OBSCURE F1 A-Z: DAN GURNEY
In this 26 part series of posts I will be going through the alphabet and for each letter, a profile piece on an obscure driver - some you may have heard of before some you may never knew even sat in an F1 car let alone raced one. I have chosen a driver for each letter choosing them based on their surnames.
Dan Gurney raced in the early years of Formula One - his first stint in the sport was from 1959 - 1968 he then left the sport and returned for one final year in 1970. During the 10 years Gurney raced in F1 he was part of a multitude of teams including; Ferrari, BRM, Porsche, Lotus, Eagle, McLaren and Brabham. Gurney was the first ever driver to be signed to the Brabham team by the legendary Jack Brabham.
Gurney entered 87 races starting 86. His first entry was at the 1959 French Grand Prix (the fourth of nine races that season) which he retired from due to radiator trouble - despite this Gurney returned in 1962 and won the French Grand Prix for his first F1 victory - Gurney won the race in the Porsche 804 (the only victory this car would ever have) - the top three for the race was Gurney (Porsche), Maggs (Cooper) and Ginther (BRM). Bruce McLaren finished fourth and Stirling Moss finished fifth.
In his illustrious Formula One career Gurney managed;
6 Fastest Laps
3 Pole Positions
133 Career Points
19 Podiums &
His final win in F1 was at the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix where he was joined on the podium by second placed Jackie Stewart (BRM) and Chris Amon (Ferrari). Three years later Gurney entered his final race the 1970 British Grand Prix which was won by Jochen Rindt. Gurney's McLaren - Ford retired 11 laps in due to an oil pressure issue.
Dan Gurney made history during his career being the inventor of the Gurney Flap which is a small piece added to the rear wing to increase downforce. He was also the first driver to ever wear a full race helmet in an F1 race - at the 1968 German Grand Prix.