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Next month it will be two years since Clay Regazzoni died. The popular Swiss driver spent six years with Ferrari and later gave Williams their first ever Grand prix win.

But a horrific crash at Long Beach in 1980 left Regazzoni paralysed from the waist down. At one of the fastest parts of the track his brakes failed, and Regazzoni clipped a stationary car before ramming a tyre wall at almost undiminished speed.

In this book that moment divides Reggazoni?s ??extraordinary two lives?? ?ǣ the cavalier, charming, slightly wild F1 racer, and the cavalier, charming, slightly wild racer of seemingly anything he could attach hand controls to??

It was only when I read this book that I realised how much Regazzoni?s story reminds be of Alesandro Zanardi?s. Both lost the use of their legs (Zanardi has lost them entirely but has prosthetic limbs) but kept racing. Both have been popular paddock characters.

In the past I?ve had reservations about some of Christopher Hilton?s books, but I found this one genuinely enjoyable and full of warmth for the subject. It is richly illustrated throughout and, at 250 pages, a decent read. Steep price though.

F1 Fanatic rating

four out of five

??Regga: The extraordinary two lives of Clay Regazzoni??
Chrisopther Hilton

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 5 comments on “??Regga??”

    1. Mussolini's pet cat
      13th November 2008, 10:29

      The lives of Regazzoni & Zanardi should be an inspiration to us all, how they ever managed to get behind the wheel of any vehicle let alone competitive motorsport speaks volumes for their characters. Without trying to sound cheesy, it’s guys like them with their spirit, desire & a bloody mindedness that gives me hope for the future of human kind.

    2. I’ve bought this and have flicked through it but haven’t started it properly yet. The large number of colour photos accounts for most of the price – but it’s considerably cheaper online and I got my copy for about £20.

      Pedant’s corner – wasn’t Reggazoni’s crash caused by the brake pedal assembly breaking rather than an actual brake failure? The brakes themselves worked, there was just no way Clay could have applied them.

    3. I admired Clay for his enthusiasm in every race he drove and his frankness when he told what he thought.
      Just a little correction, Keith. He was Swiss, not Italian, even if we can consider Italy as his second country.

    4. Capitanotex – Fixed, ta.

    5. Both Regazzoni and Zanardi have theirs accidents in a Mo’Nunn owner’s cars,(Ensign and Mo Nunn’s C.A.R.T.team Reynard)

      A sad coincidence

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