Dan Gurney and the Eagle at Spa

Dan Gurney drives his Eagle Formula 1 car to win the Belgian Grand Prix.

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Dan Gurney: All American Racer - The Eagle Soars (episode 2) presented by Bell Helmets.
Gurney was one of the greatest drivers, innovators, thinkers, that America has produced. He remains the only American team owner to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix in his own car, and RACER's Robin Miller took the opportunity to accompany Gurney down the hallway of the All American Racing workshop in Santa Ana, California, and ask him for the stories behind some of the many hundreds of photos on the walls. The result is a six-episode series giving some insight into the genial gentleman -- and gentle man -- who turned All American Racing into a winner on both sides of the Atlantic. In this second episode, Dan tells Robin about taking the Eagle into Formula 1 and talks of Nurburgring and Spa-Franchorchamps, the two most daunting tracks on the grand prix schedule at that time. This video is presented by Bell Helmets. The famously simple logo that became simply famous did so almost subconsciously. Just as, when you purchase a car, the number of similar examples you see on the road seemingly multiplies, once you start looking for Bell logos, you spot them everywhere, be they in frayed and sepia-tinted monochrome, in early glorious and classic Technicolor or embedded in the wild colorschemes on helmets of today. But Bell's link up with Gurney is closer than that. The man who famously used to wrap a hotel handtowel around the lower part of his face to protect himself from the elements and debris was perhaps the natural choice to embrace the concept of a full-face helmet. Bell produced its first full-face motorcycle helmet in 1966, and Dan leapt at the chance to use one, debuting an all-black example in the 1968 Indy 500. Three years later, everyone who started the "500" was wearing Bell. Enjoy this second episode of Dan Gurney: All American Racer, produced by Adam Friedman's Vertical Ascent for RACER. More will follow on consecutive Tuesdays through May and early June.





Damon Hill drives the 1962 Lotus 25 at the old Aintree circuit
Damon Hill gets to drive the Lotus 25 at Aintree's old grand prix track, which was last used in 1964. The Lotus 25 is the car that Jim Clark drove in 1962's British Grand Prix which he went on to win. A wonderfully nostalgic short film from Sky Sports F1.





1966 AAR Gurney-Weslake Eagle MkI
1966 AAR Gurney Weslake Eagle MkI SOLD $3,740,000 Including Commission Gooding Auction, Pebble Beach, CA. 2013 Raced in period by Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant and Bruce McLaren; Driven by Gurney to win at the 1967 Brands Hatch Race of Champions, the first win for an Eagle and the first American car to win a Formula One race in decades; One of four Eagle Mk 1s built; Gurney-Weslake three-liter V-12 engine; restored under the ownership of collector Miles Collier; successfully campaigned in leading historic events and seven world championship races; offered with FIA paperwork and original AAR Blueprints. The Eagle Mk I Dan Gurney's distinguished Formula 1 career began in 1959. Driving for Scuderia Ferrari, he achieved two podium finishes in his first four races -- an auspicious start for the young Southern California driver. Following a miserable 1960 season, driving a BRM P48 for Owen Racing Organization, Gurney joined Porsche's Grand Prix effort. At the 1962 French Grand Prix at Rouen, Gurney drove the newly developed 804 to his first World Championship victory and captured the first Formula 1 win for Porsche. When Porsche withdrew from Grand Prix racing at the end of the 1962 season, Gurney was the first driver hired by Jack Brabham to join the Brabham Racing Organization. Between 1963 and 1965, Gurney captured two wins and 10 podium finishes for Brabham including the manufacturer's first World Championship win. As Gurney rose to prominence in Formula 1 and sports car racing, he developed a close relationship with Carroll Shelby. As early as 1962, the two discussed plans to build an American Formula 1 car -- one that could successfully compete on the international stage. Ever since Gurney began racing Grand Prix cars, it had been his goal to win the Formula 1 World Championship driving a car of his own design. In 1965, Shelby convinced Goodyear, which was intent on challenging Firestone's domination of American racing, to sponsor a new USAC team led by Dan Gurney. Later that year, Gurney established his team -- All American Racers -- based out of a one-story industrial building in Santa Ana, California. Though AAR's initial focus was building an Indy 500 winner, Gurney and Shelby convinced Goodyear to sponsor the construction of a Formula 1 car. Considering that Formula 1 was dominated by the likes of Ferrari, Brabham, and Lotus -- and the fact that no US car and driver combination had won a major European Grand Prix since Jimmy Murphy's Duesenberg took the French Grand Prix in 1921 -- the AAR Formula 1 project was certainly ambitious. In 1965, Gurney set to work developing his first single-seat racing cars, which he dubbed the Eagles. Developed in parallel, the Eagle Mk I was designed to compete in Formula 1 and the Eagle Mk II was intended to compete in the USAC circuit. To design their dual-purpose Indy-Grand Prix car, AAR enlisted the services of British designer Len Terry, who had worked on the Indy 500-winning Lotus 38. In a short period, Terry created a state-of-the-art full-length riveted aluminum monocoque chassis. Fitted with a gorgeous beak nose -- inspired by the Eagle name -- and finished in a patriotic blue and white livery, the Eagle Mk I was an inspired design. For AAR to have any chance against the established Formula 1 teams, they would need a special engine. During summer 1965, Dan Gurney turned to Aubrey Woods, a talented engine designer with whom he had worked during his 1960 season driving a BRM. Woods informed Gurney of a special three-liter V-12 that he had been developing with the Weslake Company in Rye, Sussex, England. Gurney signed on immediately and, in less than a year, Harry Weslake and Aubrey Woods progressed from the drawing board to the race circuit. The Gurney-Weslake V-12, with its efficient four-valve head, developed a genuine 410 bhp at 10,200 rpm and weighed just 365 lbs. Even more impressive, the engine was extremely compact, fitting into the same space provided for the Indy Ford V-8, and it was remarkably flexible, with a full-throttle power curve that began as low as 6,000 rpm. In June 1966, the first AAR Eagle Mk I, AAR-101, was unveiled at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. It was a tremendous achievement for Dan Gurney and a shining moment in the history of American motor racing. This Car The Eagle Mk I presented here, AAR-102, was the second chassis built by AAR and the first example to race with the Aubrey Woods-developed Gurney-Weslake V-12. In September 1966, AAR-102 made its competition debut in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the seventh round of the World Championship. Robert Myrick Photography





Dario Franchitti Drives the 1965 Honda RA 272
Dario Franchitti tests Richie Ginther's historic winning Grand Prix race car on the Motegi road course in Japan. Get more info about Dario's test here: http://bit.ly/wCAfK3




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