Looking at his face, it’s almost as if Gurney already knows he’ll be crowned the winner at the end of the gruelling 24-hour race — or with three beautiful women on either side of him, maybe he’s just realised he’s won on a whole different level. But the fraternising won’t last, as Gurney and his Indy 500 champion teammate A.J. Foyt have a race to win. Over the next 24 hours, Gurney and Foyt will commandeer the Shelby American Ford GT40, number 1, over 3,249 miles — or 388 laps of the 8.36-mile circuit — averaging a speed of 135.48 mph. And when they cross the finish line on 11 June, their names will be written in the annals of motorsport history for 50 years to come, as they will be the first and only all-American entrants — American team, American drivers, American-built car — to win the Le Mans 24 Hours. And, in what is now tradition, Gurney will celebrate this triumph in great fashion, shaking the customary magnum of Champagne over everyone standing in the winner’s circle — whether they want it or not.
Photo: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch via Getty Images