Jump to content


Photo

Short-lived 'con men' team owners


  • Please log in to reply
156 replies to this topic

#101 Frank S

Frank S
  • Member

  • 2,157 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 16 August 2008 - 17:13

Originally posted by sblick
Is that the same 'J David' seen as sponsor on John Fitzpatrick's Group C Porsches in 1983?

http://www.racingspo...3-09-04-011.jpg

Yes that is the same J David as far as I can tell. It has the right paint scheme



Another photo:

http://www.flickr.co...itive/64642036/

Advertisement

#102 canon1753

canon1753
  • Member

  • 619 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 16 August 2008 - 18:24

Originally posted by ensign14
Hype! was Bertrand Gachot's attempt to compete with Red Bull. No idea if it's still around.


HYPE actually was on Jacques Villeneuve's Toyota at the Montreal NASCAR race.

#103 EDWARD FITZGERALD

EDWARD FITZGERALD
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 16 August 2008 - 23:01

IIRC , EJ went to cort in the USA to get the Hype money , without success.

#104 mfd

mfd
  • Member

  • 2,904 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 17 August 2008 - 01:45

Originally posted by EDWARD FITZGERALD
IIRC , EJ went to cort in the USA to get the Hype money , without success.

Where's Cort?

#105 cosworth bdg

cosworth bdg
  • Member

  • 1,350 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 17 August 2008 - 05:51

Originally posted by Ray Bell


While the elements are essentially the same, I wouldn't interpret it as such...

"Pyramid selling" is where products are sold to distributors through agents who all buy in at different levels. In the end it's expected that the products will be retailed, but usually the distributors are inept or the products are hopeless or overpriced so the only thing that ever gets used is the money that filters through to the top end.

There are, however, some interesting names given to fraudulent or questionable business practices... maybe this does belong in this thread? Like the 'Bottom of the harbour' schemes that operated here in the eighties. People would buy companies and strip their assets in some illicit way and send the company to the 'bottom of the harbour'.

Ray , sounds very familiar, isn't v8 Supercars loaded up with these types. Just take a walk around the Pits ,and you can soon pick them out. The series is an excellent breeding place for these CON-PEOPLE.

#106 EDWARD FITZGERALD

EDWARD FITZGERALD
  • Member

  • 638 posts
  • Joined: March 04

Posted 17 August 2008 - 08:24

Sorry cort incorrectly spelt , court .

#107 mfd

mfd
  • Member

  • 2,904 posts
  • Joined: May 03

Posted 17 August 2008 - 11:30

Originally posted by EDWARD FITZGERALD
Sorry cort incorrectly spelt, court

I just though it was somewhere in the US I'd never heard of :cool:

#108 David M. Kane

David M. Kane
  • Member

  • 5,400 posts
  • Joined: December 00

Posted 17 August 2008 - 12:57

The Whittingtons were pot smugglers. They owned a B25 WWII Bomber that they hauled their drugs in. :down: Randy Lanier might have been a partner. John Paul, Jr. got dragged down by his father's crimes IMO.

#109 Red Socks

Red Socks
  • Member

  • 519 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 17 August 2008 - 14:08

Originally posted by petefenelon
...and full circle round to J-P van Rossem ;P


About seven years ago I met this gentleman at Spa. He was accompanied by a pair of attractive very young girls-who in themselves took some attention but van Rossem was without doubt the ,most hypnotic man in whose presence I have ever been. It was quite uncanny the way in which he dominated the room in which the meeting took place, and the others with whom I was having this meeting also were aware of his sheer presence.
It does go a long way to explain his ''success''

#110 Nordic

Nordic
  • Member

  • 278 posts
  • Joined: September 02

Posted 17 August 2008 - 15:35

http://www.latimes.c...0,5268508.story

Stefan Eriksson the Gizmodo games maker exc seems to have taken a few people for a ride in his time before coming to grief on an LA road.

His company sponsorerd a Ferrari GT2 before it all fell apart.

