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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The lovely Mrs H (AKA "she who must be obeyed") has been a complete darling and bought me this beanfeast of a book for Valentines day! (All together now Ahhhhhh!).



After reading the foreword in the last few hours I feel that its going to be a must read for all you 1970's F1 addicts out there.

In the coming week or so I'll post a few car related snippets whcih will hopefully shead light upon that amazing season and add colour and depth to those McLaren, Ferrari, Hunt and Lauda fans that are out there in the slot world.

Rubython has consulted only the best reference points to put together this book (John Watson, Bernie Eccelstone, Lauda etc etc) and its superbly illustrated by none other than maestro photographer Rainer Schlegelmilch himself.

I'm looking forward to reading it and I hope you'll enjoy my posts.

All the best . . .
 

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There's no getting away from it, Rubythons book is a real page turner and Chapter 1 and 2 haven't dissapointed me at all.

His writing style is brisk and pacey but retaining a level of detail that is both eye opening and fascinating.

As you might expect, chapter 1 & 2 deal wth how both Hunt and Lauda came to be in Formula 1 via their lower formulae days in F3, Formula Vee and Formula 2. But unlile most "biography" type books you aren't wading through page upon page of text thinking "oh for goodness sake hurry up and get famous". Rubython gets straight to the point and the background to the 1976 duel is succinct and breathtakingly well written.

Lauda's family were very much opposed to his racing career and tried all they could both fair and foul to put a stop to it. By the same token Lauda had to develop an equally devious and cunning approach to combat them to get himself into the cockpit.

Financially he did it on a wing and a prayer despite coming from a very well off Austrian family by taking out huge loans at banks to finance his way into a spectacularly bad drive with the awful 721X March and then in a failing car at BRM. However, it was a superb drive in the BRM at Monaco in 1973 that caught the eye of Enzo Ferrari and . . . well the rest is history.

Hunt comes across as what would commonly be known nowadays as a sex addict. Unafraid of drink drugs and women affecting his driving talent he's the classic example of a 1970's playboy going from one party (or woman) to the next. Out of luck and without a drive at the end of 1975 with Hesketh he can thank Emerson Fittipaldi for going to Copersucar (which effectively terminated his F1 career) for getting the McLaren drive. Neither Teddy Mayer or Alistair Caldwell wanted Hunt in the McLaren team but Marlboro twisted their arms and Hunt got the drive, despite the fact that Hunt preferred to smoke Rothmans! (He used to fill a Marlboro carton with Rothmans every night apparently to fool the sponsors!).

Hunts saving grace was - that even with all the women, drink and drugs - he was devastatingly fast and some say a more naturally talented driver than Lauda.

But speed isn't everything and Chapter 3 starts at the Brazilian Grand Prix 1976 which is where I'm going to pick the book up at now.

More soon . . . . .

PS, I forgot to mention that Rubythons book has been used as a basis for a new film by Hollywood director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code) called "RUSH". Its due out in 2013 and by all accounts its going to be on a par with Senna. See link for more details.

To add some colour and context lets add the 1976 Youtube review . . . enjoy

 

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Hi Ian

Thanks for the review so far.
Great post as always.

I looked at this myself on Amazon a few weeks ago & wondered if it would be a cracker.
Amazon reviewers thought so.
Also the Hunt biography or autobiography ( forget which now ! ) think it's called 'Shunt' ( maybe ).

Sounds like a must read this one.
Nothing worse than falling asleep after 10 pages.
Sounds like there's no danger of that here !

How much photography is in the book ?
I guess it's like similar books, ie 2 or 3 sections of 1/2 a dozen photo pages ?
Are the photos colour or B&W, or both ?

I think i'll get a copy anyhow.
I guess we all know the ending already, but don't give all the tasty bit's away Ian !!!

Cheers

Si.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Si

Well I was reading it until 1.30am ish this morning and I reluctantly put the book down so I would not oversleep this morning.

Thats because I'm being picked up at 9am in a luxury 4x4 to be chauffeured to Milton Keynes swap meet! Life is hard sometimes!

Seriously, there are 32 pages of gorgeous colour images and trust me, as far as giving away the "juicy bits", well, I'm barely scratching the surface.

Do you think the Bearwood lads that I'm travelling to MK with would think I'm being anti social if I read the book in the 4x4 and NOT talk to them?

H'mmmmmm better not risk that . . . .

More to follow tonight . . . .
 

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Revelation after revelation in the last few chapters.

Hunt saves himself from getting the sack at Mclaren at the first race of 76 by pulling out a barnstorming pole position lap.

Lauda suffers from political infighting when Luca Do Montezemolo leaves the Ferrari team manager role to Daneilli Audetto (who Lauda despises).

Hunts marriage ends when his wife runs off with Richard Burton and Lauda marries in secret shortly after dumping his girlfriend of 8 years.

