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Rapid Response: My Inside Story as a Motor Racing Life-Saver Paperback


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Rapid Response: My Inside Story as a Motor Racing Life-Saver + Alex Zanardi: My Sweetest Victory: A Memoir of Racing Success, Adversity, and Courage
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Haynes Publishing UK; Revised edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857331124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857331120
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #558,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Road and Track, May 2007

“Dr. Stephen Olvey, along with Dr. Terry Trammel saved Alex Zanardi’s life at the Lausitzring in 2001 and the gripping account at the start of Rapid Response is reason enough to buy this book.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Road Record (UK), Aug. 25, 2006

“A fascinating insight into motorsport safety.”



Speedtv.com, November 2006

“Before you even open Rapid Response I defy you to put it down … Olvey is a gifted writer, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously … Rapid Response gets my highest rating…5 out of 5 lug nuts.”



Saturday Star (CAN), Dec. 9, 2006

“The coming year’s best-seller in motorsports books is bound to be Rapid Response.”

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dr Stephen Olvey is Medical Director of the new Grand Prix Masters series. Prior to this he was Medical Director for Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) in the USA, having served in that position from 1978 to 2003. In this capacity he helped save Alex Zanardi’s life – hence Alex’s foreword to the book.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
The book is a must-read for any fan of American open wheel racing.
Eddie Smith
I found myself enamored with the details maybe even obsessed with knowing what really happens when a car tangles with another or finds concrete in its way.
John J. Goebel
Have the utmost respect for Dr. Olvey and enjoyed reading his book.
Cookie Lady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A. Armitage on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr Steve Olvey has done a wonderful job at putting us behind the sceens in a place only a few ever know about. This is not a book for the faint of heart, it tells it like it is. The men and women who are first response and emergency meds are to be commended for the amazing work they do. Many owe their lives to the Rapid Response they have received, and the fans owe a debt of gratitude for keeping our heroes of the race racing another day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lori Lovely on March 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Stephen Olvey served as Championship Auto Racing Teams' medical director from 1979 to 2003. This very moving memoir of his years leading the charge for motor sports safety in the series at the pinnacle of open wheel racing in America recaptures an exciting era in the development of technology, both in motor racing and in sports medicine. With professionalism, sincerity, empathy and humor, Olvey recounts the challenges, rewards and devastating losses of forwarding safety in the sport.

On a personal note, I have had the distinct honor of knowing Olvey during most of his tenure with CART, and have heard many of these stories directly from him and Dr. Trammel. Many of the people he writes about are friends of mine and I was present during most of the racing accidents he describes (and several he doesn't mention). For me, it is a bittersweet reminder of the history of my own life in motor sports.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth R. Reid on November 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was written by one of the 2 doctors who have rescued drivers in the Indy Car racing series for many years.

As someone who has followed Indy racing for many, many years, I was fascinated to read how medical procedures were developed to take care of the injuries specific to Indy Car drivers. It was fascinating also to see how many of these procedures then were used in day-to-day medical rescue care.

Not for everybody, but I found it fascinating and drivers should be thanksful for the author's work!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Smith on November 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have been a racing fan my entire life, and have seen several references to Dr. Olvey's book on various racing message boards and even on YouTube videos in recent years. This book is a must read for fans of American open wheel racing at any point from the early 1970s to the mid-2000s.

Alex Zanardi wrote a foreword for the book, and Dr. Olvey's graphic explanation of Zanardi's life-altering crash in Germany as well as Gordon Smiley's fatal crash at Indy make the book, IMO. The book is divided into 38 chapters, with nearly every chapter between 4-10 pages in length and dealing with either a specific accident or one aspect of how technology has made racing safer over the past 40 years.

Most of the fatal accidents in CART/American open wheel racing (Smiley, Swede Savage, Jim Hickman, Jeff Krosnoff, Greg Moore, Gonzalo Rodriguez) over the past 40 years are dealt with in a non-sensational manner. Who knew that Savage actually died from a bad blood transfusion? But the book also contains lots of stories with happier endings. For example, I knew Rick Mears' feet-crushing crash at Sanair (Que.) in 1984 was bad, but I never knew that French-Canadian doctors initially wanted to amputate both of Mears' feet. Mears subsequently came back and won Indy twice more after doctors wanted to remove his feet.

Maybe this is a bit self-serving by Dr. Olvey, but NASCAR clearly comes across as a donkey series safety-wise right up until Dale Earnhardt died in 2001. When Jim Hickman died due to a stuck throttle sending him straight into the concrete wall at the Milwaukee Mile in 1982, CART reponded immediately by mandating an engine "kill switch" easily accessible to drivers on the steering wheel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Photo Guy 19 on October 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having been an IndyCar racing fan for more than 35 year - having seen the ups and downs of the sport - I looked forward to reading "Rapid Response" for a long time before I found it on Amazon. The book was everything I hoped for, providing insight into many accidents I remembered, including some where drivers unfortunately lost their lives. Severe accidents are an unfortunate part of the sport, as we saw recently with the death of Indy 500 champion Dan Wheldon. "Rapid Response" helps the reader understand that things could be far worse -- and that 20 years ago the accident that took Wheldon likely takes a couple of other lives as well.

I can highly recommended this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Choate Smith on November 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved reading this book. I have wondered for years about the inside of racing and what goes on with the medical crew. This book is a great inside look.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew A. Snyder on February 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Olvey is world-renowned in the racing community, and with good reason. Dozens of racing drivers across the globe owe their lives directly to his work, as in the case of Alex Zanardi, as well as indirectly in the cases of the thousands of racers who have benefited from Dr. Olvey's research. He truly is a special human. I had the pleasure of being given a tour of the CART Medical Unit by Dr. Olvey during the Laguna Seca race weekend in 2003, and he is a genuine person, without pretense. The only thing that I found somewhat odd about "Rapid Response" was the somewhat hyperbolic writing style... seems as if everything has exclamation marks as punctuation. Elaine Benes would not approve, but that's beside the point. This is an utterly minor quibble, and does not detract from the engaging and often sobering stories he tells. Consider this a must-read for any racing fan, even if you never followed CART or Indy Car racing. Great stuff.
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