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Dan Gurney No. 12 French GP


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#1 Victor

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Posted 16 June 2024 - 20:54

Can someone clarify why Dan Gurney was number 12 for the 1961 French GP, but strangely also shown number 1 on his Porsche? Why is the 2 missing?

Cheers

gettyimages-830353662-1024x1024.jpg



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#2 Collombin

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Posted 16 June 2024 - 21:12

It fell off? You can see the outline where it used to be, and pictures from earlier in the race seem to show the 2 in place.

#3 LittleChris

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Posted 16 June 2024 - 21:27

Got to be a quiz question there involving Ferrari No 50 winning in France after today  :)



#4 Sterzo

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 09:12

The "1" is also in a different style from the number on the side of the car. Now, when did vinyl letters take over from hand-painted? It can't have been long before this picture. Were Porsche, perhaps, trying a new-fangled idea while their competitors had numbers painted by the organiser's sign writer?

 

As late as 1970 or 71, I witnessed a frustrated David Purley patting down a curling vinyl number on his F3 car in the paddock, protesting: "I spent five shillings on those numbers!" I had the impression they were a novelty then.



#5 Bloggsworth

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 09:35

Back in the 60s I used to buy the tubes of "Blanco," normally used for whitening tennis shoes, and painedt the numbers on. Then I discovered black and white Fablon (the famous sticky-back plastic) in Woolworth, so made up some templates and traced round them. A lot cheaper than buying them from Les Leston.



#6 Bikr7549

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 12:41

In the mid to late 70's we used magnetic material to make the numbers for our steel bodied car. One flew off during practice and fortunately the corner workers noticed it so between sessions we went on a hunt for it, and luckily found the expensive number. Before that we used vinyl which worked well, tho a pain to remove. I still somewhere have the cardboard stencils I made to cut them out. Even tho we generally had an assigned number for the season that could change depending on which SCCA region was running the race.

 

Edit-this was in the stone age when some of us actually drove our cars to (and hopefully back from) the track.


Edited by Bikr7549, 17 June 2024 - 12:46.


#7 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 14:35

Can someone clarify why Dan Gurney was number 12 for the 1961 French GP, but strangely also shown number 1 on his Porsche? Why is the 2 missing?

Cheers

gettyimages-830353662-1024x1024.jpg

Was the picture taken during the race or during a practice or testing period?



#8 Allan Lupton

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 15:22

I can't answer the question but I can say that page 678 of the August 1961 issue of Motor Sport has two race photos showing the numbers as above. Unusually, Jenks' text makes no mention of it.


Edited by Allan Lupton, 17 June 2024 - 15:23.


#9 Emery0323

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 16:00

Was the picture taken during the race or during a practice or testing period?

 If it's a race photo, it might have been taken during the closing laps - which seems likely, given the sand-blasted paint on on the front of both cars.

 

Looking at the lap chart on Statsf1.com,  Gurney and Baghetti (#50 Ferrari) swapped 1st and 2nd positions six times in the final seven laps of the race.

Of course, Baghetti wound up in front at the checkered flag, for his historic first (and only) win on his first F1 start:

https://www.statsf1....r-par-tour.aspx

 

Hmmm, if only modern Grands Prix could be so competitive... :well:


Edited by Emery0323, 17 June 2024 - 16:11.


#10 d j fox

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 16:21

Actually his first Grand Prix start . He’d previously won the non championship Gran Premio de Siracusa back in April Ironically Dan was 2nd in that race too!

#11 Collombin

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 16:26

He won at Naples too, but all the big guns were at Monaco that day.

#12 Victor

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 18:05

I like the fact that Spark made a model just like the image shows, without the 2. Great diecast models and very accurate too.



#13 Emery0323

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 18:56

I like the fact that Spark made a model just like the image shows, without the 2. Great diecast models and very accurate too.

https://www.carmodel...an-gurney/74108

 

Very good research by Spark!   However, the sandblasted paint seen in Cahier's photo is hard to reproduce in 1/43 scale.


Edited by Emery0323, 18 June 2024 - 02:47.


#14 68targa

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 19:03

Little wonder that the number came off.  The Porsche badge has also taken a battering, it might have been enamel.

 

Untitled-1.jpg



#15 WINO

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Posted 17 June 2024 - 20:15

The very reason Dan Gurney was carrying a hanky in his mouth, a face protection initiating by USAC racers who ran at dirt tracks.



