Even Non-Racing Fans Love "Senna", The Documentary Film

Those who have been avid followers of Formula 1 are sure to know Ayrton Senna, considered one of the most charismatic drivers of this great sport. It was on 1 May 1994 that Senna died at the San Marino Grand Prix race that was held at Imola, Italy. Now, after 16 years, a documentary film has been made about his life. Experts as well as commoners hail this documentary as one of the greatest racing films ever produced. A few people opine that this documentary film is able to reach a wider audience than expected because it resembles the ancient Greek dramas.

The film has been entitled as "Senna" and its Director, Asif Kapadia, has cleverly used whatever archive footage that is available about this charismatic F1 driver. Of course, a few voice overs of journalists and Senna's family members have been used also. The Director has succeeded in making it into a visually poignant film for which he has used Senna's original footage from a few television interviews and racing images. Even many of Senna fans are surprised that the documentary film is able to reach even non-racing fans who are watching it with a great interest.

Perhaps, the fact that Senna lived for his beliefs and values may be the reason for the reach of this film. He was charismatic, very handsome and highly soft-spoken and these may also be the reasons for the popularity of the film. But, unfortunately, the very values and beliefs for which he lived his life, killed him.

A day before Senna's fateful accident and death during the race, Roland Ratzenberger, one of his fellow-drivers, met with an accident and died. Though Dr. Sid Watkins, the F1 doctor and also Senna's friend, suggested to him that he should also quit racing, Senna brushed the suggestion aside. It is true that he was in a state of shock due to the death of his fellow-driver. But, he preferred to go ahead and die for his love for racing and for the values he had been holding close to his heart.

A few connoisseurs of the film observe that the dramatic impact created by the documentary is due to the fierce competition and battle that was there between Senna and his contemporary F1 driver, Alain Prost. This French driver was also considered a titan of F1 racing during the same period. In fact, Prost became Senna's teammate at McLaren. They won all the races except only one during the season of 1988. The dramatic nature of the film was because the battle of supremacy between these two giants became quite vicious and they were engaged in a constant verbal duel even off the tracks also.

Close followers of F1 observed that Prost, nicknamed "The Professor," adopted a cerebral approach in his racing strategies. He adopted such an approach in his life also. On the other hand, Senna was more spiritual. He lived his life on instincts and believed his gut-feelings. The film unfortunately portrays Senna as a personification of all good virtues and Prost as a morally inferior person. But, the fact remains that the Director has succeeded in dramatizing the conflict between these two giants of F1 racing. Like all classic tragedies, this tragedy also touches the hearts of the millions of viewers of this documentary film.

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An Overview On How To Build A Kart

Many children want to know how to build a kart. Anyone can build one with just a few simple steps, one can be built in as little as one day.The materials are some wood, it does not really matter what type of wood as long as it is thick enough to support your weight. Most types can be rescued from the garage or shed.

You will need four wheels, from an old baby buggy or a couple of broken bikes so long as they are not too large and they have center holes. Two metal spindles that will pass through the center of the wheels freely and some nails, bolts, drill, hammer and a saw.

The length of the kart does not really matter but you need to be able to reach the front axle with your feet if steering that way. Once you have all your materials and tools you can get started.First step is to make your seating area, about twenty inches square for comfort. If using plywood sheet just cut this out with the saw.

Once you have your seating area, you could then add a longer section that goes from the back seat to where the front wheels will eventually be. This should be about six inches wide and between four and five feet long depending on your preference.

Now you can fix a four inch wide piece of timber beneath the width of the seating area to hold the spindle for the back wheels, this can be held in place with nails bent over or U shaped staple type nails, once this spindle is in place you can then put your wheels onto the spindle, remember your spindle must stick out from the seat by a couple of inches to allow for the wheels and movement.

You can secure the wheels in place with a spring type washer or can drill a hole in each end of the spindle so once the wheel is pushed on, a nail can be inserted into the hole to keep the wheel from coming off.The last step is to put a cross piece in that swivels at the front end so you can steer it.

Just use the same size board as the back that took your spindle for the back wheels but use a bolt so this section moves left and right freely, again fix your spindle to take the front wheels as you did with the back ones, now you may use your feet to steer or tie rope to each side of the front section and pull to turn left or right.

Learning how to build a kart may be the start of bigger and better ones, you may add a padded section of covered foam from an old chair for extra comfort or build the sides up so you don't fall off, but the main thing is to enjoy your ride. Always be careful on steep hills as these have no breaks and can be dangerous.

Danielle Brown, Author

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Danica To Dazzle

Danica Patrick is well on her way to making a name for herself in NASCAR. She entered the NASCAR Nationwide Series last year by running a part-time schedule with JR Motorsports. As a newcomer to the Nationwide Series she hasn't exactly set the world on fire but she does hold her own and is showing definite signs of improvement. Some say she is doing it the "right way" by continuing to run a part-time schedule in the Nationwide Series this year. Granted she can't dedicate herself full-time to NASCAR as she is still running her regular IndyCar Series schedule. Perhaps this is a good way to start out trying a new venture but at some point if she wants to make the leap to the Sprint Cup Series she is probably going to have to commit herself full-time to stock car racing.

Patrick seems to draw the fans but reviews have been mixed. Some say that she uses her gender too much. One report alluded to her temper being a result of "her time of the month". Last year Kyle Petty made a comment along the lines of "if she sells a few t-shirts and hats she should consider it a successful season". A bit condescending but a large part of NASCAR is the driver's popularity with the fans. If she can draw the fans, then NASCAR makes money and everyone is happy. It is a business after all. Dale Earnhardt Jr is a prime example of this. He has won races but let's face it, he does not have the most stellar driving record when compared to other drivers. A lot of his popularity is derived from the Earnhardt name which is still selling tickets today. That being said, perhaps Danica's popularity comes in part from her gender. However on the flip side she was paid a compliment by current Sprint Cup Series owner and driver Tony Stewart who stated he believes she has the talent to make it in NASCAR.

Patrick's bourgeoning NASCAR career is fueling the feminist movement in many ways. She is going against female stereotypes and is a role model for women everywhere. She is breaking into a sport that has long been known as a "boys club" and is becoming successful doing it. She strikes a balance between contending with the male drivers and being comfortable enough to show her feminine side without worrying that she won't be taken seriously in the garage.

Patrick brings a breath of fresh air to the female gender. She is showing women they have choices and can have successful careers in male dominated fields while not becoming one of the boys. Perhaps by watching her career continue to grow, more women will follow their dreams to break into non-traditional female roles.

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