John Surtees was former three-time 500cc motorbike champion and 1964 Formula One champion. In 1966, Surtees left Ferrari to race Cooper-Maseratis and to establish his own racing car team to compete in the CanAm series in North America. In his team’s first year he won the CanAm driving his Lola T70. Incidentally, his team mate for the season was Graham Hill.
Surtees’ Lola T70, winner of the 1966 CanAm Championship
For the 1967 and 1968 seasons John Surtees concentrated on driving Formula One for Honda and joined British Racing Motors for the 1969 season. The same year Team Surtees began manufacturing their own TS5 racing car which had been designed for them by Len Terry of LEDA and named LT17. The first few cars were built at their facility in Poole, then at their factory on Slough Trading Estate. The team moved to a new base at Edenbridge in Kent.
1969 Surtees TS5. This was the first of four TS5 built at Poole before manufacturing was moved to the Team Surtees factory in Slough and later to a new facility in Edenbridge in Kent.
Team Surtees moved up into Formula One but had run their first four races in the 1970 with an old McLaren because of delays of the production of their own car. The results weren’t high and Surtees retired as a driver after the 1971 season. Through the 1970s Surtees were having increasing financial difficulties and in 1979 the Team Surtees was wound up.
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