Dario Franchitti is working on producing a new book, Romance of Racing, which will comprise articles authored by the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner and four-time IndyCar Series champion on some of the greatest names in motorsport from the 1950s to the modern day.

The 128-page high-quality 'coffee-table' book is a joint project with his friend Andy Hallbery, a former editor of Autosport and RACER magazines, and will feature a foreword written by double F1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, as well as a special contribution from triple title winner Sir Jackie Stewart OBE.

The book will contain more than 50 insightful essays by Franchitti, on profile subjects including Fittipaldi, Mario Andretti, Jenson Button and Rick Mears. "The book has been a great trip down memory lane for me," says Franchitti, a passionate fan and well-informed student of the history of motorsport.

Each piece will be matched by some of the finest sporting photography in the business from the likes of LAT Photographic, Sutton Images, Getty Images and from world-renowned photographer Paul-Henri Cahier and his father Bernard via the Cahier Archive.

"Making it, we treated it almost like a conversation," Franchitti explained. "Andy would send me some pictures, and they usually triggered something that would form the basis of the essay. The quality of the pictures is remarkable, and it's very easy to get lost in the moment and step back in time."

"Franchitti's words sum up and capture his love of the sport in such a way that you know it is from the heart," commented Paul Pfanner, the founder, CEO & Executive Publisher of RACER Magazine.

The idea for the book originally came from Hallbery, who approached Franchitti with the concept and eventually succeeded in winning the IndyCar star over to the idea.

"I have known Dario for more than 20 years, as a friend as well as a colleague, and pestered him for a long time to do a book," explained Hallbery. "He will not do an autobiography until he has retired from racing, and that is a long way off yet. Instead I came up with something that Dario is also well known for, his love of racing history. He was enthusiastic about the idea immediately.

"Dario and I have selected approximately 70 images from the archives of some of the sport's finest photographers, having started with many thousands of photos to choose from," he continued. "Our selections range from the obvious stars of racing, to the inspiring, as well as the people who have influenced and helped Dario's career since he started karting in his native Scotland aged eight."

In order to maintain control over the project, Hallbery and Franchitti opted to finance it through an online fundraising website rather than using a traditional publishing house for the project.

"Publishers are in it for the bottom line, and the only Dario Franchitti book they are interested in is a straightforward - although I agree it would be fascinating - autobiography," said Halberry. "[This] is a book that doesn't appeal to mainstream and conventional publishers, but will appeal to race fans worldwide, and of admirers of great photography."

The published volume will only become a physical reality once it reaches its funding target through online pledges, which count against the purchase of one of a number of proposed editions of the book. A pre-launch campaign in place until September 29 sees ?42 being the minimum pledge for the regular hardback and ?57 the amount for a limited edition premier version. An edition signed by Franchitti is the top option for ?110, but only 50 of these will be produced. The amount pledged will only be debited if and when the project meets the funding target and goes ahead.

For those on a more restricted budget still wishing to play a supporting role in the project, a high quality collection of 16 full colour cards is available for ?10. The site for more details and making pledges/placing orders is romanceofracing.com.

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