There was also a Guy in the Brit touring car series, 'John B&Q' who seemed to have a past that involved a football club and debts. I dont think he is too welcome in York!

http://soccerlens.co...mansfield/6900/

#111 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,741 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 17 August 2008 - 15:39

John Batchelor. There was nothing "conman" about him, he is an old-fashioned company turnaround chap, which generally means asset stripping and winding up the remnants. His involvement was with York City, for the sake of completeness, and he redesigned the kit and badge to feature a chequered flag motif.

#112 petefenelon

petefenelon
  • Member

  • 4,815 posts
  • Joined: August 02

Posted 17 August 2008 - 20:58

Originally posted by Nordic


There was also a Guy in the Brit touring car series, 'John B&Q' who seemed to have a past that involved a football club and debts. I dont think he is too welcome in York!

http://soccerlens.co...mansfield/6900/


He made an honest attempt to save York City FC - as far as I recall he wanted to sell Bootham Crescent for development (which is worth serious money) and relocate them to the rugby club's ground near the ring road.

It didn't work - AFAIK it's now called KitKat Crescent -- and the Minstermen are due to move elsewhere - probably to a smaller ground as befits their non-league status - sometime in the mid 2010s.

(Don't ask me more. I only live here. I don't follow football!)

#113 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 18 August 2008 - 02:47

It seems that after sponsoring several race tracks, racing series, and more drag racing teams than can be counted, the bubble has burst for Evan Knoll and his company, Torco Race Fuels. Earlier this year the funding was suddenly cut off to all his race teams, and last Friday the Internal Revenue Service paid his Michigan offices a formal visit, escorted by 20 members of the local police force.

Accusations (and some lawsuits) are now flying in various directions and it is not yet clear just where the criminal intent lies, if any. As is often the case, it could be that Knoll was conning himself along with everyone else. It does appear that from 2004 to 2007, Knoll distributed somewhere between $10M and $40M around the sport before the cash ran out.

#114 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 7,212 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 18 August 2008 - 08:46

Originally posted by McGuire
It does appear that from 2004 to 2007, Knoll distributed somewhere between $10M and $40M around the sport before the cash ran out.


Does Michigan have a large Italian community? :cool:

#115 Fiorentina 1

Fiorentina 1
  • Member

  • 292 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 18 August 2008 - 18:42

Regarding Hype. There was Hype and then hype. I think both made it on F1 cars. Same colored cans and stuff, but for some reason different writing. Hype is sold in Canda, I saw it at the IGA. Not sure what the deal is with that. Also, weren't they on Paul Jasper's car in Champcar for a few races a while back?

The best story I heard was of Jean-Pierre Frey who raced Group C & CART in the late 80's. He got his money from selling apartments in Switzerland. Supposedly sold apartments that weren't his to begin with and sold the same apartments to different people. Talk about time-share! :lol:

#116 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,741 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 18 August 2008 - 18:46

The apartments would have been quicker than Frey.

Although googling him leads to Antonio Ferrari and some allegations about the Euromotorsport CART team...

#117 fines

fines
  • Member

  • 9,647 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 18 August 2008 - 19:59

Frey was a legend, wasn't he? :D Could do with his own thread...

#118 erkelly2

erkelly2
  • Member

  • 114 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 August 2008 - 05:18

One "con man" is listed in Motorsport Memorial's Lest We Forget chapter -

See

http://www.motorspor...WF&db2=ct&n=482

This guy presented himself as a "Seventh Day Adventist" and disappeared from sunset Friday to Sunday morning.

Caused the complete failure of the original Elva company and the bankruptcy of its owner.

Nothing "amusing" about this dude's machinations.

Rick Kelly
Oklahoma City

#119 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,089 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 20 August 2008 - 09:01

Originally posted by ensign14
Hype! was Bertrand Gachot's attempt to compete with Red Bull. No idea if it's still around.


It is. Have a look at:

http://www.hype.com

It has a list of distributors in a wide variety of countries: USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, only Southern European countries, Brazil, Paraguay and also Pakistan, Iran (!) and Nigeria.

They market several different flavours (Hype Shot Glass, Hype MFP, Hype Enlite) with their own different styles and containers sizes. To me they look like motor oil cans ;-) Currently they sponsor more in the music business and fitness world.

