He Would Have Turned 69 on the 29 August 2016
James Simon Wallis Hunt (29 August 1947 – 15 June 1993) was a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. After retiring from racing in 1979, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman.
He is famously remembered for the his On Track antics with Niki Lauda and his Off Track exploits which IN TODAYS Formula One circles would have gotten him fired a long time ago. Were these the days when Real Men where Racing Drivers and Racing Cars were Racing Cars or has today’s technology and money surpassed those days?
Hunt's often reckless and action-packed exploits on track earned him the nickname "Hunt the Shunt", "shunt" being a British racing term that means "crash”. Today the drivers get penalized for exceeding track limits not to mention when they get involved in an incident that can get them banned for forthcoming racers.
His race-day ritual included throwing up, partially because of pre-race jitters, but also because of the previous evening’s carousing.
Throughout much of his career, Hunt dedicated the right front breast of his racing suit—prime advertising real estate most sponsors would pay dearly for—to a round patch emblazoned with the image of a flexed arm muscle and the words, “Sex, Breakfast of Champions.” Later he would swap the patch for a more dignified one declaring, “Sex is a performance thing.”
When Hunt went to McLaren for the 1976 season, he refused to sign a clause in his contract that stipulated he wear a suit and tie to sponsor functions, often appearing barefoot in only a T-shirt and jeans.
James Hunt 1974 Brazilian GP.
Hunt earned a total of 10 world championship race wins with Hesketh and McLaren, and became Formula 1 World Champion in 1976, but that’s not what made him great. What made him great was his personality and how he wasn’t some sort of corporate drone that just drove a car fast.
I remember going to the Old Kyalami Race Circuit in those days with my Dad, Niki Lauda was my Hero back then even though I was and still am a True McLaren Fan. How times have changed. James died a premature death at the age of 45 and Niki is at the forefront of all the modern Formula 1 Politics.
Happy Birthday James Hunt your Legacy will never be surpassed.
“So enduring is Hunt’s legacy, Formula 1 driver and 2007 world champion Kimi Räikkönen entered and won a snowmobile race in his native Finland under the name James Hunt, and often checks into hotels and makes reservations using the alias.”