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Religious drivers


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#1 Jojo71

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 20:17

Hello everyone,

since religion and faith plays important role to some of us, it may be so as well with some fromula 1 drivers of past. Do you recall some of them?
I'm quite sure that Ayrton Senna was one of them, and if you have some of his religious quotes (as well as from others), post them as well...

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#2 Prostfan

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 20:21

Alex Ribeiro with his inscription "Jesus Saves" comes to my mind.

#3 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 20:50

Ooh... just about almost every Spanish & Italian driver in some form or another, although with varying degrees of faith. Luigi Villoresi spent most of his last years in a monastery so there's a link for you.
The Sergio Mantovani priest & driver were two separate people although tere was a preist who rang the bell of his church near Imola every time Ferrari won. He died in 1997, I think, around the same time as Gigi & Princess Di. He'd beknackered now with all the bell ringing every other week as opposed to the mid 90's.

Castelotti & Musso were very proud of everything Italian, including the Roman Catholic faith but as I say, pick any Italian or Spaniard (and probably Argentine & Brazillian) & you will more than likely, have someone who believed in God in some degree......

#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 21:00

Tony Brooks.

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#5 scheivlak

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 21:10

Wasn't Enzo Ferrari an atheist? I remember some remarks in that region in his early-sixties autobiography (just from memory...) He certainly wasn't a pious catholic.

#6 Buford

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 21:11

Eddie Sach was very religious. Used to have a priest bless his car. it didn't keep him from burning alive though.

#7 Doug Nye

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 21:14

Sach or Sachs? Jan Opperman?

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#8 Buford

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Posted 01 August 2002 - 22:05

Sachs - my typo I did not see. Yes, Jan Opperman had a Jesus Saves thing on his helmet and a cross on his driver suit. Didn't help keep him safe either.

#9 Mac Lark

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 01:58

Where Jody & Alain the only Jewish world champs?

#10 dretceterini

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 02:45

there is always the story of the drivers of the Motto bodied Nardi/Alfa 6c2500 that stoped DURING the Mille Miglia to go to mass..

Stu

#11 Jim Thurman

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 04:19

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Sach or Sachs? Jan Opperman?


I'm glad someone remembered to mention Jan Opperman.

I attended a Sprint Car race at Calistoga, California in September 1978. During intermission, Opperman was interviewed and then sang a song (about Jesus being an outlaw) while strumming an acoustic guitar. He had a surprisingly good voice.

Eddie Sachs...priest? :confused:

Not to throw the thread in the other direction, but it was always my understanding that Lorenzo Bandini drew criticism for not tithing the normal percentage (if any?) of his winnings to the church.


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#12 stabes

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 04:57

Mac Lark,

how do you know Prost was Jewish?

I have never heard this before.

#13 Buford

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 05:57

Yes Eddie Sachs was a devout Roman Catholic. Others have said they thought he was Jewish but I know he was not. However, he may have been born Jewish and converted through marraige, I don't know.

#14 Henri Greuter

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 06:16

Duke Nalon, an Indy car driver of the 38-55 period.

Qualified on pole at Indy in '49 he was asked on Race Day how he felt.

"May the Good Lord look over all of us here"

Duke crashed heavily in lap 23 while in the lead, his Novi going up in flames (the often seen Indy crash of a car at fire sliding along the wall is Duke's accident)
Though he was terribly burned, he survived and died last year. When you see the film of his '49 smash you won't believe that he wasn't cremated on the spot.

Indy driver Paul Russo was another religious driver.
Driving those Novis you better had to be......


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#15 Buford

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 06:39

Current drivers who babble about God a lot are Scott Sharp in the IRL and Jeff Gordon in Nascar, though Jeff may have stopped now that the wifey who was behind all that is gone now, trying to get all his toys in a divorce.

#16 cabianca

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 06:42

Luigi Musso blessed himself with the sign of the cross every time he left the pits. Didn't work.

#17 Vicuna

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 06:46

[QUOTE]Originally posted by stabes
Mac Lark,

how do you know Prost was Jewish?