Hype was bought by a business group headed by Bertrand Gachot around 2004 from Barry Cox (founder Hard Rock Cafe).

Advertisement

#120 Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins
  • Member

  • 6,179 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:41

Well he wasn't a con-man team owner in motor racing, but considering the horrific mess he left Luton Town in, touring car driver David Pinkney's business reputation is pretty awful right now.

#121 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 37,741 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 20 August 2008 - 12:52

Took over a bit of a mess, though, didn't he?

#122 Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins
  • Member

  • 6,179 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 20 August 2008 - 17:36

Originally posted by ensign14
Took over a bit of a mess, though, didn't he?


Yep, and helped make it into an even bigger mess!

#123 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 1,891 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 August 2008 - 18:25

Anyone care to comment on P.J. Chesson of the Indy Lights series and his familia?

They're from New Jersey and dad's done time, from what I've heard. I've got nothing to back up the accusations, but there are rumors floating around.

#124 giacomo

giacomo
  • Member

  • 6,977 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 20 August 2008 - 20:43

Walter Brun was imprisoned for some time under the accusion of procuring.

#125 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,869 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 20 August 2008 - 21:04

Originally posted by Fat Boy
Anyone care to comment on P.J. Chesson of the Indy Lights series and his familia?

They're from New Jersey and dad's done time, from what I've heard. I've got nothing to back up the accusations, but there are rumors floating around.


I'd like to know where all the Philippe family money comes from. It will probably end up being something basic but fascinating like the patent to the plastic ends on shoelaces.

I reckon racing would be far more popular if we were just honest about who everyone is and where all the money comes from. It's a good thing everyone is corralled inside a race track. Just the money laundering scams I've learned about through whispers are far beyond what a Harvard MBA will teach you.

#126 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 20 August 2008 - 22:00

Originally posted by Fat Boy
Anyone care to comment on P.J. Chesson of the Indy Lights series and his familia?

They're from New Jersey and dad's done time, from what I've heard. I've got nothing to back up the accusations, but there are rumors floating around.


I don't know about any of that, but his dad Pete has been a short track racer on the east coast for probably 30 years and far as I know he pays his bills. So whatever he is, he's not "short-lived."


...rumors have circulated for years that a certain team owner owns strip clubs. This story drove a friend of mine crazy, he just had to get the dirt. So he went to the club in the team owner's home town, bought one of the dancers some drinks and asked her, hey, does _______ own this place? She said, "No, he just thinks he does."

#127 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 1,891 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 August 2008 - 22:10

Originally posted by McGuire


I don't know about any of that, but his dad Pete has been a short track racer on the east coast for probably 30 years and far as I know he pays his bills. So whatever he is, he's not "short-lived."


...rumors have circulated for years that a certain team owner owns strip clubs. This story drove a friend of mine crazy, he just had to get the dirt. So he went to the club in the team owner's home town, bought one of the dancers some drinks and asked her, hey, does _______ own this place? She said, "No, he just thinks he does."


Maybe I've got the wrong guy. OK, He's clean....I don't mean to start rumors in a rumor thread.

I've also heard that Larry Curry's time in the joint was done to protect others.

So, does this 'friend' of yours live near Detroit?

#128 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 20 August 2008 - 22:28

Originally posted by Fat Boy




I've also heard that Larry Curry's time in the joint was done to protect others.


Dunno about that. He was convicted of embezzling over $1 Million from his team owner John Menard over a three-year period. Did hard time and restitution.

The story goes that before Tony George hired him, he called up Menard and asked him if he had a problem with having Curry around the series. Menard reportedly said nope, he's done his time, we're square.

#129 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 1,891 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 August 2008 - 23:45

Originally posted by McGuire


Dunno about that. He was convicted of embezzling over $1 Million from his team owner John Menard over a three-year period. Did hard time and restitution.

The story goes that before Tony George hired him, he called up Menard and asked him if he had a problem with having Curry around the series. Menard reportedly said nope, he's done his time, we're square.


