John Player Motorsport Yearbook 1976

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“John Player Motorsport Yearbook 1976”.8 in. x 7 in. 336 pp. (Queen Anne Press Ltd., 12, V andy Street, London, EC2A 2EN, £2.95).

You would not be far wrong if you said that this annual publication, now in its fifth year, has everything. Everything, that is, that the present-day motor sporting followers need in the way of nostalgia, references and enjoyable reading. There is a blow-by-blow report not only of last season’s Championship GP races but also of the non-Championship series, by Barrie Gill. These, with tabulated data as well as text and good pictures, sum up the 1975 racing scene.

But unlike some “annuals”, the John Player publication, in those quickly-recognised durable soft covers, continues this theme to cover the 1975 F2, F3, F5000, Formula Atlantic, Formula Ford and saloon-car races. So here is a very useful documentary of what last year’s racing was all about, in a particularly welI-indexed, clearly-page -numbered book. But there is more. My one-time criticism that vintage racing wasn’t covered is answered this time by a chapter on the JCB/Speed Merchants Championship for historic cars (but VSCC racing is still sadly neglected) and for very good measure there is a long section of the book devoted to 80 years of motor racing. And here I would say that a frontispiece photograph of Sir Algernon Guinness driving a 1 1/2-litre Talbot-Darracq in the loM very nicely makes the distinction between motor-racing then and now!

But there is still more. The whole history of F1 racing is tabulated, and supported by exceedingly interesting and informative statistics, the Champion drivers are dealt with in a Separate directory, Graham Hill has a memorial photograph, Championship points are analysed and altogether this is the best value of its kind you can buy, subsidised maybe, and with a modicum of advertising support, but unbeatable as a reference work to be stacked on the bookshelf.—W.B.