#16 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 02:42

Here’s a mid-race photo with the ‘2’ still in place:

IMG-5576.jpg

The Porsches of Bonnier and Gurney lead Ireland’s Lotus, Baghetti’s Ferrari and McLaren’s Cooper. According to DSJ in Motor Sport Jim Clark’s Lotus had been with this group until around lap 36 when he dropped back after a stone broke his goggles. So the ‘2’ must have come off at some time between lap 36 and the closing laps of the race, which ended at 52 laps.

#17 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 09:10

According to the Autocourse lap chart, Jim Clark was ahead of Ireland from lap 25 to the end. Is it possible that the photo posted by Tim was taken earlier and that Clark is ahead of the group?  There doesn’t seem to be much stone damage. DSJ said that Ireland dropped back when his engine lost power and the lap chart shows him slowing by a second or two from about lap 25. 



#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 09:55

Here’s a longer-range shot of the same group:

IMG-5575.jpg

If Jim was ahead of the rest, it was obviously by some distance. However, I’m puzzled by the apparent absence of Graham Hill from either photo. From the lap chart it appears that he and McLaren battled for most of the race, with Bruce eventually beating Graham by 0.1 sec. Perhaps Jim and Graham were a bit ahead of the others at this point, as Roger suggests.

#19 Collombin

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 10:14

Lap 2 seems to be the closest fit for that race order, but is that too early to see gaps that big and pit boards being hung out?

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#20 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 11:39

If Clark is just passing under the bridge where the photographer is then the road markings suggest he is about the same distance ahead of Bonnier as McLaren is behind Baghetti



#21 Collombin

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 14:09

If my lap 2 theory is correct (and I'm starting to think it is) then Clark would be a bit further up the field than that wouldn't he? Bonnier would have been in 9th at this stage (though confirmation from the Autocourse lap chart would be good).

#22 ReWind

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 15:39

End of lap 2:

1. Phil Hill, 2. Wolfgang von Trips, 3. Richie Ginther, 4. Stirling Moss, 5. John Surtees, 6. Graham Hill, 7. Tony Brooks,

8. Joakim Bonnier, 9. Innes Ireland, 10. Dan Gurney, 11. Giancarlo Baghetti, 12. Bruce McLaren,

13. Jim Clark, 14. Roy Salvadori

 

Clark was in sixth position after the first lap. Being so far behind the Bonnier-to-McLaren group one lap later means he lost a massive amount of ground during that lap.



#23 Collombin

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 16:04

Is that from StatsF1 rather than Autocourse though? I don't trust their lap chart, Clark falling so far back on lap 2 but then being ahead of them all again on lap 3? McLaren that far up on lap 1?

Edited for politeness ☺️

Edited by Collombin, 18 June 2024 - 16:20.


#24 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 16:24

I am somewhat dubious about the Autocourse lap chart for this race even though they were usually provided by the organisers.  Jim Clark's second lap time is about 10 seconds off the pace.  Bruce McLaren also dropped from 5th to 12th.  It's possible that they had an incident together, of course, but I don't know of any contemporary report that mentions it.  Clark was up to 7th by lap 3.  

 

Casting further doubt on the organisers' lap times, DSJ noted that Moss was initially credited with fastest lap on his second at  2min 30.4sec, seven though the works Ferraris were drawing away from him.  Fastest lap was later credited to Phil Hill but Moss's 2:30.4 is in the Autocourse chart.  Jim Clark's time for his third lap is shown as 2:30.1.

 

There is an video of the race on YouTube, one of the Gentleman's Motor Racing Diary series.  It shows Jim Clark and Graham Hill with a useful lead over the rabble in the very early stages.

 

All of which could still mean that Collombin's lap 2 theory is still true, of course.



#25 Collombin

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 16:34

DSJ's listing of the lap 2 order also matches the photo exactly, and then mentions Salvadori, then Brabham & Mairesse as if those last two were close together, again matching the photo. There's also a car in the background seemingly heading towards the pits, which fits.

#26 ReWind

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 17:42

Is that from StatsF1 rather than Autocourse though?

I deciphered the Black Book lap chart.

 

None of any later laps fits the scenario in the photos.



#27 Rob G

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Posted 18 June 2024 - 21:58

Judging by the shadows, those photos seem to have been taken close to high noon. What time did the race start?



#28 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 June 2024 - 08:11

The race started at 14:30.



#29 Obster

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Posted 19 June 2024 - 15:20

Great photos!

Look at the battering on the nose of that Porsche.

Imagine that on F1 cars today.

It would eat away at the aero over the course of the race!