Click HERE for Pete Vack's article about Harry Hurst on VeloceToday.
first went to Sebring in 1965. That was the year of the
great downpour and we arrived at sunset, after the rain
had stopped. My dad was an accountant in Tampa and this
was the height of tax season, but (I now realize) he
made the time to take me, my sister and mother on the
two-hour drive so I could attend my first race.
It was still light when we
arrived and I was able to actually see the cars and drivers
I had only read about up to that time. Jim Hall and Hap
Sharp in the beautiful Chaparral, Cobra Daytona Coupes,
Ford GT-40's, Ferraris 330P's. Unfortunately, Dan Gurney
was already out by the time we arrived. We only stayed
a few hours, but that was enough for me - I was hooked.
The next year
I returned as the guest of family friends and we left
at 10 p.m., confident that Dan was firmly in the lead
and would win. Some things are just not meant to be.
His car broke less than a quarter mile from the finish.
I turned 18, I joined the SCCA and became a flagman,
but being stranded out on the Webster turn and wearing
white coveralls wasn't my idea of really being involved.
Luckily, I had developed a serious interest in photography
and took photos when I flagged. A friend, John Annis,
gave some of my shots of the 1969 Daytona 24-hour to
John Smiley, the press officer at Sebring at the time,
who asked me to take photos for him (in exchange for
credentials, of course!).
That was how I happened to
be at Sebring in 1970 as
track photographer at the ripe old age of 19.
over thirty years, these photos sat in boxes. Some
found their way into other books and Web sites (I had
sent prints to the Sebring organizers and they became
part of the Ulmann archives, which were later sold).
Finally, I decided to put them together into a photo
essay; to tell the story of one race and the cars and
drivers that made it great.
This book is not intended
to be a definitive record
of that event; there are ample race reports from
that time which document what happened (and conflict
in many ways!). Rather, I would like you to regard
this book as a trip back in time.
Harry Hurst has been involved with cars and racing
most of his life. A native Floridian, he began
taking photographs at races in the mid-1960s, at
tracks including Sebring, Daytona and Road Atlanta.
He studied Fine Arts at Florida State and received
his degree in photography/cinematography in 1972.
graduating, Harry opened his own English sportscar
repair/restoration shop in Tallahassee and translated
that technical knowledge into a job producing training
programs for Jaguar and as East Coast technical representative
for the DeLorean Motor Company.
In 1982, Harry went to
work for the Philadelphia office of Foote, Cone & Belding,
a global advertising agency. Over the last twenty years
in advertising, Harry has been instrumental in helping
several of his clients become involved
in motorsports, including Black & Decker,
Exide batteries, SKF bearings and Chilton
Today, Harry operates his
own advertising and public relations agency in surburban
Philadelphia. He has recently re-established his relationship
Sebring and was track photographer for
the 2001 and 2002 races.