The second of the poems composed by Ernie Black, @TheF1Poet, approved by Tom and Fred Hunt, to coincide with the release of the film, Rush. The film, directed by Ron Howard, follows the gripping story of the merciless 1970s rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
There has been a buzz lately, about an amazing man, one you would know, if you’re an F1 fan and one whose name across time shall span.
Featured in RUSH by the genius Ron Howard, this movie tells a tale which by passion is powered. This man was a giant, over most he towered with that devilish smile when with champagne he was showered.
I speak of course of the great James Hunt, sometimes known as “Hunt the Shunt”, who was always blunt and up-front and prepared to confront.
Quick on the draw from the lip or the hip, and fastest of all on the track and to strip. With lightening fists that just might slip which stung like the tip of a cracking whip
He went to Silverstone one day and heard his calling. With motorsports, in love he was falling. Working hard to realize his dream, he wasn’t stalling, he’d make it happen either by running or crawling.
The ultimate playboy? Well he certainly had brass balls. Women fainted as he smiled at them in the halls. Charismatic and charming, they’d follow him into bathroom stalls. “Sex, The Breakfast of Champions” was embroidered on his overalls.
He was one cool cat with laser sharp reaction. He wrote the book on the laws of attraction…willing to oblige pretty women looking for action, one could bet, he didn’t have Mick Jagger’s problem of no satisfaction.
He was a man’s man, loved and adored, from his very first days in Formula Ford. Danger was present and death was ignored, surviving a race was a secondary reward. Victory was the only acceptable result when he climbed aboard.
Naturally gifted and incredibly skilled, he ducked and weaved as fans he thrilled. Clever responses when by the media was grilled, this champ’s cup of life was always filled.
It wasn’t all roses or peaches and cream, he battled some demons, some were extreme. Life in the fast lane was his ultimate theme when in ‘76 he reigned supreme.
The sad day came when the decision was made. In Monaco his mind was swayed, from helmet to microphone was to be the trade. He won, he played, fans wish he would have stayed, but a dog of a car left him dismayed.
There have been many champions in Formula One, but like James Hunt, there simply were none. There have been many that more races have won, but just not with the flair in which James had done.
His personality magnetic and full of fire, a lust for life, which would simply inspire. Men would admire and women desire the man whose spirit shall never expire.
We miss you James, your voice, your smile. You left too soon in an abrupt style.. for a place, no doubt which is less hostile. We’ll see you again champ, but not for while.
I take my glass and raise it high, to James Hunt a hero and one hell of a guy! To all his stories and unwillingness to comply, to becoming a champion and being sly, I’ll tip my hat as I look to the sky and pay respect as I say good-bye