Cert 12A 99mins stars 3
Drivers and doctors discus death on the track as we’re taken on a drily forensic journey in this middle of the road documentary which looks at the introduction of safety and medical support in US motor racing.
It’s a straightforward combination of talking heads intercut with race footage of fatal crashes, which make for an occasionally terrifying watch.
With frank contributions from drivers including more than one winner of the US premier racing event, the Indianapolis 500, it centres on the work of lifelong racing fan Dr. Stephen Olvey.
He went from being a medical student trackside volunteer to kickstarting the drive to collecting data which became instrumental in furthering car safety.
But he faced an uphill struggle as each new safety feature involved financial costs and a ‘performance penalty’, i.e. they led to heavier and therefore slower cars.
Interviews with engineers and promoters are noticeably absent, highlighting in a roundabout way the tension in racing between safety, spectacle and profit.