Crashed and Byrned (Paperback)
The Greatest Racing Driver You Never Saw
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This is the thrilling, warts-engine-oil-and-all autobiography of the only racing driver Ayrton Senna ever feared – the 200mph flawed genius of Tommy Byrne.
It tells the surreal tale of a poverty-stricken Dundalk kid’s rise to become the only racing driver the great Ayrton Senna ever feared – and how it all went wrong from there. For a brief moment Tommy Byrne was arguably the world’s greatest driver, the motor racing equivalent of George Best and Muhammad Ali rolled into one – A racer, a thief, a raconteur.This is the story of his improbable escape, his rapid rise and his spectacular and bizarre fall from grace. Peppered with dark humour and a cast of ridiculous characters, it is the antithesis of a fairytale – and it’s all true.
Hold on tight, the tale of Tommy Byrne is quite a ride – from fending for himself as the runt of a big Catholic litter in the ’60s, running the gauntlet of the sectarian violence in the ’70s, troubling Ayrton Senna and making it to F1 in the ’80s, resorting to drugs in the aftermath and driving for a deluded billionaire madman and then gun-toting Mexicans in the ’90s. It’s raw, passionate, and – with Byrne’s ability to tell it like it is – not for the faint-hearted.
‘Forget Senna and Schuey. Tommy Byrne was the best of them all.’
‘One of the most extraordinary sporting autobiographies you are likely to come across.’
‘It’s told in a breathless, raw style, and had me astonished and appalled in equal measure.’
‘The most exciting petrol-head release of this year. A high octane guilty pleasure.’
‘Motor racing is a great sport for ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys,’ and Byrne must have had many a rueful glance back. But this rip-roaring autobiography rarely indulges in self-pity. There isn’t time. In between the racing there are girls, guns, billionaires, fights, parties and orgies. It would be a tremendous book with the sport left out – and there aren’t many sporting books of which you can say that.’
‘For all the rollicking yarns, this is a tale of talent wasted, but in spite (or perhaps because) of that, it is far more honest – and funny – than the anodyne autobiographies of many more successful drivers.’
‘A riveting read.’
‘I’d be amazed if you didn’t enjoy this book.’
‘It’s a remarkable, colourful, at times scarcely believable tale which unravels at a breakneck pace.’
‘…I challenge you to put it down. It might just be the greatest book you’ve never read.’
‘Quite simply the best motor racing book I’ve ever read.’
‘You won’t be able to put it down.’
‘One of the best racing books you’ll read this decade.’
‘An essential read … brilliantly told.’
‘Witty and shocking … a must for anyone who has the constitution to handle it.’
‘A real pleasure and provides massive insight into what makes racers do what they do.’