on 30 June 2009
This book describes by way of personal accounts, the life, times and races of James Hunt, World Formula One Champion in 1976. Coming from a supportive and loving family background, travelling through the British public school system, onto racing old Minis and gradually arriving at the Hesketh F1 racing team, where by all accounts he was a perfect fit. The reader gets a feeling of actually being there, Christopher Hilton uses personal accounts and anecdotes skilfully, this book very much tells the tale of the 1970s, a far off time of gallons of alcohol, liberal drug use, cock a snoop at the establishment and sex that seemed to be readily available, everywhere at every time. The books succeeds in describing James's character, priorities and personality, after reading it you get a good idea of what made James Hunt tick. The book also makes very clear that although James's lifestyle was to say the least wild, his driving ability and racecraft were up there with the best. He could and often did, beat any car and driver if at all possible, of course the 1976 championship swayed from one way to the other as he and Niki Lauda slugged it out for the title, Lauda recovering from that awful crash at the Nurburgring and Hunt trying to stay in the race after disqualifications. Settled in the pouring rain Hunt coming 3rd to give him the title. This is a remarkable book, a great ode to Hunt and the 1970s lifestyle, surely both driver and that time have gone by never to return. I can highly recommend it.