Number 254: The Racing Movies Issue

The wait for a fourth member of the Indy 500 four-time winners’ club seems interminable. In fact, it’s 22 years since Rick Mears joined A.J. Foyt and Al Unser in that exclusive pantheon. But consider this: it’s almost double that since the last great racing movie arrived on the scene.

If you consider (as we do) Grand Prix and Le Mans the best, with Winning a close third, it’s interesting that they were all released in a five-year span ending in 1971. Since then, nothing… or, at least, nothing much. Days of Thunder merely kills a couple of hours, while Driven kills the sport. Senna was incredibly successful for a documentary, but too niche to connect a mainstream audience with a compelling and intelligent take on racing.

Is our four-decade wait about to end? Ron Howard has a strong reputation, the trailers for his new film Rush look promising, and the James Hunt vs. Niki Lauda battle for the 1976 F1 World Championship is one of racing’s greatest tales. In this issue, we take you behind the scenes, courtesy of RACER contributor and Rush technical advisor Adam Cooper, and pay homage to Le Mans, Grand Prix and others.

The IndyCar title battle between Helio Castroneves and Scott Dixon is unlikely to have as many twists as Hunt vs. Lauda but, as you’ll discover, the pair of them make an interesting and amusing double interview.