is an absolute legend. To meet him was an honour for me.” Surtees actually is following Leon’s career in the FIM Superbike World Championship. “I think that Leon is very good. It was disappointing to see that this year has not always gone well so far, but the season is still long and we have some more time. And it is good to see BMW back in motorcycle races.” Leon’s team mate Troy Corser (AUS) also had a busy weekend: He visited the BMW Motorrad Days at Garmisch-Partenkirchen (GER) and there presented his BMW S 1000 RR to the fans.
F�d�ration Internationale de Motocyclisme : News EN

Stefan Everts Jaroslav Falta Claudio Federici Tim Ferry Ashley Fiolek

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