Leon Haslam: “I am very much looking forward to riding the BMW S 1000 RR up the hill. All those people like John Surtees are now legends, and it will be great to be sitting alongside them and to get to ride the bike up the hill with them.”
Again next week 150,000 visitors will make the pilgrimage to Goodwood House near Chichester in West Sussex (GBR). They are lured there by the Goodwood Festival of Speed from 1st to 3rd July, which has been held every year since 1993. Today’s stars and heroes from the past from car and motorcycle racing will meet up at this legendary event. This year the highlight will again be the hillclimb runs, during which the stars will race up the world-famous 1.16-mile road through the Goodwood House estate. Among the vehicles will be a selection of the most prestigious BMW motorcycles and racing cars.
One of the motorcycles will be the supercharged BMW Type 255 Kompressor racing bike that took Georg Meier (GER) to victory in the 1939 “Tourist Trophy” on the Isle of Man. This made him the first non-British rider to win at that notorious race. At the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed none other than John Surtees OBE (GBR) is riding this historic bike – the only man ever to be crowned world champion on both two and four wheels. Surtees bought the motorcycle, which was in bits, in the 1980s and painstakingly restored it to its pristine condition. Later, Surtees sold the bike – the only remaining example of the BMW Type 255 Kompressor – back to BMW, and it found a new home at the BMW Group Classic in Munich (GER).
“Since I first saw those fantastic pictures of Georg Meier flying down Paddock Hill on the way to his 1939 TT victory in the Isle of Man it has always had a special place in my heart,” said Surtees. “I subsequently located that machine and restored it with the help of ex BMW team personnel. I rode it in demonstrations around the world before it returned to its home in Munich. I will be pleased to be back together with an old friend.”
It will be a meeting of the generations: while Surtees will ride the historic BMW bike of the 1930s, BMW Motorrad Motorsport works rider, Leon Haslam (GBR), will tackle the “2011 Hillclimb” at Goodwood on the machinery he is currently riding in the FIM Superbike World Championship, the BMW S 1000 RR. He is also looking forward to the festival: “Goodwood is a fantastic event that offers great entertainment from machinery with both two and four wheels. Everybody is there, Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and the old stars like Stirling Moss. I always have a great time when I am there.”
“I am very much looking forward to riding the BMW S 1000 RR up the hill. All those people like John Surtees are now legends, and it will be great to be sitting alongside them and to get to ride the bike up the hill with them. On top of that you have all the entertainment and the evening black-tie event. It is always great and an event everybody is looking forward to during the year.”