As racing mourns the loss of American hero and legend Dan Gurney, who died yesterday at his home in Newport Beach at the age of 86, tributes from all areas of motorsport and beyond are pouring in.
A colossus in every sense of the term, his outstanding talent as a driver was matched by his extraordinary achievements as a team owner, a manufacturer and an innovator.
Dan's wife, Evi Gurney, the Gurney family and his team mates at All American Racers issued the following statement.
"With one last smile on his handsome face, Dan drove off into the unknown just before noon today, January 14, 2018. In deepest sorrow, with gratitude in our hearts for the love and joy you have given us during your time on this earth, we say ‘Godspeed.’
"…Smell the sea and feel the sky,
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic…"
It's only fitting that one of the first people to express his sadness at Gurney's passing was fellow-pioneer, good friend and flying ace Chuck Yeager, the first man to exceed the sound barrier.
M'friend Dan Gurney died today too young. He was so gracious & kind to mutual friend, Russ Schleeh- took him to lunch every Sat., kept him alive 10 yrs longer. Whenever we were in LA, V & I were welcome & sure enjoyed it. Dan was such a kind, generous, interesting, talented guy. https://t.co/AAQmQYTSEA
— Chuck Yeager (@GenChuckYeager) January 15, 2018
Mario Andretti, who followed Gurney as America's greatest road racer, was equally sorrowed by the loss of a man who was a great inspiration to him. Andretti paid tribute to Gurney on Twitter.
"RIP Dan Gurney. I was first inspired by him when I was in midgets dreaming of being like him. I was last inspired by him yesterday. Yes, I mean forever. He understood me better than anyone else, which is why he wrote the foreword for my book in 2001."
The IndyCar community is also grieving, with many of its prominent members paying homage to a great champion and trail blazer.
Indy 500 winner and team owner Bobby Rahal was among the first to react.
How I treasure this picture! AJ & Dan. Thank both of you for everything you have done for the sport we love. pic.twitter.com/IBUKCNNyeA
— Bobby Rahal (@BobRahal) January 15, 2018
His son, Graham Rahal also posted a few words of admiration for America's racing legend.
"RIP Dan Gurney, arguably the greatest American driver of all time. Accomplished so much internationally & helped form Racing into the sport it is today. Thank you Dan, our thoughts are w/ the Gurney family at this time."
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Gurney and his beautiful Eagles wrote many pages of the racing sanctuary's history, posted a message and a photo tribute to one of its favourite sons.
Godspeed, Dan Gurney. pic.twitter.com/XTm69wbwra
— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) January 15, 2018
Jack Brabham was a team mate and redoubtable rival to Dan Gurney in the 60s, but the American was the man who brought the Brabham team its very first Grand Prix win, a fact which obviously wasn't lost on Black Jack's son, David Brabham.
"Having know Dan Gurney for some time I am saddened to hear he has passed away. My dad thought Dan was pretty special behind the wheel, a pioneer and just a top bloke. The sport has lost a great, thanks Dan for the memories."
Finally, FIA President Jean Todt also posted a personal message on his Twitter account, with a series of pictures.
Tribute to Dan Gurney, a great driver who inspired my love of motor sport and became a friend. My thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/7F97zJ1Bh9
— Jean Todt (@JeanTodt) January 15, 2018