Well, that’s just what my daughter asked.”
While many of the drivers took a sip of their beverage, two men in their thirties with moustaches pulled out the first generation model cars they were familiar with and drove them around. When the first driver, a man of around 25 with a shaved head and a goatee, couldn’t make it home to his family after the race, his wife offered to take him home. After a short drive, the couple brought him back to the parking lot.
“When we got back, my wife said she forgot it was his car,” said Mike, noting that the rest of the family doesn’t know how his father was able to overcome the odds in the sport. “All we could do is take it back to the hotel.”
While the two men who were supposed to drive the first GT40 had their cars taken to a local dealership and returned a year later with a few updates, there was no chance that his father, who had a heart attack two years ago while running a race, would be part of the future generations of drivers who could have attended the inaugural race in the next decade.
According to Mike, the man who was going to drive the car in this year’s event has since died. His death was not officially attributed to heart disease or racing, however. “But we all know that he was a racer,” said Mike.
A man named Matt Rocha, whose home is next door to the garage where Mike’s father’s car is stored, also died suddenly of a heart attack two years ago.
In some ways, the road to the GT40 is similar to that of the McLaren MP4-12C. It took years of testing, testing and testing, and it took years of patience for the team to find the formula that would lead to success. In some ways, the race car itself is more like an engine than it is like a vehicle.
Mike noted that this week, a few other family members were trying to get a glimpse of what might become of the car that made him an all-french F1 driver when he is no longer able to drive it.
“He has an incredible memory in which he remembers all of the times that we would practice or race in the garage and it would be quiet, and then all of a sudden you’d hear the engine,” said Mike. “It was a wonderful feeling.”
The cars are so sensitive to changes that
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