On the grid -- six in the hunt for Motorsports Book of the Year prize


Books about Porsches, E-type Jaguars and Audis and the McLaren racing team are on the shortlist for the new Motorsports Book of the Year category of the British Sports Book Awards 2012. 

Today The Sports Bookshelf outlines the six shortlisted titles as the build-up to the announcement of the winners in all categories continues. These will be revealed at a black tie dinner at The Savoy Hotel in London next Monday, May 21, when Nick Hornby will also be presented with an award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sports Writing’ some 20 years on from the publication of ‘Fever Pitch’.

The winners from the 10 categories will then be entered into an online public vote to find the overall British Sports Book of the Year. Each winning title will be promoted in a media and retail campaign in the run-up to Father’s Day. The public vote will held on the official website – www.britishsportsbookawards.co.uk – the overall winner will be announced on June 11.

Look out for a run-down of the contenders in the Illustrated Book of the Year and the Best Publicity Campaign.

Follow these links for a detailed review of the other shortlists:

Autobiography/Biography of the Year
Cricket Book of the Year
Football Book of the Year
Golf Book of the Year
Horse Racing Book of the Year
New Writer of the Year
Rugby Book of the Year

The full shortlist

These are the contenders for Motorsports Book of the Year

1 - Ultimate E-type - The Competition Cars

Author: Philip Porter
Published by: Porter Press International

E-types kick started the careers of many Grand Prix drivers, including Jackie Stewart. They beat the Ferrari 250 GTOs, designed specifically for racing, and AC Cobras. Ultimate E-type tells the story, quotes more than 200 significant players, and traces the lives of the most important E-types.  With numerous unseen period photographs and original Jaguar reports, the glory years of the 60s are told as never before. Author Philip Porter is a lifelong E-type enthusiast who has written about the cars for more than 30 years and owns two fine examples: the oldest E-type in existence (the fixed-head coupe registered 9600HP) and a roadster that appeared in the film The Italian Job.

2 - Porsche at Le Mans: Sixty Years of Porsche Participation in the World's Greatest Motor Race

Author: Glen Smale
Published by: Haynes Publishing

Porsche has become synonymous with Le Mans, having competed in every running of the famous 24-hour sports car race since 1951. The streamlined 356 model entered in 1951 finished in 20th place, beating the coveted record for the shortest time spent in the pits. Since that memorable debut, Porsche has won outright at Le Mans 16 times, with a record series of seven consecutive victories from 1981 to 1987. This beautifully designed and extensively illustrated book provides the definitive history.  Award-winning author Glen Smale has a special interest in Porsche. His books for Haynes include Porsche 917: The Definitive History, Porsche: The Carrera Dynasty and Jaguar E-type: Portrait of a Design Icon.

3 - McLaren - the Wins

Authors: David Tremayne and William Taylor
Published by: Coterie Press

Only by counting McLaren’s victories since its inception in 1964 can you truly appreciate the depth of the marque's footprint in motorsport.  McLaren has been victorious in Formula 1, Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula A/5000, Indycars, Can-Am and Interserie sportscars as well as at the Le Mans 24-hour race. This landmark book painstakingly records all of McLaren’s contemporary victories from 1964 until 2011. Produced with the full co-operation and endorsement of the McLaren Group, McLaren - The Wins is beautifully laid out, with period photography and race results depicting every one of the 636 wins, up to and including the 2011 Chinese GP, spanning six momentous decades.

4 - Audi R8 (WSC Giants)

Author: Ian Wagstaff
Published by: Veloce Publishing

Before 1999 Audi did not have a sportscar in its range, let alone had raced one. Yet between 2000 and 2006 the Audi R8 won 63 of the 80 races in which it competed including five out of six Le Mans 24-hours, making it the most successful long-distance racing car of all time. The latest in Veloce's WSC Giants series, this book charts those races and describes the development of the R8, as well as profiling the 35 drivers who raced it between 2000 and 2006. Illustrated in colour throughout with many previously unpublished photos, the book features individual chassis details and results, plus observations from engineers, team managers and drivers connected with the car that transformed Audi.

5 - Driven by Desire: The Desiré Wilson story

Author: Alan Wilson
Published by: Veloce Publishing

The story of the driver rated by many as the best woman ever to race cars, and the most capable ever to have driven in Formula One. Her 50-year career began at the age of five in South Africa before she moved to Holland, England and then the USA, before her life in the sport gained new momentum at the famous Goodwood Revival historic race events. This fascinating story shows how a woman fought her way to the top of motorsport against the odds, from a five-year-old girl racing 60mph micro-midgets in South Africa, to the first and only woman ever to win a Formula One race.  DesirĂ© Wilson was a winner bettered by very few of her male rivals.

6 - Driving on the Edge: The Art and Science of Race Driving

Author: Michael Krumm
Published by: Icon Publishing

Driving on the Edge is the definitive handbook on all aspects of competition driving for racing drivers, from novices to professionals, to engineers, track day participants and individuals who simply want to learn about the complexities and secrets of performance driving. Michael Krumm is a Formula Ford, Formula 3 and All-Japan Super GT Champion who is currently competing very successfully in the FIA GT1 World Championship. At 41 years of age, he has driven every type of racing car from Formula Ford to modern Formula 1 machines, and has analysed every facet of his own driving over 26 years of racing to develop his own skill set.