It’s increasingly rare to find books that break new ground — and this one would also likely break your foot, should ever you drop it.
Split into three hefty volumes, containing about 1000 pages in all, this is the fruit of a 10-year labour of love on the part of author Higham — an arch-enthusiast with other encyclopaedic guides in his slipstream. It is also a wonderful research tool.
Not since the days of Mike Kettlewell’s UK-focused Motor Racing Directory, more than 30 years ago, has there been anything that profiled drivers who operated beyond F1 ‘s isolated commune. The brief here, though, is far more cosmopolitan and embraces almost anybody who has raced with even a trace of distinction, from Rauno Aaltonen to Charles Zwolsman Jr via Elizabeth Junek, Harold Kite and Axel Plankenhorn. In each instance, pithy career overviews are interwoven with details of stand-out race victories and championship titles.
It doesn’t justify how or why Chanoch Nissany once came to drive a Minardi in an official Formula 1 session, but it confirms that he did… and underlines the scale of that meritocratic glitch.
Once you begin delving, it is borderline impossible to escape an all-consuming web of reminiscence. Remember the days when European F2 Championship races used to have entry lists so strong that 20-odd drivers would fail to qualify? You’ll find most of the stragglers herein. It’s expensive, yes, but thorough.
Motor Sport‘s office library is dense — and a select few works are regarded as infinitely more useful than their neighbours. This has just been added to that list. SA
Published by David Bull Publishing, ISBN 978 1 935007 19 7, £27.50