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Pledge your support: The Romance of Racing book by Dario Franchitti

Submitted by on August 7, 2013

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A different Target: Pledge your support to turn Dario Franchitti’s book into reality.

Dario Franchitti’s new book, Romance of Racing, reveals how much of a fan of racing history he is. The three-time 500 winner and four-time Indycar champion traces his heroes, legends and friends who he respects for what they’ve achieved in the sport. And we need your support to make it happen.

The book, Franchitti’s first, is a collection of essays and stories by him, combined with some of the great images from motorsport archives. The publication is edited, and published, by Motorsport Retro’s Andy Hallbery, and it quickly became a labour of love for the Scottish racer.

With the concept locked in and agreed with Dario, the next step is to publish the book. That’s where Motorsport Retro fans can help. Go to the Romance of Racing Kickstarter page to pledge your support and take advantage of our range of offers.

“Andy is a good friend of mine, and has been for a long time,” says Franchitti. “He’s been on at me for ages to do a book, but I’m not ready to do an autobiography. This time he came to me and said, ‘I’ve got an idea, how about we do a history of racing and the people through your eyes.’ I already liked the idea, but then he sent me a message with a handful of amazing pictures. All it said was ‘These would look good in your book!’ I was already liking the idea, but that swung it, and off we went.”

Hallbery takes up the story. “I started trawling the archives of the great photographers, such as Bernard and Paul-Henri Cahier and the late Michael C Brown, who was another Retro contributor, Big agencies like Getty, LAT Photographic and Sutton Images as well as some less well known, but no less talented shooters,” says Hallbery, “and I quickly knew that the problem we would have would be to get them all in.

“In the end I got it down to about 100,” he continues, ‘and chose the obvious ones to send to Dario to trigger his personal memories. I felt Jim Clark was the obvious best place to start. Dario turned it around as if we were having a chat over dinner or something. His words were perfect, and from the heart. I knew then we had something good on our hands.”

indy 500 winner dario

“Andy knows what makes me tick, and sending me Clark first was nothing short of emotional blackmail!” Franchitti laughs, “but it was a good place to start. For me the difficulty is squeezing all the memories and opinions in. It’s a bit like Twitter for grown ups: ‘ Please write 200 words or less.’ Juan Pablo Montoya became Juan Montoya just to save the word count!”

Franchitti really knows his stuff, and as well as meeting many of the drivers in the book, has been lucky enough to drive various cars from yesteryear, including the highlight, Jim Clark’s Indy 500 Lotus. “That was a dream, and I only gave it half throttle, but it was enough, to smell and hear it. It was amazing.”

Another driver that Franchitti found easy to write about was Juan Manuel Fangio. “You can argue forever who is the greatest,” he says. But in my Mercedes days I saw the W196 in action, and the thought of racing one earned my utmost respect. One of the Mercedes guys told me about Fangio doing a demo in the late 1970s in what turned into a race against Jack Brabham. The guy was almost 70, the car priceless, and he was really hustling it. That was no quiet demo! I’ve since found the clip on Youtube from Sandown Park, and it is truly remarkable.”

Having seen the life of the journalist from the other side, Franchitti has no plans on calling an end to his racing. “No chance,” he says. “Doing the book was great fun, but I have more to do on track yet. But I’m sure readers of Motorsport Retro, who seem to enjoy good photography, will enjoy my take on some of the heroes of the sport, from yesterday to today.”

Now we need your support to make the project a reality. Make your pledge here

Photos: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Follow Dario on Twitter, @dariofranchitti Follow Andy Hallbery on Twitter @hallbean

Visit the Romance of Racing Facebook page

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