We love watching movies and tv shows about racing (we do run a motorsport racing camp after all). But it isn’t just the cool cars, neck-and-neck races, and heart-pounding action that keeps us glued to the screen, it’s the characters. So, we wanted to share with you our top five favorite fictional race car drivers. And we guarantee we’ve got one on this list that you might not have heard of before.
We had to get the obvious one out of the way first. Whether he’s dodging exploding tankers or leading missiles towards submarines, ‘The Fast and the Furious’ Dominic Toretto is one of the most entertaining drivers to watch on the big screen.
The insane stunts that seem to get one-upped with every new ‘Fast and Furious’ movie makes us keep coming back for more. We’ve had to remind more than one camper on Camp Motorsport’s 20 miles of off-road track that they’re not Dom Toretto.
Can a race car also be a race car driver? We think so, that’s why we’ve added ‘Cars’ Lightning McQueen to our list. It’s so much fun to watch the four-time Piston Cup champion tear up the track, at least when he’s not dealing with Mater’s hijinks.
Watching Lightning go from self-centered jerk to empathetic hero of Radiator Springs, is almost as fun as watching him use Doc’s special turn to outmaneuver the other racers. While he doesn’t win the Piston Cup at the end of the first movie, he does win our hearts.
You’re probably thinking, “who?” We had to throw in a curveball, and the protagonist of the street racing anime series, ‘Initial D’ is it. Starting in 1998, and airing for 60+ episodes along with multiple movies, ‘Initial D’ follows Takumi Fujiwara, a tofu delivery driver with extraordinary driving skills, who’s driven to become the top touge racer in his prefecture, Ginma, and then the top touge racer in Japan. Touge racing is a form of Japanese street race held on twisty mountain roads, usually between two drivers.
The animation is dated but, if you like fast cars and tight races, you owe it to yourself to watch ‘Initial D’. So, we won’t spoil Takumi’s story, or the insane races he takes part in, for you.
“If you’re not first, you’re last!” “Shake ‘n bake!” You wouldn’t be shocked by how many times we’ve heard campers shouting out these lines while zooming around our camp’s go-kart track. Even though our list is in no particular order, Ricky Bobby probably wouldn’t appreciate his position on it.
Easily the funniest driver on this list, and probably in the history of fictional race car drivers, we can’t help but roll on the floor laughing anytime we watch his dimwitted antics in ‘Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby’. He might not be the best driver on this list (although he did win a race in reverse) but he’s definitely the funniest.
‘Days of Thunder’ is the movie that helped popularize NASCAR in the 90s, and Tom Cruise’s portrayal of hotshot driver Cole Trickle is a big part of that. His promotion from the Sprint Car series to the Winston Cup doesn’t start too well, with him wrecking several cars, but his passion for racing, and determination to overcome any obstacle that comes his way leads to him to become the first rookie to ever win five races in a season, and culminates with him winning the Daytona 500.
Trickle is a great role model for the young racers who come to our racing camp every summer.
About Camp Motorsport
Camp Motorsport is the best summer camp in Virginia for kids and teens that love driving and want a memorable summer full of thrilling adventures. We take pride in always ensuring our campers have a fun, engaging, educational, and above all, safe time as they try new things and make new friends.
Reach out to the team for more information on Camp Motorsport’s summer programs.