“Autodrome” (Sam Collins & Gavin Ireland 2007)

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Mika Hakkinen, Keke Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen – plenty of great Finnish F1 drivers, and yet there’s never been a Finnish Grand Prix.

Finland had a particularly fine racing circuit in Keimola, but it fell into disuse and thus is one of the tracks that forms the subject of this book.

“Autodrome” tells the histories of nine European racing circuits that have fallen into disuse with pages of remarkable photographs.

The most striking picture of all is one of Keimola – taken in 2003, when the old pit building went up in flames following a tyre fire. If its destruction was brief and violent, the other subjects have lapsed into a slow disintegration.

The books features a host of former Grand Prix venues that once played host to the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Tazio Nuvolari and the giants of yesteryear.

The Nurburgring Sudschleife, Brooklands, Monza oval and AVUS are just a few of the tracks covered, all of which have interesting stories to tell. The back stories benefit from plenty of well-researched information and detailed histories.

The book is beautifully presented with pages of excellent photographs specially commissioned for the publication, as well as track diagrams and period race programmes.

We could all nit-pick over which courses would most befit this type of approach but I think the authors have chosen very well. I’d love to see a follow-up focussing on the great lost road racing circuits of Europe – the likes of Pescara in Italy and Clermont-Ferrand in France, for example.

This is a great concept that has made for a very interesting book – one which truly devoted petrolheads might want to spin out into a driving tour of Europe!

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Veloce Publishing
2005 (reprinted 2007)

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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