The writing is crisp, exciting and makes you want to turn the page and there's no getting away from it Rubython is setting the scene for a titanic battle for the 76 GP championship.

If you thought that you knew these characters and circumstances then think again. Lauda comes across as a deeply romantic but ruthlessly practical and pragmatic man, whilst Hunt seems massively intelligent but with appallingly poor impulse control and at the mercy of his tempestuous emotions.

After threatening Teddy Mayer (McLaren boss) with physical violence for not preparing a car that he can actually get into, he goes out in the dying seconds of the last qualifying session of the Brazilian GP to set a stunning pole lap that Lauda is unable to repsond to.

Mayer has a "moment of clarity" and realises that far from being an idiot playboy (whom he is about to sack), Hunt is a blisteringly quick racing driver. Respect is earned and given . . . . . .

Its a great read that feels like watching a film. More to come tomorrow night!

 

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Intrigue upon intrigue as Lauda's position at Ferrari is undermined following an accident at his new home in Austria.

As he is using a mechanical digger/tractor to excavate a swimming pool it rolls and traps him underneath breaking ribs.

Despite being the championship leader after wins in Brazil and South Africa and second place to Regazzoni at Long Beach Enzo Ferrari and Danieli Audetto (Team Manager at Ferrari) play mind games both with Lauda, the Italian sporting press and Regazzoni to promote a no hope Italian driver to replace Lauda.

Meanwhile Hunt's McLaren is found to be 1.8cm to wide after winning the Spanish Grand Prix at Jarama and all hell is about to break loose when he is stripped of the win . . . .

I told you its was good didn't I?

I'm not telling you anything that's not already known but Rubythons narrative is crisply written with much more detail than I am able to convey here, so I'm not spoiling the book for any potential readers. Trust me there is so much more to this story than I bargained for.

Its a delight to read and share with you all.

More tomorrow . . . .

 

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1976 truly was a sultry summer of no surrender.

Hunts Spanish points are re-instated after a successful appeal, but in trying to make the car absolutely legal under the rules Alistair Caldwell makes the M23 McLaren all but undriveable.

Oil coolers moved to the rear of the car make the rear wing downforce completely unpredictable and Hunt has a torrid time both driving the M23 as well and trying to convince Caldwell to move the oil coolers back to their original positions.

At the same time Lauda romps ahead in the points table, but Hunt finally gets his own way and scores a crushing victory over Ferrari at the French GP as the M23 comes good again.

Hunt become a national treasure and becomes the most popular sportsman in the UK so the scene is set for a battle royal at the British GP.

What happens next is almost unbelievable as Lauda, Hunt, Regazzoni, Andretti and Laffite power away from the line at Brands Hatch battling over the same piece of tramac on that boiling hot summer day.

More tomorrow night!

 

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It does sound like an amazing book, but in a big way due to the outstanding pace of your summarizing: great job there Ian!


Cheers!

Fernao
 

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Lauda storms away from the startline at Brands Hatch heading for the downhill right hander, however his get away is completely eclipsed by Regazzoni who makes a incredible (if foolhardy) lunge from the second row to challenge Lauda for the same squre yard of tarmac.

The inevitable happens and as they collide Lauda and Regazzoni spin in the face of the entire pack bearing down on them. Hard on the brakes Hunt chuckles to himself that both Ferrari's are eliminated in one fell swoop only to realise that he can't avoid hitting the melee in front of him.

As his car is thrown into the air his front suspension and steering is damaged as is Laffite's Ligier as he takes the front off Regazzoni's Ferrari. The race is red flagged and Hunt knows that there no way his car will make it around the full lap so he ducks in the back entrance to the pits hoping that the stricken Mclaren can be repaired.

As stewards consult the rule books the McLaren mechanics replace the bent front corner of the M23. Ferrari want Hunt thrown out, McLaren want Regazzoni thrown out and as the race officails annouce that neither will be rejoining the fray the crowd start to get ugly.

"WE WANT HUNT! WE WANT HUNT! WE WANT HUNT!"

On the advice of the Police the organisers give in and Hunt is allowed to take the start in the repaired M23 and Regazzoni starts in the spare 312T2.

At the restart Hunt drops into second place and doggedly follows Lauda around the switchback Brands Hatch circuit until Lauda begins to slow with gearbox trouble.

Hunt scores another win and now the points table looks uncertain for Scuderia Ferrari.


At least Lauda is very much back in favour with the Italian sporting press and Enzo Ferrari. He is summoned to Maranello to discuss contract terms for 1977. This is an unprecedented step for Ferrari as normally Enzo Ferrari likes to keep contract negotiations until the end of the season in order to pressurise his drivers into taking a lower figure to drive for the team.

