January 16, 2024
Richard Foegele

Three New Motor-racing Movies

Only one will help you make it to the March 2nd F1 season debut in Bahrain

For Formula One fans who are dreading the long off-season, here is a trio of motorsport movie ideas. Break out the popcorn, put your feet up and start by hearing what we think are “the good, the bad and the ugly” of the most recent motorsport flick offerings.

“Gran Turismo”, “Race for Glory” and “Ferrari” are the three big racing films that were released in late 2023 and early 2024.  

Gran Turismo

Based on the life of gamer-turned-race-driver Jann Mardenborough, Gran Turismo tells the story of how the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy took kids from online racing to driving bona fide race cars in real competition.

Jann Mardenborough earned his way into a real race car in a very unconventional way – through gaming

Unfortunately, the Film falls short of the true story, with many details and an over abundance of drama not seen in real racing life. As with all bad racing films, it has its cliché moments. Repeatedly looking out the side window at your opposition at 300 km/h down the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans? Not so much. Accelerating more to pass a race car when you should already be flat-out? I don’t think so. Down-shifting on the straight to pass? That’s never going to happen. The timeline of the Film is also all over the place, mixing the years when Mardenborough had a severe crash at the Nürburgring and his great success at his first Le Mans 24 hour race.

Unfortunately, Director Neill Blomkamp’s film is not a winner and, in a way, is an insult to true racing enthusiasts. As for Jann Mardenborough, his accomplishments in motorsport are outstanding; it is too bad a little more of that could have not been depicted in this horrible Film.

Race for Glory: Audi vs. Lancia

Race for Glory tells the story of two great rivals of the Group “B” rally era. Based on the 1983 season, when Lancia’s seemingly uncompetitive 037 took on the might of Audi and its superior four-wheel drive Quattros. Unfortunately, like Gran Turismo, the Film falls short. A lack of character development is evident as the Film aimlessly moves from rally to rally, with little insight about the drivers and team personnel.

If you want to have a better understanding of that season, take a look at “The Grand Tour” Audi Quattro 1983 vs. Lancia 037 with host Jeremy Clarkson. Also, for in-depth perspective about some of the drivers of the day, have a look at “The Black Volcano”, depicting the career of highly accomplished French female rally driver, Michele Mouton.


Directed by the highly accomplished Michael Mann, Ferrari is based on journalist/commentator Brock Yates’ 1991 book “Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine”. Covering only a small piece of The Commendatore’s extraordinary life, the Film is based on the events leading up to and including the 1957 Mille Miglia.

For most motorsport films, it is the detail and over-sensationalism that always fall short. Mann does an exceptional job of including details (Ferrari’s daily barber shave and morning visit to his late son Dino’s grave) that are almost subliminal, but important to understanding his character. The early racing scenes at the Modena Aerodrome are another example of detail, looking strikingly like archival footage of the now memorial park facility. Re-creation of the beautiful cars of the era look the part in every detail.

A strong cast can help to carry any film. Both Adam Driver (Enzo Ferrari) and Penélope Cruz (Laura Ferrari) are outstanding and help bring period realism to the Movie.

Adam Driver plays Enzo Ferrari

Known for her portrayal of sultry characters, Penélope Cruz brilliantly plays Enzo Ferrari’s wife, Laura

If you need that off-season fix and a trip back in time, Ferrari may be the answer, as well as a good history lesson if you’re a fledgling race fan. Enjoy! It’s just a few more weeks now until the newest Netflix installment of Drive to Survive will be released.

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About the Author

Richard is a life-long motor-racer with experience in photography, filmmaking and engineering. His friends sometimes affectionately call him "Foegepedia" for his knowledge of the sport.

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