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Rapid Response: My Inside Story as a Motor Racing Life-Saver Paperback – November 15, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Haynes Publishing; Revised edition (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857331124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857331120
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,463,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Stephen Olvey tells about the often-forgotten side of auto racing - the fatal side. The book is a collection of stories dealing with drivers killed or seriously injured while driving open wheel race cars. Also mixed in are stories about Olvey's personal life, both away from and at the track.

The stories go through the years with the first ones taking place when Dr. Olvey was new to the sport and they progress on throughout, ending up close to the present day. His recollection of the Alex Zanardi incident in all its gruesome detail is masterful, yet terrifying to read.

The book also touches on safety advancements made during Olvey's time in the sport, but here is where the book has a weakness. Olvey makes it clear he does not like NASCAR and judges the organization quite unfairly throughout the book when it comes to safety. He focuses on the negative aspects and omits many positive ones NASCAR has taken during the last decade.

That being said, it is still a great read and I would recommend it to any race fan, regardless if they watch American open wheel racing or not.
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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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I was glued to my seat, um, the page. The book was hard to put down once I got into it. It revealed how little I knew about the behind the scenes effort of the safety crews involved at race venues around the globe. And here I thought I was a well informed race fan! The medical center "turf Wars" by the hospital staffs was a shocker, especially given the severity of injuries and consequences of surgical methods that could end a driver's career in an instant.

If you are a race fan, you will enjoy this book.
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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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Bought the paperback directly from the author. Very good read for any race fan. Loved reading the inside story of bringing safer cars to the CART series. Was always a Indycar fan but lost interest when the "Split" happened. Renewed my interest again this year after going back to Long Beach again this year. If you enjoy racing you will enjoy this read even though some of it makes you sad to read. Lost too many good people along the way.
Thank you Dr. Steve great book and thank you for the signed copy.
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I have a lot of half read books on my shelves. I just do not read often for pleasure so finishing books is always an issue for me.

That said, I had no trouble finishing this gem. Very well written and just tons of great stories. As a life-long Rick Mears fan, it was very interesting to read more about that awful incident he had in 1984. If you or someone you love enjoys racing, especially if they love the Indy 500, do yourself a favor and buy this book for them!
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