Le Mans: 1970–79
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This decade at Le Mans began with the first victories by Porsche, whose awesome 917 racing car, capable of more than 240mph (385kph), established a distance record that would stand for almost four decades. One of a hat-trick of wins by Matra, effectively the French national team, was achieved in a famously frantic, head-to-head duel with Ferrari. In 1975, the oil crisis led the ACO to run its race to a ‘fuel formula’, and it was won by the Ford-supported Gulf-Mirage team.
- Porsche, using motorsport to develop its turbocharging technology, won again in 1976 and in 1977, when Jacky Ickx produced one of the greatest drives ever seen in motor racing anywhere. A massive effort by Renault, again with a turbocharged engine, delivered success in 1978. The decade closed, as it had started, with a soaking wet race that was won by Porsche.
- This 10-year chronicle describes events as they unfolded during each of the races. The reader will learn about the ever-changing regulations – many introduced to encourage fuel efficiency – that governed the races, and follow the technical advances made by innovative competitors as they strove to win the biggest prize in motor racing.
- ISBN: 9780992820947
- Format: 280 x 230mm
- Jacketed hardback
- Page extent: 352pp, colour throughout
- Illustration: 350 photographs, mainly colour
- Word count: 70,000
Quentin Spurring entered motorsport journalism on the editorial team of Autosport in 1966. He became the weekly magazine’s deputy editor but left in 1970 to try his hand as a freelance, also serving two years as the media officer of the British Automobile Racing Club and the editor of its monthly publication.
He was the launch editor of Competition Car magazine in 1972–74, and the press officer of Graham Hill’s Formula 1 team in 1975. He returned to Autosport in 1976 as its editor, and served in this capacity or as its executive editor until 1988.
On April Fool’s Day, ‘Q’ left to form Q.Editions, a specialist contract publishing company, which was successful in Formula 1 and high-end sportscar racing. Q.ED clients included the FIA, Asprey, Castrol, Jaguar, Marlboro, Mercedes-Benz and Shell, as well as professional Group C teams such as Brun, Schuppan and Spice.
Having originally learned his trade on Civil Engineering magazine, he saw the need for a trade and technical periodical serving the global motorsport industry. In 1992, Q.ED launched Racecar Engineering magazine, for which he subsequently received individual achievement awards from both the UK’s motorsport industry trade bodies, AMRA and the MIA. He sold the title late in 1996 and quit as its editor in 2000 to edit two internet projects, F1i.com and RaceAccess, Marlboro’s extensive motorsport media website.
In 2008–09, he edited The Paddock, a monthly magazine focusing on the business of professional motorsport. He has been the European Motorsport Correspondent of the US publication, AutoWeek, since 1982.
His first book, Formula 1 in Camera 1980–89, which featured the photographs of Rainer Schlegelmilch accompanied by a detailed commentary, appeared in 2005, published by by Haynes Publishing. Other titles followed on Jim Clark, Gilles Villeneuve and Ronnie Peterson. With David Bull Publishing he wrote Grand Prix: Images of the First 100 Years, which won an award from the American Publishers Association (APA).
His long-held passion the Le Mans 24 Hours – he has reported from the race 26 times – made him the ideal author for a new project detailing the history of the race decade by decade in individual volumes. Published by Haynes in collaboration with L’Automobile Club de L’Ouest (ACO), organisers of ‘The World’s Greatest Motor Race’, the first four volumes were launched in the order 1960–69 (2010), 1970–79 (2011), 1949–59 (2011) and 1980–89 (2012). Evro Publishing then took over the series, introducing the fifth volume, 1990–99, in July 2014.He is married with two children (and five grandchildren), and lives in south London.
“If you love racing history, you’ll love this. Some of the most outrageous cars ever seen at Le Mans were raced in the Seventies, and this book gives a real flavour of the development and politics of the era… there’s a lot of reading here backed up with over 350 photographs.”