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on 27 February 2007
Over the last year or so, I was aware that this book was being written by David Tremayne, with at least one delay to its publication date, clearly to ensure that it was as good as it could be. This book is well worth the wait.

Following three young British talents, from different family backgrounds, who took distinctly different routes to Formula 1. It covers not only their careers, but also paints a picture of British motor racing, and Formula 1, and the lifestyles of the people involved, in the late 1960's and 70's. The research which must have gone into this book can only be imagined, with references to press coverage of the time, the author's own account of many events, and the accounts and memories of people associated with Roger Williamson, Tony Brise and Tom Pryce. Also of note are the many, many press and family photographs on almost every page.

The tragic circumstances of their deaths are covered in detail, but in such a way that you also appreciate the relevant facts in the circumstances, and the levels of danger inherent in motor racing in those times, the lessons learnt and the evolution of the sport since.

This book, for me, is a fitting tribute to 3 talents which were never fully realised.

If you only read one book this year, then I would recommend this one.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2006
I only got into motor racing as a fan in the early 90s, so have no first hand memories of these three drivers. But this book brings them to life in a way that few other books, and very few authors can. I was engrossed by it, and extremely moved by the vivid descriptions of their horrible deaths, and the emotional reminiscences of those who loved them.

The book is far more than purely a record of their racing careers, it really does show how good they were, how good they could have been, what they were like as people, what motivated them, and details their lives off-track as well as on.

It's extremely well written, by an author who clearly loves his subject, and has the talent to do them justice. It's very easy to see why the author named his son after Tom Pryce, you couldn't ask for a better role model.

I'm an avid reader, on a variety of subjects, and this book is one of the best I have ever read. And certainly the most moving. It's wonderful that these three little-known heroes have been immortalised in this way. But what a tragic, tragic waste that this book should ever have had to be written. All 3 of these guys should have had the opportunity to be household names like James Hunt and Nigel Mansell.

A fantastic book, and one I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone, whether they are fans of the sport or not.
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on 30 May 2009
The 1970's were a dangerous time to race (as the decades before) and many lives were lost. In this book, Tremayne recounts the lives of 3 such lives, who could have been more then just great drivers but listed up amongst the greats. Each of the drivers, Williamson, Brise & Pryce are chronicled from their early outings in racing through to their Formula 1 outings.

The contributions to this book by friends, family and colleagues make this just a joy to read and giving a good insight into what each of them was like both in & off the racetrack. The pictures are big, vibrant and beautiful to look at and add so much to the book.

What Tremayne has made is a fine book that will grip you from cover to cover and show that the 1970's gave Britain more fine drivers then we might remember. Finishing this book made me think what might have happened if fate had played an entirely different card to Williamson, Brise or Pryce. I think we'd have had more then just James Hunt representing the UK at the very top in that era.