I have never heard this before.
[/QU


He is??

#18 Kuwashima

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 06:56

Buford, you seem to have a very negative (at least cynical) attitude toward "religous" drivers. :confused:
My point is, I'm not entirely convinced that the point of having 'Jesus Saves' or wearing a cross is for 'God' to keep you safe, as you seem to assume it is! Maybe the priest blessing the car was a different issue, but then again, I'm not Catholic! ;)

#19 Buford

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 07:44

I am not religious but I do not oppose others being so. I think you should keep your religious beliefs to yourself unless somebody asks though, and not spout supernatural theories everytime somebody puts a microphone in front of your face. BTW, Eddie Sachs did not do that.

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#20 King Nigel

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 08:46

:eek: Just a word to tell you Prost is NOT Jewish. He is a Catholic and even met the pope a few years ago ...

#21 ensign14

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 11:03

Sachs' mother may have been Jewish, which I think makes him ethnically Jewish according to their definition (I'm a bit rusty on ol' Leviticus). AJ Foyt allegedly referred to him as a Heee-brew. (Mind you, Enzo Ferrari did so to Niki Lauda...)

I always think it funny when drivers thank the Lord for helping them win but never mention him when they hit the wall...

#22 Buford

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 11:13

Absolutely. Scott Sharp went on and on when he won the pole at the IRL 500 about the Man Upstairs and how he owed it all to him and blah, blah, blah. Then he totally bozos out and crashes on the very first corner, in one of the classic blunders of all time. He didn't say a word about how God had screwed him big time.

#23 Henri Greuter

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 11:32

Ensign14,

One case of someone thanking the Good Lord after hitting the wall:

A Man I already named: Paul Russo.

Pauls drove a Novi at Indy in 1956 and while in the lead his right rear tire blew, sending him into the wall. He escaped unhurt and vacated the car instantly. He stated that he thanked the Good Lord for helping him to survive this one and knew that a medal that his priest had given him had saved him.

Henri Greuter

#24 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 12:13

I think you should keep your religious beliefs to yourself unless somebody asks though, and not spout supernatural theories everytime somebody puts a microphone in front of your face.



Amen, to that quote!

If we could stop the drivers babbling about their sponsors as well. It is like listening to a pre-recorded safety announcement on an airplane... (nobody pays any attention to that either)

Luckily this annoyance has not reached Europe yet...

#25 Kuwashima

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 14:45

Just OT and FYI, I have a slightly different viewpoint. There is a difference between thanking God per se, and thanking God for winning or performing well. God, if God exists, has better things to do than to help/make people win/lose/crash. But if you wish to thank God after you have achieved something, how is this different to publicly thanking your wife/husband/manager/friends/AA program/exercise regime for their impact on your life?

I have no problem with any sportspeople thanking their God or religious beliefs or whatever for making them stronger people (or even people more capable of performing), a) to be thankful for that religion's impact on their life and to b) bear witness to others (thanking your manager is bearing witness to others about how wonderful your manager is, why should your religion be any different?).

But if you start thanking God for making/helping you win, you're a jerk, IMHO.

I don't know which of these cases are relevant to the specific examples brought up (but, I have a feeling you people might be being a bit harsh IMHO). Anyway, there's my $0.02. :)

#26 fines

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 16:06

Originally posted by Buford
I am not religious but I do not oppose others being so. I think you should keep your religious beliefs to yourself unless somebody asks

:up:

#27 Bladrian

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 17:47

I'm not religious, but in 30 years of racing I've gone "Jeeezusss" more'n a coupla times after a close one .... :blush:

#28 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 18:09

Our late mate Denis Jenkinson was an atheist. Not a doubter - an agnostic - but an atheist. We asked the Chaplain to HM the Queen, then Chaplain to the BRDC, Lionel Webber to act as master of ceremonies at Jenks's non-religious funeral because:

a) Lionel's a great enthusiast
b) He'd been one of DSJ's readers for 40-odd years
c) He's a wonderful star turn

As part of his address he said "When I was a monk we had meditation every Thursday in the cathedral. I'd go in, choose a seat behind a pillar, lower my head and cover it with the hood of my habit - then sit there for a happy hour.... reading Jenks in 'Motor Sport'..."

