"It was certainly the biggest compliment I ever received."
Daniel Sexton "Dan" Gurney (born April 13, 1931, died January 14, 2018) was a former Formula One driver and team owner. He was born in New York state, but spent almost his entire life living in California. Gurney would develop a cult following during his years in Grand Prix racing, which saw the American take four wins in eighty six starts.
After making his début at the 1959 French Grand Prix for Scuderia Ferrari, Gurney drove for a variety of teams, and earned the respect of many competitors in the field. Although Gurney would never win the Championship, the father of Jim Clark revealed to Gurney that he was the only driver that Clark had ever feared, something which Gurney kept quiet for several years. His best career finish would be fourth in 1965, with half the number of points of Champion Clark.
Having won for Porsche at the 1962 French Grand Prix, Gurney would go on to take two wins for Brabham, before founding his own team, All American Racers. With the aid of Carroll Shelby, Gurney managed to get his new team into Formula One in 1966, re-branded as Anglo American Racers, although his new cars proved unreliable. Yet, Gurney's greatest achievement was to come for his team, as he won the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix in his own car, a feat matched by few. His three wins were all maiden wins for those constructors, a feat never since equalled.
Gurney was also to be credited with the invention of the now common podium celebration of spraying champagne, having done so after winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1967. His name would also become attached to a device known as the "Gurney Flap", used in aerodynamics for race cars to this day. The American would retire from racing in 1970 to focus on building up AAR, which became a dominant force in American racing, but only recorded one victory in Formula One.
Ultimately, having survived the deadliest era of Grand Prix racing, Gurney would die at the age of 86 after complications from pneumonia.
Formula One Career
Despite being born in New York, Gurney grew up and cut his teeth in motor racing in California, after his parents moved the family to Riverside, a future host to the United States Grand Prix. After using his engineering education to build and drive cars at the Bonneville salt flats, Gurney stepped up as a professional racer in 1955. Spotted by a Ferrari dealer in 1957, Gurney was handed a factory drive in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, before getting a chance to race for the Scuderia in F1 during 1959.
Formula One Statistical Overview
Formula One Record
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|1960||Owen Racing Organisation||BRM||0||NC||Report|
|Yeoman Credit Racing Team||Cooper-Climax|
|1961||Porsche System Engineering||Porsche||21||4th||Report|
|1962||Porsche System Engineering||Porsche||15||5th||Report|
|Autosport Team Wolfgang Seidel||Lotus-BRM|
|1963||Brabham Racing Organisation||Brabham-Climax||19||5th||Report|
|1964||Brabham Racing Organisation||Brabham-Climax||19||6th||Report|
|1965||Brabham Racing Organisation||Brabham-Climax||25||4th||Report|
|1966||Anglo American Racers||Eagle-Climax||4||12th||Report|
|1967||Anglo American Racers||Eagle-Climax||13||8th||Report|
|1968||Anglo American Racers||Eagle-Weslake||3||21st||Report|
|Brabham Racing Organisation||Brabham-Repco|
|1969||Motor Racing Developments Ltd.||Brabham-Ford Cosworth||0||NC|
|1970||Bruce McLaren Motor Racing||McLaren-Ford Cosworth||1||24th||Report|
- Italics denotes an entrant used only in non-championship races.
|Front Row Starts||12|
|Distance Raced||21463 km (13336 mi)|
|Distance Led||1583 km (984 mi)|
|Win Number||Grand Prix|
|1||1962 French Grand Prix|
|2||1964 French Grand Prix|
|3||1964 Mexican Grand Prix|
|4||1967 Belgian Grand Prix|
|Complete Formula One results|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap||DNS||Did not start|
|†||Classified finish (retired with >90% race distance)||NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)|
|P||Qualified for pole position||[+] More Symbols|
Images and Videos:
- David Tremayne, 'The life of Jim Clark', Motorsport Magazine (April 1993), via http://www.motorsportmagazine.com/halloffame/jim-clark/jim-clark/, (Accessed 04/02/2016)
- 'DAN GURNEY'S BIOGRAPHY', allamericanracers.com, (All American Racers, 2016), http://allamericanracers.com/dan-gurney-biography/, (Accessed 04/02/2016)
- '#F1 Cult Heroes: Dan Gurney', formula1.com, (Formula One Administration, 2016), http://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/latest/features/2016/1/f1-hunt-montoya-cult-hero.html, (Accessed 04/02/2016)
- 'F1's Greatest Drivers: Dan Gurney', f1greatestdrivers.autosport.com, (Haymarket Media, 2016), http://f1greatestdrivers.autosport.com/?driver=28, (Accessed 04/02/2016)
- Mark Glendenning, 'Dan Gurney, 1931-2018', racer.com, (Racer Media & Marketing, Inc., 14/01/2018), http://www.racer.com/f1/item/146728-dan-gurney-1931-2018#!1959_Portugal_Ferrari, (Accessed 14/01/2018)
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