Foyt to revisit Le Mans 50 years after famous victory

AJ Foyt is to return to the scene of one of his most famous triumphs, when he flies to Le Mans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his and Dan Gurney’s victory in the Ford GT40 MkIV.

Foyt to revisit Le Mans 50 years after famous victory
A.J. Foyt, A.J. Foyt Enterprises team owner
Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt (1) scored Fords second of four consecutive wins
Henry Ford III, Dan Gurney, Edsel Ford II, A.J. Foyt
A.J. Foyt, A.J. Foyt Enterprises team owner
A.J. Foyt's ring
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Foyt and Gurney scored the second straight win for Ford at Le Mans, driving for the Shelby American team. It was the first and last time that an all-U.S. lineup – car, team, drivers – conquered the Sarthe classic.

The pair beat the Ferrari 330P4 of Mike Parkes and Ludovico Scarfiotti by four laps, and following the triumph, Gurney famously shook up the magnum of champagne and sprayed it over those on the podium – including Henry Ford II – and thereby started a racing tradition.

Since that day, four-time Indy 500 winner Foyt had never shown any interest in returning to Le Mans as either a driver in his prime nor as a celebrity in his retirement. His hardline stance was: “I went there as a rookie and won, I have no reason to go back.”

However, 50 years on, Foyt has now decided to revisit the site as a guest of Ford Performance. “SuperTex” will visit the track and its museum, and see his winning Ford MkIV once more, complete with the roof bubble that had to be installed to accommodate the lanky Gurney’s crash-helmet.

Foyt first saw it in April when he and Gurney were awarded the 'Spirit of Ford' award at the RRDC dinner in Long Beach, and then again at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum last month, as part of the huge Foyt exhibit there.

“I am looking forward to seeing the course again,” Foyt said of his trip to France. “I know it has changed a lot over the past 50 years – I probably won’t even recognize it.”

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