Henry Surtees, whose father John remains the only man to win world championships on two and four wheels, has signed up to compete in the 2009 FIA Formula Two Championship.
Surtees becomes the second son of a former Grand Prix driver to have confirmed his participation in F2 so far, following the recent announcement that Alex Brundle - son of Martin - will also race in the championship in 2009.
After a successful karting career Henry made the step up to car racing in 2006, finishing third in the Ginetta GT Junior Championship. The 18 year old switched to single seaters in 2007, taking sixth overall in a strong Formula BMW UK campaign. He then competed in the Formula Renault UK championship in 2008, scoring a number of impressive results towards the end of the year. Surtees finished runner-up in the Formula Renault UK Winter Series and also took part in two British Formula 3 National class races, winning one and finishing on the podium in the other.
Henry Surtees livery
John Surtees, 74, claimed the 500cc motorcycle world championship before going on to win the Formula One world championship in a Ferrari in 1964. He also designed, built and raced his own Team Surtees single seaters in both F1 and F2, and John has remained active in international motorsport ever since, acting as chairman of the A1 Team GBR franchise in A1GP as recently as 2007. He received an OBE for services to motorsport and charity last year and now manages his 17 year old son Henry's single seater career.
Henry Surtees said: “F2 is a great opportunity for me. It is true that times are difficult for drivers to find sponsorship, so the concept of F2 has come at the right time. Lots of talented drivers are interested so it is going to be a tough year but such great competition is exactly what I am looking for. I am really excited about 2009 and now I just cannot wait to see the car!”
John Surtees added: “I think it is fantastic. I won my last race in Formula Two and we are using the same colors on Henry’s car as I did back in 1972 and 1973. Henry has been progressing well, and in this day and age, we need to give talented kids a greater opportunity to show off their skills - F2 is an international series that does exactly that. It may not have been around for 25 years but we needed to bring back some simplicity into the racing ladder - Formula Two has a great past but now it is a new championship for today!”
Jonathan Palmer, Chief Executive of championship organizer MotorSport Vision, said: “I have been monitoring Henry's progress ever since he raced karts with my son Jolyon. I was always impressed with his technical approach and he has clearly inherited and learnt a lot from his father John. F2 is the ideal formula for Henry as he continues in his quest to reach Formula One and it is extremely exciting to add another former F1 surname to the swelling F2 grid for 2009.”
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