The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion – the new name for the former Monterey Historic Races – will begin its new era of historic racing by honoring one of the true legends of motorsports – Dan Gurney – on Aug. 12-15 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“We are proud that Dan has accepted our invitation to be our first featured guest at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion will feature a display of Gurney Eagle racecars: Formula 1, Indy cars, IMSA GTP prototypes, Can-Am and Trans-Am machines. Gurney will share some of his favorite stories with the fans through public interview and autograph sessions on Saturday, Aug. 14.
Gurney's career at Laguna Seca spans 50 years of winning there as a driver, manufacturer and team owner. He drove in the first professional race ever held at the track – the 1960 Pacific Grand Prix. He competed twice more in that event, piloting a Lotus 19 to victory (which will be one of the cars on display) in the first of the two-heat race in 1962. Gurney competed in several Monterey Grand Prix Can-Am races in the late '60s, before his worldwide racing ambitions kept him away from the track for several years.
As a driver, Gurney put his name in the record book with victories in the sports car races at Daytona, Sebring, the Targa Florio, the 1000 km at the Nurburgring and Le Mans. He won four World Championship Grands Prix in France, Belgium and Mexico, three additional Formula 1 races, seven Indianapolis road races and five NASCAR stock car races. He was twice runner-up in the Indy 500.
Gurney has the distinction of being the only U.S. citizen in the 100-year history of Formula 1 racing to win a World Championship F1 race in a car of his own construction. At Monterey, his All American Racers team won races with GTU and GTO Toyota Celicas, as well as the Eagle GTP Prototype sports car.
Gurney is the owner, chairman and CEO of All American Racers, Inc., founded in Santa Ana, Calif., in 1965. The company designed and built 157 Eagle racing cars between 1965 and 2000. This includes: four Formula 1 Eagles, 106 Indy Eagles, 20 Formula 5000 Eagles, 13 IMSA GTP Eagles, 13 Formula Ford Eagles and 11 other racecars including two Trans-Am Plymouth Barracudas, three IMSA GTU Toyota Celicas, three IMSA GTO Toyota Celicas, two Can-Am McLeagle and a Lola Can-Am racecar.
All American Racers' factory team employed 66 drivers winning 78 victories, the Indy 500, 83 pole positions and eight championships.
In 2002, Gurney surprised the automotive world and introduced his revolutionary single-cylinder Alligator motorcycle, a project in the making for two decades. He still rides with his sons and a few friends almost every Sunday.
More than 400 historic racing cars will compete in 14 groups at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. This year's featured races are Formula 1, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year; Trans-Am; and for the first time ever, stock cars (with drum brakes) that competed between 1959 and 1975. Additionally, there will be a dedicated grid of Bugatti racecars in the Bugatti Grand Prix, with some coming from as far away as Australia, France, Germany and Switzerland.Dan Gurney is the latest subject of RACER Editor-at-Large Bryan Herta's series of Racer2Racer interviews in the March issue of RACER magazine, in which Dan reminisces with Bryan about many of the cars and races that will be celebrated this summer in Monterey.
Not a subscriber? To start receiving the world's fastest magazine, click here.