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Old 02-11-2019, 08:12 PM
  #16  
RossP
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Originally Posted by Akunob View Post
Just watched it, and it was quite well done. I noted that with the exception of Dalla Lana, most of the other gentleman drivers suspended their racing efforts after a season or two which made we wonder what the average "career" of a gentleman driver is. do these guys last only a season or two...or longer? Anybody in the know care to chime in?
I was wondering the same thing. I guess its notable that they all had reasonable levels of success (gentleman driver of the year, winning team etc) so I assume they got weary of the money burn?
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:24 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by RossP View Post
I was wondering the same thing. I guess its notable that they all had reasonable levels of success (gentleman driver of the year, winning team etc) so I assume they got weary of the money burn?
You're missing the fact that they don't just decide to go racing and show up at Le Mans for a season or 2 and then quit. It's takes *years* of practice for Gentleman/women drivers to reach the point they're even remotely qualified to run races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After doing it for a few years and plateauing in your performance and dealing with the ridiculous politics of being an "Amateur" it's pretty easy to lose a bit of interest. As soon as you start to lose *any* interest, it's hard to justify not only the money, but the time it takes to prepare and participate at the top levels of sports car racing. Keep in mind, in most cases, what got these people to the point they could pay to race, was they're fiercely competitive. Just driving around being slow generally doesn't hold much interest.

I know it's common for folks who've never been in the position to believe the "just show up with a big check book and they'll let you in", but the real world doesn't work that way... well not exactly. There's plenty of people racing who shouldn't be, regardless of their checkbook levels... but they didn't just show up over night at the biggest races.

-mike
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:24 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by fleadh View Post
You're missing the fact that they don't just decide to go racing and show up at Le Mans for a season or 2 and then quit. It's takes *years* of practice for Gentleman/women drivers to reach the point they're even remotely qualified to run races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After doing it for a few years and plateauing in your performance and dealing with the ridiculous politics of being an "Amateur" it's pretty easy to lose a bit of interest. As soon as you start to lose *any* interest, it's hard to justify not only the money, but the time it takes to prepare and participate at the top levels of sports car racing. Keep in mind, in most cases, what got these people to the point they could pay to race, was they're fiercely competitive. Just driving around being slow generally doesn't hold much interest.

I know it's common for folks who've never been in the position to believe the "just show up with a big check book and they'll let you in", but the real world doesn't work that way... well not exactly. There's plenty of people racing who shouldn't be, regardless of their checkbook levels... but they didn't just show up over night at the biggest races.

-mike
This makes sense Mike, it just seems like some of these gentlemen drivers have maybe a year or two of coaching and then they get a seat on the big stage. I remember watching a documentary about Patrick Dempsey and it seemed like he picked up the interest in racing and within a year or so was driving at Le Mans. Either way I think it’s cool that they get to live their (and our) dream of top flight racing!
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:46 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by fleadh View Post
You're missing the fact that they don't just decide to go racing and show up at Le Mans for a season or 2 and then quit. It's takes *years* of practice for Gentleman/women drivers to reach the point they're even remotely qualified to run races like the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After doing it for a few years and plateauing in your performance and dealing with the ridiculous politics of being an "Amateur" it's pretty easy to lose a bit of interest. As soon as you start to lose *any* interest, it's hard to justify not only the money, but the time it takes to prepare and participate at the top levels of sports car racing. Keep in mind, in most cases, what got these people to the point they could pay to race, was they're fiercely competitive. Just driving around being slow generally doesn't hold much interest.

I know it's common for folks who've never been in the position to believe the "just show up with a big check book and they'll let you in", but the real world doesn't work that way... well not exactly. There's plenty of people racing who shouldn't be, regardless of their checkbook levels... but they didn't just show up over night at the biggest races.

-mike
Very insightful.

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Old 02-12-2019, 12:53 AM
  #20  
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I am thinking that it takes a raw amateur driver close to 10 years to be fast, consistent and competitive at that Pro-Am level!
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:45 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Akunob
This makes sense Mike, it just seems like some of these gentlemen drivers have maybe a year or two of coaching and then they get a seat on the big stage. I remember watching a documentary about Patrick Dempsey and it seemed like he picked up the interest in racing and within a year or so was driving at Le Mans. Either way I think it’s cool that they get to live their (and our) dream of top flight racing!
Dempsey had been racing Mazda's and such for years before the LeMans documentary.

I am sure that somewhere in the world some guy shows up with a suitcase of cash and zero experience and is allowed to drive, but not Dempsey or the guys in Gentleman Driver. They all put in the years and the hard work to drive at that stage. Make no mistake those guys are very very good. But racing takes money and they also have that.
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Old 02-12-2019, 10:26 AM
  #22  
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I was impressed that some of the guys in the documentary were driving prototype cars. Even forgetting about the skill involved in driving such cars, it's impressive that these guys could handle the physical demands of driving something with serious downforce, especially considering their ages.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:38 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Thundermoose View Post
Dempsey had been racing Mazda's and such for years before the LeMans documentary.

I am sure that somewhere in the world some guy shows up with a suitcase of cash and zero experience and is allowed to drive, but not Dempsey or the guys in Gentleman Driver. They all put in the years and the hard work to drive at that stage. Make no mistake those guys are very very good. But racing takes money and they also have that.
Spot on. I just looked up Dempsey's racing history and you are correct, Patrick Dempsey has been involved in some form of racing since 2004!! It makes sense that neither the pros nor the race organizers would want non-pros with minimal experience on track with true professionals. At the very least its a safety issue for all involved. Most 'gentleman drivers' have been at this a while...
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:55 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by fleadh View Post
I know it's common for folks who've never been in the position to believe the "just show up with a big check book and they'll let you in", but the real world doesn't work that way... well not exactly. There's plenty of people racing who shouldn't be, regardless of their checkbook levels... but they didn't just show up over night at the biggest races.
-mike
I am not one of those people. Of course its uncommon to jump from your Ferrari California into a LMP2 car. But one of the guys did allude to the fact that he did 1 year of Mazda MX5 cup and then immediately jumped into a much faster platform (I think prototype).
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Old 02-15-2019, 01:00 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by RossP View Post
I am not one of those people. Of course its uncommon to jump from your Ferrari California into a LMP2 car. But one of the guys did allude to the fact that he did 1 year of Mazda MX5 cup and then immediately jumped into a much faster platform (I think prototype).
MX5 Cup is a big jump up from Spec Miata or Club Racing.
If he went from Miata to prototype racing, he must have had a lot of coaching to learn to trust the aero.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:01 PM
  #26  
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watched the movie the other night, it was ok. Basically watching a few incredibly wealthy people with huge crews to support them having some fun, not really insightful. What's new about some arrive and drive guys? The big difference is the scope of money that they spend compared to a typical arrive and drive club racer, so what?. One guy here acted like he was going to propose to one of them, jesus,
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:08 PM
  #27  
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Yep, I am jealous of those types too.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:06 PM
  #28  
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I thought this was really well done. Just the right mix of showing what drives these guys, a little bit about their businesses, and how they interact with the pros.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:27 PM
  #29  
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The Gentleman Driver.

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Old 02-16-2019, 06:01 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by MSR Racer View Post
I am thinking that it takes a raw amateur driver close to 10 years to be fast, consistent and competitive at that Pro-Am level!
Restated- it takes years of dedication and practice just to be one of the slowest drovers in the field. Hats totally off.

Doc ran bit long I thought after main points made. Biggest revelation was what John Hindhaugh looks like.
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