The number of athletes who have died competing in the sport of motor racing, including amateurs and professionals around the world, stretches into the thousands. Despite the danger, drivers continue to compete day in and day out for the thrill and joy of the race.
In Taken by Speed: Fallen Heroes of Motor Sport and Their Legacies, Connie Ann Kirk pays tribute to professional racing drivers who died while competing in the sport they loved. Covering tragedies from 1955 to the present, Kirk carefully reflects on the legacies of the racers and the impact of the tragic events, including on safety regulations, innovations, and on society as a whole. Drivers and incidents covered in this book include the 24 Heures du Mans race of 1955 where over 80 people died; the 1964 crash at the Indianapolis 500 that stopped the race for the first time in history; and the tragic losses of racers Ayrton Senna, Dale Earnhardt, Alberto Ascari, Jim Clark, Bruce McLaren, Gilles Villeneuve, Francois Cevert, Dan Wheldon, Justin Wilson, and Jules Bianchi.
Taken by Speed features exclusive interviews with legends of motor sport-Mario Andretti, Derek Bell, Sir Stirling Moss, Bobby Rahal, Brian Redman, and Sir Jackie Stewart-who raced in the sport's most dangerous era. It also includes timelines of safety improvements in the sport and key moments in motor sport history. Using motor sports as its lens, this book explores moving stories of what it means to pursue a life's passion with unwavering drive, commitment, and courage.