Mike Hailwood M.B.E. - Mallory Park - Kirkby Mallory, Leicestershire
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member SMacB
N 52° 36.065 W 001° 20.052
30U E 612815 N 5829199
Quick Description: A statue of Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE GM (2 April 1940 – 23 March 1981), British professional motorcycle racer and racing driver, at Mallory Park, Kirkby Mallory. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time.
Location: East Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/10/2021 12:45:32 PM
Waymark Code: WM14CEG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member pmaupin
Views: 0

Long Description:
A statue of Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE GM (2 April 1940 – 23 March 1981), British professional motorcycle racer and racing driver, at Mallory Park, Kirkby Mallory. He is regarded by many as one of the greatest racers of all time.

"He competed in the Grand Prix motorcycle world championships from 1958 to 1967 and in Formula One between 1963 and 1974. Hailwood was known as "Mike The Bike" because of his natural riding ability on motorcycles with a range of engine capacities.

A nine-time world champion, he won 76 Grand Prix races during his motorcycle racing career, including 14 Isle of Man TT victories and four consecutive 500 cc world championships. After his motorcycle racing career concluded, Hailwood went on to compete in Formula One and other classes of car racing, becoming one of the few men to compete at Grand Prix level in both motorcycle and car racing. He returned to motorcycle racing at the age of 38 with an impressive victory at the 1978 Isle of Man TT that embellished his legacy as one of the most accomplished competitors in the history of professional motorcycle racing.

Hailwood died in 1981 following a road traffic accident in Warwickshire, England. [Obituary - (visit link) ]

Hailwood was born at Langsmeade House, Great Milton in Oxfordshire, the only son and elder child of Stanley William Bailey Hailwood, a millionaire businessman and managing director of a motorcar sales company as well as successful motorcycle dealer. He had also raced, in the pre-World War II era. Hailwood had a comfortable upbringing; he learned to ride at a young age on a minibike as a small boy in a field near his home. He was educated at Purton Stoke Preparatory School, Kintbury, and Pangbourne Nautical College where he wore a RN cadet uniform, but left early and worked for a short time in the family business before his father sent him to work at Triumph motorcycles.

Motorcycle racing career -

Hailwood saw his first race at age 10 with his father, and first spectated at the Isle of Man TT races in 1956.

He first raced on 22 April 1957, at Oulton Park. Barely 17, he finished in 11th place, but was soon posting successful results. In 1958 he won ACU Stars at 125 cc, 250 cc, and 350 cc classes, earning him the Pinhard Prize, an accolade awarded yearly to a young motorcyclist under 21, who is adjudged to have made the most meritorious achievement in motorcycle sport during the preceding year. He teamed with Dan Shorey to win the Thruxton 500 endurance race and finished well in four classes of TT race with one podium.

By 1961, Hailwood was racing for an up-and-coming Japanese factory named Honda. In June 1961, he became the first man in the history of the Isle of Man TT to win three races in one week when he won in the 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc categories. He lost the chance at winning a fourth race when his 350 AJS failed with a broken gudgeon pin whilst leading. Riding a four-stroke, four-cylinder 250 cc Honda, Hailwood won the 1961 250cc world championship.

In 1962, Hailwood signed with MV Agusta and went on to become the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championships.

In February 1964 during preparations for the US Grand Prix, Hailwood set a new one-hour speed record on the MV 500 cc recording an average speed of 144.8 mph (233.0 km/h) on the oval-shaped, banked speed-bowl at the Daytona circuit. The previous record of 143 mph (230 km/h) was set by Bob McIntyre on a 350 cc Gilera at Monza in 1957. Hailwood then went on to win the GP race, which carried World Championship points, in the afternoon of the same day.

During 1965, Hailwood entered selected UK events riding for the Tom Kirby Team. In heavy rain, Hailwood won the 1965 Hutchinson 100 Production race at the Silverstone circuit on a BSA Lightning Clubman entered by dealer Tom Kirby, beating the Triumph Bonnevilles entered by Syd Lawton. The 'Hutch' was a main production race of the season along with the Thruxton 500, so it was very important for manufacturers to establish the racing potential of their recent models. As this was production-based racing open to all entrants, 'official' works teams were ineligible; instead, machines were prepared and entered through well-established factory dealers. BSA Lightning Clubmans were ridden by Hailwood (carrying number 1 on the fairing) and factory rider Tony Smith, whilst Triumph Bonnevilles were ridden by World Champion Phil Read and works employee Percy Tait. Conditions were poor and Smith was out of the race at slippery Stowe Corner. With little regard for the rain, Hailwood was achieving laps of 83 mph (134 km/h) to establish his winning lead.

