The popular son of an opera singer whose family moved to California after his father's retirement, Gurney began racing in West Coast sports car events before competing at Le Mans for the first time in 1958. By 1960 he had gained a place in the works Ferrari F1 team, but it was not until 1962 that he won his first F1 race for Porsche in the French Grand Prix. Between 1963 and 65, Gurney drove for Jack Brabham's F1 team, consistently proving himself a match for Clark and his Lotus whilst repeatedly let down due to trifling mechanical failures. With the advent of the 3-liter F1 regulations in 1966 he started his own team, Anglo American Racers, and won the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix at the wheel of the Eagle-Weslake. Underlining his versatility, Gurney also won Le Mans in 1967, sharing his 7-liter Ford with Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt.