Tag Archives: death

taking a moment…

for real life.

I want to take a moment before the rush of the race weekend takes hold, to send my heartfelt condolences to Mario Moraes tonight as there are whispers swirling that his father has lost his hard fought battle with cancer.

Though nothing has been officially confirmed, I’ve babelfished enough articles and tweets to piece together that if it hasn’t as yet happened, it is very close to happening. There are also unconfirmed rumors that Paul will be called in to drive for the weekend.

That is neither here nor there.
This post isn’t about racing.

Strip away the Jonas Brothers hair, big sunglasses and piss and vinegar fiery Latino attitude, and you will find a young boy, who when not at the track doing what he loves most in this world, has been spending every spare moment this year holding vigil at his father’s bedside, saying goodbye to what he loves even more in this world.

I had a quiet moment with Mario in Toronto to talk with him about it, and give him a hug and empathize with his journey.

See when I was a little younger than he, I spent half a year at the beside of my mother while she fought the good fight against the evil “big C”

Like Mario & his dad, I spent every minute I could in the hospital with her, and joked and took pictures and talked and cherished every moment, knowing the endgame was just around the corner, but making every minute count.

Unlike Mario my “day job” was high school. I wasn’t participating in the high stakes, higher pressure, grown up world of professional auto racing.

I commend Mario for having the… the… cajones to take all of this on, so maturely and with so much courage.

I plead with those closest to him, in particular his fellow countrymen drivers, to be there for him in whatever capacity he needs when he gets back in the game.

Most importantly I ask them, and everyone, to be there for him in the capacity he doesn’t think or know he needs.

He is young, he is cocky, and he will be hurting, and lost, and terrified of a world without the guidance and companionship of his father. But he will put on a brave face, and say he is ok.

Let him, for that is what we who experience loss at such a young age do.
If he want’s to talk, let him talk. If he just wants to leave it be, respect his wishes.

But be there for him when he stumbles and make sure he has a safe place to grieve when the time comes.

I’m not a religious person, but I know Mario is, so in his and his father’s honour, I will say a little prayer for them before I go to sleep tonight.

Perhaps you all could do the same for our young friend.

Edit: official confirmation just landed in my inbox. My heart just broke a little more…

Lest we forget that…

our passion, our amusement, our need for speed has a dangerous and tragic side, we were again reminded this afternoon that in a blink of an eye it can all go so horribly wrong.

1964 Formula 1 world champion John Surtees raced and survived during the most dangerous times in open wheel only to watch his son Henry die in a freak accident at the tragically young age of 18 years of age this afternoon at Brands Hatch.

For those unaware, Henry was competing in the 2nd of two F2 races at Brands Hatch when an errant tire from Jack Clark’s car (who went off track moments before) shot across the track and struck him in the head at full speed. Instantly unconscious, he then careened full throttle into the tire barrier. It happens very fast and looks almost innocuous.

If there is any silver lining, it’s that he hopefully didn’t feel anything or was even aware of what happened.

“he died doing what he loved” is of little comfort I’m sure to those who knew and loved him.

We say that the hour of death cannot be forecast, but when we say this we imagine that hour as placed in an obscure and distant future. It never occurs to us that it has any connection with the day already begun or that death could arrive this same afternoon, this afternoon which is so certain and which has every hour filled in advance. ~Marcel Proust

Rest in peace Henry.

Thoughts and prayers to the Surtees family.

Never forget…

that the sport we love is a deadly one. This weekend we were all sadly reminded of that once again.

Before I go into one of my signature “state of racing” rants this week, I feel it necessary to pause a moment for two men who lost their lives this past weekend behind the wheel of their race cars. While they died “in the moment” doing what they loved, that doesn’t take away the heartache their friends, fans, colleagues, teammates and family are all feeling in the aftermath of these tragedies.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t send a quiet thank you out into the universe for all the lives that are spared around the world, every weekend, year after year, so that we may be thrilled and entertained.

Rest in peace gentlemen

Scott Kalitta – Drag Racer ( Died June 21, 2008 )

Dino Crescentini-Vintage Racer ( Died June 22, 2008 )