In the breeze somebody hears the low drones of a flat-four engine and the gunfire of an anti-lag system. The greatest free show in the country is on its way. A multi-coloured projectile vaults into sight, dancing across the black stuff on a knife-edge between adhesion and disaster. In seconds the car is gone, leaving in its wake the shouts of the spectators...'He was lit!' 'She was on the full of the rack!' Welcome to Irish tarmac rallying, one of the most enthusiastically followed series in the world. Mad for Road takes a look through Esler Crawford's magical lens at the drivers who have become masters of the tarmac in Ireland, north and south, since the 1950s. It captures the passion that drives the fans and the thousands of volunteers who often endure extreme conditions to witness 'their man' in action. Leading motorsports journalist Alan 'Plum' Tyndall leads us through Esler Crawford's unique photographic collection with a lively running commentary. Profiled stars include Ronnie Adams, Paddy Hopkirk, Rosemary Smith, Billy Coleman and Bertie Fisher, famous visitors such as Ari Vatanen and Pentti Airikkala, and up-and-coming drivers like Andrew Nesbitt and Derek McGarrity.
Esler Crawford worked for seven years as an industrial chemist before becoming a professional photographer in 1968. While he now concentrates on capturing motorsports on camera in the UK, Ireland and beyond, Esler was a regular rally competitor in the 1960s and 1970s. He won the Circuit of Ireland in 1963 and was Ulster Champion Navigator for three successive years from 1965. He has previously published the bestselling The North from the Air with Blackstaff Press (2000). Alan 'Plum' Tyndall worked as an architect in London and Belfast before turning to a career in sports PR and journalism. He started his own PR company in 1984 and expanded into independent TV production in 1988. Today Tyndall Productions is probably best known for TV motorsports magazine programme RPM. 'Plum' has always been a big car rallying enthusiast and is a former Irish Production Saloon Car Racing Champion.