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GP Week : Issue 178
SURTEES FINALLY ADDED TO ROLL-CALL OF HEROES 50-year wait for bike and car master John Surtees, the only man to win the premier World Championship crowns on both two and four wheels, has finally had his achievements recognised by Britain's racing establishment, when he was presented with the prestigious Segrave Trophy last week. The prize, for those showing “outstanding skill, courage and initiative ... on land, sea or in the air” , is awarded by the RAC. In the case of 79-year-old Surtees the RAC chairman Tom Pur ves admitted it was “somewhat overdue” . The trophy was created in 1930 by the widow of Sir Henry Segrave, an aviation pioneer and car GP winner who also broke both land and water speed records. His last successful attempt on the latter ended in his death after his boat overturned as he was trying to improve it still further. Surtees was overlooked when he achieved his historic double title in 1964 because in the same year Donald Campbell had broken both land and water speed records. As Purves explained: “This is ... not as recognition of a lifetime of achievement, but as a, somewhat overdue, recognition of a unique sporting triumph that would, doubtlessly, have been recognized at the time had it not been for Donald Campbell.” The trophy was instituted in 1930, and Surtees is the 63rd winner. He adds a sixth motorcyclist’s name to the roll, joining Geoff Duke, Barry Sheene, Mike Hailwood, Carl Fogarty and Joey Dunlop. Surtees was awarded the OBE in 2008, but many feel he is also well overdue for a knighthood. MOTOGP >>> NEWS SCHWANTZ BARRED FROM COTA TESTS IN AUSTIN Riders give new track the thumbs up Kevin Schwantz was a consultant to the design of the Circuit of the Americas near his home town of Austin, Texas, and for a time the potential promoter of the MotoGP there, second race of the season. Last year, however, the promotion contract was awarded to the circuit itself, and the 1993 champion responded by instituting legal action, alleging fraud in the way the contract was eased from his grasp. With MotoGP bikes testing the track for the first time last week, Schwantz called in to catch up with racing contacts and see for himself how the riders liked the design he had tried to make motorcycle friendly. But the Texan was refused entry, according to a report on the German Speedweek web-site. Schwantz was pursuing his legal claim, after spurning a conciliatory offer of an annual consultancy contract from Dorna, said the report. The new Cota circuit was designed by Herman Tilke, and Rossi was the first to compare it to others of the architect’s modern circuits. “The track is good, a very classical ‘Tilke’ track, I like the fast parts, turn two and turn ten especially. There is lots of hard braking and it is very wide so good for overtaking. The long right before the last two lefts is also good.” Speeds were topping out at 340 km/h. But he added that the links to F1 were also obvious, with wide approaches to very sharp bends designed to promote overtaking in cars. “For us some parts are a little bit tight,” he said. 12 GPWEEK.com // 12 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: