|1962||Team Lotus, Porsche||8||7||1||2||5||1||1||1||1||0||0||15||5|
|1968||Eagle, Brabham, McLaren||9||9||0||0||2||4||0||0||4||0||0||3||21|
|First race||French Grand Prix||Reims||July 5, 1959||Race results|
|Last race||British Grand Prix||Brands Hatch||July 18, 1970||Race results|
To many fans, Dan is the greatest American ever to have raced in Formula One, even though the statistics tell a different story. What made Dan stand out was that he built his own car - the Eagle - and won in that.
A spell in the army in Korea intervened before he bought himself a Triumph TR2 and raced it. Over the next few years the cars became more exotic and Dan more successful, earning an invitation to race in Europe for Ferrari in 1958. He landed a contract to race Formula One for the team in 1959, with Enzo no doubt aware of the sales value of having American attention focused on Ferrari.
And so began a long Formula One career, which he kicked off with second place behind team-mate Tony Brooks in the German Grand Prix. However, he moved to BRM for 1960 and then on to Porsche for 1961. With reliability he had only dreamt of at BRM, he finished third overall despite not winning a race. Staying on for 1962, though, he did get to the top step of the podium, at the French Grand Prix. Indeed, Rouen was a happy stamping ground for Dan, for his next win came there in 1964, his second year with Brabham. And he rounded out that year with another win, in Mexico. Ironically, both 1963 and 1965 saw him in the points more often, frequently challenging Jim Clark.
Then Dan bit the bullet and built his own cars for 1966. The Eagle came good in 1967, with Weslake power in place of Climax, and Dan brought this beautiful car home first in Belgium, but all too often it broke. He won the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ford with AJ Foyt.
Success for Dan was later to come outside Formula One, with second in the Indy 500 in both 1968 and 1969. Following the death of Bruce McLaren, he returned to Formula One with McLaren's team. Then he worked on turning his Indy Cars and sports cars into winners, later building a low-seat motorbike for commercial sale.
Reproduced from The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Formula One published by Carlton Books
Gurney was the first driver to win races in Formula One (1962), NASCAR (1963), and Indy Car (1967).
September 15, 2012
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June 18, 1967
© Sutton Images
June 12, 1966
© Sutton Images