Rossi Pays Tribute to an American Legend Monterey, California, August 20, 2010 - ART Grand Prix driver and double GP3 winner, Alexander Rossi, headed home to California for the mandatory European Formula August break. The 18 year old Californian...
Rossi Pays Tribute to an American Legend
Monterey, California, August 20, 2010 - ART Grand Prix driver and double GP3 winner, Alexander Rossi, headed home to California for the mandatory European Formula August break. The 18 year old Californian firmly en route to F1, paid honor and respect to an American motorsport legend, Dan Gurney, during the 2010 Rolex Motorsports Reunion, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.
Gurney is an American racing legend and the first driver to win races in Formula 1, NASCAR and IndyCar.The reunion included a showing of the Gurney collection that his company, All American Racing built. Twenty Four (24) vintage pieces stole the show, including the red number 1 Ford MK IV that Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove to victory in the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hour Race. Other notable vehicles include the dark blue Eagle Gurney- Weslake V12, number 36 and the "unconventional" yellow 1981 Eagle with a Chevrolet stock block engine.
Rossi busy training during the month of August was able to take a weekend off to visit the event at Laguna Seca. Rossi, who is no stranger to the 11 turn and the 2.24 mile road course as a nine time winner at Laguna, would consider this his home circuit. While he was not behind the wheel for this particular event, the weekend held a greater purpose for him; one of learning about the history of American presence in Formula One.
"Dan is an American racing legend," Rossi said. "To finally meet Dan was an honor and inspiration as I pursue Formula 1. I will be racing at Spa later this month and Dan not only won the 1967 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, but many forget that he did this in a car that he designed and built. Today drivers, including myself, take for granted just how much is already prepared for us. For me, Dan's legacy is humbling and I have some pretty big shoes to fill."
American Legend, Dan Gurney with Rossi - Laguna Seca
"The entire Gurney family and all of us at All American Racers join the many fans of Alexander Rossi in wishing him the best race at the historically rich Spa Francorchamps circuit in the famous Ardennes Forest of Belgium," said Dan Gurney.
"When you're living in the racing life, traveling from track to track, training, meetings, and events, at times you barely come up for air," Rossi added. "That is all part of it, but last weekend was an eye opener and an important reminder of the heritage of our sport. Without racing heroes like Dan Gurney, Phil Hill, Mario Andretti, Peter Revson, Richie Ginther and a whole lot more, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing today."
"There were hundreds of people honoring Dan this weekend, and I was fortunate to spend a bit of time with the whole Gurney family," Rossi continued. "Both Dan's sons, Alex and Justin were great to share racing stories with and I look forward to staying in touch with them and catching up again soon."
Next up for Alexander are rounds 13 and 14 in Spa as he returns to his GP3 season with ART Grand Prix. Nestled in the Arden Forest of Belgium, Spa is a circuit that many drivers consider the best in the world. "For me, Spa is one of my favorite circuits and a special place for me," says Rossi. "I won there last year for ISR in Formula Master while supporting the F1 Belgium Grand Prix. Coming off a win in Hungary, I will be looking to repeat my efforts again for myself and the team."
Rossi and Dario Franchitti at Gurney Reception
Rossi is currently 4th in the Driver's Championship with 33 points, and 2 wins. The next rounds of the GP3 Championship take place, August 27th- August 29th at Spa- Francorchamps, Belgium, alongside GP2 and Formula 1.