FASTER! A Racer's Diary by Jackie & Peter Manso Stewart

FASTER! A Racer's Diary

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Professional auto racing fans will read Jackie Stewart's candid, bittersweet diary of the 1970 Grand Prix season from start to finish with a feeling of deja vu -- the deaths of Piers Courage and Jochen Rindt haunt the sport's psyche as well as Stewart's and this daybook is filled with acrid remembrances of those tragic accidents. Stewart is particularly harsh about Rindt's fatal crackup, charging Lotus insouciance toward safety and that the Prix Medical Unit was not used in his case because of ""politics."" 1970 was a ""pivotal"" year for driver Stewart, a year of mundane exhaustion, sulky confrontation with anxiety and fatigue, and attempts to recapture the ""emotional neutrality"" which made him a winner the year before. This far outdistances the gush and pretensions of Ted Simon's recounting of the '70 competition (p. 59); Stewart, with an assist from Manso (author of Vroom!! and Running Against the Machine), writes from the gut, noting that driving is ""one of the few professions that takes you to the ends of existence and back"" and that quitting, at least for him, is impossible because racing is an ""infection, like a disease that creeps through you, grips you with such a strength that you're in a coma."" And all the time he knows that the Big Pit Stop in the Sky might be around the next turn and the faster he goes the slower you'll read. . . .

Pub Date: May 30th, 1972
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux