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[...] I told him, he's the one who started the tradition of spraying champagne, when he won Le Mans in 1967, and that was something he did appreciate. [...] the Briggs Cunningham philosophy paid off, we won, and A.J. and I got along really well, as we always have - if you don't mind being insulted by him! An Indy car or Formula 1 car was light and direct, a NASCAR was like trying to dock an aircraft carrier, but it wasn't any easier to win or drive well.
036_RA0310 1/27/10 11:14 AM RACER2RACER DAN GURNEY RACER2RACER BRYAN HERTA & DAN GURNEY Main Images Lesley Ann Miller/LAT was driving my kids to school this morning when I told my I 9-year-old son, Colton, that I was coming to see Dan Gurney today. He gave me a blank stare, so I explained that Mr. Gurney has won races in almost every major series in the world, from Formula 1 to NASCAR, Indy car, sports cars…. He even holds the record for the fastest time cross-country when he won the Cannonball Run in a Ferrari Daytona, which piqued his interest. Then I tried to explain that he is the man who invented the Gurney flap, but Colton wasn’t sure what that was. Finally I told him, he’s the one who started the tradition of spraying champagne, when he won Le Mans in 1967, and that was something he did appreciate. My son wanted to know if the people around got mad at him covering them in champagne! This little exchange helped me realize just how diverse and lasting Dan’s impact in the world of motorsports has been. His résumé in any one area could easily stand on its own but, combined, Dan Gurney is truly without peer. No less than Bobby Rahal considers him a hero. Dan was warm and accommodating as always during our time together (he even set us up with In-N-Out Burgers for lunch!), and danced across a truly diverse set of subjects during our conversation, with ease. This entire publication could have been filled with gems from our chat and we still would have only scratched the surface of this great American’s accomplishments and recollections. But for starters, did anyone get upset about being soaked with champagne back in ’67? DG: Well, that was a consideration, I admit! It was my 10th attempt at Le Mans, and it was an extraordinarily special one to win because it was the Ford GT40 Mk.IV, and my co-driver was 36 MARCH 2010 037_RA0310 1/27/10 11:15 AM MARCH 2010 37 038_RA0310 1/27/10 11:15 AM RACER2RACER DAN GURNEY The AAR Museum contains some of the most desirable racecars of the last five decades. (BELOW) Gurney’s Eagle AAR103 heads for third behind the dominant Brabhams in the 1967 Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport. A.J. Foyt. After a decade of trying to win it overall – Bob Bondurant and I won the GT category in a Cobra in ’64 – I’d realized it was an endurance contest much more than it was a race. In those days, if the cars ran at what I’d
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