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The last Mike Hailwood Memorial Run & Birmingham Testers Run was held in 2011-there will be no further runs.

From JP the organiser

Due to a number of reasons I decided in 2011 to discontinue running both motorcycle events and all the associated websites.

The lack of help was the main reason coupled with dissapointment of the lack of involvement by some other people who like to come along but rarely help in anyway. 600 motorcycles is too much for me to manage by myself especially when riders do not do what is asked.

Despite telling all riders not to park outside the church and on the village green at Tanworth, a large number of riders, mainly one owners club, caused enormous disruption by doing exactly that.

Having also to deal with all sorts of odd characters who are just basically 'hangers on' also made me realise this was no longer enjoyable and that I was in fact being a bit of a mug. The Hercules 100 event in particular!

I have spent the last 20 years helping other people and now I am going to spend the next 20 helping myself and my family! 

To the regiment-I wish I was there!

JP February 2012



Murray Walker said of Mike Hailwood, "In all my years of passionately following motor sport, one man stands out above everyone else in my affection and regard:Mike Hailwood."




Mike Hailwood is widely considered to have been the greatest motorcycle racer ever. A rider who could ride any machine, on any course and still beat the best in the world.

Mike was a quadruple British champion at 18.

He was a Honda works rider at 21.

Mike won 9 World Championships in a five year period between 1962 & 1967.


500cc   1962  1963 1964 1965

350cc     1966 1967

250cc     1961  1966 1967


Mike changed to cars in the sixties and his first Grand Prix was at Silverstone in 1963 in a Parnell Lotus.

In 1969 Mike gave up bikes to concentrate on cars and had a third at Le Mans.

In 1971 he was runner up in the F5000 championship.

In 1972 he was European Formula 2 champion.

In 1973 car points eluded him due to constant unreliability but he distinguished himself by stopping during a race in South Africa and pulling Clay Regazonni out of his blazing car and saving his life. Mike was later awarded a George Medal for gallantry.


In 1974 Mikes very promising car career was ended by a crash at Nurburging which badly broke his leg.

Mike announced his retirement in 1975 and went with his family to live in New Zealand.


Mike didn't stay away for long though, he was bored and moved back to the Midlands starting a motorcycle business in Erdington, beside Spaghetti Junction, with racer Rod Gould.

On June 2 1978 Mike Hailwood came out of retirement to ride a Ducati 900 SS at the Isle of Man  and he won the Formula 1 TT, beating the favourite Phil Read on a Honda. It was 20 years since his TT debut!


The following year in 1979, at the Isle of Man, he won the 500cc Senior TT on a Suzuki, his 14th and final TT victory.


Of  Mike's ability Murray Walker said this;

"His versatility and skill were awe-inspiring. I've seen him at the same meeting win races on a left foot gear change 125cc two stroke, a right foot change 250cc twin, a 350cc single cylinder four stroke and a four cylinder works MV. I've seen him start at the back of the grid with an injured leg and a pusher to get him going and still beat a field of top world class riders. His fluid style was unmistakable and supreme, irrespective of whether it was wet or dry and he did it all with nonchalant charm and modesty."



To be close to the business Mike bought a house in the beautiful village of Tanworth in Arden, on the outskirts of Birmingham.


On the evening of March 21st 1981 Mike, David & Michelle Hailwood were all involved in a tragic car accident at Portway, near the family home in Tanworth in Arden. They were returning from a fish and chip shop when Mike encountered a flat back lorry that was making an illegal turn across the carriageway of the A435 Birmingham to Redditch road. It was a wet, dark night and Mike had no chance of avoiding the collision which instantly claimed Michelle's life. Mike died two days later at the Birmingham Accident Hospital on March 23rd. 


David Hailwood, who was in the rear of the car, survived.


Mike was just weeks away from his 41st Birthday. Mike had returned from retirement in New Zealand. After an amazing come back at the Isle of Man TT races in 1978 & 1979 Mike had gone into partnership with Rod Gould and set up a motorcycle shop in Tyburn Road, Erdington, beside Spaghetti Junction in  Birmingham.

 


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The Mike Hailwood Memorial Run is held every March from the former Norton Works in Bracebridge Street, Aston, Birmingham.


The 2011 run saw a record 600 riders attend.









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