Realisation of a dream - the creation of British American Racing

By Gianni Giansanti with alan Henry, ISBN 1-874557-88-8

Published by Hazleton Publishing, £25.00

Sometimes a book will drop on to your desk which will, quite simply, take your breath away. Flick through the opening few pages of Realisation of a Dream and the same will happen to you. But pretty soon you will find yourself wishing that it never came back. Concentrating on the creation of BAR from the ashes of Tyrrell, the book, as you may just be able to tell from its cover, centres rather exclusively on its team principal Craig Pollock. Just how integral he was in the formation of the team goes without saying, except, of course, they keep saying so… In one chapter he is the centrepiece of a Hello!-style photoshoot (Craig on the golf course, Craig kisses friendly Labrador, Craig has cornflakes with the kids). And then the piece de resistance: four extraordinary portraits of the team leaders including Pollock in kilt and sporron and, inexplicably, the car’s designer Malcolm Oastler nestled on a cloud with a pair of six-foot angel wings bolted to his shoulders.

The book improves in the second half. Each chapter begins with an explanation of the team’s status by Alan Henry, and the optimistic tone can be excused, for whatever you say about their book, BAR’s bosses did build the team from scratch in a very short space of time. Giansanti’s photography is, portrait work aside, accomplished and the images of the cars being built and tested is atmospheric.

This is the sort of book that teams feel obliged to make in the corporate 1990s. While it may be ideal for their sponsors it does not cut it for readers.