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Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving Paperback – October 1, 1997

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Editorial Reviews


...demystifies the techniques of race driving. -- Playboy

The best and most comprehensive book about driving racing cars, including cornering, car control, racing in the rain, and tuning the chassis. Mandatory reading for anyone who wants to drive fast on the street or on the track. -- Automobile

There really is nothing about racing this book does not cover. -- Sports Car International

Going Faster! is the most complete, most compelling, best-illustrated look at the technique and science of race driving seen to date...Even if you're a veteran of many driving schools, you'll have trouble putting this book down. -- Road & Track

Going Faster!...may be the best book on race-driving technique to date...Going Faster! is not a substitute for the Barber three-day racing class,'s the next best thing to being there. -- Car and Driver

If race driving were taught as a multi-semester course at a prestigious university, the textbook would look a lot like Going Faster!...Every race driver would be well served to reread Going Faster! at least once a season... -- Motor Trend

The book is incredibly in-depth, going a few steps further than those that simply say 'a late apex is always better'.-- Grassroots Motorsports

Three types of readers will find Lopez' work particularly useful: the would-be racer who wants a real taste of what the track is like, the driver who wants to improve, and the racing fan who wants better to understand what he sees going on at the track. All will be rewarded by a thorough read of this excellent book. -- Excellence

For a beginner not to avail themselves of this book is unpardonable. More experienced drivers will also be making a mistake to avoid it. You may not agree with everything it says about racing, but it will make you think about your driving in competition. -- SportsCar Magazine

No racer, or driver school participant should be without this book.

--Roundel Magazine

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Product Details

  • Series: Driving
  • Paperback: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Bentley Publishers; Updated edition (October 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0837602262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0837602264
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 72 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I race in AutoX and roadracing, and recently became an instructor in a racing license course. I bought and read several books about the subject of auto racing. The 'Drive Faster' book is absolutely excellent and definitely the most thorough read available on how to drive a racecar. It has the background, the theoretic part, the science part, the diagrams and is full of useful and detailed pictures. It's nicely laid out and written in a no-nonsense language. Every chapter is finished with a good conclusions part. As a bonus, there are separate pieces of useful and funny 'war story' experiences of several successful drivers, related to the subject of the chapter.
Drive Faster covers the subject of race driving from the ground up. I would say it's a big mistake not to buy this book if you race cars. I've gone back to read and re-read chapters in this book and everytime I start to think and find something to apply on the track. Best and funniest result was finding 0.5 sec in an AutoX by saying loud to myself "feeding, feeding" like Danny Sullivan suggests in one of his war stories... Best money/performance spent on the car so far. If this sounds like a commercial, so be it. The bottom line is that, unless you're Michael Schumacher, it makes an enourmous amount of sense to spend $100 on a couple on books to unlock driver performance rather than buying that nice anodized alloy performance item to gain laptime... Top marks!
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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Maxim Masiutin on February 20, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I couldn't "swallow" this book at once, it took me three sessions during a couple of months to figure out that amongst the good books on motor sports this one serves the role of a guidebook, of a manual of a beginning competition driver, best of all.

What do I mean by "good books"? Competition Driving by Alain Prost, The Technique of Motor Racing by Piero Taruffi, Driving in Competition by Alan Johnson, Sports Car and Competition Driving by Paul Frere, to name a few. All of them are wise and not overcomplicated, and have no buzz about the success stories of champions, the buzz which is useless for the reader interested in driving techniques.

I've found out that the definition of oversteer and understeer here is the most complete and most correct amongst the books that I've listed, yet without the formulas that may frighten somebody. It took the author 17 pages full of illustrations to explain these modes of car behaviour. This is the first big advantage of this book.

Another major advantage of this book is the serious attention of the author to the role of hardware, which is sometimes overlooked by the other writers, who claim that hardware is important, but do not write in-depth chapters about it. The book has may illustrations and explanations how the center of gravity, wheel base, and the suspension elements like springs, shock absorbers and the roll bars affect longitudal and lateral load transfer speed and motion, which occurs during acceleration, braking and cornering; how various adjustment affect the weight applied to each of the wheels, and how this affects car behaviour.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Baker on December 9, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The term Ruthian, in honor of Babe Ruth, is a metaphor frequently used in sports to describe an accomplishment that doesn't merely break a record but so far exceeds anything that occurred previously that it deserves this ultimate superlative. On the subject of learning how to drive a race car, Carl Lopez' book, "Going Faster" is Ruthian. A road-racing fan for many years, I had always wanted to take up amateur, SCCA racing but had difficulty developing a budget for it. Now that I can afford it, I wanted to find a way to make up for lost time in learning driving techniques. Although a lot of progressive, in-car experience is a necessity, Going Faster prepares you for learning by its incredible detail and brilliant illustrations, presented in down to earth fashion, used to describe virtually every aspect of the interaction of vehicle dynamics, race course variation, and proper driver reaction. If you have a library of other books on the subject, donate them to a thrift store and buy this book. Even if you never race, reading a book that covers a subject brilliantly is a pleasure.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mike Blaszczak on August 5, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Going Faster approaches race driving from a very technical perspective. The book investigates racing lines, techniques, and some preparation subjects by paying attention to the underlying physics. The writing is crisp and clean without coming off as childish. Peppered with quotes from real drivers, this book is very approachable and readable.
The result is a wonderful book that you can read from cover to cover, or flip open to review something that's giving you trouble.
What's lacking? There's nearly no treatment of the driver himself. There's no way to learn what to think about before the race, how to mentally prepare yourself. Or how to achieve consistent results, or deal with mistakes. For that, you'll want a Ross Bentley book.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Oscar Carabelli on July 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
For most people performance is something you read on the tach. If you are among those few people who think that a Fiat 500 at 99,995% of its potential is going faster than a McLaren F1 at 98% of its potential, then you cannot miss this book, unless you've already won a world championship... maybe.
1) it assumes you initially know nothing. And for most of us, even car fanatics, it is damn true. Actually 99.99999% of people don't know the difference between oversteer and understeer! the explanation given by most websites and magazines is absolutely incomplete and useless for a pilot. Did you know that a car whose rear is visibly leaning outside the trajectory is *NOT* necessarily oversteering? (actually it can be understeering!)
2) this books covers every possible aspect of racing, including insights in the world of racing, psychological aspects, preparation for the race, chassis setup, the role of hardware, limiting the damage in case of accidents and spins etc.
3) it's far from the useless belief that car control is a skill you're born with. It's a brutal demystification of the reality of racing
4) it's full of anecdotes and pearls of wisdom from the Skip Barber Racing School Instructors, which makes it more complete and more enjoyable to read. It's recommended even for the general motorsport enthusiast, and at the same time for the professional pilots, I didn't think this was possible...
5) it comes from multiple inputs. Far from the inevitably distorted theories of individuals, this book is very objective about where lap time comes from. If you talk to individual pilots, they tend to emphasize the importance of the aspect of racing which is most challenging for THEM, instead of emphasizing the objective importance of, say, higher corner exit speed vs.
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