Recommended.
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on 10 August 2011
As an F1 fan who's favourite driver hails from Canada, and recent British interest in Lewis Hamilton, seeing this book on Amazon intrigued me. The fact that British motorsport lost 3 potential F1 champions in the 1970's was something I wanted to read about, particularly as the author reckoned they were better than James Hunt who won his F1 title in 1976.
The stories of each man are obviously tragic, not least the manner in which each lost their lives in accidents that shouldnt have happened. Williamson perishing in a car fire as there wasnt adequate facilities at the Zandvoort circuit. Brise in a plane crash due to heavy fog when perhaps the pilot should have diverted to Luton airport. And then Pryce who was killed by a well meaning track marshall crossing the Kyalami circuit with a fire extinguisher. Each driver gets their life story told, but because it is a regular sized book the stories arent as detailed had they been biographies in separate tomes. At times this made following their respective stories a little hard as although at the beginning of the book each driver was dealt in separate chapters, as their careers converged the author would be writing about all 3 drivers in the same chapter and would only use their first names in a sentence, which could be confused with other people written about!
Of the 3 drivers, Pryce was the one I wanted to learn more about as up until now he is the only Welsh F1 driver to have won an F1 race (although it was a Race of Champions event), and his style of driving was described as being similar to the powersliding Ronnie Peterson, so a real crowd pleaser.
Of course this book serves to show how dangerous racing was in this period of F1 as it also mentions other drivers killed during that decade and the stark reality those working in the sport had to face when young racers were losing their lives. If there is a positive it would be the lessons learned in track safety, a cause championed by Jackie Stewart who gets mentioned quite a bit in the book, that enabled drivers in later decades to survive horrific accidents at circuits.
Overall this book is an engaging read about 3 British drivers who the experts believe would have achieved many things in F1, and leaves you thinking what could have been.
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on 3 December 2006
I got interested in this subject after seeing the statue to Roger Williamson. I agree with most of what's written above but I've got less of a problem with the closeness of the writer. This is a book about three highly talented drivers who - between them - could have produced victories and possibly more. None got remotely close to fulfilling his potential, all died tragically young in preventable and pathetic accidents. Each death was totally needless. If that's not a cause for getting emotional, I'm not sure what is. In another reality at least one of these men, comfortable in middle age, would be trotted out to comment on whether Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Button was as good as them. As it is they're hardly known. It's a great idea to put the three careers in one book, making clear just what this country lost in the mid-seventies.
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on 10 April 2011
David Tremayne's eloquent, often gut-wrenching profiles of 70's racing drivers (and close friends) Roger Williamson, Tony Brise and Tom Pryce is a timely reminder of just how far Formula 1 and it's safety issues has come. Each of the three had the sheer talent and personality needed for long Formula 1 careers, much like Rubens Barrichello and Tom's successors at Shadow, Alan Jones & Riccardo Patrese. Although, like their living contemporary John Watson, they are often overshadowed by James Hunt's larger-than-life presence, just reading the book makes you think about what might have been.
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on 7 July 2010
David Tremayne has written a moving account of three young racing drivers whose lives were cut short by violent accidents. Any one of the three was, in my opinion, capable of becoming World Drivers Champion. The 2000s was the first decade in which no Formula One driver was killed and this book dramatically underlines just how dangerous motor racing in the 1970s was.
The book is nicely produced with an abundance of excellent photographs. It was an especially poignant read for me as I had a nodding acquaintanceship with all three drivers.
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on 2 April 2012
This is the sad story of three British Formula 1 drivers who were killed over a four year period in the 1970s. These were all drivers who were still breaking into the sport -Tom Pryce raced in 42 Grand Prix, Tony Brise in 10, Roger Williamson only 2. Yet Tremayne is clear in his opinion that all three were potential World Champions, even better than their contemporary James Hunt. The lives of all three are well-covered and the research is thorough. Interviews with surviving family members help the telling of the story. Yet the readers is always aware that the lives are going to be cut short - Williamson suffered a horrible death, burned alive while trapped in his car; Pryce was instantly killed when he was struck by a fire extinguisher at high speed. Brise is the only one of the three who did not die at the racetrack, he was a passenger on board team principal Graham Hill's plane when it came down in bad weather. This is a fitting tribute to three men and what might have been.
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on 3 March 2010
I was a regular attendee at British race tracks when these guys came through the ranks, seeing them drive whilst I was either spectating or marshalling. The incidents that cost them their lives hit me hard at the time, as did that of Graham Hill (I saw what was probably their aircraft a few minutes before it crashed). Because of the emotional connection I didn't read the book when it first came out, but bit the bullet and bought a paperback copy to read on a recent flight across the pond.

Yes it was a hard book for me to read, bringing back sad memories, but I'm glad that I have read it because it also celebrates what these three (plus contemorary David Purley) acheived in their short careers. It is pointless to speculate how well they might have done had they lived, but we can appreciate their talents while we had them.

Like many I was priviledged to watch them in action, and at a time when overtaking was a frequent occurrence, unlike today,and wheel to wheel battles were equally common. These were guys who could drive, and who could make a difference behind the wheel.

So a fitting tribute I think and only, for me, marred by some unecessary comments about Graham Hill. I would recommend the author to Jan Bartelski's Disaster in the Air which gives a far more balanced view of the accident and of Hill's flying.
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on 21 December 2008
dealing with Formula 1 in the 70's, this fantastic book details each drivers rise to the top of their sport and their tragic deaths
includes plenty of fascinating information about their rise through Formula Ford, Formula Three and Formula Two, as well as their unfulfilled Formula One careers
a enthralling read for any F1 fan
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