A novel based on the 1954 race at Le Mans is triggered by the concentration and furious acceleration of a test such as this- its men as well as machines- and is particularly effective in its technically knowledgeable account of the great speed classic. Maller, a designer-manufacturer of some fifty years experience (and the future of his firm depends on the outcome of this race) has entered the first French turbocar- with Roger Giraud as his best driver. During the twenty-four hour ordeal Giraud looks back over the personal failure of his life, and much of his uneasiness is apparent to Maller when he gets behind the wheel. But he is just as sensitive to the imperfections of the car---the left brake has a certain pull and there is a telltale knock in the engine. Even so, as the race draws to a close and Maller sees that the restrictions on speed are lifted, Maller also refuses to lose the time it will take to change a faulty axle and is responsible for the crash which costs him his victory, his car and his driver..... The press-on-regardless in the expectation of disaster, the suicidal risks in an accident-prone profession, and speed with its demon fascination, all of this lends as unquestionable momentum. Earlier books, the Hans Ruesch, Paul Boles, for instance may have defined the market.