The 1961 International 100 Glover Trophy, held at Goodwood, was the first major race for John Surtees on four wheels, having enjoyed world championship winning success on two wheels, and would be one of a number of races that he contested against Stirling.

In practice Surtees had unofficially equalled the old Formula One 1.5 litre lap record for Goodwood, of 97.3 mph, as had Roy Salvadori, Graham Hill and Innes Ireland, Stirling however pulled out a lap of 98.4 mph, driving the #7  Rob Walker Lotus 18, putting him on pole position.

In a sign of things to come for the future, Surtees, on an almost dry track, and using all the road, managed to get past Stirling at St. Mary's, with the near-side back wheel of his #11 Yeoman Credit Cooper T53 well onto the grass.

He then led Stirling by a comfortable margin, and continued to do so for a number of laps. Slowly but surely, Stirling started to claw back his deficit on Surtees, and by half-distance had caught up to him. Hill, driving a BRM P48, held third place, comfortably in front of Salvadori in the second Yeoman Credit Cooper, with Ireland fourth in a works Lotus 18, ahead Tony Brooks in the second Climax powered BRM car.

After 21 of the 42 lap race, Stirling tried hard to overtake Surtees on the outside of Lavant Corner, but as Motorsport magazine reported at the time, “the motorcyclist wasn't having any. Surtees was slicing through the ‘traffic’ in a manner that suggests that Moss may have met his match in the modest Motorcycle Champion”.

The two had a real fight over the coming laps, Surtees leading the race ahead of Stirling, until the engine in Stirling's Lotus began to lose power from lap 29. By the lap 31, Hill's impeccably driven, but unpowered BRM had passed Stirling, with Salvadori catching the sick Lotus by lap 39.

It was John Surtees though, who won the Glover Trophy for Yeoman Credit, to the delight of his Team Manager, Reg Parnell. Hill held onto second place ahead of Salvadori in third, with Stirling fourth in his rough running Lotus, the last of the official finishers from a field of fourteen cars.

For John Surtees, this was his first significant race win on four wheels. He also set a new Formula One lap record of 88 seconds for the 2.4mile Goodwood circuit, at an average speed of 98.18 mph. He set the record on lap 30, showing little desire to slow up, even when the Stirling’s challenge had ceased, indicating what lay ahead for the future four wheeled world champion.

Image © George Phillips Photograph Collection