Race and classic pictures

Just one more trail blazed by Dan Gurney


Dan Gurney, born on this day in 1931, was often at the forefront of innovation during his outstanding career in motorsport, blazing multiple trails in various areas.

The famous 'Gurney flap' – a small lip placed at the trailing edge of a wing to generate more downforce while producing minimal drag – is still exploited by aerodynamicists in both the racing and aeronautic industry.

But among Gurney's other pioneering initiatives was the adoption of the Bell Star full-face helmet first used by the American driver in F1 in 1968 and which was widely adopted by drivers thereafter.

In this picture - taken by a 14-year-old Paul-Henri Cahier by the way - Dan is at the wheel of his Eagle T1G, sitting on the grid of the 1968 German Grand Prix at the daunting Nürburgring, waiting to race off into the 14-mile Green Hell in torrential rain.

Oh, and by the way, for all the protection offered by Bell's new lid, seatbelts in F1 were still not mandatory back then!

Phillip van Osten

Motor racing was a backdrop from the outset in Phillip van Osten's life. Born in Southern California, Phillip grew up with the sights and sounds of fast cars thanks to his father, Dick van Osten, an editor and writer for Auto Speed and Sport and Motor Trend. Phillip's passion for racing grew even more when his family moved to Europe and he became acquainted with the extraordinary world of Grand Prix racing. He was an early contributor to the monthly French F1i Magazine, often providing a historic or business perspective on Formula 1's affairs. In 2012, he co-authored along with fellow journalist Pierre Van Vliet the English-language adaptation of a limited edition book devoted to the great Belgian driver Jacky Ickx. He also authored "The American Legacy in Formula 1", a book which recounts the trials and tribulations of American drivers in Grand Prix racing. Phillip is also a commentator for Belgian broadcaster Be.TV for the US Indycar series.

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