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The British at Le Mans: 85 Years of Endeavour Hardcover – 3 Jul 2006


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Motor Racing Publications Ltd (3 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1899870806
  • ISBN-13: 978-1899870806
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2.5 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 205,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian Wagstaff is a freelance journalist specialising in motorsport and the automotive components industry. A member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and a former press officer at Silverstone circuit, he writes for a number of magazines in both Europe and the USA such as Racecar Engineering, Autosport, Motor Sport, Diesel Car, Classic Cars for Sale, Car & Accessory Trader and Import Automotive Parts & Accessories. He also acts as PR consultant to Zytek Motorsport. In 2006 he was awarded the Mercedes Benz Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy for his book 'The British at Le Mans'. He was also given the Guild's Pierre Dreyfus Award in 1986 for work with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

A follow-up to his Le Mans book, entitled 'The British at Indianapolis', was published in October 2010 and, like 'The British at Le Mans', has been Octane magazine's 'Book of the Month'. The day before the 2011 Indianapolis 500, the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association gave this its 'Book of the Year' award.

In 2011, his 'Audi R8' was published by Veloce. His latest books are a a biography of former Stirling Moss/BRP/Cooper mechanic Tony Robinson, another 'Octane 'Book of the Month', and a Haynes 'manual' on the Lotus 72. He is now working on a further 'manual' on the McLaren M23.

In 2012 he was awarded the Montagu Trophy for the second time for the Tony Robinson biography.

Product Description

About the Author

Journalist and broadcaster Stuart Codling has worked in motorsports for over a decade, covering sports cars in the United States before joining F1 Racing, the world's best-selling Formula 1 magazine. He has ridden pillion with World Superbike Champion Neil Hodgson, gone snowboarding with (former) FIA President Max Mosley, and been sworn at by ex--Ferrari F1 driver Eddie Irvine. He has appeared as an F1 expert on TV and radio, has hosted for Renault F1, and contributes to F1 Racing, Autosport, and Autocar. He is the author of the Motorbooks bestsellers Art of the Formula 1 Race Car and Real Racers.www.stuartcodling.comJames Mann is one of the world's leading car and motorcycle photographers, with more than 20 years of experience shooting for enthusiast publications, the motor industry, and businesses around the world. His work has appeared within and on the covers of more than 40 books and has provided stunning visuals for numerous magazines, including Classic and Sportscar, CAR magazine, Automobile Quarterly, Automobile magazine, and many others. His advertising clients include Aston Martin, BMW, and Toyota, among others. James is the photographer of the Motorbooks title Art of the Formula 1 Race Car. Visit his website at www.mannphoto.co.uk.Freelance journalist Ian Wagstaff won the Mercedes Benz Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy for his book, "The British at Le Mans." He wrote for Autosport and Motoring News before becoming press and promotions manager at Silverstone in the late 1970s. His current work for Racecar Engineering, Race Engine Technology, Performance Racing Industry, The Paddock, The Red Bulletin and Auto Technology takes him to races throughout Europe and the USA, including the Indianapolis 500.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By michelle on 1 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this as a retirement gift for a work colleague. He was very impressed with the book. I'm not a motor racing fan, but this book does have some very interesting information and photographs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
SpeedReaders.info Review 10 Dec 2009
By Speed Readers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The British at Le Mans, 85 Years of Endeavour
by Ian Wagstaff

Today, racing is as international an enterprise as one could imagine. Why then should the British connection to Le Mans be thought especially noteworthy? From the first running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1923, the British had a presence there. Admittedly with reluctance at first, but their early successes inspired growing enthusiasm among manufacturers and journalists and, through them, in the general public. That first Bentley success in 1923--setting fastest lap and finishing 4th after nearly winning--would be but the first of many for British cars and teams. Half the spectators in recent decades are estimated to be Brits, and they think of the 24 Hours as the "British race held in France". There is a strong school of thought that holds that Le Mans would have never amounted to much if it hadn't been for the Brits.

Of the 100 plus books on the subject of Le Mans, this is the only one that purposely, unabashedly, and to the exclusion of anything resembling a balanced view, celebrates the event's essential "Britishness". Yes, the author Ian Wagstaff is himself British, but this has not preconceived his notion. Rather he came to it in the course of his research which led him to proclaim the "firm belief that the British truly do rule over La Sarthe"--and he is the first to concede that this is hardly a politically correct sentiment. No matter; he certainly knows his subject, not just as an attendee for over 25 years but also in the broader context of being, among other things, a motorsports journalist for various publications (recipient of the 1986 Pierre Dreyfus award which is given by the Renault car company and the Guild of Motoring Writers for "the most outstanding journalistic effort during the year") and also press and promotions manager at one of Britain's fabled circuits--Silverstone--in the heady 1970s.

The book is divided into eight eras but the 32 chapters are not so much a seamless, linear narrative but rather individual essays on particular, albeit chronological, aspects. The writing is very lively, interspersed with many quotes, and some of the photos are from private collections and thus new to the record. Even with the rigorous focus on only British cars and drivers--as well as anything else British, from support crews to fans to Beermountain (read the book...)--there is sufficient reference to the races as a whole, and the times in general, to get a good sense of context.

Some 60 sidebars draw attention to particular personalities and interesting tidbits. Readers with an interest in automotive art will want to make note of a 2006 painting of [Sir Henry "Tim"] "Birkin at Arnage" by Jim Dugdale that was specifically commissioned for this book. Several pages of tables of British drivers (by year, and listing results) and another set of tables of British, or British-branded, cars (in alphabetical order and year of participation; no results) round out the book. There is an index, but only of personalities.

Incidentally, sales of the book go towards supporting BEN, the Motor and Allied Trades Benevolent Fund that was founded way back in 1905 as the automotive and related industries own charity.

Corporate sponsorship on racecars, uniforms, and circuits are ubiquitous. This book benefits from that sort of sponsorship too and readers may be surprised to find individual chapters preceded by full-page ads and the notation "this chapter sponsored by xyz."

Copyright 2009, Sabu Advani (speedreaders.info), rewritten and adapted from a review first published in the March/April 2009 issue of The Flying Lady, the periodical of the Rolls-Royce Owners' Club (RROC/USA).
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