'I'd like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn't complacent, who doesn't cop out.' Paul Newman, who recently died from cancer related complications will certainly be remembered for all the right reasons.
Although Paul's acting achievements will be forever recalled by fans, it's his behind-the-scenes work that truly defined the man. Among the many strings to his professional bow, were film direction, humanitarianism and as a life-long motor racing enthusiast.
As well as his Academy Award, three Golden Globes, and BAFTA, he also won several championship titles in Sports Car Club of America road racing. The racing team he'll be most fondly remembered for – Newman-Haas – scored many auccesses in Indy Car racing (now known as IRL), and continues as a front-running team today. Current Scuderia Toro Rosso driver, Sébastien Bourdais, won four titles with the team between 2004-2007.
Newman was drawn into motorsports while training for the film Winning in 1969. Within three years, he was competing professionally – his first race was at Thompson, Connecticut, his home state. He continued to complete in the Sports Car Club of America events for the rest of the decade, and proved so successful, he picked up several championships. The highlight of his driving career, undoubtedly, was in the 1979 Le Mans 24 Hours, where he finished overall second as part of the team driving Dick Barbour's Porsche 935.
As a team owner, Newman found major success when he co-founded Newman-Haas Racing with Carl Haas in the Indy Car championship in 1983.
Paul Newman, actor, philantropist and motor racer, was born on January 22, 1925. He died September 26, 2008, aged 83.
For the full story, read next month's Octane, due out October 29.