The rumor I heard was that the money needed to disappear, and that's where Larry came in. Keep in mind this is completely unsubstantiated stuff.

-------------------------------------------------------

I've got one this season, though. Henri Zoghaib or something like that. He ran Daytona Prototype with Peter Baron this year. They were second at Virginia and won Laguna. This was because Dalziel was the pro driver and Steve Challis gave him a good car, it didn't have anything to do with Henri's driving prowess. Anyway, Henri stiffed everyone on the bills and the team basically shut down.

#130 wildman

wildman
  • Member

  • 288 posts
  • Joined: September 00

Posted 21 August 2008 - 00:11

Originally posted by brooster51
I don't think Bobby Rinzler was a 'con-man' per se. He was around quite a while, just on a increasing scale until, well he ran out of money I think. I've seen a reference to a 'McLaren-bodied Chevron B16' he raced at Sebring. Other adventures included included sponsoring/managing Camaros in Trans-Am, Lola T-222 and then of course 917/10s. I think what he's most famously known for is the quote "How do you make a small fortune in car racing, start with a big one" in Sports Illustrated.

I seem to recall a similar quote attributed to Rinzler: "I know there's money in racing, because I put it there!"

#131 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,869 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:19

Originally posted by Fat Boy


The rumor I heard was that the money needed to disappear, and that's where Larry came in. Keep in mind this is completely unsubstantiated stuff.



That wouldn't surprise me at all. Single seater budgets in Europe are over-quoted in public by at least 1/3 value. Yeah it keeps away the tire kickers and sends a message to the slower guys that if they're going to buy a slot in a series they aren't quite ready for they're going to have to bring extra, but there is a lot of interesting accounting going on. Italian drivers and teams used to be *everywhere* but then in the mid-90s something about their tax rules changed. I'm always impressed with the amount of money that manages to find it's way outside of South America.

About 6 years ago a guy was explaining various examples of this and my attitude was "makes sense, but I don't quite believe it" and then he basically said "well you should. I had a sponsor once because I kicked back half the budget to the decision maker."

#132 lanciaman

lanciaman
  • Member

  • 554 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 21 August 2008 - 13:05

Originally posted by Fat Boy


The rumor I heard was that the money needed to disappear, and that's where Larry came in. Keep in mind this is completely unsubstantiated stuff.


I thought Larry was mainly guilty of walking out the door with goods that belonged to the team. Perhaps "diversion." Quite a bit of loot was found at his home.

#133 JenkinsComp

JenkinsComp
  • New Member

  • 11 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 21 August 2008 - 14:29

Anyone remember BTCC Team Boss Vic Lee, who got prosecuted for Cocaine Trafficking in 1992 and again in 2005? He is currently serving 12 years.

http://www.carkeys.c...uly/22/6594.asp

#134 Fiorentina 1

Fiorentina 1
  • Member

  • 292 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 21 August 2008 - 19:07

Originally posted by Ross Stonefeld



That wouldn't surprise me at all. Single seater budgets in Europe are over-quoted in public by at least 1/3 value. Yeah it keeps away the tire kickers and sends a message to the slower guys that if they're going to buy a slot in a series they aren't quite ready for they're going to have to bring extra, but there is a lot of interesting accounting going on. Italian drivers and teams used to be *everywhere* but then in the mid-90s something about their tax rules changed. I'm always impressed with the amount of money that manages to find it's way outside of South America.

About 6 years ago a guy was explaining various examples of this and my attitude was "makes sense, but I don't quite believe it" and then he basically said "well you should. I had a sponsor once because I kicked back half the budget to the decision maker."


That would be called greasing.

And, that's not being a con team owner. He's paying a finder's fee.

#135 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 57,869 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 21 August 2008 - 19:16

Yeah, not con-men owners because they usually aren't doing anything illegal or even questionable; but it's easy to see how quickly it can get out of hand.

I always found the tobacco companies the most fun and easiest to work with, and amusingly the most straight and narrow. Granted they are basically legalised drug dealers, but the basic attitude was "we're always interested, keep it legal and we'll probably do it".

