Covering the period from the first Grand Prix win in 1906, to Michael Schumacher’s 2006 retirement, this book is one man’s idea of the 20th century’s motor racing heroes. The sport has attracted many men and women whose determination, raw courage, and skill at the wheel has driven them into that special, rarified atmosphere of heroism – this book tells the stories of 100 of these heroes.
Covering almost 100 years of motor racing history, humanity, not simple statistics, is revealed here as the true source of the subjects’ heroism. Take André Boillot; so tired at the end of the 1919 Targa Florio, he made a silly mistake, spinning his car backwards across the finish line – yet he still won. Or Grand Prix winners Robert Benoist, William Grover Williams and Jean-Pierre Wimille, all of whom became French resistance fighters during WWII. There’s David Purley’s valiant attempt at rescuing a trapped Roger Williamson by overturning Willamson’s blazing march with his bare hands during the 1973 Grand Prix of Holland. And Alessandro Zanardi, who lost both his legs in a CART accident, yet still came back to win races.
The lighter side of motor sport is also here, with Giannino Marzotto, who won the 1950 Mille Miglia wearing an immaculate double-breasted suit. Or Giovanni Bracco, who won the 1952 Mille Miglia as he swigged from a bottle of red wine!
There are so many heroes and heroines in this sport. This book is about 100 of them.
About the author
Born in Ashford, Kent, Robert Newman spent almost a decade in Melbourne Australia, where he avidly followed motor racing and, in particular, the careers of his personal heroes Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss, who were to become major participants in his life many years later.
On his return to the UK in 1955, Newman joined the Kentish Express in his home town as a reporter, later also acting as correspondent for The Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, the Evening Standard and Southern TV and continued to be an avid fan of Fangio, Moss and motor racing in general. He graduated from the National Council for the Training of Journalists scheme in 1959 and in 1965 joined Pirelli Limited, the Italian firm’s British subsidiary, as their press officer, during which time he worked with some of the stars of motor racing and rallying.
In 1979, Newman was asked to move to Milan, Italy, as Pirelli’s international PR manager and during his 13 years with the Italian headquarters he worked with many motor racing stars, including Fangio and Moss with whom he produced the book ‘Fangio: a Pirelli Album’ written by Doug Nye and Stirling Moss. Other stars with whom he worked include Gigi Villoresi, Phil Hill, Tony Brooks, José Froilán Gonzalez, Karl Kling, Giannino Marzotto, Jack Brabham, John Surtees Ronnie Peterson, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell plus world champion rally drivers Sandro Munari, Markku Alén, Bjorn Waldegard, Stig Blomqvist and others.
In 1992, Newman became PR director of Pirelli’s United States subsidiary and continued his association with the stars of motor racing. He toured South Africa with Juan Manuel Fangio that same year, translating for the five times world champion at special events and on television.
In 1996, Newman retired to Italy, where he translates motor sport books from Italian into English for Giorgio Nada Editore of Milan and writes a monthly column on motor racing drivers and famous cars for the American magazine Vintage Racecar Journal.