Watch these racing drivers scare their passengers

Walter-Rohrl-Audi-S3-NurburgringBeing a passenger is almost always scarier than being the driver, especially for people who are used to being in control. Like for example, other racing drivers. So it should be fun to see what happens when you put a racing driver in the passenger seat while another racing driver makes a hot lap round a circuit. In case of Darrell Waltrip and David Coulthard, it makes great video’s.

But it’s not only fun with other drivers in the passenger seat. You’d think that someone who’s married to a racing driver is used to a bit of fast driving, but apparently not all wives are entirely up-to-date on how quick their husbands really are. Turn up your volume while listening to Mrs. Patrese, Mrs. Farfus, Mrs. Barbosa and grandma Gené scream their lungs out.

Journalists usually prepare themselves before an interview, making sure they are familiar with the background of the person they’re about to meet, to avoid making a fool of themselves. But Barbara Schöneberger, Dominic Littlewood and even Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson appear rather shocked by the speed at which their being driven around by drivers of whom you’d think are known for their ability to go fast.

Nico Rosberg is about to take former Formula 1 winner David Coulthard for a (wet) hot lap on the Nürburgring in a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Before getting in, David warns us that he’s not a good passenger. As he crawls out of the car on his knees after the lap, we must conclude he wasn’t lying.

So Coulthard didn’t keep his cool, but surely a former Daytona 500 winner and multiple NASCAR winner like Darrell Waltrip is used to a bit of speed. Apparently an Australian V8 supercar around the famous Bathurst circuit is in a different league than circling around on an oval at almost supersonic speeds. Just a few outtakes of his comments:
“I just lost my lunch, and I didn’t even have any.”
“This is crazy. I can’t even see where we’re going, but he ain’t slowing down.”
“We’re gonna die! We’re gonna die! “
“You can’t race on a track like this.”

So not all racing drivers a as good a passenger as they are behind the wheel. But being the wife of a racing driver, you’d think one would be used to riding shotgun in a fast car. Not so for the wife of former Formula 1 driver Riccardo Patrese. When driven around the Jerez circuit in a Honda Civic Type-R, she’s not aware there’s a camera recording her. And that’s a good thing, otherwise we would have missed her concerns about the stew she just had for lunch.
Touring car racer Augusto Farfus shows his wife how fast a BMW M3 can go round the Nürburgring. And while she tells him to go slow, he reassures her that he IS going slow. But I’m not sure she believes him, especially after this little conversation:
“Here’s a corner called Flugplatz. The car will be jumping soon.”
“Please Ninho, don’t jump! Don’t jump!”
“The car won’t jump, I won’t accelerate here” ……….. “Now the car will jump!“

Joao Barbosa is a rather successful Endurance driver, who takes his wife for a lovely afternoon drive in a Grand-Am prototype around the Daytona International Speedway. At some point I’m not really sure if the screaming is her voice or the gearbox, but her facial expression makes clear she’s thoroughly enjoying herself.

With two grandsons in racing: Marc Gené is a former Formula 1 driver while his brother Jordi Gené has been successful in Endurance racing and touring cars, you’d think speed is a family thing for them. Not so much for grandmother, when she’s taken around in a 300hp Seat Leon touring car racer by Jordi. Her Spanish yelling and cursing make this a very funny clip.

If you’ve just turned down your volume for grandma Gené’s yelling, you can turn it all the way up again for fashion model and German TV-host Barbara Schöneberger who’s taken round the Nürburgring by ring-veteran Walter Röhrl in an Audi S3. She doesn’t scream out loud, but her face tells a whole other story, in contrast to Walter’s facial expression of total apathy.

Former Formula 1 driver Damon Hill is taking journalist Dominic Littlewood for a quiet country ride in a Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG. Well, apparently Damon’s version of a quiet ride includes activating the emergency anti-roll bar after jumping all four wheels off the ground and getting his passenger to lose his lunch. Thankfully the side window was open….

Jeremy Clarkson is known for hooning the fastest cars on an empty airstrip, so what could possibly scare him anymore? Well, there was a time when he wasn’t used to this kind of driving. A time when he still had a full head of hair, and before the way too premature death of the late rally champion Richard Burns. The latter is showing Clarkson how to drive a Lancer EVO rally car on the British country roads. It appears Clarkson even manages to conduct a genuine interview from the passenger seat, until he makes the classic remark: “My balls have just come off!”

About Bart Demandt

Bart is a 36-year old Dutchman who’s always had a thing for cars, the automotive industry and statistics. He’s combined these passions by writing about them on CarSalesBase.com. His daily driver is an Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 which he just can’t seem to say goodbye to thanks to the mesmerizing exhaust note.
You can find all his articles Here.

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