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Men like us

Superheroes of racing - they are courageous, strong and passionate about fighting for the best lap time. But what is it that makes them so interesting? Let's call in an expert ...

Text: Maximilian Eder Photo: Tony Kelly 25.04.2019 1 min

Christoph Quarch is a philosopher and best-selling author. And he is currently dealing with superheroes for SWR Aktuell: "Superhero stories tell of ideals, of images of masculinity." Put simply, the modern hero is a real guy with that certain something. Who does that apply to? Certainly to some of the best racing drivers in the world who dominated the race track in a Porsche: "Strietzel" Stuck, Walter Röhrl or Jacky Ickx.

These heroes of the racetrack deliberately put themselves in danger and are prepared to "risk their lives for one thing and, if necessary, accept death for it," says Quarch. So there are no half measures. Just being second is not an option. That's almost deeply anchored in the male soul. And stories from the exciting racing world satisfy this need, Quarch said: "Because it hardly occurs in our modern world any more. We constantly try to evade danger and avoid existential situations."

The philosopher also explains why films like Le Mans from 1970 are so successful. They not only show the racing heroes and their racing cars in action, but also: "They tell us that life is more than just consuming the next best commodity and playing along in the great game of economics.”

So far, so clear. But let's be honest for once: Despite all the dangers, it's all about the rush of the big game. And not the question of whether good or evil wins, but simply who actually wins the race in the end.