By Jon Saltinstall
Preface by Jacky Ickx
Foreword by Derek Bell
Jacky Ickx is one of the true greats of motor racing. In a career spanning nearly 40 years, he was both highly successful and hugely versatile, racing at the highest level in a wide variety of categories — including Formula 1, sports cars, touring cars and rally raids — and winning throughout. Among many accolades, he won the Le Mans 24 Hours an unprecedented six times and twice finished runner-up in the Formula 1 World Championship. This exhaustively researched book has been written with his full co-operation and outlines every one of the 565 races that he contested in cars and on motorcycles, forming a detailed and insightful record of his racing life supported by over 850 photographs, many of which have never been published before. This is a racing driver’s biography of exceptional depth that all motorsport enthusiasts will treasure.
Starting in motorcycle trials, Ickx was twice crowned Belgian champion before switching to four wheels; he immediately proved himself a winner in touring cars and single-seaters, becoming European Formula 2 Champion in 1967.
From 1967, he established himself as a star in sports cars, driving blue-and-orange Gulf Mirages and Ford GT40s to numerous successes, culminating in his first Le Mans victory in 1969 with its famously close finish.
Snapped up by Ferrari for 1968, he achieved a heroic first Formula 1 victory in that year’s rain-soaked French Grand Prix, confirming his career-long reputation for peerless driving in wet weather.
Other than one season with Brabham, Ickx spent his best Formula 1 years with Ferrari, achieving eight wins in the period 1968–72, and twice finishing second in the World Championship standings, with Brabham (1969) and Ferrari (1970).
Post-Ferrari, his Formula 1 fortunes waned but he thrived in sports cars, claiming three successive Le Mans victories, with Mirage in 1975, then with Porsche.
After his fifth Le Mans win in 1981, the rebirth of sports car racing in the Group C era from 1982 saw Ickx as anchorman in the all-conquering works Porsche team, a four-year period that brought his record sixth Le Mans victory, 12 wins in total, and two World Champion titles.
After retirement from circuit racing, his later career took him into entirely different motorsport adventures in rally raids, where his Paris–Dakar record includes victory in 1983 (driving a Mercedes-Benz) and second places in 1986 (Porsche) and 1989 (Peugeot).
Page extent: 608pp
Illustration: 900 photos, including much colour