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‘Born Racer’ – Review

‘Born Racer’ – Review

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What does it mean to go fast? To live your live dedicated to the pursuit of speed and wanting to feel the rush of the win. That’s exactly where we find ourselves in an exhilarating new documentary that takes us inside the mind of New Zealand racing superstar Scott Dixon, a five time IndyCar champion who with Born Racer is channeling his desire to chase a fifth IndyCar championship during the 2017 race season. And trust me when I say that this film is a full on rush.

As a piece of documentary cinema Born Racer offers a unique insight into the mind, talent and drive of what makes Scott Dixon the man he is. His is a single-minded determination to chase the checkered flag and its a journey that has had him behind the wheel his entire life. While the film centers on his efforts to compete and win the 2017 title for the fifth time, Born Racer offers a complete portrait of Dixon from his early days racing go-carts in New Zealand to the journey he would take in order to get to the professional circuit and the responsibilities he now has as a devoted husband and father.

It’s an intimate portrait of Dixon and one thing that you come away from it with is that this is a man who likes to win. No matter what stage he is at during Born Racer with his Chip Ganassi Racing team the idea of the championship never fades from his mind. Dixon is an ultra competitive person and his pursuit of excellence on the track is something to be readily admired here in Born Racer.

Through Born Racer we are able to get inside the car and be present with Dixon as he races around various IndyCar circuits and you come to appreciate the marathon quality of this sport. Lap after lap Dixon’s concentration and reflexes are pushed to the limit as he chases the win and he never lets up. Demanding excellence of himself and his team, Dixon won’t even let potential injury stop him from racing and after a particularly gnarly crash at the beginning of the 2017 season he’s back in the car five days later and again putting in the work.

But no champion ever goes it alone and it’s a team effort, and here in Born Racer we get an insight into Dixon’s life alongside his Ganassi racing team. I really liked this aspect of the film as it offers audience a behind-the-scenes look into the sport and the insights that it offers on the engineers and mechanics that give Dixon his competitive edge.

These men and women are gripped by the same burning desire to win just like Dixon is and their engineering knowledge is incredible to watch. Whether its analyzing footage, stripping the car down or working the pit to put Dixon back into the lead they give it everything they’ve got and Dixon acknowledges his team’s work in his success openly.

Born Racer chronicles the highs and lows of IndyCar racing and its apparent that when everything goes rights it’s nothing short of amazing….and when it goes wrong, well, it’s simply crushing. This is especially present in the portrait of Dixon’s teammate and good friend Dan Wheldon who was tragically killed in 2011 in an event that shocked the motorsport community and had a deep effect on Dixon.

As the film’s narrative moves forward we see Dixon strive for the championship and with each new race he ultimately gets a step closer to the title although as Kiwi motorsport enthusiasts will know he unfortunately Dixon wasn’t able to clinch the title that year. 2018 however, well, that was a different story all-together and was a result of Dixon’s hunger for the title and unrelenting drive that is present throughout Born Racer.

Born Racer is simply a must watch for Kiwi motorsport enthusiasts and is an incredible portrait of a Kiwi racing legend.