Iconic driver and team owner AJ Foyt says that his partner in the only all-American triumph at the 24 Hours of Le Mans was “a true legend.”
Dan Gurney, who died yesterday, and Foyt teamed up in the Shelby-American #1 Ford GT40 MkIV, one of nine GT40s entered in the 1967 Le Mans 24 Hours. The pair won in record time, beating their nearest competitor – a Ferrari 330 P4 driven by Ludovico Scarfiotti and Mike Parkes – by four laps.
Foyt stated: “Dan Gurney was not only a great innovator, he was a great driver and it didn’t matter if it was a road course or an oval, an Indy car or a stock car. I never use the word legend but in the case of Dan, he was a true legend of our sport.
“We became close friends at Le Mans in ’67 and winning it brought us closer together. He was a super guy. Even though we were competitors in the Indy cars, we always respected each other highly.”
The pair were honored along with Edsel Ford at the Road Racing Drivers’ Club’s annual dinner at Long Beach last year, and posed with their legendary GT40 that had been restored at Gurney’s All American Racers workshop in Santa Ana.
Foyt said: “As we got older, we became closer, calling each other on birthdays or when we were sick. Now I’m glad we got to spend the time together we did at Long Beach last year along with Edsel Ford. We told a lot of stories and we had a lot of fun talking about the old times.
“It’s hard to believe he’s gone and I’m really going to miss him. My thoughts are with Evi and his family.”