The inside line on James Hunt ahead of Hollywood biopic

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James HuntAhead of the autumn 2013 release of the Hollywood film Rush, two new books offer an unrivalled insight into the legendary driver James Hunt and the iconic McLaren M23 that he drove to the 1976 F1 World Championship title. The upcoming film focuses on Hunt’s battle with Niki Lauda for the 1976 World Championship, and is directed by two-times Academy award-winning director Ron Howard (director of A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13) and written by Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen and Frost/Nixon. The McLaren M23 is one of the most iconic F1 cars of all time, and the McLaren M23 Owners’ Workshop Manual from Haynes Publishing offers a unique insight into one of the four-wheeled stars of the movie. The book sets out the McLaren M23’s place in F1 history, describing in detail, with the aid of numerous photographs and drawings, the construction and development of the car, and profiling the men who drove it. The M23’s subsequent historic-racing career is also covered, including the role of several examples in Rush, with the thoughts of current owners and details of how the cars are maintained today. Jochen Mass, James Hunt’s former team-mate at McLaren, returned to the seat of his former car to film some of the racing scenes for the film. Mass remembers James Hunt as ‘an eccentric’ in another Haynes book released this June, Memories of James Hunt. The book offers honest, frank and revealing insights into Hunt from those that knew him best, including his rival for the 1976 Championship, Niki Lauda. In the book, Lauda says of Hunt: ‘He had charisma... He would not have allowed people to tell him what to do or how to behave. I was always very disciplined in my life and he had no rules at all!’ Friends, former wives and girlfriends, racing associates, and competitors were all asked for their strongest memories of Hunt, and their colourful mix of answers has resulted in this revealing book, which portrays him as a World Champion, Bohemian, womaniser, budgerigar breeder, a tender father, and an entertaining broadcaster.Tags: