Pau grand prix

René Dreyfus: the racing driver detested by the Nazis

I have driven a racing car. On television, it looks like a smooth and scientific matter. It is not. A racing car is a fearsome environment of engulfing pyroclastic heat, metaphor-testing noise, vision-blurring vibration and nauseating centrifugal forces. Ninety years ago it was even worse. The cars had tyres with little grip, feeble brakes and no crash protection whatever. Hot oil would continuously spray over drivers, who raced in linen caps; and an off, as they call excursions, would often result in mutilation or immolation. Faster is the story of René Dreyfus, who flourished in this atrocious atmosphere, in a culture where the public found the achievement of speed a