#136 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 4,188 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 21 August 2008 - 21:39

John Bickford...

Oh, wait, this is about team owners :D

#137 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,106 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:11

No one has mentioned scam artist Angela Harkness, who "ran" a NASCAR team back in 2003:

http://en.wikipedia....Angela_Harkness

#138 stevewf1

stevewf1
  • Member

  • 3,259 posts
  • Joined: December 05

Posted 01 October 2009 - 03:18

Andrea Sassetti (F1) and Pepi Romero (CART) are the two most obvious names I can think of. Sassetti's story is well known, Romero was a Miami-Cuban drugs baron who, bizarrely, helped Emerson Fittipaldi in a very roundabout way.


Oh, wow... I'm going strictly from memory here :lol:, but I vaguely remember a "Pepe Romero" (as announced on TV) having possibly the shortest CART racing career in CART's history... My memory tries to recall a "Pepe Romero" making a "start" in one of CART's Portland races in the 80s - where he didn't actually qualify (promoter's option?) - crashed or spun off on the parade lap/pace lap and that was it...

I found this race result which lists a "Jose Romero": http://www.champcars...aces/198405.htm




#139 Youichi

Youichi
  • Member

  • 3,000 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 01 October 2009 - 08:24

Anyone remember BTCC Team Boss Vic Lee, who got prosecuted for Cocaine Trafficking in 1992 and again in 2005? He is currently serving 12 years.

http://www.carkeys.c...uly/22/6594.asp


If we're including Drug-dealers, Then Charles Zwolzman Sr deserves a mention, raced in European sportcars for several seasons, but never did the British rounds, as allegedly Custom and Excise wanted to talk to him about his drug import business...

Advertisement

#140 simonlewisbooks

simonlewisbooks
  • Member

  • 2,118 posts
  • Joined: January 02

Posted 01 October 2009 - 09:40

Wasn't there a guy running a team in BRDC GT for a little while in the late 90s who claimed to be some highly successful hedge-fund type in the city then he turned out to be a minor office clerk who had a sideline in creative accounting?
I remember there were no sponsors on the car, (a long-tail McLaren GTR no less), two paid (well, promised-to-be-paid at any rate) professional drivers and then after three or four races it all came apart at the seams and made the daily papers.





#141 Macca

Macca
  • Member

  • 3,352 posts
  • Joined: January 03

Posted 01 October 2009 - 10:18

Wasn't there a guy running a team in BRDC GT for a little while in the late 90s who claimed to be some highly successful hedge-fund type in the city then he turned out to be a minor office clerk who had a sideline in creative accounting?
I remember there were no sponsors on the car, (a long-tail McLaren GTR no less), two paid (well, promised-to-be-paid at any rate) professional drivers and then after three or four races it all came apart at the seams and made the daily papers.



James Munroe who was chief accountant of McGraw Hill:
http://wikicars.org/en/McLaren_F1

Paul M



#142 wenoopy

wenoopy
  • Member

  • 611 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 02 October 2009 - 04:59

I hadn't seen this thread before, but after a quick look through previous pages I don't see mention of Tony Parravano. While he may not have necessarily been a conman, he certainly was reputed to have used business methods which at the very least were unorthodox. His 1956-57 disappearance (permanent) adds weight to this theory.

#143 Kevan

Kevan
  • Member

  • 514 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 02 October 2009 - 08:17

James Munroe who was chief accountant of McGraw Hill:
http://wikicars.org/en/McLaren_F1

Paul M


Basically McGraw-Hill paid out about £2.8 million over four years to a number of companies for consultancy work etc. The work billed for didn't exist, and the 'companies' involved were shell companies set up by Munroe for the purpose....

http://www.accountan...ntant-sent-jail



#144 Thundersport

Thundersport
  • Member

  • 467 posts
  • Joined: March 07

Posted 02 October 2009 - 13:39

Chris Goodwin was the driver of the plain Orange Mclaren he shared with Munroe who also had a Benetton B193 or B192.

