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:
Man life is so damn fragile. RIP Paul Walker.
— Marco Andretti (@MarcoAndretti) December 1, 2013
I raced on the same team as @RealPaulWalker at the 25 hours of Thinderhill a few years back. True car nut! Sad to hear how he lost his life
— Tyler McQuarrie (@tylermcquarrie) December 1, 2013
Spent some quality time with Paul on the set of FF5, was struck by his true love for the hobby & how he was grateful to be living his dream
— Ralph Gilles (@RalphGilles) December 1, 2013
— Simon Pagenaud (@simonpagenaud) December 1, 2013
So sad to read the news that @RealPaulWalker passed away in a car accident tonite. RIP... never take a day for granted.
— AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) December 1, 2013
RIP Paul Walker. Life is too fragile, people please drive safely, cars are nothing to mess with.
— Graham Rahal (@GrahamRahal) December 1, 2013
My heart go's out to Paul walkers Family and friends , very sad to hear he has passed
— Patrick Dempsey (@PatrickDempsey) December 1, 2013
“@usweekly: UPDATE: Paul Walker died at the age of 40 on Saturday afternoon after a car explosion, his rep confirms to Us." -wow, sad.
— Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) December 1, 2013
Heart is really heavy for Paul Walker's friends & family. I heard nothing but good things about him. He was loved by many. ..
— Rutledge Wood (@RutledgeWood) December 1, 2013
Truly shocked to hear the passing of Paul Walker in a road accident - a proper gearhead who could drive off-screen as well. #RIPPaulWalker
— Narain Karthikeyan (@narainracing) December 1, 2013
Had the pleasure of racing against Paul. A true motorsport enthusiast. You have touched many and will be missed.... http://t.co/Lew1cs8f51
— Kenshiro Gushi (@kengushi) December 1, 2013
We are all worse off without this guy around. Straight up one of the most genuine and generous car guys in the f... pic.twitter.com/PwZFUU6uWg
— Tanner Foust (@TannerFoust) December 1, 2013
Photo via Getty