American driver Dan (Daniel Sexton) Gurney died on 14th January aged 86.
He was an eclectic driver who was a true lover of motor racing and raced and won in various branches of the sport on different continents for prestigious manufacturers, and also with his own team, All American Racers. He had a brilliant career in F1, Indy Car, NASCAR, CanAm, endurance and the Le Mans 24 Hours. He was the first driver in history to win in endurance (1958), F1 (1962), NASCAR (1963) and Indy Car (1967).
In 1967, he left his mark on the history of the Le Mans 24 Hours when he won the race in his Ford GT40 Mk1V shared with his fellow-countryman, AJ Foyt.. At the same time he launched the podium celebration ritual of the spurting champagne bottle, which has since become a tradition in multiple forms of motor racing.
“Unfortunately, a motor sporting legend has left us,” said Pierre Fillon, the President of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, sadly. “Dan Gurney was not only a talented driver and a charming man, but also a successful team boss, creator and inventive spirit. In the name of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest I would like to send my deepest condolences to his wife and his four children, Justin, Alex, Jimmy and Dan Jr.”