But Ferrari has heard that Lauda is being courted by Brabham Alfa and the thought of Lauda driving for another team with Italian engines is abhorrent to him.

Lauda realises this and bargains hard with Ferrari in the Cavallino Restaurant just across the road from the Ferrari factory in Modena. Voices are raised, blasphemies exchanged but Lauda gets his price plus many extra benefits which will prove invaluable in the weeks to come.

Rubythons tale of the 1976 season continues inexorably towards the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring and Lauda's appointment with destiny at the Bergwerk corner. In hindsight you can feel the shroud of fate falling but at the time perhaps it seemed like just another race in what was proving to be a classic season of Grand Prix racing.

More to come tonight . . . .
 

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For many years Lauda had been a huge advocate in favour of the Nurburgring circuit. He thought is to be the ultimate test for drivers to try to master a perfect lap and hone their skills.

For sure he realised that the "Ring" was deadly indeed some 140 drivers have perished there over the years, which explains why his crash helmet was painted Da Glo red. Taking his cue from powerboat racers he realised that the colourscheme made it all the better to help someone find your body if you are thrown from the car in a shunt at the Ring.

After achieving the first sub 7 minute lap at the Ring in 1975 (an average speed in excess of 140mph and a record which stands to this day) he recognised that this was the "ultimate madness" and that the German circuit could not contain a violent accident at modern F1 speeds nor would the emergency services reach an accident scene quickly enough to save a driver in mortal danger.

With Hunt and the McLaren M23 posing an evermore greater threat to his championship lead he reluctantly agreed to drive at the "Ring" after he was accused of cowardice by the German and Italian media.

Race day dawned with scattered showers and all but Jochen Mass in the second McLaren started on wet patterned tyres. Lauda got away badly at the start and found himself struggling in eighth place on the rapidly drying track. At the end of lap 1 he ducked into the pits and the Ferrari mechanics screwed 4 slicks onto the 312t2 in record time.

However, Lauda hadn't bargained for the massive amounts of grip and thumped a concrete kerb on his way around the first part of the lap and unknown to him his suspension was about to fail as he entered the fast left hander at Bergwerk.

Drifting the car into the left hand apex and some 130mph a magnesium tie rod broke causing the rear suspension to collapse and the making the Ferrari steer sharply to the right. At almost unabated speed the nose of the car smashed into an embankment and tore itself away from the chassis, rupturing a fuel tank as it did so.


Lauda's AGV helmet came partially off in the shunt exposing the lower part of his face to the flames that now enveloped the car. Unsighted to the scene ahead British driver Guy Edwards narrowly avoided Lauda's stricken car sitting square in the middle of the track.

Brett Lunger was not so lucky and crashed heavily into the right hand side of the Ferrari rupturing the second fuel tank. This being lap 2 meant that the Ferrari's fuel tanks were brimming with petrol and Lauda was engulfed in flames in temperatures of up to 800 degrees for over a minute.

Watson, Lunger and Edwards battled to get Lauda out of the inferno, but it was the diminutive Arturo Merzario (driving a Williams) who - without regard for his own safety - threw himself into the flames to undo Lauda's seat belts.

Merzario's bravery is one of the true acts of heroism in motorsport that has virtually gone unnoticed into the annals of time and is especially poignant as Merzario was not a Lauda fan in any way shape or form and indeed he was outspoken of his critisism of Lauda in the Italian sporting press.

The race is stopped. Lunger finally frees Lauda from the car, but by this time Lauda's helmet has come off completely exposing his face and airway to the raging fire. Watson cradles Lauda's head at the trackside and tries to re-assure him that his burns are not too bad, but it is still some 40 minutes before the Austrian is flown by helicopter to a nearby burns unit.

Hunt goes on the win the restarted German Grand Prix under the innocent misapprehension that Lauda has minor injuries and will be well enough to fight for the championship at the next race.

However, it is soon realised that Lauda's facial burns are insignificant compared to the scorching of his throat and lungs as well and the toxic fire extinguishant that Lauda inhaled deep into his lungs during his escape from the fire.

Fluid builds on his lungs, his blood oxygen level drops dangerously low and the pain from his burns are described as "cruel".

The Austrian is desperately close to death and few think that he will survive til the next dawn.

A superb book that continues to enthrall. . . . . . more tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well not quite tomorrow but I've been busy build Ferraris and Brabhams etc etc.

"All that I know is that I'm tired and that I want to go to sleep and know no more, but you know its not sleep, its something else . . . and then I became very scared"

The Austrians lungs are in a shocking state and his blood oxygen level is well below what is safe to prevent brain damage and death. Laudas wife Marlene is a complete tower of strength, not leaving his bedside, telling him what a great man he is and how he will survive. The doctors tell her that she must expect the worst and that there is no chance that Lauda will live.

