Published: Tue, January 16, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

American legend Dan Gurney dies

American legend Dan Gurney dies

Legendary racer, designer, innovator and trend-setter, Dan Gurney, has passed away at the age of 86 following complications related to pneumonia.

Mario Andretti is one of the only other drivers to win the Formula One, IndyCar and NASCAR Cub series. He delivered that victory, which must have tasted sweeter that the rest, in the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix driving a vehicle he had crafted himself - an Eagle-Weslake.

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Gurney and his lovely Eagles wrote many pages of the racing sanctuary's history, posted a message and a photo tribute to one of its favourite sons.

Gurney was also the first driver to win a Formula 1 race for Porsche, Brabham, and his own AAR team.

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In 1967 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ford with AJ Foyt - turning a spray of champagne on his fellow American in celebration in a now traditional victory gesture. "But in the case of Dan, he was a true legend of our sport". He became the first driver to win races in sports cars (1958), Formula 1 (1962), NASCAR (1963) and Indy cars (1967).

His IndyCar career resulted in the creation of the Gurney flap aerodynamic device, while in NASCAR he won five races at Riverside in California.

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His Eagle broke through at the Indianapolis 500 in 1968 with Bobby Unser behind the wheel. "I was last inspired by him yesterday", Andretti said on Twitter. It was a thrill for me to race with him. He worked on the Alligator for years-tinkering, more than actual serious development-mostly for his own enjoyment, figuring out ways to keep the center of gravity far lower than normal. I was beyond caring and just got caught up in the moment. I loved him. I loved Evi (his wife).

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