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Politic leaders and high-level racing (merged)


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#1 Alexander M

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 18:25

Today's news made me think about this. Vladimir Putin spent a couple hours at the wheel of Renault F1 demo car in Leningrad region.

Video (Russian language)
Another video (Russian)

Have any politic leaders driven high level racing machinery before? I could have forgotten something, but the closest thing that comes to my mind at the moment is a photo of Mussolini in Nuvolari's car, but that was a static action.

The other question is the car itself. Of course, the TV told tons of lies about the car being 'exactly the same as Petrov drives in World Championship', although I haven't understood what the car was at all - it doesn't look similar to any Renault F1 cars and in fact looks very simple, even too simple for a modern F1 car. It also doesn't remind a three-seater demo car which was used during Moscow City Racing show event in summer. Does anyone recognize it?

Edited by Alexander M, 07 November 2010 - 19:14.


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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 19:18

There are some politicos who have competed - François Fillon, David Lange, David Steel - mentioned in this thread, but none of them in particularly potent machinery. I do recall Ken Clarke almost getting stuck in an F1 car cockpit some years ago and Peter Hain is certainly a big F1 fan.

But apart from the inevitable Berlin Motor Show pictures of Hitler nothing else comes to mind.

#3 scheivlak

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 19:26

Today's news made me think about this. Vladimir Putin spent a couple hours at the wheel of Renault F1 demo car in Leningrad region.

Video (Russian language)
Another video (Russian)

Have any politic leaders driven high level racing machinery before? I could have forgotten something, but the closest thing that comes to my mind at the moment is a photo of Mussolini in Nuvolari's car, but that was a static action.

Governor Carlos Reutemann comes to mind. Wasn´t he seen at the wheel of a racing car at an historic event lately?


Edited by scheivlak, 07 November 2010 - 19:27.


#4 Alexey Rogachev

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 19:32

Leo Mattila, who drove in the 1961 Leningrad international race, was a member of the Finnish parliament.

#5 Tim Murray

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 19:34

According to this post in the 'Ultimate test driver' thread, King Hussein of Jordan drove a Benetton in 1990, as did ex-King Constantine of Greece. Hussein, of course, was a regular competitor in local Middle East motor sport.

#6 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 20:04

According to this post in the 'Ultimate test driver' thread, King Hussein of Jordan drove a Benetton in 1990, as did ex-King Constantine of Greece. Hussein, of course, was a regular competitor in local Middle East motor sport.

Yeah a couple of straight line tests on a runway somewhere in the uk according to jackie stewarts book. Paul stewart also drove IIRC

#7 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 20:06

Isn't lord drayson an mp also.

#8 Alexander M

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 20:18

Oh, yes, I knew I forgot someone I knew. Indeed Lord Drayson was a Minister for Science and Innovation in UK, as the official Drayson Raing page reads.

#9 Alan Cox

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 20:38

Isn't lord drayson an mp also.

He was never an MP. He was a benefactor to the Labour Party and was granted a peerage by Tony Blair.

#10 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 22:39

The honorable? Alan Grice was a National party MP in Queensland for at least 1 term. From memory he still had a few one off drives in that time including Bathurst in a Supercar and the Production car race. And after he was a bit kamikaze in the ute series.

#11 dmj

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 12:46

Late Alan Clark certainly drove some pretty fast machinery, and drove it quite fast, too - but I'm not sure if any such occurance happened out of public roads?

(and actually, as our national tv has been running "New Statesman" again lately, should I be kept in believing that main charachter's name in that show being Alan is no coincidence?)

Edited by dmj, 08 November 2010 - 12:47.


#12 HistoryFan

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 19:51

I read that Vladimir Putin tested a Renault F1 car last weekend.

Were there more politicians driving a racing car?

Carlos Reuteman of course, a former F1 driver who is today a high Argentinian politician.

#13 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 19:53

Theres a thread here. :)

http://forums.autosp...howtopic=138250

#14 bigears

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 19:56

I am sure some politicians took part in the old Ford Mexico and Fiestas races at Brands Hatch. It happened in the 1970s and early 1980s?

At the 1986 Birmingham Superprix, MPs Roger King, Clement Freund and Gary Waller took part in the amateur race in the Renault 5 Turbo race in the wet.

#15 downhillfast

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 23:51

I am sure some politicians took part in the old Ford Mexico and Fiestas races at Brands Hatch. It happened in the 1970s and early 1980s?


