This website is for performance automotive enthusiasts and does not make attempts to delve into celebrity and TMZ fueled culture but this is different. Yes, Paul Walker was an actor in a well known series of automotive movies that we often make fun of here. Not because we don't like them but actually because we like to them to such a level as enthusiasts we understand how Hollywood fudges with the reality of the automotive world for the purpose of entertainment.
The thing is, Paul Walker was not just some guy playing a guy into cars. He was a true automotive enthusiast with a passion for the topic. He had a slew of modified cars one of which was a supercharged BMW E92 M3 built for track duty by the same company working on my car. I saw his vehicle many times when I would go check the status of my own M3 and I always in the back of mind thought I would run into him at some point down the line. This was not some random rich celebrity isolated in a bubble but there was a very real world automotive enthusiasm to him that at least for me had tangible aspects.
Speaking of his M3 he raced it as part of the AE Performance team and one of those team members was the driver of the Carrera GT. Getting lost in the tragedy is that two people lost their lives here. Roger Rodas was the driver and obviously we do not know exactly what happened other than he clearly lost control of the vehicle. The Carrera GT is considered a high level drivers car and it definitely can bite you if you push further than you should. No matter how good of a driver you are (or think you are) this accident reminds us it can happen to anyone.
This network wishes to pay its respects to both men and to their families who obviously are grieving. We consider ourselves car guys and so we honor our fallen fellow enthusiasts and hope another article like this never needs to be written. Those reading need to remember there are very real consequences to actions in high powered cars. Those consequences are often elevated when on public streets.
Mr. Walker, you were participating in a charity event and participated in several humanitarian aid efforts. You used your fame and fortune to help others which is what made you different. Being an avid car enthusiast and contributing to the automotive community was just a cherry on top. You have had a greater impact on worldwide car culture than any of us can ever hope to even approach.
You will be missed.