In another part of his address he said "Just imagine, Jenks is up There now telling Peter and Mike and Jimmy and Ayrton what they did wrong...and telling God he doesn't exist..."

It was also Lionel who dedicated the Goodwood circuit at the first Revival meeting, and declared as a preamble: "Ladies and gentlemen, fellow enthusiasts, welcome to Glorious Goodwood. God isn't in Heaven today. He's here at Goodwood. Or if He isn't...He's crackers!".

The same man has been the author of considerable deeply sincere works of theology and has a profound - albeit decidedly unconventional - faith.

'Noddy' Coombs - past and present entrant of so many great cars and great drivers - put it best when he observed "If there were more clergymen around like him on Sundays, the Anglican church would be packed..."

Amen?

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#29 Bladrian

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 18:22

:clap: :clap: :clap:


A resounding 'amen'. With a couple of 'hallelujahs' thrown in, and a few 'b'gads' for good measure. Lovely story, Mr Nye - thank you.

#30 Buford

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 19:06

Yeah religious people with a sense of humor can be a good listen. Religious people without a sense of humor (almost all of them) are a fast run away.

#31 Doug Nye

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 22:05

One other Lionel story - perhaps I shouldn't tell it - but as a seafarer he was also once Chaplain to a Royal National Lifeboat station. When one of their long retired old Cox'ns passed away, he was to have his ashes scattered at sea, and our hero took the service. At the critical moment, as the ashes were scattered, the wind changed.

Coughing and spluttering the solemn party on deck tried to act natural...

Apart from one old salt, a past great pal of the departed, whose ringing Welsh tones were heard to exclaim "Bloody Llewellyn - he always did get right up my nose".

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#32 Jim Thurman

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Posted 02 August 2002 - 22:10

Originally posted by Buford
Yes Eddie Sachs was a devout Roman Catholic. Others have said they thought he was Jewish but I know he was not. However, he may have been born Jewish and converted through marraige, I don't know.


I did not know that Buford. Thanks. Sachs is always portrayed or reported as being Jewish.


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#33 Buford

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 03:38

I just watched a video tonight a friend sent me. It is an hour show "CBS Summer Sports Spectacular" from 1960. Black and white show with the original commercials for Vitalis and Schlitz Beer. Anyway it was all about Eddie Sachs. He was the pole sitter at the 1960 Indy 500 and this show documented the last couple days before the 500 and the race. The morning of the race Sachs went to early morning Mass, and on the grid, just as they began "Back Home Again In Indiana" Eddie crossed himself and put his hands in prayer for a few moments before breaking into tears as he always did during the song. He had to wipe his face and eyes several times before pulling down his goggles and being pushed off.

I don't know where this Internet Jewish story got started but it is definately not true. Incidentally he never mentioned God or religion a single time in a hour of interviews. His religion was obviously important to him, but he did not wave it in the face of others.

#34 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 11:29

Originally posted by ensign14
Sachs' mother may have been Jewish, which I think makes him ethnically Jewish according to their definition (I'm a bit rusty on ol' Leviticus).


Indeed it does - more years ago than I care to remember, I was engaged to a Jewish girl, whose mother was a Jewess while her father was C of E. The ethnicity of the father doesn't matter, the "Jewishness" passes down from the mother.

#35 Doug Nye

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 12:09

Hmmm - the several Sachs(es) I know are all Jewish - as is the name???? Or is this coincidence???

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#36 Henri Greuter

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 12:32

Buford,

Great story about a Legend at Indy.

With respect to jewish (or more precicely, not!) Jewish drivers at Indianapolis.

There is a book in which it is told about the doctor who took the medical's at Indy and had to fill in religion. One after another he got drivers with Jewish sounding names like Paul Goldsmith, Eddie Sachs and some others I can't recall right now. Every time when the religion had to be fillied in, instead of askingg Religion? he asked "Jewish". Much to his annoyance the anwer was "no" followed by about every other Christian orientated religion...