After his successes with MV Agusta, Hailwood went back to Honda and won four more world titles in 1966 and 1967 in the 250 cc and 350 cc categories. At the 'Motor Cycle' 500 race at Brands Hatch in 1966, Hailwood demonstrated a Honda CB450 Black Bomber fitted with a sports fairing. It was unable to compete in the 500cc category, the FIM deeming it was not classified as a production machine as it had two overhead camshafts.

Hailwood is remembered for his accomplishments at the famed Isle of Man TT. By 1967, he had won 12 times on the island mountain course. He won what many historians consider to be the most dramatic Isle of Man race of all time, the 1967 Senior TT against his great rival, Giacomo Agostini. In that race he set a lap record of 108.77 mph (175.05 km/h) on the Honda RC181, that stood for the next 8 years.

After suffering breakdowns in 1967, Hailwood had intended to re-sign for Honda provided the 1968 machinery was to his satisfaction, and had relocated to South Africa where he started a building business with former motorcycle Grand Prix rider Frank Perris, completing their first house in October 1967, also selling one to ex-racer Jim Redman. Hailwood stated to Motorcycle Mechanics that even without suitable machinery from Honda he would not go elsewhere, preferring to retire prematurely and he would in any case finish at the end of the 1968 season.

For 1968, Honda pulled out of Grand Prix racing, but paid Hailwood £50,000 (equivalent to over £870,000 at 2020 prices) not to ride for another team, in expectation of keeping him as its rider upon return to competition.

Hailwood continued to ride Hondas during 1968 and 1969 in selected race meetings without World Championship status including European events in the Temporada Romagnola (Adriatic Season of street-circuits), sometimes wearing an unfamiliar plain-silver helmet, including on a 500 cc engined machine which used frames privately commissioned by Hailwood.

Hailwood also appeared in selected UK events, in 1968 appearing in the post-TT race at Mallory Park on a Honda, and in 1969 he participated in the Mallory Park Race of the Year riding a Seeley

He had already started to race cars and with no other factory racing teams available to compete against MV Agusta, Hailwood decided to pursue a career in car racing, placing third in the 1969 Le Mans 24-Hour race in France as a co-driver of a Ford GT40 with David Hobbs.

In 1970, Hailwood was again lured back into bike racing, this time by the BSA team riding a Rocket 3 at the Daytona 200 race in Florida, part of a strong BSA/Triumph team. Whilst placed at the head of the field the machine soon failed due to overheating. Hailwood again rode for BSA at the 1971 Daytona race, qualifying on the front row. He led the race but again broke down. Mike's son David Hailwood completed a demonstration lap of the Isle of Man TT course on 3 June 2002, riding Mike's Daytona 1971 BSA Rocket 3 carrying large letters 'H' instead of a race number. He crashed at low speed when waving to the spectators at Governor's Bridge, a tight hairpin bend close to the end of the 37-mile course.

Personal life -

Coming from a prosperous background, during his early career Hailwood had enjoyed a privileged lifestyle and even before his move from MV to Honda in 1966 was the world's highest-paid rider. He lived a playboy lifestyle as a jet-setter covering 30,000 road miles and 160,000 air miles in a year travelling to circuits around the world whilst based in his bachelor-flat at Heston, West London, where he kept his high-powered sports cars.

In 1964, together with British commentator and journalist Murray Walker, he published the book, The Art of Motorcycle Racing. After relocating to South Africa in 1967, he confirmed to Motorcycle Mechanics in 1968 that he would only be spending the same length of time there as in the previous eight years when he spent two winter months staying at the farm of racer Paddy Driver near Johannesburg. Hailwood also stated "And as far as marriage goes—that's strictly for the birds!"

He had two children - daughter Michelle in 1971 and son David. He married their mother, model Pauline, on 11 June 1975. Mrs Hailwood died in June 2020 following an illness.

