The greatest driver in the world lost his
Said another way, three-time Formula One racing champion Nelson Piquet
lost his license to drive. He didn’t misplace it. It was revoked.
That’s like Robert DeNiro losing his SAG card or the Architecture board
pulling Frank Lloyd Wright’s license or the PGA revoking Tiger Woods’
Brazil resident Nelson Piquet – Formula One champion
in 1981, 1983 and 1987 – has been sent to driver’s awareness school for
repeated speeding and parking offenses. To get back his driver’s
license, Piquet must complete an eight-day, 30-hour defensive driving
course. My new neighbor, Hal Fast, a former sports car race driver
speculates teaching defensive driving to a class with Piquet in it will
be a special challenge for the teacher. This may be the first class
where the teacher has to bring a checkered flag.
Hal Fast, my neighbor, was an MG racer from years
ago. His business card makes it appear his name is HalFast if you
look closely. So I looked closely and it appears his left side was cut
off, but he’s all right now. Hal tells us he also attended defensive
driving school. I said “Me, too,” glad to find out I’m not the only
celebrity ticketed for minor traffic violations. So when Hal mentions
the driving school teacher can have problems with special students you
can see it happening, especially in Hal’s case.
“Okay class. If some of you were speeding tell us how fast.”
“I wasn’t speeding. I ran a stop light.”
“Then why did you answer?”
“You called my name.”
“If you’re driving the interstate at night, how fast can you drive?”
“I can drive,” says Hal Fast. “I can drive at night.
I’ve been a driver since before you were born, you wet- behind-the-ears
Multiply this scenario by ten and you’ll see the
dilemma the Brazilian driving school instructor has with Piquet and his
wife Viviane in his class. Imagine if Frank Lloyd Wright had to go back
to school to get his architecture license back. “Class, this
protuberance over this creek we call a cantilever. That’s what gives
the residence known as “Fallingwater” it’s unique watery…”
“I told the Kaufmanns ‘Get a hot tub. It’ll cost you
a lot less.’ ”
“Okay, class, when you’re pulling out of a parking
lot, look both ways and if you see a car two blocks down the road,
don’t try to beat it. Class, do you know what a feather-foot is? You
need to drive with a feather-foot. Does anyone in the class have a
lead-foot? Class, has anyone here ever drove over 90 miles per hour?
Folks, if you don’t want a ticket from the cops, do not drive while
wearing racing goggles. Class, how many here own racing goggles? Racing
gloves… are not a requirement to get the groceries. A fire-retardant
jump suit… a tell-tale sign you might be planning to speed. If your
Ferrari has a bumper sticker saying ‘Bye-Bye’… that could be a tip-off.
If you stripped your Maserati into a dune-buggy with racing slicks,
chances are you will be tailed. If your Shelby Cobra lurches while it’s
idling, God help us all.”