The number of athletes who have died competing in the sport of motor racing, including amateurs and professionals around the world, stretches into the thousands. Despite the danger, drivers continue to compete day in and day out for the thrill and joy of the race.
In Taken by Speed: Fallen Heroes of Motor Sport and Their Legacies, Connie Ann Kirk pays tribute to professional racing drivers who died while competing in the sport they loved. Covering tragedies from 1955 to the present, Kirk carefully reflects on the legacies of the racers and the impact of the tragic events, including on safety regulations, innovations, and on society as a whole. Drivers and incidents covered in this book include the 24 Heures du Mans race of 1955 where over 80 people died; the 1964 crash at the Indianapolis 500 that stopped the race for the first time in history; and the tragic losses of racers Ayrton Senna, Dale Earnhardt, Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark, Bruce McLaren, Gilles Villeneuve, Francois Cevert, Dan Wheldon, Justin Wilson, and Jules Bianchi.
Taken by Speed features exclusive interviews with legends of motor sportMario Andretti, Derek Bell, Sir Stirling Moss, Bobby Rahal, Brian Redman, and Sir Jackie Stewartwho raced in the sport’s most dangerous era. It also includes timelines of safety improvements in the sport and key moments in motor sport history. Using motor sports as its lens, this book explores moving stories of what it means to pursue a life’s passion with unwavering drive, commitment, and courage.
|Publisher:||Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Connie Ann Kirk writes primarily in the areas of motor sport and literature, publishing frequently on the topics in print and online. She has been credentialed to cover racing trackside by the professional racing series of Formula One, IndyCar, NASCAR, and IMSA, as well as for historic/vintage racing events such as the Goodwood Revival in England. The author of more than ten books, Kirk was awarded an Artist’s Crossroads grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for her work in motor racing.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Cruel Beauty of Motor Sport xvii
1 Fathers and Sons, Speed and Superstitions: Alberto Ascari 1
2 The Fog of War and Motion: Le Mans, 1955 15
3 Smoke over the Heartland: 1964 Indy 500 31
4 Natural Jim Clark 53
5 Achiever Bruce McLaren 75
6 Romantic François Cevert 89
7 Driven Gilles Villeneuve 105
8 Mystic Ayrton Senna 125
9 Rebel Dale Earnhardt 147
10 Still Happening: Bianchi, Wheldon, Wilson 161
11 Great Escapes 175
Conclusion: Speed and Passion 197
Appendix A Timeline of Selected Motor Sport, Automotive, World, and Cultural Events 203
Appendix B Timeline of Safety and Mechanical Changes in Formula One International Motor Racing 207