Car racing career -

During his car racing career, Hailwood never achieved the same level of success that he found on motorcycles, but achieved respectable results in Formula One and World Sports Cars.

Hailwood participated in 50 Formula One Grands Prix, starting with an early phase between 1963–1965, debuting in the British Grand Prix on 20 July 1963, achieving two podium finishes and scoring a total of 29 championship points. He was in contention for a victory at his first Formula One race in 6 years, the 1971 Italian Grand Prix. He and 3 other drivers finished 1-2-3-4 over two-tenths of a second, Hailwood finishing fourth.

He won the 1972 Formula Two European title and earned a podium finish at the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans. Hailwood ran three full seasons in the European Shellsport F5000 series 1969-71 and was 2nd in the 1972 Tasman F5000 series in which he drove a 5000 engined TS8 F1 chassis.

Hailwood was recognised for his bravery when in the 1973 South African Grand Prix he went to pull Clay Regazzoni from his burning car after the two collided on the second lap of the race. Hailwood's driving suit caught fire, but after being extinguished by a fire marshal he returned to help rescue Regazzoni, an act for which he was awarded the George Medal, the 2nd highest gallantry award that a British civilian can be awarded.

In 1974 he drove a works Yardley sponsored McLaren M23 and impressed, sometimes outpacing team leader Emerson Fittipaldi. He left Formula One after being injured badly at the 1974 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring and retired to New Zealand.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1976 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews. (visit link)

Comeback -

On 3 June 1978, after an 11-year hiatus from mainstream motorcycling, Hailwood performed a now-legendary comeback at the Isle of Man TT in the Formula I race, a World Championship class based on large-capacity road machines first introduced for 1977.

In 1977, Hailwood had travelled to Australia to ride large-capacity Ducatis in long-distance races and a 30-lap event on a Yamaha, together with historic race machines. Achieving some success, he entered a 3-hour long-distance event in April 1978, as before with Australian co-rider Jim Scaysbrook.

Few observers believed the 38-year-old would soon prove to be competitive at the TT races after such a long absence. Riding a Ducati 900SS provided by Manchester (UK) dealership Sports Motorcycles, he was not only competitive, but managed a hugely popular win. Machines for other race categories were provided by Yamaha NV (Netherlands); Hailwood finished 12th in the 250 cc Junior event, 28th in the 500 cc Senior race being affected by a faulty steering damper, and a DNF in the Classic (1000 cc) race.

After the June 1978 TT races, he again rode in Australia with Scaysbrook in the Castrol Six Hour event, followed by the 1979 Adelaide Three Hour race.

Hailwood raced at the 1979 Isle of Man TT before retiring for good at the age of 39. In that final Isle of Man appearance, he rode a two-stroke Suzuki RG 500 to victory in the Senior TT. He then opted to use that same 500 cc bike in the Unlimited Classic and diced for the lead with Alex George (1100cc Honda) for all six laps in yet another TT epic. A minute or two apart on the road, they were rarely a few seconds apart on time each lap, Hailwood losing by just 2 seconds.

Death -

Following his retirement from motor sport, in late 1979 Hailwood established a Honda-based retail motorcycle dealership in Birmingham named Hailwood and Gould, in partnership with former motorcycle racer Rodney Gould.

On Saturday 21 March 1981, Hailwood set off in his Rover SD1 with his children Michelle and David to collect some fish and chips. As they returned along the A435 Alcester Road through Portway, Warwickshire, near their home in Tanworth-in-Arden, a truck made an illegal turn through the barriers onto the central reservation, and their car collided with it. Michelle, aged nine, was killed instantly. Mike and David were taken to hospital, where Mike died two days later from severe internal injuries. He was 40 years old. David survived with minor injuries. The truck driver was fined £100.

Hailwood claimed to have been told by a fortune teller in South Africa that he would not live to 40 and would be killed by a truck. The story was repeated by Elizabeth McCarthy in a 1981 memoir, while recounting her relationship with Hailwood, whom she had met at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1967. When he asked for her hand in marriage, she replied that she was hesitant to marry someone who could die at any weekend race. He then told her his story and said; "...I will be killed by one of those damn lorries – so, you see, it won't happen on a track"."

SOURCE - (visit link)

Legacy - (visit link)

Racing Record - (visit link)
URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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