The Racing Life of Paul Newman
Matt Stone and Preston Lerner
There are so many quotes from famous names in this book that describe Paul Newman, the racing driver. But my favourite comes from race engineer Mark Schomann: “Now that he’s gone, I realise I always thought of him as Paul Newman the race car driver, who pretended he was an actor… He was a race car guy who wanted to drink a beer and have his foot on a tyre, and occasionally, he’d go, ‘Oh, shit, I’ve got to get to work and do a movie.’”
That’s the dominant message of this tribute to a much-loved man who died in September last year. Paul Newman was one of the last great Hollywood icons. But at the race track, he was just one of the guys.
The book recounts Newman’s late-in-life love affair with racing, which was famously kick-started by his 1968 Indy movie Winning. The story moves on to his very respectable club racing record of the 1970s, the second place at Le Mans in 1979 (his only race outside North America – he hated the mania his presence created) and his impressive semi-pro Trans-Am days in the 1980s. The chapter on his partnership in Indycars with Carl Haas is enlightening, while the box-out memories from friends, rivals and the drivers who raced for him complete the portrait. Anyone who loves Newman the film star should read this book to discover the real man behind those famous blue eyes. DS
Published by MBI Publishing Company, ISBN 978 0 7603 3706 6, £18.99