I really don't know anymore which book it was but my first guess would be "Eddie called me boss" by Dick Sommers. Sommers was the team owner Eddie drove for in '63 and '64 and he wrote a lot of details about Eddie in his book.
If it comes to humorous drivers in racing, Eddie certainly qualified for that distinction.



Henri Greuter

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 13:35

Mauri Rose, triple Indy winner, appears to have been "a good Jewish boy", to quote a cliche! He is so far the only motor racing inductee of the Jewish Sporting Hall of Fame:

http://www.hebrewuni.../Mauri_Rose.htm

Beware - that site is very slooooooooooow to load!

#38 mhferrari

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 14:44

Look at all the Catholic WDCs... :)

I would think that a driver would want to be in a state of Grace going into a race, rather than not, if they were religious.

It does not mean if you are religious that you expect to live to 120. The drivers knew the risks, and realized that they were not necessarily going to survive every crash. It is just like Saints, all did not live long lives, but that does not mean that God does not exist.

God does exist, and He is Catholic, and has blessed Scuderia Ferrari. :D

#39 dretceterini

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 17:00

I most religions, you are "automatically" the religion of your mother...

Kind of silly, but...

Stu

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#40 Kpy

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 17:17

Originally posted by mhferrari


God does exist, and He is Catholic, and has blessed Scuderia Ferrari. :D


Doesn't that rather take the competitive element out of F1 ?

#41 Bladrian

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 17:21

Originally posted by Kpy


Doesn't that rather take the competitive element out of F1 ?


Aah. You noticed, then .... :blush:

#42 mhferrari

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 18:16

Originally posted by Kpy


Doesn't that rather take the competitive element out of F1 ?


I am not saying He guarantees victories for Ferrari.

#43 fines

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 18:53

Originally posted by mhferrari
God does exist, and He is Catholic, and has blessed Scuderia Ferrari. :D

Under the current set of rules, wouldn't that be considered as a "driver aid", just like traction control and launch programming?

#44 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 19:33

Francois Cevert's father was Jewish, but he took on mother's last name since he was born during WWII. Much to my dismay, I read that Bernie Ecclestone is also Jewish.

#45 deangelis86

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 22:31

Originally posted by King Nigel
:eek: Just a word to tell you Prost is NOT Jewish. He is a Catholic and even met the pope a few years ago ...


Prost may not be Jewish, but his nose most certainly is....

#46 Kpy

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 22:39

Originally posted by deangelis86


Prost may not be Jewish, but his nose most certainly is....


My goodness, have you never been to France ???

:) :)

#47 Wolf

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 22:43

Originally posted by Dmitriy_Guller
Much to my dismay, I read that Bernie Ecclestone is also Jewish.


But his kids aren't... :lol: That being because his wife is Catholic.

#48 Vitesse2

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Posted 05 August 2002 - 23:08

Originally posted by Wolf


:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :up:

#49 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 00:19

Originally posted by Wolf


But his kids aren't... :lol: That being because his wife is Catholic.


Well, to speak seriously, this mother's religion thing is taken too far. There is a confusion between Jews as an ethnicity and Jews as a religion. Everyone can convert to Judaism. In my mind, being that I'm an atheist, if you have Jewish blood in you, you're ethnically Jewish. My mother is not Jewish, but I consider myself Jewish, and I challenge anyone to claim otherwise.

#50 2F-001

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Posted 06 August 2002 - 00:28

When Alessandro Zanardi was in F3000, with the eccentrically named ''Il Barone Rampante'' team, I recall reading that this outfit exhibited a strong catholic faith amidst its staff (or at least its ownership) and actually travelled with its own 'resident' priest.
I believe the team name was a literary reference - from a modern, but then recently deceased Italian writer, Calvino.

Off on a tangent...
when Zanardi was in F1 the first time around, he was usually referred to as ''Aless'' (or sometimes ''Alice'') if not Alessandro. When did the ''Alex' thing began? Was that when he'd got established in the US?