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2 wheels to 4 wheels converts and vice versa


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#1 WonderWoman61

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Posted 06 August 2022 - 17:40

There's been plenty of 2-to-4 converts but what about the other way round?

Michael Schumacher obviously ill-fatedly tried to convert to 2 wheels in 2009, cue the accident that left him with injuries that prevented him from substituting for Felipe Massa at Ferrari that year.

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#2 djr900

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Posted 07 August 2022 - 11:53

Didn't Damon Hill & Gerhard Berger do the Goodwood revival bike race a few years ago ?

( Damon started in bike racing, no idea about Gerhard )

I can't think of any others, probably because motorcyclists find switching to cars easier than a car racer switching to bikes.

Also some people who really want to race cars, may start out racing bikes as it could be said to be cheaper to get into entry level bike racing , rather than entry level car racing.
Later on these people may move to car racing

#3 Risil

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Posted 07 August 2022 - 13:09

Hermann Paul Mueller raced motorcycles nationally in the 1930s, switched to cars and won the 1939 French Grand Prix for Auto Union, and then went back to motorcycle racing after the war and picked up a world championship racing an NSU 250 in 1955. That's more of a Hailwood-like career trajectory though, rather than starting on four wheels then moving to two.



#4 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 August 2022 - 18:33

Barry Sheene, Wayne Gardner, Aaron Slight and Warren Scott all tried their luck in Touring Cars.

#5 messy

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Posted 07 August 2022 - 21:28

Jeff Ward went from top level Motocross/Supercross (multiple Champion) to Indycar, which I always thought was pretty impressive given that he was pretty decent in the IRL back in the day and finished second in the Indy 500. He was also Scottish-born. Very interesting bloke.

In terms of four wheels to two, I’m struggling though.

#6 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 August 2022 - 22:00

Jeff Ward went from top level Motocross/Supercross (multiple Champion) to Indycar, which I always thought was pretty impressive given that he was pretty decent in the IRL back in the day and finished second in the Indy 500. He was also Scottish-born. Very interesting bloke.
In terms of four wheels to two, I’m struggling though.


Well I am prepared for there being more two-to-four-wheel converts than the other way around.

#7 djr900

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Posted 07 August 2022 - 23:09

I think it is just about confirmed that it is easier to go from bikes to cars , than the other direction, just on numbers of people who went bikes first then cars.

I imagine John Surtees is the best example

Can Sebastian vettel ride a bike ?
He is going to be out of work in 2023

#8 kevins

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Posted 08 August 2022 - 13:41

Well, this may or may not count, but Mike Hailwood dabbled in F1 during the sixties and then full time after Honda pulled out, till '74. Then his bike comeback 4 year later.

 

Speaking of Seb, Lewis Hamilton is a very keen biker, including a run on Rossi's bike, so would not be surprised to see him do a race or two after his F1 days.


Edited by kevins, 08 August 2022 - 13:42.


#9 Bob Riebe

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Posted 08 August 2022 - 18:25

Joe Leonard was A.M.A. champion in 1954/56/57 winning the '57 & '58 Daytona 200.



#10 GregThomas

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Posted 08 August 2022 - 22:32

Local to me in NZ, Geoff Mardon, 3rd World Speedway final in 1952, Followed by being George Begg's factory manager and F5000 works pilot amongst other notable drives in a long car race career in NZ.

When the Classic bike roadracing scene started up here he was heavily involved. His highlight was beating Hugh Anderson on identical machinery at Levels circuit.

His comment at the time was to the effect that he'd always wondered if he should have stayed in Europe and gone roadracing.  A very talented guy on four or two wheels.



#11 LittleChris

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Posted 09 August 2022 - 07:07

Valentino Rossi started as a karter with F1 ambitions but due to the costs ended up on 2 wheels with occasional rally appearances. Now he's back on 4 wheels in GT I think.

Edited by LittleChris, 09 August 2022 - 07:07.


#12 djr900

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:14

Although not actually riding, Kimi Raikkonen did own a moto cross team in recent years.

I know Murray walker did some motorcycle competition , but no idea if he ever raced a car ?

#13 ensign14

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 08:35

I think it is just about confirmed that it is easier to go from bikes to cars , than the other direction

More lucrative as well.



