A book about Marcel Albers. Can be reserved from now on

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In recent years, AUTOSPORT.NL has published a special trilogy: Wim Loos, The unfulfilled promise of a natural talent (2019), Ab Goedemans, Always to the extreme (2021) and Wim Boshuis, Racer without fuss (2022). The three books are each about a young hero who had to pay for his passion with his life in a risky era of motor racing. You undoubtedly have at least one title on your bookshelf.

Soon afterwards we received plenty of advice about a follow-up. Not surprising, because Wim, Appie and Wim are not the only Dutch drivers who died in the harness. Not that a premature end is a requirement for a biography of AUTOSPORT.NL, but we couldn’t ignore one suggestion: ‘Then there should also be a book about Marcel Albers!’

So that’s what we started doing. And with good reason, because no lost talent is as close to the hearts of everyone in the motorsport community as Marcel Albers, who died during a Formula 3 race at Thruxton in 1992.

Marcel Albers, The Helmsman’s Artist will not be a ‘fourth part of the trilogy’, because we go back 20 years less. But it might be a bit like a fourth part. After all, the design is the same: Marcel’s life is documented on the basis of many interviews and extensive archival research. Not only his racing career is discussed, but also the person Marcel, who was so loved by many.

As with the critically acclaimed books about Ab Goedemans and Wim Boshuis, Mattijs Diepraam is the author. This book is also lavishly illustrated with photographs, many of which have never been published before. Publisher Gerrie Hoekstra is again responsible for production.

The book costs 24.95 euros excluding shipping costs. You can reserve your copy at marcelalbers.autosport.nl. The names of all pre-registrants who reach us before 1 June are listed at the back of the book.

TO BOOK

How far have we come?
After the three titles about Loos, Goedemans and Boshuis, a book about Marcel Albers was actually not a difficult choice. We approached the family with our proposal at the end of 2022. Marcel’s father Jacques immediately responded enthusiastically. Heavy traffic on our side was responsible for the fact that we could not start until the summer of 2023. With a fitting start: after several conversations with Jacques, Mattijs first visited Marcel’s team boss in Formula 3, Alan Docking, and his engineer Chris Weller in August. A later visit to England resulted in interesting conversations with, among others, Marcel’s mechanic BA Mitchell, then Ralt designer Andy Thorby and journalist Bruce Jones.

We have now made just as much progress in the Netherlands, even though various discussion partners are still very active in motorsport! Fortunately, we managed to get a lot done during the winter break. Mattijs visited Marcel’s old team bosses Jan Lammers and Frits van Amersfoort. At Van Amersfoort Racing he immediately spoke to Rob Niessink, who ended up at VAR through Marcel. He also visited then Dutch Racing School head Hans Deen and Marcel’s karting buddy Marcel Beemsterboer (‘Marcel B’), who, like Rob Niessink, started working at VAR via ‘Marcel A’.

Marcel Ahoy

Mattijs also spoke with various people from the karting era, from Peter de Bruijn to Arjan Opmeer, and with Marcel’s opponents in Formula Ford, such as Evan Kersbergen and his team boss Rob Potharst, but also with contemporaries on the karting track and the circuit such as Peter Kox, Mike Hezemans and Mikke van Hool.

In the meantime, childhood friends, journalists and photographers shared their memories of golden times, while spectators, track marshals and rescue workers reported to Mattijs as eyewitnesses to Marcel’s fateful accident on Easter Monday 1992. Gerrie was already busy collecting and scanning the most beautiful photos and digging for additional archive material for Mattijs. We received a lot of help from Raymond de Haan, who manages the Marcel Albers page on Facebook and whose career as a motorsport photographer was given a boost thanks to the free rolls of film that Marcel took to the circuit for him.

TO BOOK

How long will it be?
In short, we have come quite far. Yet we cannot say exactly when the book will be ready. The season starts again this month, which means that from now on we have to do the work ‘in between’. And the writing has yet to begin! In any case, we hope to complete the book in the second half of the year.

One thing is certain: orders for this book are going to come in fast. Because Marcel is anything but forgotten. The Marcel Albersstraat on Zandvoort, his column next to the National Autosport MONUMENT and the annual Marcel Albers Memorial Trophy are all lasting memories of a likeable young man who had time for everyone and was now lightning fast. Would he have made it to Formula 1? Everyone has their own opinion about this, as was evident from our conversations. In the book you will soon find all those expectations listed, in a final chapter that will make you sigh several times: what if…?

With sporty greetings,
Mattijs Diepraam & Gerrie Hoekstra


The article is in Dutch

Tags: book Marcel Albers reserved

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