Ex-Dan Gurney Eagle racers thrill at Road America

WORDS: ELLIOTT HUGHES | PHOTOGRAPHY: LES TENSION

Exhilarating racing, concours, exhibitions and a smorgasbord of fan activities meant that the WeatherTech International Challenge with Brian Redman lived up to its reputation as one of the most significant Historic motor sport events in North America. 

Taking place at Road America in Wisconsin over three action-packed days on July 15-17, the 2022 edition of the event honoured Eagle as the featured marque. What resulted was the presence of an outstanding and unprecedented collection of 28 Eagle race cars driven by legendary American driver Dan Gurney. It is believed to be the largest collection of Eagles ever assembled. 

Eagle race cars were created by All American Racers (AAR), a motor sport outfit founded by Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby back in 1964. Based in Santa Ana, California, AAR entered cars into the world’s most prestigious racing series, including IndyCar, IMSA, Champ Car, Trans-AM and Formula 1 – although the F1 team was based in the UK under Anglo American Racers.

“The Big Eagle – the late Dan Gurney – was sure smiling down on the gathering,” said Vintage Indy founder and president Michael Lashmett. “[It] included the 1975 Indy 500-winning car, 1967 Spa winner, ’72 Indy 500 pole-winning Olsonite Eagle, an IMSA race-winning Toyota GTP car and several IndyCar race winners.”

Fittingly, the Eagles were seen (and heard) screaming around Road America’s undulating 4.0-mile ribbon of asphalt. The cars were steered by skilled and passionate drivers, who were seen mingling with fellow drivers and spectators between their outings on the circuit.

“This is a fantastic event,” enthused former F1 driver and International Challenge grand marshal Brian Redman. “What a thrill to see so many Eagles in one place.” Redman has been coming to Road America almost every year since 1972, and praised the circuit for becoming “the finest road-racing facility in North America”.

Sunday race results are as follows:

Group 11 – Pre-War and Early Post-War

Rex Barrett, Roselle Ill., ’33 Ford Indy Special

Brad Tank, Winetka Ill., ’50 MGTD

Marvin Primack, Wilmete Ill., ’49 Lester

Group 10 – Modern GT Challenge / Cup / IMSA

Elias De La Torre, Key Largo, Fla., ’15 Porsche Cayman

Jimmy McGlynn, Naples, Fla., ’05 Porsche

Anthony Stevens, Waukesha, Wis., ’06 Porsche

Group 5 – CanAm/GTP/Historic Sports Racer

Nick Griot, Puyallup, Wash., ’68 McClaren

Richard Griot, Milton, Wash., ’68 McClaren

Joel Weinberger, Hinsdale, Ill., ’72 Chevron

Group 7 – Historic/Modern Formula

Douglas Mockett, St. Croix, ’76 Penske PC4

Chris Locke, San Anselmo, Calif., ’76 Lotus

Kyle Buxton, Trabuco, Calif., ’77 March

Group 9 – Modern GT/Prototype

Colin Comer, River Hills, Wis., ’95 Ford Mustang

Adam Rupp, Fond du Lac, Wis., ’95 Ford Mustang

Lance Wiskirchen, Scandinavia, Wis., ’01 Ford Mustang

Group 7 – Historic/Modern Formula

Brian French, Sheboygan, Wis., ’97 Bennetton

Tony Ave, Brownsburg, Ind., ’06 Swift

Mark Brannon, Paradise Valley, Ariz., ’97 Lola

Group 3 – Vintage GT/Sports/Prototype/USRRC

Brian Garcia, St. Charles, Ill., ’65 Cheetah

James Cullen, N Miami Beach, Fla., ’68 Lola

Craig Bennett, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., ’56 Devin

Group 13 – TA2.5L/B-Sedan

Erik Wood, Eureka, Mo., ’66 Alfa Romeo

Isaac Keeler, Macatawa, Mich., ’69 Datsun

Jeff Werth, Campbellsport, Wis., ’72 Datsun

Group 1 – Modern Prototype/Sports Racers

Joel Quadracci, Sussex, Wis., ’11 Oreca

James French, Sheboygan, Wis., ’01 Swift

Travis Engen, Weston, Conn., ’05 Audi

Group 6 – Classic Big-Bore Production

Brian Garcia, St. Charles, Ill., ’65 Cheetah

Chris Hines, Lake Havasu, Ariz., ’65 Shelby

Todd Treffert, Sarasota, Fla., ’74 Porsche

Group 7a – Historic/Modern Formula

Kirt Bennett, Clarkston, Mich., ’74 Lola

Kyle Tilley, Commerce Twsp., Mich., ’76 Shadow

Rick Parsons, Inverness, Ill., ’76 Lola

Group 4 – Classic Monoposto Classic Formula

Joel Quadracci, Sussex, Wis., ’67 Brabham

Pearce Raeder, River Forest, Ill., ’71 Lotus

Bill Wallschlaeger, Litchfield Park, Ariz., ’97 Van Diemen

Group 2 – Vintage Production

Brian Davis, Mequon, Wis., ’62 Elva

George Balbach, Lake Bluff, Ill., ’60 Porsche

Justin Johnson, Plano, Texas, ’70 Porsche

Group 8 – Post-Historic Production

Peter Cunningham, Saukville, Wis., ’04 Acura

George Balbach, Lake Bluff, Ill., ’66 Porsche

Steve Grundahl, Blue Mounds, Wis., ’72 Porsche

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