It all began when an employee of McLaren Philadelphia informed two content creators from the marketing department of RDS Automotive Group that a patron of the company had his Senna GTR in for servicing and that it was of a similar style livery as the 1972 McLaren M16B that Mark Donohue drove for Penske Racing.  The outside of the vehicle was an unmistakable Sunoco Blue, and accented in bright yellow and red, with a bold number 66 present on the front and sides of the vehicle.  The depiction was distinctive to say the least, and it seemed as if it was destined to be where it was, when it was, for such as time as this.  The profoundness of the racecar bred invigorating ideas and thus more an optimistic and noble pursuit – to honor the uniqueness of this specific McLaren Senna GTR, as well as to revere the man who once drove the Sunoco Blue 66 car across the checkered line to victory at Indianapolis.  Following the planning stage, the creators would find themselves needing to capture components in video form, of both the client’s Senna GTR, as well as an interview.  The interview however was a notable occurrence of its own considering the interviewee.  RDS Automotive Group is in fact privileged enough to have Mr. Dave Donohue, Mark Donohue’s son, as an employee, working directly for the auto group’s Porsche division.  This made the interview especially personal and allowed the interviewers to see a perspective that would be impossible to hear elsewhere.

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While there was no question about who Mark was in his day, there is still a fascinating background about him that is unknown to even much of the racing community and to those who follow closely the legacy that Donohue established within the sport, adding all the more significance to the interview and the privilege of having been able to speak with somebody who had a distinctive relation to Mark.  Donohue was educated at Brown University, as an engineer, gifting him with a unique understanding of how the vehicles worked and performed.  As Dave explained in the interview about his father, there were reasons and methods behind all of his practices.  And while many other drivers at the time were racing “by the seat of their pants,” Mr. Donohue took a much more analytical approach.  The ability to do so enabled Mark to speak the language of the mechanics and technicians who worked on the race teams’ cars, which was especially uncommon at the time.  Mark’s aptitude in the field is one of the reasons attributed to why he established and built up a friendship with Bruce McLaren and the McLaren organization at large.  

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The content creators spent a total of 2 days as well as a 1 post-work evening in the photo studio, capturing video footage of the Senna GTR.  After having obtained the content needed for the first part of the endeavor, the next part of the checklist became a logistical one, and the two marketers would find themselves facing a few obstacles along the way.  There was initially an interview time set up with Dave Donohue, although it ended up needing to be rescheduled, as Dave was assisting a customer that day with business matters.  And while the interview was then supposed to take place on a different date at McLaren Philadelphia, there had been audio reception complications, and so the interview would need to be rescheduled once more.  After persevering through a few hiccups along the way, the marketing team managed to secure an interview time and location, in a more audibly forgiving environment. 

Because of the vast amount of rich history and detail that one could be consumed by in the topic at large, it was imperative that there be a goal maintained throughout the project.  That goal can be traced all the way back to the initial inspiration, which was to memorialize Mark Donohue and his role as a significant figure in American racing history.  RDS, having a direct tie to the Donohue family in two ways, both with Dave who is employed by the company, and his dad’s involvement with McLaren, as well as being fortunate enough to have a client who was eager to contribute, it seemed only appropriate to promote the legacy, and to get the message out about Mark and his impact.

In the interview, Dave explained how his father’s name is no longer as large in the general public as it is in the racing community, although in the era while Mark Donohue was actively racing, he was a household name.  Mark was not only known to society at the time as a fantastic racecar driver, but also a compassionate man in his pursuits.  As Dave continued elaborate about his father, it provided a gripping insight to the level of character Mark possessed.  His son explained that when Mark won the 1972 Indy 500, he called Dave’s mother, although had not even mentioned that he just won the race, but rather that “he just wanted to know how the kids were doing.”  And despite his currently humble reputation, those who are familiar with the circle of racing and its history know just how significant his role really was. 

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