This is the thrilling, warts-engine-oil-and-all autobiography of the only racing driver Ayrton Senna ever feared - the 200mph flawed genius of Tommy Byrne. It tells the surreal tale of a poverty-stricken Dundalk kid's rise to become the only racing driver the great Ayrton Senna ever feared - and how it all went wrong from there. For a brief moment Tommy Byrne was arguably the world's greatest driver, the motor racing equivalent of George Best and Muhammad Ali rolled into one - A racer, a thief, a raconteur.This is the story of his improbable escape, his rapid rise and his spectacular and bizarre fall from grace. Peppered with dark humour and a cast of ridiculous characters, it is the antithesis of a fairytale - and it's all true. Hold on tight, the tale of Tommy Byrne is quite a ride - from fending for himself as the runt of a big Catholic litter in the '60s, running the gauntlet of the sectarian violence in the '70s, troubling Ayrton Senna and making it to F1 in the '80s, resorting to drugs in the aftermath and driving for a deluded billionaire madman and then gun-toting Mexicans in the '90s.
It's raw, passionate, and - with Byrne's ability to tell it like it is - not for the faint-hearted.
Tommy Byrne was the 1980 Double British Formula Ford 1600 champion, the 1981 British Formula Ford 2000 champion and also the European Formula Ford 2000 champion. In 1982 - having also become British F3 champion - he entered F1, but by the following year had disappeared without trace. He will be available for publicity at time of publication. Mark Hughes is recognised as one of sport's top journalists. He has written a number of books on F1, including Icon's bestselling, critically-acclaimed Lewis Hamilton: The Full Story, and another of which won the 2005 Illustrated Sports Book of the Year award.