Clash of the Titans – Chapter One: James Hunt Vs. Niki Lauda

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A 3 part masterpiece on the greatest rivalries in the history of modern sports.

Chapter 1: James Hunt Vs. Niki Lauda

It’s funny how the universe, every now and then, brings two different people together. Two different masterminds. Two different epic god-like characters, who clash in utter self-destruction creating magic in the process.

Two hot-headed jerks. Disowned by their families. Heading nowhere. After having their first episode in a Formula-3 race, it didn’t take them long to find their way to the major league – the world of Formula-1 racing.

Hunt was a brash, young Englishman with a tendency to vomit before every race. Lauda was a cool, calculating Austrian technical genius, who relied on precision.

The year is 1976. Niki is back to racing 6 weeks after the Nürburgring crash that almost claimed his life. He got behind the wheels on Monza to challenge his fiercest rival. Hunt has been collecting points and catching up while Niki was lying half-dead on a hospital bed fighting for whatever left of his life . . but such is the nature of champions.

Lunatics running in circles, chasing death for fame and glory.

Women must think this sport is pathetic. But make no mistake, the motor-sport resembles everything a man is about: Passion. Fearlessness. Anarchy. Being prepared to die.

In contrary to the racing spectators, James and Niki actually liked each others. But as men, they only knew one way to show it – to bust each other’s balls. Bromance at its finest.

The season came to a climax at the rain-soaked Japanese Grand Prix. Hunt won that season with one single point, after Lauda returns to the pits and retires from the race, opting to stay with Marlene (his wife) instead of risking his life again on the track.

Niki thought it was too dangerous to drive in that weather. He thought being prepared to die is losing.

But Hunt knew the closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.

Stare death in the eye, and cheat it.

For me, Haunt and Launda were not just athletes.

They were knights.

 

“Faster. Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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