LOTUS 72: 1970–75
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Foreword by Emerson Fittipaldi
This book, the first in Evro’s new Formula 1 Greats series, covers one of the most revered Formula 1 cars ever made. Introduced in 1970, the wedge-shaped Lotus 72 competed for six seasons, winning 20 World Championship Grands Prix, two Drivers’ titles (for Jochen Rindt in 1970 and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972) and three Constructors’ titles (in 1970, 1972 and 1973), racing first in Lotus’s evocative red, white and gold livery, then the equally eye-catching black and gold of the John Player Special period. Pete Lyons, Autosport’s renowned Formula 1 reporter for part of the Lotus 72 era, explores the car’s entire race-by-race career in his insightful commentary accompanying a magnificent array of over 360 photos.
- The 1970 season: after troubled early development, the 72 finally took over from the long-serving 49, its four consecutive race wins enough to secure the World Championship for Jochen Rindt, posthumously after his death during practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
- The 1971 season: with promising youngster Emerson Fittipaldi elevated to team leader after Rindt’s death, great things were expected of the 72’s second season but it proved to be winless.
- The 1972 season: now in black and gold John Player livery, the 72 became far more competitive and Fittipaldi’s four Grand Prix victories made him World Champion.
- The 1973 season: Ronnie ‘SuperSwede’ Peterson joined Fittipaldi to form a dream team and together they won seven races, but because Lotus’s spoils were divided between the two drivers Jackie Stewart was able to come through to become World Champion.
- The 1974 season: still the 72 soldiered on, now as the fall-back car after its successor, the 76, failed to deliver; partnered by Jacky Ickx, Peterson won three Grands Prix.
- The 1975 season: well beyond its sell-by date, the 72 did a final season but by now it was far from effective, with Ickx’s second place in the tragic Spanish Grand Prix its best result.
Publication date: July 2019
UK price: £50.00
Page extent: 320
Illustration: 364 photos, mainly colour
Pete Lyons, son of Autosport magazine’s US photographer/correspondent Ozzie Lyons, followed his father’s lead into a lifelong career in motorsports journalism. He was at the United States Grand Prix in 1970 when Emerson Fittipaldi achieved his début victory with the Lotus 72, and was still covering Formula 1 for Autosport during that epochal model’s sixth and final season, 1975. California-based Lyons once declared the 72 ‘my favourite Lotus’. In this book he tells us why.
“Pete Lyons has delivered a treasure trove… a captivating labour of love.”
“Hopes are high when you see the name of Pete Lyons, one of the world’s finest-ever motorsport writers, beneath a crossed-up Emerson Fittipaldi in a black-and-gold Lotus 72… few can use words quite like Lyons; in the captions that comprise the text on most pages, many link seamlessly into more flowing prose. Sometimes, such as the early dissection of a cutaway drawing, they extend to more than a page in length. It’s technical, while wonderfully evocative and colourful – just like the car itself. A stellar combination.”
Classic and Sports Car
“With over 325 terrific archive photographs – mainly in colour – this is a luscious but detailed throwback to a golden era of F1.”
“Normally I don’t enjoy car biographies, but this one is different – and not just because Pete is a friend who unselfishly rescued me from various scrapes when I was young and foolish. Although he did not start covering F1 races until 1972, he was close to the Lotus team, and especially its mechanics. His inquisitive mind and subtle sense of humour make him the perfect author for this book, but I am sure he will agree that it is the treasure trove of photographs which make the book so attractive.”
Grand Prix + (Mike Doodson)
“Were it not for Lyons’s name on the cover one might wonder what could possibly be added to the body of knowledge [on this car]… The words are clever, lucid, and the rich detail is probably only appreciated by those who know how hard it is to make every word count… As the first instalment in this publisher’s new ‘Formula 1 Greats’ series, the book sets a high bar. Rather uncommon for a European publication, there is a properly good index. And while it is hardly worth mentioning, the price is pretty much the sweet spot for this sort of thing.”
“All is unblinkingly covered by Lyons, a writer well suited for his subject… As ever, his writing here is sharp, incisive, and often funny. He makes no bones about the Lotus 72 being his favorite car and it shows on every page… This book is not just highly recommended, it is a requirement for any racing fan and their collection.”
“We looked forward to the publication of Lotus 72 by Pete Lyons and were not disappointed. Lyons’s Grand Prix reports in Autosport set a standard which is still rarely achieved today and this book is clearly a labour of love… The pictures are the stars in this book, though, and Lyons’s sometimes lengthy captions tell the story admirably.”
“A new and dynamic publishing company by the name of Evro just came out with legendary scribe Pete Lyons’s latest offering… I urge you to buy this book, great drivers, great photos, excellent journalism.”
“This top-notch book is the race-by-race, driver-by-driver, iteration-by-iteration story of a truly remarkable racing car… And then there’s Pete Lyons’s unique voice… his work has always been articulate, knowledgeable, accurate, and eminently readable … and all of those accolades are in full effect here.”