A bird's eye view of global motor racing, from the dawn of the engine to rocket science, from moonshine runners to triathletes.
It started with a couple of stump-pulling traction engines in Minnesota in 1878. Now it is a global hyperbusiness with dozens of races every weekend all around the world. Many disparate threads of history are brought together to show how everything is connected to everything else. With the current focus on Formula 1, it is too easy to forget that there are other races of global importance, and a thriving motor racing world before World War 2, and, indeed, before World War 1; even in those primitive days you had superstars travelling across the Atlantic to demonstrate their daring and derring-do. Nowadays, Formula 1 is the gold standard, but increasing numbers of European drivers are turning to NASCAR; this is not a new fashion, but reviving a tradition that had long fallen into disuse. Schumacher and Hamilton are household names; once upon a time, so were Moss and Fangio, and before then Nuvolari and Varzi...and names like Petty and Unser have a resonance in the States that does not cross the Atlantic well. This book is an attempt to synthesize everything into one coherent narrative and to give the proper and due emphasis to achievements outside Formula 1.