In 1959 Dan Gurney joined the Scuderia Ferrari team for both F1 and sports cars races. In that year the classic British RAC Tourist Trophy race was held at Goodwood as a 6-hour affair and was part of the Manufacturers Championship for Sports Cars. It would be the deciding race to determine whether the Championship would go to Aston Martin, Ferrari or Porsche. Gurney, above, drove one of the four Ferraris entered, a 250TR59 which he shared with Tony Brooks. They finally finished fifth after a disappointing race marred by a stall by Gurney at the Le Mans start, a subsequent spin by Brooks on the first lap of his first stint and a bothersome combination of unsolved handling and braking woes.
Another Ferrari 250TR59, the only other Ferrari to finish, would end up third after having four different drivers. In the final laps Brooks, having taken over this 250TR, tried all he could to overtake the second place Porsche RSK then being driven by Wolfgang von Trips but fell short by two seconds. Had he succeeded, the Championship would have gone to Ferrari instead of to Aston Martin for which a DBR1/300 driven by Carroll Shelby, Jack Fairman and Stirling Moss won the Tourist Trophy in spite of a big fire in the Aston pits involving another DBR1/300 during the race.
The “TT” as it is known is Britain’s oldest motor race and was first held on an open road circuit on the Isle of Man in 1905. Some years later, the Tourist Trophy was organized on various circuits in England, including Donington, Goodwood, Oulton Park and Silverstone, and the Ards and Dundrod open road circuits Northern Ireland. The TT has been run for touring cars, GT cars, sports cars and even open wheel cars. Meanwhile, an Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race for motorcycles, perhaps the most challenging – and dangerous – event of its kind anywhere has continued there to this day.
Photo by Louis Klemantaski ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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