Quattro Quarterly - Fall 2000
Driving Forces by Peter Stevenson tells the human story of the men, their women, and their machines that made the German dominance of Grand Prix Racing in the 1930’s possible. It is the classic story of daring individuals facing the ultimate challenge both physically and morally as these racing drivers drove under the Nazi swastika.
The book focuses on the lives of two of the world’s greatest racing drivers: Rudolph (Rudy the "Rain Master") Caracciola and Bernd Rosemeyer. Peter Stevenson also tells the story of the rivalry between Mercedes Benz and Auto Union, led by the brilliant designs of Dr. Porsche, for the Grand Prix champoinship of Germany and the world.
But this is not merely a story about race cars. It is primarily a tale of individual courage - the drivers and their wives and lovers who faced death on and off the race course, for this was a time in Europe when fascism was on the rise sweeping up a whole continent and then the whole world. These racing drivers and their loved ones dealt with the risks of racing such powerful machines and of dealing with one of history’s most terrifying dictators - Adolf Hitler. That they survived either of these challenges is a testament to their courage and fortitude - some, however, did not. Driving Forces is the story of those challenges, those successes, and those losses - it is a human story, brilliantly told against the exciting background of international Grand Prix racing and the growing maelstrom of the Third Reich.