#FilmFriday: “The Gentleman Driver” Speeds to Netflix

by Alexis Higgins on February 15, 2019 in Entertainment, Film,
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Take a ride into the lives of four business tycoons as they combat negotiations at 200 miles per hour. This exploration of man against minutes shows a side of racing that finishes at a line of respect. And this epitome of the American dream is now available worldwide on Netflix.

Many of the scenes in The Gentleman Driver were shot in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas, and the film was directed by Mario Mattei and produced by Toni Calderon, both Austinites. The thrilling 90-minute racing documentary takes viewers into the lives of four round-the-clock businessmen who moonlight as amateur drivers in pro/am racing leagues. By regulation, an amateur and two professional drivers are required to qualify for racing events. Racing fans often think that amateurs, or gentleman drivers, have more money than sense. Yet, depending on the level of motorsport, these racers could cough up to $5 million per year.

Now available worldwide on Netflix, many of the scenes in “The Gentleman Driver” were shot in Austin at Circuit of the Americas.

The film takes us through who the four men are, how they are reaching their goals, and what racing adds to their lives. Instead of addressing the negative connotations of gentleman drivers, a management company, Speed Group, and marketing company, Velvet Cartel, decided to change the conversation.

The four men take us through colorful victories and powerful machinery. If you asked Ed Brown, CEO of Patron Spirits; Ricardo Gonzalez, Chairman of the Board at ASUCQ; Mike Guasch, CEO of Molecule Labs; Paul Dalla Lana, CEO NorthWest Value Partners Inc. they would say 70 days out of the office a year is time well spent. Between steering traces, brake pressure and throttle these four tycoons make deals to boost the communities they cherish the most.

Mike Guasch, CEO of Molecule Labs, is one of four business tycoons at the heart of “The Gentleman Driver.” Courtesy photo

Images of beautiful green pastures in Europe’s Le Mans Series transform into Mexico’s beautiful mountains at Ricardo Gonzalez’s ‘6 Hours of Mexico’ race. Scenes are filled with riveting inspiration and motivate viewers to never give up on their dreams. Mike Guasch believes, “If I’m not training, someone else is training; if I’m not practicing, someone else is practicing.” Though this is a man who gets to test beautiful machines from the likes of Aston Martin and Lamborghini, he is humbled by the love and support of his family.

Although this is a movie of excitement, it brings a sense of reflection. One thing we are not allowed to do is give these gentleman the automatic assumption of superiority. More than anything they are portraits of self-determination. Races could last up to 24 hours hours, and a driver is expected to complete one to two hours of racing to avoid disqualification. Whether a business contract has been properly negotiated, or not, the night before matters none when new tires hit the track. This cinematic production is the epitome of the American dream.

Cover ~ the Austin premier of “The Gentleman Driver” ~ Courtesy photo