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Schlegelmilch, Sportscar Racing 1962 to 1973

Here are extracts from two reviews on Amazon:

“Based on the price, I ordered this book with some trepidation. Wow it is stunning, beautifully presented and lavished with superb photographs. The layout is based on sportscar racing’s top events and locations. These are Nurburgring, Le Mans, Targa Florio, Monza, Spa, Brands Hatch, Osterreichring and Watkins Glen. With over 500 pages this is quite some publication. A must for anyone interested in sports car racing. You will not be disappointed.”

“If you forget its ridiculously low price, it is, in any event, an absolutely superb pictorial record of what many people see as the best era of sportscar racing. It’s not a complete statistical record – far from it, but it’s the best photo coverage I’ve come across in any book, whatever its price. I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Do you still need convincing? In his prologue, the photographer explains his love of this era with these remarks…”The crowds numbered hundreds of thousands”… “Each race was a weekend family outing and public festival”…. “Huge starting grids with separate performance categories”… “The adventure of the journey”… “Beautiful countryside landscapes”….

He ends with the remark that “after 1973, all of that changed”. Did it though? Surely at least some of the above comments still apply to the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Spa 1000 Km and the ‘Ring 24 Hours? However, in this magnificent era, 40 to 50 years ago, crowds did number more than those of the F1 Grands Prix of the time.

Jacky Ickx adds his own thoughts, and the great Belgian clearly ‘got it’, but in admiring so many photographs from a dozen years, the thought occurred that here was a hard copy of what DSC aims for, race in, race out. Just as Lord and co. treat the cars and drivers as the stars, so does Schlegelmilch – and they all find space for the mechanics and other team members too, plus the scenery. That has changed of course – but we can’t transport David Lord back to 1973 (alas!).

David Tremayne sets the scene at the start of each circuit’s section – in almost any language you could possibly need. The captions ‘merely’ give the year, the car type and the driver’s name(s). It’s of course the photographs that make this book. I’ve tried several times to name my favourite, but have changed my mind several times.*

Famous names crop up time after time: Ickx, Elford, Siffert, Rodriguez, Pescarolo, Regazzoni, Redman, Bell etc. My heroes, Rainer Schlegelmilch’s heroes.

There must be thousands of photographs here. I suggest you go and buy it, rather than have to wait for a re-print. Just £24.76…

There’s only one photograph that’s not here. I’d love to admire a Rainer shot of Regazzoni at the 1973 Targa Florio in the Alfa T33TT12 – but good old Clay put the car some way off the circuit in practice and didn’t start, so we’ll forgive the ‘omission’. There is one of Clay at the ‘Ring though, in that glorious Alfa.

MC

SCHLEGELMILCH – SPORTSCAR RACING
1962 – 1973
Rainer Schlegelmilch and David Tremayne
ISBN 978-3-86407-057-0
£24.76

*I’ve decided. Page 296…