VALENCIA (CBSLA.com) — Roger Rodas was a highly skilled driver who would not have taken a risk with his friend and client Paul Walker’s life, an engineer for Rodas’ race team said Tuesday.
Cary Eisenlohr was the engineer and strategist for Roger Rodas’ race team, Always Evolving. He told KCAL9’s Andrea Fujii that Roger Rodas was known as a gentleman racer, almost in the ranks of a professional driver.
“He liked the skill of driving and he looked to develop it,” Eisenlohr said.
According to Eisenlohr, the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was not one of the cars Rodas used for racing and was part of a collection he planned to sell.
“It’s a very highly, highly specialized car. It’s built different than the average car,” Eisenlohr said.
The vehicle is so different that Porsche reportedly warned its dealers of the car’s sensitivity. In a letter obtained by the entertainment website TMZ, the car maker warns “the car cannot go over a speed bump without damage” and describes the model as “as close to a racecar as we will ever get. This car has all the disadvantages of a racecar.”
Surveillance video obtained by “OMG! Insider” from a business across the street from where the fatal crash happened Saturday shows an explosion, smoke, and flames shooting about 20 feet into the air after the Porsche GT Walker was riding in crashed into a tree.
The Porsche involved in the accident was one of only 1,300 produced that year, less than half of which came to the United States. The model can cost up to $500,000.
Though investigators say it appears speed was a factor in the crash, Eisenlohr says Rodas would not have taken any chances, especially with Walker in the car.
“He realized if Paul was injured, he had three or four more movies to do,” Eisenlohr said. “He wouldn’t take any kind of a risk to do that.”
Eisenlohr says he and the racing community are devastated and want answers.
“He was a very serious person that was looking forward to, you know, living life all the way through,” he said. “And it was just taken way too soon.”