But Mario’s catalog of victories, titles and records are more than just the result of his immense driving talent. They also reflect his unswerving determination to overcome obstacles and an ongoing fascination with cars and the technology behind them. For Mario, doing it all always included making whatever extra effort was needed to compete on or off the track, whether it meant testing new equipment, re-engineering a problematic car, or driving while injured. Mario Andretti: A Driving Passion is the first complete history of Mario’s thirty-six-year career. Some highlights include:
- Mario’s remarkable 1968 Formula One debut, when he stunned the racing establishment by winning the pole and setting a track record in his first event at Watkins Glen.
- His single victory, and many frustrating losses, in twenty-nine appearances at the Indianapolis 500.
- The triumph and tragedy of his 1978 season with Lotus, when he won the Formula One World Championship, but lost his friend and teammate Ronnie Peterson to an accident at Monza.
- Mario also sets the record straight on the role that team orders played in his winning the 1978 World Championship, an achievement that was discounted by many in the media who wrongly believed that Peterson was held back.
- The creation of Newman/Haas Racing in 1983 and its development into the second most successful Indy-car team in history.
- Lavishly illustrated with the work of top racing photographers and memorabilia from Mario’s own scrapbooks, the book includes pictures of nearly all of the 167 cars that helped build the Andretti legend. These include everything from his first homemade Hudson stock car to such milestone machines as Clint Brawner’s Indy-winning Hawk and Colin Chapman’s revolutionary ground-effect, Lotus 79.
Finally, author Gordon Kirby goes beyond the race track to explore Mario’s early life in post-war Italy, his friendships with fellow drivers, team owners, engineers, and journalists, as well as his family’s role in supporting and sustaining his career. Mario Andretti: A Driving Passion brings all of these elements together to create the definitive portrait of the man many regard as the driver of the century.