Book Review: "A Winning Adventure — Honda's Decade in CART Racing"

Anne Proffit
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They began their open wheel racing program in 1993 and ended it in 2002 at the close of the Champ Car season; in the meantime American Honda Motor Co. and Honda Performance Development left an indelible mark of conquest on the CART racing landscape.

From the heart-rending failures of the first year with Team Rahal's Bobby Rahal and Mike Groff, the turnaround of Target Chip Ganassi Racing's Jimmy Vasser, Alex Zanardi and Juan Pablo Montoya to the final championship for Marlboro Team Penske's Gil de Ferran, Honda's tale is one of pathos and elation over a period of ten very interesting years.

"A Winning Adventure — Honda's Decade in CART Racing'" is the newest motorsports book from David Bull Publishing. The tome, executed in faultless fashion by veteran CART journalists Gordon Kirby and John Oreovicz delineates the early difficulties — and later great triumphs — of Honda's 10-year history in the CART open wheel series.

The large 11x11" hardback holds 300 pages of gripping information accompanied by 264 gorgeous color photos and four black-and-white images. At $39.95, it's an excellent bargain for the hard-core Honda racing fan, engrossing from first to final page. A gracious foreword by Alex Zanardi, who took two championships using Honda power during his stellar CART career, adds more value to the price of entry.

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With ready access to all of the principals behind Honda's decision to enter (and later leave) CART racing and with their intrinsic, deep knowledge of what happened behind the scenes, Kirby and Oreovicz's seamless inside look into the machinations involved is as compelling as a novel and is just as difficult to put down.

From the first, Honda erroneously believed it could bounce into the open wheel Champ Car realm and conquer, much as it had in FIA Formula One. It wasn't to be, of course, and this story of Honda's toughness and perseverance is exemplary.

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The top Americans charged with managing Honda's Indy project, Tom Elliott and Robert Clarke, had plenty on their plate as they worked to bridge the gap between the "Honda Way" of racing and the demands of American open wheel combat.

The stories of drivers from Bobby Rahal and Parker Johnstone, Zanardi and Vasser, on to Gil de Ferran and Michael Andretti are truly compelling as they wend their way through Honda's American open wheel history. This history is accompanied by the truth of Honda's statistics, telling the essential tale of the tape from green to checker.

Bull's publishing house is responsible for some of the finest motorsports books on the planet, and this newest entry carries on that concept. Even if your interest in the heydays of Honda's CART competition is moderate, "A Winning Adventure" is a must-read ready to be eagerly pulled from the bookshelf anytime.

Find "A Winning Adventure" today by calling David Bull Publishing directly at 800.831.1758 or visit the firm's website: www.bullpublishing.com. This volume will also be available at fine booksellers this spring.

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