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5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Book, 12 Dec. 2014
By 
A . J . Reynolds "AJ" - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beast: The Top Secret Ilmor-Penske Race Car That Shocked the World at the 1994 Indy 500 (Hardcover)
A superb account of the birth of the Penske PC23 Indy car and the Ilmor 265E 'Mercedes Benz 500' pushrod engine . Nobody has ever studied motor racing rulebooks more forensically for 'the unfair advantage' or loophole than the legendary Roger Penske . For years the rulebook of the Indianapolis 500 had allowed engines with push-rod operated valves to be substantially larger than supposedly more sophisticated overhead camshaft engines . The idea was that this would encourage entrants to run 'stock block' American V-8/V-6s or comparatively economical alloy blocked versions of stock engines .

'How about we forget the stock bit and design a pushrod engine from scratch solely for racing' was Roger Penskes big idea for the 1994 Indianapolis 500 . Having sold the idea to sponsor Mercedes Benz , Penske sat down with Ilmor Engineering , the producers of Mercedes-badged racing engines . Thus was created 'The Beast' the Ilmor 265E push-rod engine . So effectively did it blow away competitors in the 1994 Indy 500 that push-rod engines were subsequently outlawed to all intents and purposes . A very well written , well researched book with splendid illustrations .An account of creative engineering at its finest !!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Beast - Ilmor's top secret engine for The 1994 Indy 500., 28 Aug. 2014
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This was bought for my fiancé and is reviewed by him:

This is a fascinating story about a brand new engine, designed and built just for one race. All done in a top secret, need-to-know basis, the Penske PC23 with Ilmor 265E engine (badge engineered as a "Mercedes Benz 500I") was able to win the race in May despite the go ahead for the project only being given in the previous September.

Jade Gurss tells the story extremely well, with contributions from all of the key individuals involved in the project. There are a number of drawings done by Paul Morgan's son to help explain some of the technical details. It is a very 'readable' book - technical enough for those who are interested or involved in engineering but accessible for those who maybe aren't.

The book really highlights the effort and commitment required to be successful in motor sport - especially for those who work for Roger Penske. It's little surprise that his team have had the success they've enjoyed over the years.

I would strongly recommend this book - It's a cliche to say "I couldn't put it down", but it really was the case!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth is stranger than Fiction, 13 Aug. 2014
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This is a story that just HAD to be told! I had the privilege of being on the UK side of this historic project at ILMOR and Jade has recaptured the magic that we all felt about it. He has also managed to tell it in such a way that will captivate anyone who likes a suspenseful tale, or who is looking for an object lesson in how the best become the best in an environment where there is no such thing as 'second best'.

I suppose Jade could have made some of this stuff up - but then it would have been a work of fiction. I know he didn't and it isn't - and that is why I read 'BEAST' with an almost permanent grin on my face!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Racing Engine which was made and tested with stealth., 5 Jun. 2014
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Jade Gurss has written an excellent account of the Design, development, testing and the race of an unusual engine. I was a member of the ILMOR staff at the time and he has distilled an enormous amount of information into a very readable book, which gives by far the best account of the history of this engine. To have achieved this in the time he has, shows a considerable capacity for work and an incisive mind, coupled with considerable writing ability. He is to be congratulated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The human side of a great motor racing achievement, 19 July 2014
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Picked this up following a mention in Motorsport magazine, where it received very positive review comments. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, particularly because it tells the story more from the human angle than a motor racing one.
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Beast: The Top Secret Ilmor-Penske Race Car That Shocked the World at the 1994 Indy 500
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