- Director: Derek Dodge
- Writer: Derek Dodge
Unless you are a motor-racing fan...and, even if you are, this is a jet-set-less account of a remarkable motor-racing career.
Like motor-racing itself, this documentary [quite literally] goes roud-and-round in circles. The repetition is [for want of a better word] repetitive...he's gay, he's good-looking, he's a sportsman, he's rich...it's the 70s and 80s and he's stuck in the closet...and, there are rumours! That really is the story, told over and over again.
Hurley Haywood, by his own admission, is shy...hates the limelight...and it shows. He chose to do his big 'coming out' via this documentary. But, once he says the words: I'm gay...the show is over.
But that all happens in the first 40 minutes...there's 40 minutes more to go.
Perhaps, too much of this film is dedicated to Hurley's driving partner - Peter Gregg - according to this film, a rather unpleasant man...who committed suicide, aged 40. What follows is a foray into mental health and ends up becoming a respectful obituary...after the character assassination.
The last few minutes are - by far - the most interesting. There are a few opinions from an absolute buffoon...about being gay in motor-sport, they are as ridiculous as his hair!
This is a very conservative film about a very conservative man...who just happens to be gay. And, with having a very conservative 'coming out' as this film affords him...it all seems very fitting for his character.
In the world of 1970s car racing, Hurley Haywood was cool, calm and collected. A five-time 24 Hours of Daytona winner, three-time Le Mans winner and Trans-Am champion, Haywood was a Hollywood archetype: a strikingly handsome man brought up by a good Midwestern family.
Yet Haywood was often overshadowed by racing partner and volatile mentor, Peter Gregg—the Batman to his Robin—whose abrupt suicide in 1980 shook the sport to its core. And yet Haywood had secrets of his own. Despite multiple encounters with women, some that included public appearances alongside Penthouse models, he remained elusive about his personal life.
With deft use of archival footage and exclusive interviews featuring actor and fellow racer, Patrick Dempsey, Hurley reveals a greater insight into Haywood’s tightrope walk between career and sexuality, while posing the question—will motorsport ever be ready for openly LGBT racers?