#145 Jager

Jager
  • Member

  • 248 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 03 October 2009 - 14:11

Another team owner of dubious background was Rohan Skea, a lawyer from Perth, Australia who was found guilty of defrauding several finance companies for A$ 13m (GBP 6.5million) between December 2000 and February 2004. Skea spent the money on a lavish lifestyle, which included running 'Team Skea", a team of Porsche GT3's that participated in ALMS and LeMans. In fact, the 'Team Skea" Porsche which competed at LeMans in 2000 is the only Australian based team ever to have competed at Le Mans.

Skea was jailed in 2004 for six years.


#146 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,106 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 20 June 2011 - 03:51

No-one has mentioned British businessman Ted Ball, who financed both the Brabham and Lotus teams in the early 1990s. He received three years in prison after admitting that he had defrauded banks of millions of dollars in order to fund his passion for the sport. Ball and his partner doctored the books of the public company he ran - called Landhurst Leasings - which crashed in 1992 with $75m missing.

http://www.independe...ud-1236602.html



#147 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:05

In fact, the 'Team Skea" Porsche which competed at LeMans in 2000 is the only Australian based team ever to have competed at Le Mans.


buuzzzzzzzzz incorrect. 1984, Bob Jane funded the orange 956 with Perkins and Brock driving.


#148 Marc Sproule

Marc Sproule
  • Member

  • 666 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 20 June 2011 - 05:06

Sometime in the late '70s or early '80s est (Erhard Seminar Traning) guru "Werner Erhard" made his appearance in the Super Vee series in the US.

Possessing no talent as a driver, but plenty as a con man, he talked many, many people into lining his pockets by charging them $300 per weekend to sit and listen to him pontificate about "not having a point of view" and other ludicrous stuff. Participants weren't allowed to go to the rest room when they wanted and were frequently referred to "assholes".

He conned his minions our of millions to fund his race team and make a movie "Today is for the Championship: How to make the world work." It was never released to the public. For good reasons. It was beyond absurd.

He was universally despised by those who weren't est graduates.

His real name was John Paul Rosenberg.

Not surprisingly he got into trouble with the IRS and eventually disappeared from the face of the earth. The perhaps (?) apocryphal story was that he had been in Russia teaching the Russians--perhaps the Russian mob--capitalism when he disappeared.

I interviewed him for a magazine that was never published..not nasty enough...that I thought showed him for just exactly what he was.

He was definitely an amusing character and most assuredly a consummate con man.



#149 gfastr

gfastr
  • Member

  • 35 posts
  • Joined: January 11

Posted 22 June 2011 - 20:36

In the interest of avoiding any suggestion of libel I would not refer to him as con man, but there was a guy named Rael who raced in the late 90s who founded his own religion, based in part on communication with extraterrestrial beings. You can read about it on Wikipedia, it's um, quite colorful.

He brought quite an entourage. I seem to recall him at Lime Rock in a Lotus Espirit, which somehow seems appropriate.


#150 Cynic2

Cynic2
  • Member

  • 223 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 22 June 2011 - 21:03

In the interest of avoiding any suggestion of libel I would not refer to him as con man, but there was a guy named Rael who raced in the late 90s who founded his own religion, based in part on communication with extraterrestrial beings. You can read about it on Wikipedia, it's um, quite colorful.

He brought quite an entourage. I seem to recall him at Lime Rock in a Lotus Espirit, which somehow seems appropriate.


Ah, yes, Rael. Very hard to forget.

He drove some sort of WSC at the Daytona 24 Hours one year (the car known informally in the press room as "the Dumpster"). He had his own press conference, and explained how the extraterrestial beings occasionally took him up in their space vehicles to talk to him. Someone asked what would happen if "they" suddenly took him while he was driving down the back straight during the race. (Any answer was lost in the laughter.)

Rael was also involved in cloning humans, supposedly successful. We did wonder if the following year we'd see an entry at Daytona for "Rael/Rael/Rale/Rael." I guess it was funny at the time . . . .

Rael has or had his own park near Montreal, called UFO Land as I recall. It included a full-size model of the UFO where the ETs first contacted Rael. It's apparently for sale.

Cynic