#14 cpbell

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 20:21

Hermann Paul Mueller raced motorcycles nationally in the 1930s, switched to cars and won the 1939 French Grand Prix for Auto Union, and then went back to motorcycle racing after the war and picked up a world championship racing an NSU 250 in 1955. That's more of a Hailwood-like career trajectory though, rather than starting on four wheels then moving to two.

Wasn't he also a firefighter, or am I thinking of someone else?



#15 Robin127

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Posted 11 August 2022 - 22:21

Although not actually riding, Kimi Raikkonen did own a moto cross team in recent years.

I know Murray walker did some motorcycle competition , but no idea if he ever raced a car ?

Kimi Raikonen is currently the team principle for the Kawasaki MX works team.



#16 nexfast

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 19:13

Nello Pagani of course followed an almost parallel career in cars and bikes in the forties and fifties



#17 brands77

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 19:36

Both Bill Ivy and Cal Rayborn raced cars and bikes during the same season, unfortunately both died as well during that season.

 

Not sure how this fits in, but Jutta Kleinschmidt the German Paris Dakar racer also combined both 2 and 4 wheel racing in parallel between 1993 and 1997. However, she started on bikes and then after 1997 she raced only cars and she finished 3rd in the Dakar in 1999.



#18 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 21:41

There have been many.

 

Stuart Graham - works Suzuki moved to tin tops

Gary Hocking - MV Augusta works - 350 & 500 world champion 1961. Consider motorcycle racing too dangerous and moved to cars.  Drove in F1 Lotus in 1962 for Rob Walker. Killed in practice 1962.

Greg Hansford. GP racers won 10 races.  Drove Aussie tin tops died during a Supertouring race at Philip Island 1995.

Giacomo Agostini - F1 & F2 in late 70's

Jean-Pierre Beltoise - GP racer 62 - 64.

Johnny Cecotto - 1975 350 world champion. 1982 F2, 83 F1, then tin tops, etc.

 

Wayne Gardner - tin top racing

 

Casey Stoner, failed tin top racer


Edited by Rodaknee, 12 August 2022 - 21:54.


#19 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 21:44

Although not actually riding, Kimi Raikkonen did own a moto cross team in recent years.

I know Murray walker did some motorcycle competition , but no idea if he ever raced a car ?

Walker rode trials off road bikes.  His father was a road racer.

Neither raced cars.



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#20 Rodaknee

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Posted 12 August 2022 - 21:57

Both Bill Ivy and Cal Rayborn raced cars and bikes during the same season, unfortunately both died as well during that season.

 

I believe Bill Ivy raced the Jawa to earn money for his car racing.



#21 brands77

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Posted 14 August 2022 - 08:26

I think Cal Rayborn was also filling in with bikes whilst earning money to finance his car racing too. Here is a very thorough account of the lead up to his death in NZ: https://www.superbik...in-new-zealand/

 

There has already been a topic on the forum that has identified the bike racers who went over to cars - see here: https://forums.autos...celled-in-cars/

 

It's identified pretty much all of the names of racers who have done it. I certainly can't think of any racers who had any degree of success in cars that are missing from that post.

 

However, one thing is clear, virtually no-one has done it the other way. Going from cars to bikes when starting out in cars first. Schumacher seems to be the only one who has tried it.



#22 LittleChris

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Posted 14 August 2022 - 09:37

Ian Ashley, Grand Prix driver to Sidecar racer briefly

#23 LittleChris

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Posted 14 August 2022 - 09:38

Sebastien Buemi, 4 wheels to 2 in the space of a second 😁

#24 LittleChris

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Posted 19 August 2022 - 09:39

Schorsh Meier raced bikes in the pre war 500cc European Championship then in 1939 also raced for Auto Union in GPs ( Inc 2nd at Reims ). Post war he returned to bikes only then eventually the German sports cars championship.

#25 djr900

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Posted 22 August 2022 - 13:33

At the highest level, it looks like Michael Schumacher is the only person to start on 4 wheels , then try 2 wheels

At the very very lowest level -
I currently ride a trials bike in local events, but my first attempts at Motorsport were at the local Car Grass track & Banger racing clubs.

There are a handful of other people in my local Trials club who have also previously done club level car racing before getting a trials bike, so it may be more common at grass roots than at the top level

#26 GMiranda

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 22:14

Gianfranco Brancatelli decided to experiment with the Italian Superbikes by 1993, if I'm not mistaken and spent two seasons there, but he had no success. I think being in his forties didn't help.



