Triumphant Team Titan wins the 2017 Henry Surtees Foundation Brooklands Team Challenge
The sixth annual ‘Henry Surtees Foundation Team Karting Challenge’ was staged once again at the prestigious Mercedes-Benz World Circuit, Brooklands on Tuesday 11 July 2017 (home of the first British Grand Prix) and raised the highest sum ever – an incredible £81,573.48 for the Henry Surtees Foundation and Brooklands Museum before direct costs to contractors. The event received overwhelming support; many of which wanted to pay tribute to charity founder John Surtees.
The full grid of 35 teams consisted of 140 professional and amateur drivers all battling it out in a 2hr endurance race in Daytona’s high-performance, two-stroke Dmax karts. The race was officially started by five times Le Mans Champion Derek Bell MBE. The karting challenge saw exciting racing all down the field, and the unpredictable weather caused a fair share of drama with multiple yellow flags, bunching up, spectacular manoeuvres and spin offs.
As Jane Surtees, widow of the late John Surtees CBE dropped the chequered flag it was Team Titan that raced into pole position, maintaining their place on the podium for the third consecutive year with their four-man team comprising of Martin O’Neil, his sons Jack O’Neil, Andy O’Neil and Owen Jenman.
Team Manager of Titan Martin O’Neil said ‘We are absolutely thrilled to have won the 6th annual Henry Surtees Foundation Team Karting Challenge for three consecutive years. It was a great battle in challenging and wet weather conditions. Our race strategy, early refuel stop and consistency on track brought home the victory. We always support the event as its one of the highlights of our year. A big thank you to The Henry Surtees Foundation team, Daytona Motorsport and marshals, it’s been a fantastic day once again’.
In hot pursuit and in second place was team ‘Choctails’ with its drivers Simon Delamare, George Turner, Alex Burgess and Calum Jones, who were also awarded the Corporate Award for the second consecutive year. The accolade is for a team, considered by the judges to have demonstrated outstanding racing prowess for a corporate team that had competed without a racing license holder. Choctails Team Manager Simon Delamare said ‘it’s the second time that we have taken part in the event and it’s great to secure our place back on the podium. We know the importance of the ‘H’ Trophy’. As a child I followed the career of John Surtees and more latterly Henry Surtees in F2, it is an honour to take part in this event in his memory’.
Completing the podium in third position was Ginetta with drivers Charlie Robertson, Sennan Fielding and Jordan Sanders and Michael Simpson, the latter also setting the fastest lap time of 43.512 seconds.
Awards host Steve Rider also gave a special mention to regular HSF competitors Metropolitan Police Motor Club who worked tirelessly up the pack and fought hard to second position to then only run out of fuel dropping them back to eighth place.
Team P&M donned chequered armbands as fitting tribute to John Surtees. Last year the foundation donated £14,576 to Valence School in Westerham for specialist ‘wheelchair’ friendly outdoor equipment. Paul’s (pic centre) son attends the school and see’s first-hand its benefits.
HSF Race commentator Chris Pullman said ‘it was the best race in the events history, full of drama, unpredictable weather and even the torrential rain at the end of the race didn’t dampen the team spirits. Although the poor marshals must’ve be drenched! The Surtees parade was bigger than in previous years and far more poignant. I am sure John would’ve been proud of the event’.
Throughout the day novice racers mixed with motor sport professionals. Motorsport magazine, Kartforce, Carlin returned once again, along with the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, one of the beneficiaries of the HSF. Also on site were representatives from the various Air Ambulance and Blood Bikes groups from across the country that the foundation has helped fund including Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Northumbria, Cumbia and Yorkshire. Guests were even treated to a flypast by the KSAAT Air Ambulance, again wanting to show their appreciation.
The prize giving Champagne reception took place in the impressive state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz World, where trophies were presented by motorcycle World Champion Freddie Spencer. The evening was hosted by Steve Rider and Henry Hope-Frost, and included interviews with competitors, and special guests culminating in a fundraising auction by Malcolm Barber of Bonhams featuring exclusive artwork, memorabilia and experiences raising a staggering £24,800 alone.
The 2017 event was the highest profile event yet and featured a special tribute to the charities founder, John Surtees CBE, who sadly passed away in March. During the karting interval, celebrity drivers and riders took to the Mercedes-Benz track for a spectacular demonstration of Surtees vehicles (both two and four wheels) to honour John Surtees.
Everyone at Daytona Motorsport was delighted to assist with the preparation and delivery of the sixth Henry Surtees Brooklands Team Challenge and we look forward to next year’s race!