S4000 Surtees TS14 No. 7 Italian GP 1972 – John Surtees
John Surtees was not the first racing driver who tried to be a constructor. Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren “changed sides” already years before Surtees. And both of them with success. Notably Jack Brabham, who turned out world champion with his own construction in 1966. But also Bruce McLaren had an idea about constructing a race car. The New Zealand born won in a McLaren M7A at the Belgian GP in 1968. John Surtees could never reach to this success. He made his debut in a Surtees TS7 in 1970. And he piloted the car by himself including the season 1972. The TS14 was the last own construction that was piloted by the team manager himself. And it was exactly one time – at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. Surtees let participate four cars in this race: two TS9B for Andrea de Adamich and Mike Hailwood and two TS14 for Tim Schenken and himself. Already in the training laps the older car (driven by Hailwood) turned out to be faster. Surtees who was 38 years at that time qualified for the 18th starting position with less than 3 seconds behind. With this result he was placed ahead of Schenken and de Adamich who didn’t cut a good figure in comparison to their manager. The race was finished for Surtees after 20 laps, because of a leak in the fuel supply. Back in the paddock Sir Surtees followed the race as team manager. And he could almost cheer the first victory. Mike Hailwood finished 2nd sensationally and would have won the race, if he hadn’t lost his air box and was braked down as a result. At the US-GP there was also listed one TS14; again with Schenken in the cockpit. But like in Monza (driving error) the Australian guy also retired with the car in Watkins Glen. This time because of a collapsing suspension. Afterwards, the TS14 was redone (TS14A) and was used during the season 1973.The TS14 disappeared in the museum and was gone down in the history books as Surtees-model with the least competitive appearance.