Welcome to another week of TheJudge13 F1 Bar Exam.
Last week’s question(s): Can you name the driver, team, race and track where the photo was taken. Can you also name the car (type) and where the driver finished in the race?
The answer(s) I was looking for were: The picture shows Dan Gurney driving his Anglo American Racing Eagle-Weslake at the 1967 Belgium Grand Prix held at Spa at which AAR got their one and only Formula One race win.
Dan Gurney once said, “The difference between dreamer and genius, between lunatic and visionary is very thin and with our limited budget and our unlimited passion we constantly walked a tightrope.” There are very few teams with unlimited funds with which to use to compete in F1 but some teams are more limited than others.
Dan Gurney had a dream of constructing and racing an American built Formula One racing car. Gurney’s first Formula One drive had been for Ferrari in 1959. He then signed with Porsche where he got them their one and only F1 victory as a constructor with his maiden win at the 1962 French Grand Prix. In 1963 he drove for Brabham and got their first win at the 1964 French Grand Prix.
The 1960’s were the peak of driver operated F1 teams and Gurney was inspired by Brabham, McLaren and Surtees to start his own American based racing team. Len Terry was their chief designer and their car with its magnesium chassis and titanium exhaust system was both light and strong. Their V12 engine was built by Harry Weslake but wasn’t ready until the second race of the 1967 season. This was Weslake’s first complete car engine, having focused on bike engines previously.
Their striking midnight-blue “Eagle” with its white racing strip running down the centre and its eagle-like front nose was first seen at the 1966 Belgium Grand Prix. It was only 12 months later when they triumphed at the 1967 Belgium Grand Prix, the first time an American had ever won a Formula One Grand Prix driving a car of their own construction.
Gurney stated afterwards, “In Spa, everything finally came together. I qualified second again next to Jimmy Clark and won the race ahead of Jackie Stewart with a new race record and a new lap record, putting this Grand Prix into the history books as the fastest ‘grande epreuve’ ever run on a road course.”
One week before his win at Spa, Gurney had also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving a 7 litre Ford GT40 with co-driver A J Foyt, winning by four laps over the rest of the field. It was after this race that Gurney started spontaneously spraying the champagne from the podium to celebrate his unexpected victory. It was at the 1968 German Grand Prix that Gurney was also the first F1 driver to wear a full face helmet.. He is also one of only three drivers with wins in Formula 1, Nascar (1963) and Indycar (1967).
The Eagle remained competitive throughout the 1967 season, usually managing to qualify on the first or second row of the grid, though engine reliability continued to be a problem. During the 1968 season the money was running out and AAR’s last race would be at the 1968 Italian Grand Prix. Gurney said, “After that the budget did not allow us to continue our Formula One effort anymore. I took the Eagle out of circulation and closed down our facility in England with a heavy heart, but with the knowledge that we had put the Europeans on notice and that we had put an American Grand Prix victory in the history books for all time.”
Well done to Tim, Benjamin, F1esty, Paul, BlackJackFan, Milestone11, Johnny, Cassius42, Mike, Curmudgeon, Tony, Ken and Taflach!
This week’s question(s): Can you name the driver, team, race and track where the photo was taken. Can you also name the car (type) and where the driver finished in the race?
Please provide your answers in the field below: