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"Cult hero" drivers


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#51 EightGear

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 14:05

Another Gronholm one I forgot:



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#52 HaydenFan

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 14:19

Danica Patrick :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:


Her fans are even more rabid than Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans. Neither are stars due to their body of work on track, but they have the loyalty that I doubt even all the royal families of Europe have.

He didn't. He was declared innocent in court.


What a court says, and what actually happened are two separate things. Just ask O.J. Simpson.

Greg Moore
On a sidenote: the posthumous cult heroes should be in a different category or something like that, I guess: Moore, Gilles, Cevert, De Angelis, Von Tripps, Weldon, Simoncelli, Katoh.


Wanted to add him, but wasn't sure how to do so without playing off his death.

#53 OvDrone

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 14:25

Yeah, Gronholm! Definitely on the list

#54 JtP1

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 14:38

Paul Tracy
Andrea de Cesaris



Paul Tracy for getting a drive the following year after punching his team owner in Houston and DeCesaris for even getting a second season or possible even for finishing the first.


#55 danmills

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 15:27

I think Irvine and Eddie Jordan would also make the list.

#56 David Lightman

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 15:29

Taki Inoue definitely.

He's one of the funniest people on Twitter :lol:

#57 EightGear

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 15:41

What a court says, and what actually happened are two separate things. Just ask O.J. Simpson.


What the media say, and what actually happend are two seperate things as well. :)

#58 SCEPurple

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 15:45

I think Lewis will be one after he retires.

Francois Cevert kind of
Gerhard Berger
JPM
Pedro Lamy

#59 Velocifer

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 16:12

Gilles Villeneuve

Single-handedly defines the concept.


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#60 amjs

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 17:08

Henri Toivonen
Gilles Villeneuve
Ronnie Peterson

#61 Atreiu

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 17:22

Henri Toivonen
Gilles Villeneuve
Ronnie Peterson


And the guy in your avatar? Yeah, he won a title.
But his reputation exceeds that easily.

#62 Les

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 17:47

Felice Bonetto aka the pipe smoking guy
Posted Image
Oh and poor old Dick Trickle for the same reason.
Alfonso de Portago a cult hero jockey, bobsleigh runner and racing driver
Maston Gregory - he would jump out of his car before it crashed!
Ukyo Katayama
Berger & Alesi
and many of the other ones mentioned.

Drivers with character. Where have all the cult heros gone?

Edited by Les, 21 June 2013 - 18:53.


#63 Garagiste

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 17:48

Single-handedly defines the concept.


First two names that hit me were JPM and Alesi, but you're absolutley right. Quite why two wheeling to the pits in a patenly fubar'd car earns the adulation has always escaped me, but there you go.

#64 UPRC

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 17:52

I'm going to have to go with Olivier Panis on this one.

#65 GSiebert

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 17:56

Nobody mentioned Moss ?

#66 UPRC

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 17:58

He was mentioned on page one somewhere.

#67 Risil

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 18:27

British Supersport regular Ben Wilson, whose style is less elbow-down than chin-down

Posted Image

Robby Gordon's a good shout. His short career in CART was the most entertaining thing about a very entertaining series.

Anthony West is either bafflingly quick or just baffling. For some reason Toni Elias has never really achieved cult status despite that incredible race at Estoril in 2006. Maybe because the rider he happened to beat was Valentino Rossi, which you just don't do.

Pretty much every Japanese racer has been a cult hero at some time or another, except for Kazuki Nakajima.

Edited by Risil, 21 June 2013 - 18:27.


#68 Atreiu

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 18:32

Daijiro Kato...

#69 Andrew Hope

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 18:38

Thought of another one: Markus Winkelhock. Led his only ever GP, in a Spyker.

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#70 garoidb

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 18:57

Thought of another one: Markus Winkelhock. Led his only ever GP, in a Spyker.

Posted Image


Thought you were going to say Bernd Mayländer!

Markus Winkelhock will be a quiz answer in the future: Who started their only GP from last position but was in the lead by a huge margin (40 secs or so, was it?) by the end of the second lap?

#71 ensign14

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 18:58

Nobody's mentioned him, other than in passing, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. Isn't he the no. 1 merch shifter in NASCAR, and has been for, well, a decade? Yet he's some way south of drivers like Denny Hamlin in terms of career achievement.

From NASCAR I would also submit Delma Cowart. If only for his quote "I ain't never won a race, but I ain't never lost a party."

Although he was obviously a brilliant driver, whose results belie his talent, I reckon Jim Hurtubise would be a good fit for this; especially for his continual tilting at windmills with his Mallards.

And of course Peter Charles himself, Piercarlo Ghinzani, one points finish in a decade of trying.

#72 ensign14

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 19:00

Oh, and Tony Lanfranchi and Gerry Marshall. Not that their achievements were not considerable, but I suppose today's equivalent would be Jason Plato being on a par with Button famewise.

Plus my mum still remembers Roy Salvadori, which suggests he had quite the impact on pop culture back in the day, whereas she wouldn't have a clue who Mika Hakkinen is.

#73 Kop Alonso

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 19:27


I would say Kimi is the modern day cult driver in F1, whereas Piquet & Ghinzani were my cult drivers 25 years ago.

Also Rob Austin in BTCC - he has interacted more with his fans in the last couple of years than Plato has in the last 20.

Martin Schanke in Rallycross

The late great Bob Wollek in Sportscars

:up:

#74 JHSingo

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 19:36

Drivers with character. Where have all the cult heros gone?


Given fans/media are quick to chastise any driver who dares speak his mind instead of sticking to corporate speak, it isn't surprising there are very few these days.


Martin Schanke in Rallycross

The late great Bob Wollek in Sportscars

:up:



Good shout. :D

As far as a more recent one would go, I'd suggest Maxime Martin. Perhaps not well know apart from the well versed racing fans, but his stints in the wet at the Spa 24 last year and Nurburgring 24 hour this year were heroic and boggled the mind.

Edited by JHSingo, 21 June 2013 - 19:39.


#75 Deckard79

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 20:04

Jean Alesi.

Absolute hero of mine. With Alesi it wasn't about the results - it was all about the spectacle: the flashes of genius, the moments of madness, his constant determination to put on a show for the spectators, his impossibly banzai style with body leaning into the corner, 5-to-one steering wheel grip and constant twitch and correction.

Witnessing that alone made millions love the guy.




Edited by Deckard79, 21 June 2013 - 20:06.


#76 RaikkonenZn

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 20:05

Francois Cevert kind of
Gerhard Berger
JPM
Pedro Lamy


Haha - how did Pedro Lamy end up here? Since Pedro gets a mention - I want to shoutout Ukyo Katayama - one of the 1st Kamikazes I saw!

As for me - yep Jean Alesi - the words "Mercurial Frenchmen" always stuck in my head - the man said to be super quick but never had the extra bit to show it.

Heinz Harald Frentzen? Maybe to certain extent in the Jordan & considering he was the other German to Schumi - and Schumi stole his GF and married her :drunk:


#77 Deckard79

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 20:15

Haha - how did Pedro Lamy end up here? Since Pedro gets a mention - I want to shoutout Ukyo Katayama - one of the 1st Kamikazes I saw!

As for me - yep Jean Alesi - the words "Mercurial Frenchmen" always stuck in my head - the man said to be super quick but never had the extra bit to show it.

Heinz Harald Frentzen? Maybe to certain extent in the Jordan & considering he was the other German to Schumi - and Schumi stole his GF and married her :drunk:


Frentzen - agreed. He was brilliant in the Jordan. Really formidable racer on his day.

#78 Haribo

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 20:32

Frentzen - agreed. He was brilliant in the Jordan. Really formidable racer on his day.


Not forgetting the epic sideburns! :cat:

#79 Haribo

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 20:45

Jean Alesi.

Absolute hero of mine. With Alesi it wasn't about the results - it was all about the spectacle: the flashes of genius, the moments of madness, his constant determination to put on a show for the spectators, his impossibly banzai style with body leaning into the corner, 5-to-one steering wheel grip and constant twitch and correction.

Witnessing that alone made millions love the guy.


It's been posted a few times before, but this is my favourite Alesi clip EVER! :rotfl:



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#80 BillyWhizz

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 20:53

This guy has done his fair share of winning races and championships, but a 'cult hero'? Definitely. I'll add Valentino Rossi to the list.



#81 midgrid

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:10

My understanding has always been that a "cult hero" is someone who is generally overlooked on the basis of their results alone, but has a relatively small, loyal following of dedicated admirers, usually for a specific other reason. Therefore I don't understand how anyone can nominate people like Rossi or Earnhardt, who are both easily the most popular competitors in their respective disciplines. :confused:

Edited by midgrid, 21 June 2013 - 21:11.


