TO those who say Hollywood never gets the racing right, I say, they got the racing right in : ''The Art of Racing in the Rain''.

In fact, the whole movie is based on, or was at least inspired by, the treatise of a real racer. Rolex Daytona 24 winner-and-racing coach Don Kitch Jr.

Racing sanctioning body IMSA explained it in an IMSA Wire Service story.

''A document Kitch wrote long ago explaining the mental and physical disciplines for drivers to become efficient driving a car in the rain not not only helped racers become more prolific in wet race conditions, it inspired life lessons that led to the book and now the 20th Century Fox drama that premiers on Friday.''

Kitch operates ProFormance Racing School at Pacific Raceways, formerly Seattle International Raceway.

In the Pacific Northwest [Anyone who has raced on it knows it is a real fun track in a beautiful location and it sure as heck rains a lot there'.]

Kitch raced at Daytona 20 times, winning the SRP II class in 2003. Kitch also has a big, sage golden retriever.

When writer Garthi Stein took a driving school from Kitch in 2001, met Kitch's dog, and read Kitch's paper, the wheels, so to speak, were set in motion.

First came the book, which was on The New York Times best seller list for three years, then the film, which opens from last Friday. The film took longer.

Universal bought the rights to the book for  racer/actor Patrick Dempsey, but could not find a director. then Disney got the rights. Then 20th Century Fox produced it.

Unfortunately, Dempsey doesn't star as the hero, but is listed instead as an executive producer. Maybe he aged too much over the years it took to get the movie made.

While actor Milo Ventimiglia does a credible job, I gotta think that racing fans would have appreciated seeing real racer, Dempsey in the role. But what do i know about moviemaking?

Yes, the movie - Ventimiglia stars as Denny Swift [oy], a promising racer battling his way up the  IMSA ranks. he stars in what looks like IMSA GTD, then works his way up to IMSA DPi and then, well, i won't spoil it for you.

The racing as it is presented is good, thanks to the involvement of racer/moviemaker Jeff Zwart. It's not crazily overdramatized as often happens in lesser movies like ''Spinout'' starring  Elvis Presley or  the Big Wheels with Mickey Rooney or in any local news coverage of any crash at any race track.

Here it's straightforward and accurate. Don't miss watching it.

The World Students Society thanks AUTOWEEK.COM


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