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FORMULA 1 racing has hosted down to the wire rivalries, but none more exciting than the 1976 head-to-head duel of Britain's James Hunt and Austria's Nike Lauda. To racing fans, the battle seemed almost mythic: Hunt was a fearless driver/bad boy well known for his philandering; and Lauda, the beloved returning world champion. Halfway through the grueling sixteen-race slate, the contest between the two seemed over: A fiery crash in the German Grand Prix left Lauda unconscious and severely burned. Yet just six weeks later, he was back in the fight, which would be settled only in the final race of the season. The story of this astonishing protracted duel will be rendered in both this compelling illustrated narrative and in a forthcoming Ron Howard film, also due this month.