The Things They Say . . .

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“He has produced a book on motor racing which doesn’t dwell at turgid length on lap times and other boring mechanical data. He’s managed to break the surface and get a look in under the immediate conglomeration or spanners, tool-boxes, lap charts and retirements caused by the flat-plane wizzing block failing to upslinze the toggle grommet. Who really cares about the mechanicals! If you’re going to write a book about people go ahead and write a book about people. And this is what ‘Six Days in August’ is.”—Nick Briton reviewing Cooper-Evans’ book about Surtees. The curious thing is that our copy of this odd book contains such things as: “Surtees had been concerned about the possibility of the car bottoming on the many bumps of the Nurburgring and was experimenting with larger tyres to give greater ground clearance. ‘We didn’t want to lift the front suspension up to the point where we were very close to maximum rebound, because this would create problems of take-off, so we thought it would be a good idea to use sports-car tyres which ¾ in. bigger in outside diameter, on the front. We weren’t too happy . . . because the slightly different tread arc increased the understeer a fraction and also, due to the larger diameter, the gyroscopic reaction coming back through the steering made it rather uncomfortable.’ ” And so on. . . . Surely just the “boring mechanical data” which Brittan so dislikes ?

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