Friday, April 8, 2011

Dan Gurney - A Man Of Many Firsts

by Mike -

Dan Gurney is an American racing driver, race car constructor, and race car team owner.

This car is a 1969 All American Racers Eagle.

He has had a very successful career and has achieved many firsts in racing:

1) Gurney is the first driver to win races in Sports Cars, Formula One, NASCAR, and Indy Car. This feat has only been matched by Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya.

2) He is the only driver to score the first Formula 1 victories for three different manufacturers—Porsche, Brabham and his own team, All American Racers. None of these three teams are in Formula 1 today.

3) He created a modification to the race car rear wing, called the Gurney flap, that increases downforce with a small increase in the drag.

4) At the 1968 German Grand Prix he became the first driver ever to use a full face helmet in a Formula 1 race.

5) He is the first American driver to win a Formula 1 race in an American car.

6) The hump in the roof line of some Ford GT40 race cars is called the Gurney hump and allows the 6 foot 3 inch tall Gurney to fit in the car. I do not believe that any other driver has a hump named after him.

7) He was the first driver hired by Jack Brabham for the Brabham Racing Organization.

8) And last, but not least, in 1967, after winning the 24 hours of Le Mans with co-driver A.J. Foyt, he sprayed champagne while celebrating on the podium. This is now a racing tradition much to the delight of the Champagne makers and the dread of any race official who does not exit the podium before the spraying begins.

This is the list of firsts that I came up with but I suspect that there are many mores firsts for Dan Gurney.

Click on the images for a larger view.

No comments:

Post a Comment