After news first broke of Paul Walker's death last night, there was an outpouring of condolences from across the world. Unusual for an actor, though, was the outpouring from the racing world. Racers from all walks stepped forth on Twitter to offer their thoughts.
The Porsche Carrera GT he was a passenger in was driven by Roger Rodas, his financial advisor and a racer in his own right. Rodas was also killed in the crash. He and Walker first met at the track when Walker noticed that Rodas was driving a Porsche 911 GT3 he had once owned himself. For his part, Rodas was already quite successful at racing, as noted by Autoweek:
Rodas, though, moved up through the ranks from Porsche-only series like the Pirelli Driver's Cup, where he won twice in 2012, into the Pirelli World Challenge, leading a two-car Ford Mustang Boss 302S team, sponsored by Always Evolving and charities that he and Walker supported. Rodas raced car number 52; his co-driver, in car 75, was Erik Davis, owner of Autotopia, a massive, near-legendary car collection in Los Angeles that supplies cars for movie and TV productions.
Both rookies in the series, Rodas finished 13 in GTS points, Davis 16th, despite missing the races in St. Petersburg and Lime Rock. Has Rodas competed in those races, he almost certainly would have been the series rookie of the year. Rodas' highest finish was fifth at Toronto, impressive since the GTS class has such veteran drivers as season champ Lawson Ashenbach, Jack Baldwin and Peter Cunningham.
Part of the reason Walker's death means so much to us here at Jalopnik is that he wasn't just some actor who had appeared in a few of the most important car movies of this generation, but he was a genuine enthusiast and racer himself.
That's also evidenced by the shocked outcry and and sadness from the motoring world:
Photo via Getty