The Winners Book: A Comprehensive Listing of Motor Racing Events 1895–2012

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:08:08 --- JPG Compressed 98 % YUV444 EXIFFor racing nerds like myself, I love statistics.  Nevertheless, James O’Keefe’s The Winners Book: A Comprehensive Listing of Motor Racing Events 1895–2012, goes beyond just stats. This is a reference book with all types of stats of races but also adds photos and is easily explore.  Of course it has the Formula One, NASCAR and IndyCar races, but it also reaches deep into depths of racing history. Such as F1, it lists all the “championship” races, but also the non-championship races such as the International Gold Cup races held at Oulton Park and the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch.  The American reader may be surprised at the amount of non-championship races that were held in the 1950’s, 1960’s and into the 1970’s.   Does this book list complete box scores?  No, it’s the “winners” book.  However, the listing of over 22,000 “major” races makes this book large enough.

The book is filled with interesting statistics such as the 1912 Grand Prix at the Dieppe, France that took a whopping 13 hours 58 minutes to complete.  Even obscure races are listed, such an example are the non-AAA championship races listed which include August 15, 1926 Milwaukee 40 lap race won by Artie Brach.

Surprisingly, are the wonderful photos in the book. The Racemaker Press files are filled with all the greats from races past, this book has a nice number of them, many dating to the dawn of auto racing.  However I have to correct the one on page 111 indicates Mario Andretti at Indianapolis it is actually in Milwaukee, 1969.

James O’Keefe explains how the book is set up, Principally, the book is divided into eight car chapters and one on motorcycles, each presenting events in chronological order. Each of the car chapters is devoted to one particular type or category of racing, from premier to lesser formulas and including sports, stock, and Trans-Am/IROC/Touring Cars. The extraordinarily detailed Table of Contents will be your navigation aid here. Each chapter uses a unique dominant color in its tables, facilitating orientation. Certain categories (cf. F3, midgets, most sprint cars, Formula Junior) are excluded, for reasons of space. The author expresses his desire that someone else may tackle those subjects.

Each chapter’s core data listing begins with a few introductory comments followed by a list of all champions in the respective series; dates/classes/formulae pertaining to the series; and ends with notes. The photos scattered throughout are best thought of as secondary to the text (all are credited, most are captioned, and quite a few are from various collections held by the publisher). The motorcycle section follows the same basic layout and covers major GP and Moto GP races and major American pre-WW II races.

O’Keefe, a retired teacher, “has squirreled away race data for over four decades.” According to the publisher, his intent was to address the hole he perceived in the record-keeping of American racing by compiling a database. Doing the research, consulting sources, and sifting through race reports inevitably led to the realization that he might as well produce a book of international scope. Prior to publishing his own, O’Keefe’s data has been a resource to any number of other people’s books.

This book fills a void that may be in your motorsports library, it’s fun just to page through and rekindle race memories of yesteryear, remembering the unforgettable drivers, cars, and tracks of the past.

Also included as an option the CD-ROM or online database (see link below for details).

The Winners Book:
A Comprehensive Listing of Motor Racing Events 1895–2009
by James O’Keefe
576 pages, 58 b/w & 28 color photos, hardcover
Racemaker Press, 2010
List Price: $65
ISBN 13: 978-1-935240-02-0

Share Button