Jon Saltinstall’s ‘Niki Lauda: His Competition History’ was my favorite book of 2020, and the long-awaited (in this family) sequel ‘Jacky Ickx: His Authorized Competition History’ is leading my 2022 editions chart.
In a race-by-race format, all the best bits are packed with 1970s F1 cars, Group C Porsches and Dakar Rally-ridden Peugeots.
Saltinstall gets two benefits from Ickx’s support and participation in the book. First, without the subject’s consent, this level of detail about someone else’s life would normally result in a restraining order. More importantly, it’s great to have access to the photographic archives and details that elevate the book to a must-have level.
This doesn’t mean it happens to everyone. Ickx’s circuit racing career came to a close 37 years ago, and before that he was out of full-time F1 driving for most of the decade. Coming in at £95 (and around five kilos), this is a valuable book aimed at collectors and especially enthusiasts of the 1960s-1980s era of the sport.
But don’t be vain – if this interests you, this book is really important.
Covering the ECX’s career since its days in motorcycle trials, despite the public spectacle of recent trials and historic events, no rider could hope for a better or more complete career behind the wheel. Once again, the Avro product is of a very high standard, with impeccable design throughout.
Such an approach can dry up or repeat the risk – this is not the case. The narrative never lingers where it shouldn’t and there are always enough plot twists, anecdotes or surprises to liven things up.
It’s understandable that Ickx is so popular, he’s spent more than half a century as one of the sport’s leading ambassadors. It also helps that Ickx, the cars he raced and the era he raced in are cool – yes, retro to many modern fans, but still cool.
It’s an amazing achievement and while I can’t wait to see the fruits of Saltinstall’s next project, I plan to fully soak up most of the cream buried in this wonderful book.
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Jackie Ickx – The Authorized Race Story
Author: Jon Saltinstall Publisher: Evro Publishers: 2022 Pages: 592 Price: £95 ISBN: 978-1-910505-80-9
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