Jon Saltinstall’s ‘Niki Lauda: His Competition History’ was my favourite book of 2020, and its long-awaited (in this household) follow-up ‘Jacky Ickx: His Authorised Competition History’ is heading my table of 2022 releases.
Saltinstall enjoys two benefits from Ickx’s support and participation in the book. Firstly, without consent of the subject, this level of detail about someone else’s life normally results in a restraining order. But more importantly, it means great access to photographic archives and details that elevate the book from must-have to essential.
That’s not to say this will be for everyone. Ickx’s circuit racing career came to a close 37 years ago, and he’d been out of a full-time F1 ride for most of the decade prior to that. Coming in at £95 (and about five kilos) this is a substantial book aimed at collectors and, in-particular enthusiasts, of the 1960s-1980s eras of the sport.
But be under no illusion – if this appeals to you then this book is truly essential.
Covering Ickx’s career from his days in motorcycle trials right though to recent demo runs and historic event public appearances, no driver could hope for a better, or more comprehensive chronicle of their entire life’s work behind the wheel. Once again, Evro’s production is to the highest standard, with impeccable design throughout.
The risk with such an approach is that it could become dry or repetitive – this is neither. The narrative doesn’t linger where not needed, and there are always enough nuggets, anecdotes or surprises to keep things lively.
It helps that Ickx is immensely likeable, he has spent over half a century as one of the foremost ambassadors of the sport. It also helps that Ickx, the cars he raced, and the eras he raced in are cool – yes, retro for many modern fans, but still cool.
This is a magnificent achievement and while I can’t wait to see the fruits of Saltinstall’s next project, I fully intend to spend much of the winter buried in this fantastic book.
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Jacky Ickx – His Authorised Competition History
Author: Jon Saltinstall
Publisher: Evro Publishing
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