on 29 August 2013
I read an article about this in Autosport magazine and just knew I had to buy this! What I enjoy most about this book is reading about the lesser known drivers who have since disappeared into obscurity, as well as the pre-war greats who have long been forgotten.
Yes, the book will probably date as new champions are crowned, but it is (sadly) unlikely that a reference work of this type will ever be produced again. So if you like all forms of motorsport, be it F1, GP2, F3, Le Mans, Indycar, NASCAR or Touring Cars, then this is definitely worth the price.
on 14 August 2013
This has been very much a labour of love for the author and it shows. Obviously it is not a cheap book, but it IS value for money, considering the niche market it is in and the costs of quality books for this field. Rather than the plethora of books that treat the drivers as mere statistics, this covers the drivers as people and as equals - the well-known drivers e.g. Mansell, Vettel and Fangio get their deserved extra mention as you'd expect, but so too do the likes of Eric Cayrolle and Jan Flinterman.
There's a number of things I like about this book;
* The focus on rally drivers and NASCAR drivers without flooding the book full of them, but also including the likes of Marvin Burke as well as Richard Petty.
* The fact that even though I'm well versed in motor sport history, I've learnt more about some names that were just that - names, and I've been introduced to a whole list of new names that I'd never heard of, but were very notable
* Nicely sized and selected photos and an easy-to-read profile for each driver, encapsulating their career in snippet form, but still doing them justice
* Greats of the past are in there, but so too are the modern heroes and future stars - the likes of Robin Frijns and Mitch Evans, plus other GP2 drivers, are there alongside Tony Brooks and Piero Taruffi.
* The fact that this book recognises there are 1,000+ books about stats and how many GP's someone started, and another 1,000+ on the car and thus focuses entirely on the person.
I would thoroughly recommend this book to both a newcomer to the sport who wants to both up their interest in the history of the sport or realise who are the main drivers of the current era, and the historians and true fans - if I've learnt about new people, then anyone can.
on 23 December 2013
An extraordinary piece of work by the dedicated Peter Higham, who has spent a decade of his life on this master work. Unlike almost all other such books which are too blinkered to look beyond the endlessly over-publicised Formula 1 and thus follow the same old well-trodden ground, this sets out to cover all racing drivers, in all categories, ever. It does a remarkably scholarly job of it. If you value, as I do, books of motor racing history which provide genuinely new, rather than recycled, information, this is a must-have. And, at over 1000 pages, it's not expensive. When the quite small print order has run out, watch the values rise.
on 5 December 2013
Knowing Peter Higham's other books I expected his impressive depth of research and the tremendous breadth of international drivers he chronicles. But actually browsing through it drives home his book's inherent pleasure. You know you're in for good reading when you look up one driver and find yourself flipping through the pages, reading at random. On my way to look up James Hunt I came across current British Touring Car racer and open-wheel veteran Warren Hughes, controversial American sports-car driver Ed Hugus, Porsche Supercup star Patrick Huisman, current F1 racer Nico Hulkenberg, Can-Am and F1 legend Denny Hulme--then James--followed by Indycar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay, and the popular late '50s/early '60s Indy racer Jim Hurtubise. Quite an adventure.