They insert a pipe into his throat to suction the fluid from his shattered lungs. The process itself is perilously dangerous. If the pump is used too much it will destroy his lungs, too little and Lauda will drown.

Lauda fights death and struggles to stay awake despite the fact that he cannot open his eyes because of the swelling to his face and forehead caused by the 800 degrees of heat that he endured for almost 1 minute.

Although he is a committed atheist he is given the last rites just when he needed words of hope and that frightens Lauda more than ever.

After 4 days of near death struggle his blood oxygen level improves marginally and it seems that against the odds he will live.

Meanwhile Hunt is wracked with guilt that he unable to help Lauda in any practical way. Why should he be at home in London enjoying life when his friend and rival is fighting for his life?

As soon as he is able Lauda asks for a mirror and forces open an eyelid to look at what is left of his face.

He describes the sight as "horrific, and swollen to three times its normal size". When other mortals may feel depressed and dejected Laudas amazing character comes to the fore and his immense will to live shines out from the page.

I've read Lauda's memoire "For the Record - My Years with Ferrari" and that was good, but Rubythons narrative really brings home what a powerful man Lauda really is and I've nothing but admiration for him as a consequence.

Yes the descriptions in the book are graphic. But the context in which they are used really brings home to the reader what a challenge it was to race during that era. This is what the sport did to people (and worse) and no-one outside the cockpit can ever fully understand the committment that it takes to drive a corner like Bergwerk (where Lauda crashed) at 130mph with no barriers or medical help nearby to save you quickly.

More to follow.
 

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QUOTE (Scott @ 27 Feb 2012, 14:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Have we bought the serialisation rights?

H'mmm, not sure what you mean here, but here goes.

Serialisation rights are only required if extracts from the book in question are lifted wholesale from the published text and published elsewhere for the means of making a profit.

Peter mandelson was paid £350k for the serialisation rights to his book by a British Newspaper. The figure was paid because the Newspaper were expecting to increase their circulation (and hence increase their profit margins).

My review of the book neither lifts extracts from the text nor is intended in anyway to make a profit.

In any event and to make absolutely sure I have just emailed Tom Rubython to establish if he is happy for me to continue to say what an amazing book it is via slotforum.

Fair enough?

Scott added at 00:32, 28/2/12: No panic. Only trying to be funny while subtly suggesting that one longish post on a book might be enough to get the discussion going.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
QUOTE (athrlyth @ 15 Feb 2012, 06:27) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Fantastic thread, really well put together, cant wait for the next installment.

Athrlyth

Cheers mate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
QUOTE (BigDog @ 15 Feb 2012, 16:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>It does sound like an amazing book, but in a big way due to the outstanding pace of your summarizing: great job there Ian!


Cheers!

Fernao

Many thanks, thats very kind of you to say that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
QUOTE (Si. @ 12 Feb 2012, 06:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Ian

Thanks for the review so far.
Great post as always.

I looked at this myself on Amazon a few weeks ago & wondered if it would be a cracker.
Amazon reviewers thought so.
Also the Hunt biography or autobiography ( forget which now ! ) think it's called 'Shunt' ( maybe ).

Sounds like a must read this one.
Nothing worse than falling asleep after 10 pages.
Sounds like there's no danger of that here !

How much photography is in the book ?
I guess it's like similar books, ie 2 or 3 sections of 1/2 a dozen photo pages ?
Are the photos colour or B&W, or both ?

I think i'll get a copy anyhow.
I guess we all know the ending already, but don't give all the tasty bit's away Ian !!!

Cheers

Si.

Cheers Simon

I've found that the book has really enhanced my understanding of that era and a consequence deepened my enjoyment of slot racing by putting the cars and people into context.
 

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QUOTE I looked at this myself on Amazon a few weeks ago & wondered if it would be a cracker.
Amazon reviewers thought so.

Amazon.co.uk gives it an average of two and a half stars. It has three five star reviews, but one of them is from the author himself!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I've checked this myself on Amazon and this is what the review by the author (Tom Rubython) says:

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

5.0 out of 5 stars Vandal reviews, 26 Jan 2012

By Tom Rubython (London) - See all my reviews

This review is from: In the Name of Glory: 1976 the Greatest Ever Sporting Duel (Hardcover)

I'm sorry so many people have come onto the site of this book and written vandal reviews.

It may not be the best book ever written but it is by no means the worst and does not warrant all these one star reviews.

If you are interested in buying it, go into a bookshop first and take a look or read the extracts on the Amazon site and make your own mind up. I am giving my own book five stars to counter at the vandals who are mostly the same person who has a grudge.
 

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Thing is you do tend to get the knockers when people get the opportunity to leave reviews on anything.
But going off what Ian has written it does seem a very good book.
Looking forward to the next installment Ian.
Cheers,
Kev.
 
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