Home Automotive Reference History The Unfair Advantage

Hot Rod ? January 2001

"Hailed as "the ultimate man-machine combination in the history of motorsport," Mark Donohue was one of the most successful and popular drivers of the '60s and '70s. In 1975, The Unfair Advantage was published as an autobiographical account of Donohue's rise through the amateur ranks?from road racing a dual-quad '57 Vette to wheeling 1,200hp factory Porsche 917s at LeMans. Arranged so each chapter recounts Donohue's experiences with a particular race car or team, readers soon discover that the "unfair advantage" amounts to Donohue's ability to trust his instincts and keep working problems to a solution without quitting. Initially, our V-8 eyes were drawn to the chapters dealing with the Camaro Z/28 Trans Am effort ('67-'69) and NASCAR AMC Matador ('72-'73). But after growing to appreciate Donohue's wit and ability to relate technical details without being tedious, every one of the book's 27 chapters, even those dealing with such obscure race craft as the Elva Courier and Daimler SP250, received a thorough read.

In the chapter dealing with the awesome Ford Mark IV, Donohue writes: "I can't say that I was ever personally concerned about my own safety in the car...perhaps because I'm something of a fatalist. I figure that no two accidents are ever quite the same, and even if you've prepared for every contingency, something else is going to get you someday." Ironically, Donohue was killed in 1975 during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix. The 25th anniversry edition of The Unfair Advantage brings back the long-sought-after title and adds more than 100 new photos, including a 32-page color insert. For ordering information call Bentley Publishers, 800/423-4595"
?Steve Magnante HR