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MacGillivray Freeman FilmsTop Speed Project
Marion JonesLucas LuhrMarla StrebStephen Murkett
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Lucas Luhr
Mode of Speed: Race Car Driver
Claim to Fame: Winner of the 24-hour American Le Mans in the TG class in 2002; winner of the American Le Mans Series Championships in 2002
Top Speed: 203 miles per hour

Only 22 years old, Lucas Luhr is already one of the fastest young men in a new generation of bold and record-shattering racecar drivers. Racing may very well be in Luhr’s blood, as he is the son of a racecar driver, and some of his earliest memories are of hanging around in the “pits” with his dad. By the time he was ten years old, Lucas was racing Go Karts, and went on to become National Go-Karting champion in Germany. He quickly became known as one of the sport’s most promising talents. In 1998, Porsche asked Luhr to join their crack GT-circuit team. He immediately proved his stuff – winning the German Championship with Porsche in 1999 and the American Le Mans Series Championship in 2002. Luhr’s passionate dream is to win the classic 24-hour Le Mans race in Europe, considered one of the greatest prizes in racing.

Lucas’ favorite cars include the Porsche Turbo 911 for street-driving and, for professional racing, his Le Mans – winning 98GT1. But as he travels from race to race, Luhr actually logs more miles in the air than on the road. He earned some 460,000 airline miles last year alone, flying back and forth between Europe and the U.S. 27 times. Despite all this, Luhr still finds time for other speedy pursuits, including upping his training regime by racing in triathlons! He currently lives in Monaco.

Q&A With Lucas Luhr:
Q: What is it inside that drives you to keep going faster and faster?

A: I live for racing, and if you live for racing you can’t have any other focus but racing. I take it very seriously, of course, but for me, it is also important to have a lot of fun with it. There are some people who take it too seriously, but not me. It’s important that there’s joy in going fast.

Q: Why do you think humans have a "need for speed?"

A: To make believe you are in control when you are going at 180 MPH is a powerful thing – even if you’re really not completely in control!

Q: What is your favorite part of going fast?

A: Really pushing myself and the car in order to get more out of both than I thought was possible. Of course, I also love it when vroom, you suddenly pull away from everyone on the track and take the lead.

Q: How does it feel when you've reached your own top speed?

A: I am so focused when I get there, I’m not really sure what I’m feeling. It’s almost like being on autopilot.

Q: In TOP SPEED, the principles of speed are divided between body, mind and heart. Is there one that is most important to you?

A: They are all important but many people don’t realize how physically fit you have to be in order to be a racecar driver. Inside the car it is incredibly hot, loud and cramped. It’s not like driving a regular car where everything is nice and smooth. Your body feels every bump deep in your bones, you’re being hit with tremendous G forces, and your feet are burning from the heat. Most ordinary people who get a chance to sit in a racecar wonder how drivers can stand it for even a few minutes, let alone hours and hours. You have to be in great condition to endure this.

Q: What role does fear play in going fast?

A: There can be no fear. If you are afraid, you shouldn’t be racing. I don’t even like to talk about fear – I don’t want it in my head at all.

Q: What about crashing?

A: I have crashed a few times, but luckily no serious ones. You can’t let it affect you.

Q: How would you rate Tim Allen as a racecar driver?

A: Of course, he’s no pro but he’s such a fun guy, he makes driving fun too. I know he was really pushing himself to keep up with me while driving, but I had to push myself to keep up with how funny he is. I admire what he does, but I prefer to stick to racing!

Q: Do you think there is a limit to how fast humans can go on the racetrack?

A: To go as fast as possible, no matter the car or the surface or the conditions, is always the dream and it will continue on and on.

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