John Surtees buys Buckmore Park

Motorsport legend John Surtees has bought Buckmore Park karting circuit for an undisclosed sum, reinforcing the Kent track’s link with Formula 1.

Now in his eighties, the legendary racer won the F1 championship in 1964, and has taken control of the two companies based at the facility where champion drivers like Jenson Button learned their trade. Mr Surtees was already the landowner of the circuit as well as possessing another 90 acres of land adjacent to the site.

John Surtees Limited has acquired Buckmore Park Karting Limited and Buckmore Park Kart Club Limited, which was run by former owner Bill Sisley. They will continue to operate under the same names at the track.

Mr Sisley, 61, has run the park since 1969 and has said “What John wants to do is good for the community because he wants to create education and jobs; It’s a positive move for everyone”

Chief operating officer Chris Pullman will become joint managing director with Mike Griffiths, who “will take responsibilities for future developments” with Mr Surtees, according to a statement on the racing legend’s website. The Kent business reported that there was plans for a possible track extension back in 2013 which may be revived later this year with the support of Mr Surtees.

Mr Surtees said: “It has been a long journey. I first got involved shortly after my son was taken there and said to me ‘that is what I want to do’ when he was seven.”

Mr Surtees runs various charity karting events at the venue including the Henry Surtees Foundation which was set up in memory of his 18-year-old son who died in a crash during a Formula Two race at Brands Hatch.