There was indeed an annual commons v lords race at brands, my dad was an m.p. and drove mk 1 shellsport mexicos and talbot sunbeams. A Mr M Thatcher also drove in place of his mother! (ok, not high level :rotfl: )

Edited by downhillfast, 08 November 2010 - 23:52.


#16 Rob G

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 00:30

North Carolina Governor Mike Easley drove and crashed a Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup car at a charity event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2003. He was uninjured, but the front of the car was demolished.

#17 fbarrett

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 03:41

Friends:

King Hussein might not have been all that smart. In 1976 he traded the Porsche 904 that he bought new for a 1976 911 Turbo and used one of his air force transports to deliver and pick them up, too. Wonder what a 1976 Turbo is worth today--but not which I'd rather drive!

Frank

#18 colinsays

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 08:23

I also remind a photo published in "HELLO" magazine of King Hussein I(father) driving a Lotus Esprit Turbo in a gravel Rally!!!!!
He won that Rally .....of course!!!

#19 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 19:57

I know the King of Spain is a massive motorsport fan.

Has he ever driven a racing car :confused:

Edited by tyrrellp346wheels, 09 November 2010 - 20:13.


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#20 Rob Ryder

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 20:11

Putin's mount looks like a 9 year old Prost to me - in Renault livery :rolleyes:
Rob

#21 alansart

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 20:13

I know the King of Spain is a massive motorsport fan.

Has ne ever driven a racing car :confused:


Martin Brundle took him out in the McLaren 2 seater a few years ago, so he was half way there :) .

Edited by alansart, 09 November 2010 - 20:14.


#22 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 20:24

Saw him on the tv at the spanish motogp, seemed a bit weak so if he hasn't drove a race car already, i don't think he ever will :|

#23 Graham Clayton

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:44

Former US President Jimmy Carter sold tickets at the Atlanta International Raceway in the early 1960's.

#24 D-Type

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 22:26

There was a photo on here some time ago (now a red x) of Kenya politician Tom Mboya wearing a crash helmet and seated in Gurbux Singh Sagoo's Sagoo Special - I have no idea whether he actually drove the car or simply posed for the photo.

#25 doc knutsen

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 07:55

Friends:

King Hussein might not have been all that smart. In 1976 he traded the Porsche 904 that he bought new for a 1976 911 Turbo and used one of his air force transports to deliver and pick them up, too. Wonder what a 1976 Turbo is worth today--but not which I'd rather drive!

Frank


Anyone remember the Hussein? It was a modified Cooper Monaco, with a huge (Chrysler?) V8 in it, and a different body knocked up, looking not Cooper-like at all. It was meant for AJ Foyt, but it was not very successfull as I recall. Its name was meant to honour the King of Jordan, who at the time was a huge motor racing fan, driving go-karts in his native country.

Another less than successful foray into driving racing cars by a head of state was that of King Carl Gustav of Sweden in 1975. The King was often a spectator at the short-lived Swedish GP at Anderstorp, and he was given a test run at the Karlskoga circuit in Rune Tobiasson's Vastkust-Stugan sponsored "Batmobile" BMW. The King managed the start straight OK, but promptly put the Bimmer off the track at the first corner. After a re-think and some more instruction from Mr Tobiasson, he had another go...and did the same thing all over again. After that, the test was terminated as I recall.


#26 ensign14

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 08:11

One of the French Le Mans drivers in the 80s was a maire. Bruno Sotty?

#27 Kevan

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:26

Sotty? 1970's/80's Le Mans regular in various Lolas, Chevrons, Rondeaus, and assorted C2 entries?
http://www.racingspo...no-Sotty-F.html

Yes, that rings a bell with me as well...If not Bruno Sotty, then I'm pretty sure I remember reading that one of the various French drivers regularly seen in back-of-the-grid C2s during the 80's was Mayor of somewhere at the time he was racing

Edited by Kevan, 29 October 2011 - 12:29.


#28 Graham Clayton

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 00:44

Does sitting on a car count?

Margaret Thatcher inspecting the Lotus 88:

Posted Image

Source: http://therollingroa...-iron-lady.html

#29 D-Type

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 22:14

There was a photo on here some time ago (now a red x) of Kenya politician Tom Mboya wearing a crash helmet and seated in Gurbux Singh Sagoo's Sagoo Special - I have no idea whether he actually drove the car or simply posed for the photo.

See the first picture Here

#30 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 07:54

Australian PM went for a ride around Sandown with Alan Moffat in a Falcon coupe.
I believe he is at least an armchair motorsport enthusiast.