30 September 2011
KingCast congrats to Chris King: Senna delights with passion, saddens with politics and death.
Update: NYTimes op-ed "Danger's still our middle name" by Michael Cannell -- author of the forthcoming book “The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit." Note that this is around the time that Roger Penske was still racing (he was 1961 SCCA Driver of the Year) when he met my father as noted below........Okay I seriously need to stop hexing these race car drivers because as a kid and adolescent there were three drivers, Niki Lauda, Mark Donohue and Ayrton Senna (a bit later) whom I idolized. Two of the three of them died of events beyond their control and I will never forget watching Lauda becoming a human fireball in 6th grade. Anyway, people die at Imola... witness Gilles Villeneuve, another favorite, though that was driver error. And I just forgot, I had a picture of Graham Hill on my shelf as a child forever, he and Lotus teammate Jim Clarke (also RIP) were the shit. I got into all this stuff in part because Roger Penske wound up playing table tennis with my father in the early 1960's under circumstances I won't delve into in this space except to say that no, it was nothing criminal.
In any event, thanks to my namesake at Universal Pictures (and to Writer Manis Pandey and Director Asif Kapadia) for the superb editing in "Senna," which I watched last night there at Sunshine. This critic had the same comment as my companion "I wish they had shown more of his personal life" but alas, most of that is left to the imagination and while I am of mixed mind I think perhaps wisely so. We do get to see the politics of racing up close and personal, with the French really doing a number on The Brazilian Bomber. I never cared for Alain Prost either, as I fancied him a crybaby but it is good to see him on the Senna Foundation, death changes everything. Ayrton was a bit of sunshine for the Brazilian people whose life was eclipsed by the clouds much too early. At least his foundation is running strong and still helping Brazilian children to this day, a lasting legacy to one of the World's best race car drivers and public citizens.