Brumos Racing is one of the most legendary teams in sports car racing. Throughout the 1970s, the famous red-white-and-blue Brumos Porsches dominated, thanks to drivers Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg. Haywood is still active in the world of motorsports today, but Peter Gregg's story ended tragically: He committed suicide in 1980, at just 40 years old, while living what looked from the outside like a racer's dream life.
Haywood and Gregg's rise to the highest level of sports car racing is well-known to racing fans who witnessed it and students of motorsport history alike. But there's a hidden side to the tale, one that hasn't been known to anyone outside the circle of racers who lived through the era. And that's where filmmaker Derek Dodge comes in.
Dodge is a New York City-based filmmaker producing a documentary on the racing duo, tentatively titled Hurley Haywood and Peter Gregg: The Untold Story. The film seeks to tell the story of how Haywood and Gregg met in 1969, and rose to dominate the sports car racing world—leading to vastly differing outcomes for the two star drivers.
"You can't really tell the Hurley Haywood story without telling the Peter Gregg story," Dodge told R&T. "Hurley attributes who he is today to everything that Peter Gregg taught him."
Using current-day interviews with Haywood and numerous others who were active in the era, Dodge hopes to show the human side of one of the most legendary eras of sports car racing. "When somebody who is as famous as Peter Gregg takes his life, people ask why. That was the question I wanted to ask, too. What I want to do with this film is show a more human side to the racing story."
Dodge describes it as a passion project. The filmmaker first met Haywood in 2014 in the pits at Watkins Glen. They ran into each other at later races, and the more Dodge learned about Haywood's story, the more interested he was.
For the past two years, Dodge and a small team of helpers have been researching, interviewing, and filming footage for the documentary. It's been a nights-and-weekends project for Dodge, who has worked as a producer at CNN and the Discovery Channel. Check out the teaser trailer:
Now he needs your help. Dodge has . He's seeking $35,000 to finish shooting interviews, continue editing, and have a rough cut of the film finished by the summer, ahead of a hopeful release date in 2017.
It's an ambitious project, but Dodge hopes it will resonate with racing fans who remember the era, as well as sparking new interest in younger motorsports enthusiasts. "For race fans who followed Mr. Gregg in the 1970s, my hope is the film will honor their memory of him, and hopefully provide some meaning or understanding about his death," Dodge told R&T. "And for race fans who maybe aren't familiar with Mr. Hayward or Mr. Gregg, I hope the film introduces them to some true legends of the sport."
If that sounds like you, . As Dodge puts it, the project is tantalizingly close: "I'm trying not to use racing analogies, but we're nearing the finish line."