#27 WonderWoman61

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Posted 27 August 2022 - 16:31

Andrea Dovizioso has dabbled with 4 wheels in recent years.

#28 billlawrence

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Posted 05 September 2022 - 03:20

Jacky Ickxs raced 50cc motorcycles in his younger days .Think his farther was a Suzuki importer  



#29 WonderWoman61

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Posted 12 September 2022 - 10:13

Ian Cantwell, who drove a Mazda 323F in the 1993 British Touring Car Championship, started out in Motocross Racing. He spent 12 years in the category and won a title at 16.

#30 WonderWoman61

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Posted 19 September 2022 - 23:38

Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Masahiro Hasemi started out in Motocross.

#31 GMiranda

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 10:22

Kazuyoshi Hoshino and Masahiro Hasemi started out in Motocross.

If I'm not mistaken, almost all of the Japanese big household names began in motocross or even motorbike racing.



#32 WonderWoman61

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 10:24

If I'm not mistaken, almost all of the Japanese big household names began in motocross or even motorbike racing.


Yes more than likely.

#33 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 12:10

Jorge Lorenzo is currently racing Porsche Cup in the Italian series.



#34 WonderWoman61

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Posted 20 September 2022 - 13:28

Marco Melandri briefly went full circle as he contested the short-lived Speedcar series for a couple of rounds

#35 WonderWoman61

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Posted 25 September 2022 - 13:06

Geoff Duke also briefly went full circle as he entered the 1961 German GP and contested a non-championship race at Karlskoga that same year.

Edited by WonderWoman61, 27 September 2022 - 12:20.


#36 Bloggsworth

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Posted 25 September 2022 - 16:19

Dennis Jenkinson was a World Sidecar champion as  the sidecar man, he raced the odd car, but was most famous for his ride as a passenger to Stirling Moss when winning the Mille Miglia. Has anyone mentioned Nuvolari or Dick Seaman or are you all too young...


Edited by Bloggsworth, 25 September 2022 - 16:20.


#37 tonyed

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Posted 25 September 2022 - 16:28

Two wheels to four - I suppose anything for an easy life.  :p



#38 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 September 2022 - 16:47

When did Seaman ever race motorcycles?

#39 WonderWoman61

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Posted 25 September 2022 - 17:17

Don't forget Achille Varzi and Bernd Rosemeyer

Edited by WonderWoman61, 25 September 2022 - 17:19.


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#40 WonderWoman61

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 13:14

Kevin Schwantz tried his luck in Aussie NASCAR and the Busch Series after retiring from motorcycling.

#41 10kDA

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 13:31

Joie Chitwood?

https://youtu.be/obQGByM3Gqo



#42 10kDA

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 13:58

Bill "Maverick" Golden



#43 WonderWoman61

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Posted 29 September 2022 - 14:42

Mick Doohan tested a Williams F1 car once.

#44 Bloggsworth

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Posted 01 October 2022 - 21:54

I forgot Jean Behra, who raced, IIRC, a Moto Guzzi.



#45 WonderWoman61

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Posted 02 October 2022 - 12:51

Max Biaggi once tested for Ferrari in 1999 and Midland in 2006.

#46 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 14:12

Clemente Biondetti started out on two wheels in 1923. He converted to 4 wheels in 1927 and went on to win the Mille Miglia four times from 1938 to 1949, the Targa Florio in 1948 and '49 and the Copper Acerbo in 1939, even entering the Monaco and Italian GPs in the inaugural F1 World Championship.

#47 WonderWoman61

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Posted 07 October 2022 - 23:34

Marc Marquez tested a Toro Rosso-liveried 2012 Red Bull RB8 in 2018.

#48 d j fox

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Posted 18 October 2022 - 00:53

Kevin Schwantz dabbled somewhat unsuccessfully in NASCAR’s second division in the late 1990s

#49 WonderWoman61

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Posted 19 October 2022 - 12:53

Trevor Blokdyk started out in Speedway Racing in the 1950s and early 60s.

#50 WonderWoman61

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Posted 16 November 2022 - 18:28

Rallycross-World-Leon-Haslam-BRX-Mallory
Leon Haslam trying his luck in Rallycross in 2009.