A CROSSGATES author has brought the story of a Fife motor racing legend who became famous on both sides of the Atlantic to life through a new biography.

Kevin Guthrie has collated contributions from more than 70 people and around 150 photographs to immortalise driver Jim Crawford from Dunfermline.

It is the culmination of a decade's worth of research.

Kevin said: "When I was a kid I used to watch the Indianapolis 500 race, and was amazed to find out one of the top drivers was from Dunfermline.

"I was a big fan of Jim’s from that day on."

The full authorised book features a foreword by one of Jim's closest friends and team manager Bob Fernley, who has been a principal of the Force India F1 team and worked with double world champion, Fernando Alonso.

He said: "Without Jim my career would not have received the boost I needed to get noticed in the world of motor racing, and for that I am eternally indebted."

Born in Dunfermline in 1948, Jim was noticed by Lotus boss Colin Chapman after just a handful of races and earned a contract with the F1 team.

While his time there was brief, he went on to make a name for himself in Indycar racing and is widely regarded as one of the fastest and bravest drivers of his generation.

But his career was laden with set backs - including a devastating crash at Indianapolis in 1987 when he was fortunate not to lose his legs and left him walking with a cane when he returned to racing the following year.

His self deprecating humour and laid-back personality made Jim a huge hit with team members, fans and even rivals.

Sadly he passed away at the age of 54 in 2002.

Friend and rival, Willy T. Ribbs – the first African American driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 – spoke to Kevin for the book.

He said: "He was a hoot, a great personality and a great, great human being.

"There are a lot of people who live until 95 and don’t do five per cent of what Jim did."

Other contributors include Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein and Canadian racing champion Jacques Villeneuve.

The book also includes insight from members of Jim's family to provide a comprehensive account of his life and career.

Jim Crawford, Lessons in Courage, is available to buy for £29 from the Performance Publishing website.