#82 E.B.

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:13

Although he was obviously a brilliant driver, whose results belie his talent, I reckon Jim Hurtubise would be a good fit for this; especially for his continual tilting at windmills with his Mallards.


I thought of Herk too, but to me it's a shame that such a fine driver is better remembered today for some twatishness late in his career.

I will go for Eddie Sachs.


#83 johnhen

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:14

I think Irvine


I would agree. As an Irishman, before he left the sport it was the last time I had a favorite driver. He was a bit of a James Hunt/Kimi character - said what he was thinking, loved women/the finer things in life and made no apologies. Plus he was forever the underdog.

#84 ensign14

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:15

Not forgetting the epic sideburns! :cat:

I see your Frentzen and raise you Harald Ertl.

My understanding has always been that a "cult hero" is someone who is generally overlooked on the basis of their results alone, but has a relatively small, loyal following of dedicated admirers, usually for a specific other reason. Therefore I don't understand how anyone can nominate people like Rossi or Earnhardt, who are both easily the most popular competitors in their respective disciplines. :confused:

Because the OP put it in inverted commas and specifically referred to "a respectable following for reasons other than wildly successful careers". Earnhardt may well be the most popular, but it isn't because he is even close to being the best.

I also find it ironic, given that his style is very unlike his father's. Plus it's the same slightly paradoxical mentality that seems to see the US Presidency becoming a re-enactment of the Wars of the Roses between the Bushes and Clintons; the US seems to revere dynasties far more than the UK, in sporting terms, but not in social terms.

#85 maverick69

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:16

Gianni Morbidelli!

Got lapped twice but still got onto the podium!

#86 InSearchOfThe

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:25

Dan Gurney.


#87 scheivlak

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:40

Dan Gurney.

:up:

I was about to mention Tony Kanaan, but now he's won the Sweepstakes....

#88 Deckard79

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:46

It's been posted a few times before, but this is my favourite Alesi clip EVER! :rotfl:


I love that clip! Couldn't stop laughing when I first saw it! Pure Jean, gotta love it.

#89 Risil

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:48

Gerry Marshall.


This is probably the best motor race on the whole of Youtube.

#90 scheivlak

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 21:53

This is probably the best motor race on the whole of Youtube.

Whoa! That sound :D

#91 Andrew Hope

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 22:10

This is probably the best motor race on the whole of Youtube.


God damn that was awesome.

#92 FordFan

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 23:48

Second GV and Alesi, and will add Foyt to the list.

#93 Ali_G

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 23:54

Amazed no one has yet mentioned Chris Amon.

#94 Ali_G

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 23:55

I would agree. As an Irishman, before he left the sport it was the last time I had a favorite driver. He was a bit of a James Hunt/Kimi character - said what he was thinking, loved women/the finer things in life and made no apologies. Plus he was forever the underdog.


That documentary showing his life throughout the 1999 F1 season was fantastic. How lucky did they get in the season they picked.

#95 Gagá Bueno

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 00:57

Amazed no one has yet mentioned Chris Amon.


:up: +1

And, thanks to the stature, cowboy hat, an undertaker as sponsor, the ugly and inefficient self-constructed (more or less, at least) cars, but also for the bravery in Lauda's rescue after the Nürburgring accident, I would say Arturo Merzario would be a perfect fit.

#96 Blind Driver

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 02:15

If we are talking about drivers who aren't successful but who still have fans and lots of media attention,

Danica Patrick

#97 Watkins74

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 03:53

Jos Verstappen never had much success but he seemed to have huge support. IIRC his fan club was the biggest in F1 for a time.

#98 Nobody

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 04:13

Jos Verstappen never had much success but he seemed to have huge support. IIRC his fan club was the biggest in F1 for a time.


He was on fire in his rookie year

#99 aliasj

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:17

Well does Eric Cantona count as a 'cult-hero footballer'? if so then my favorite 'cult-hero driver' would be Gilles Villeneuve.

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#100 SonJR

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:02

Ukyo Katayama, he seemed to always have something going on, and it usually was something weird.
Could be wicked fast on his day though, and at one time was considered for a Benetton-drive, which he turned down because he had cancer. He overcame the illness and stuck around for a few more years though, still doing his thing.

Quite a character outside the sport too, surviving cancer and having some 'adventurous' times with his other passion: mountain climbing.