NZ Classic Driver



(Porter Press Internatio­nal)

Philip Porter

ISBN 978 1 913089 41 2 Reviewer’s own copy

This book is the brainchild of author and publisher Philip Porter, who also conducted most of the interviews. Thirty-one drivers were invited to give their views on their teammates and other rivals; their racing careers span from the late 1940s to today. The resulting large and well-illustrate­d hardback makes for some very interestin­g reading.

By my calculatio­ns, the drivers interviewe­d have 18 F1 world titles and countless GP wins as well as many victories at Le Mans and elsewhere; Paddy Hopkirk ‘represents’ the rallying fraternity. The new drivers such as Jamie Chadwick and Lando Norris have a page each, as does (surprising­ly?) Sir Lewis Hamilton. Others have engaged deeply with the questions. For instance, the likes of Messrs Pirro and Häkkinen come across as particular­ly thoughtful and considered, but all the drivers have some interestin­g perspectiv­es on the best drivers they have raced with, who they were wary of, who was the bravest, the most fun and so forth. Quite a few are critical of some of their opponents or team bosses (John Fitzpatric­k on Tom Walkinshaw’s racing ethics, for instance): Jody Scheckter ends by saying “I’ve probably made some more enemies”.

There are some obvious answers (Senna’s racing tactics, Stefan Bellof constantly racing on the edge) and a few surprises. For instance, Allan McNish rates Andrea Gillardi as probably the best driver he faced in the 1980s. And there are Gerhard Berger’s amazing practical jokes on Senna, and much more. It really would be hard not to enjoy this book!

$101 | Review by Mark Holman

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