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Showing 1-10 of 62 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 92 reviews
on July 18, 2013
I've read the Skip Barber book, "Going Faster", and Carroll Smith's "Drive to Win." Both are very good, but I think Ross Bentley's series of books is the best at breaking down the concepts behind performance driving and making them easier to understand. A good example is tire slip angle; I never really understood it until I read this book, but now I get both how it works and how to use it to your advantage.

Full disclosure: I don't race cars. If I'm on a track, it's on two wheels. But I am an avid sim racer, and the stuff Bentley talks about in this book applies just as much to the digital racetrack as it does to the real one. if you're a competitive driver or just a fan of the sport, put this book at the top of your list.
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on December 31, 2016
Ross does a great job of breaking down the art and science of race driving. He emphasizes key points throughout the book, called "Speed Secrets" that are useful review items. One huge takeaway for me was his observation that "if you're not sliding, you're not going fast enough." While fast race drivers understand this, new drivers like me need this encouragement to actually start testing the limits. I have read many race driving books, and this one I highly recommend.
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on January 12, 2015
This is a great book to read and a great book to refer to. I purchased this book in 2007 and honestly still refer to it till today!

The best way to use this book is to do a lot of lapping days but read it the night before, and right after your lapping day is done. I personally don't refer to it DURING my lapping day but I don't think that would be a bad idea. It is something that I may try this year.

It is very easy to read. Keep in mind that some techniques can be considered quite advanced and may be hard to understand. But don't mistake that for being a difficult read.

I really enjoy the highlighted and bolded "Speed Secrets" throughout the chapters.

My best advice is to continue to refer to this book as much as you can. I find that exponentially helps me to grasp certain techniques and mindsets on what it takes to push your car to the limit. (Something that many of us will never be able to do) This book will however help you get as close to that as possible.
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on May 17, 2013
I am a race car driver and a racing instructor. This is my go-to book when someone asks me, "which book should I read?" It's also my go-to book when I need a refresher about what's important.

It's not a big book. There's absolutely no filler or wasted words. It's not in-depth either, so if you're looking for a more technical discussion about the hows and whys, this is not your book. If you're looking to take a tenth of a second off your lap times, you probably already know all the information in here, and it probably isn't your book either.

However, the information inside is the most important stuff you need to know about going fast. It's organized well, summarized well, and explained well. If you can't do the 20 or so things this book talks about, and do them both expertly and consistently, you will never be fast. Guys in lesser cars will always beat you. But if you can do these things, everything else is only going to make a minor difference at best.
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on October 21, 2015
I had this book a long time ago and replaced it since I have moved and lost my old copy. Definitely a must-have for a beginner trying to understand that it's not just about the car.. and this have some solid foundation to build on. Other book to accompany this would be Skip Barber's book "Going Faster".

Easy to read, and not too far into the weeds about technical items about the car. It's enough about the physics that can get you enough into trouble. Hopefully that as the reader, you are able to grasp the concepts.
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on September 17, 2010
This is the first driving book I've read and I highly recommend it. My experience with cars: I've taken an auto shop class before, I drive a stick, I've done some minor maintenance on my car, and I have never been involved in an accident. Before, I have never attempted to educate myself on how to drive fast (except what I learned from rom Grand Tirsmo 2. I haven't really played the newer ones but that one made you take driving tests before unlocking new levels ). It explains some important concepts of like the 'traction circle' and how to properly drive 'the limit' of the car.

The beginning of the book was familiar to me and easy to read, but it quickly got into new territory. A lot of people here say this book has application on the street, however, it is not directly 1:1, as you shouldn't drive at the limit on the street because you will have nothing left in the car to prevent an accident. It did help me corner better and smooth out my heel toe downshift, which I was very grateful for when I applied what I learned driving up the mountain roads last weekend.

I've had this desire to do autocross/solo amateur racing just recreationally and after reading this book, I feel more comfortable with the idea and will look forward to pursuing it. I might look into Bentley's Autocross Techniques if that were the case.

I like the short length of the book so I can use it as a reference and quickly reread concepts. I also like the length because I am not a big book person and might have lost interest if it were a lot longer. lol
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on August 13, 2010
A teacher's book, by a teacher of teachers, this book helps the driver to develop the most powerful modification to the car possible....the brain of the driver. This book is not just about the car, track and driver, but how to think and analyze all of them for whatever track you are on, car you are driving or conditions you confront. All of which will contribute to making you safer as well as faster on the track. The lessons are clear, some obvious and some quite subtle and far from obvious.....until you "get it". These elements are not typically addressed as well, if at all, in other books directed to performance driving, yet they are undeniably critical to going fast. It is a great little "refresher" to leaf through the evening before a track event, before you close your eyes and visualize driving the circuit in your head for a few laps prior to bed time.
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on January 3, 2007
Unfortunately, I'm not a racer. I was looking for info more along the lines of performance and safety techniques to use on the road, not a race track. It didn't offer a lot for every day driving, unfortunately. But - it didn't claim to either. I'd read what the book covered and took a chance that I might get something more out of it than I did.

That said, I still found it very interesting to be exposed to the depth of the science behind racing. Not that I didn't expect there was a lot to it, but to read about what's going on in those guys minds - wow! The book explains well various techniques (and more importantly to me, the reasons behind the techniques) for cornering, developing a line through a race track, and other side items such as prepping for a race.

I'm a fan of motorcycle racing more than auto racing, but I believe a lot of the info here is valuable to bikers too. On a side note, after reading this it re-inforces my lack of enthusiasm for NASCAR races. I'm sure there's something exciting about them, but going around in a circle doesn't seem nearly as challenging as Le Mans or other road races.

If you're actually racing on a track, this book will probably give you good information. And, as the book claims, I believe it's worth owning so that you can re-read it periodically. But that's coming from someone who doesn't actually race, so take it for what it's worth!
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on February 14, 2011
This was the book that introduced me to driving dynamics and got me initiated to the technical side to my passion. It's much more approachable to the uninitiated than some other driving texts I own -- it doesn't delve too deep into some of the physics like others, but that's exactly what you want when you want a quick enjoyable read. Its smaller size (like a paperback novel) makes it easier to carry around to driving events or whenever you're waiting in line, etc. I've probably read my well-worn copy over 5 times now because it's so portable.

Highly recommended to anyone interested in vehicle dynamics (autocross, sim-like racing games, track events).

Excellent coverage of fundamentals for beginners, and an enjoyable sparknotes review for the experienced.
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on September 17, 2009
I've been instructing for a while now, now mainly Formula Campus and Formula Renault, Ferrari etc...and i recommend these book EVERY time to new students. The ones who bought them, even just the first two, said that it was 'unbelievable how much it taught me about race driving'...for $24 for books 1&2, they will pay for themselves about a thousand times over in terms of improving your driving, and cover all basic race theory, lines, maximizing traction, driving on the limit, etc, etc, etc. Books 1 &2 are like your own 3-day race school in an easy-to-read format, but also go beyond that [obviously in 3 days there is only so much class time/theory you can get]. i don't think there's anything in the world of racing that could give you more for $24 [for the first two books]. Obviously there are way more technical books out there, but the Speed Secrets books are by FAR the best books to start with...Speed Secrets: Professional Race Driving TechniquesSpeed Secrets II: More Professional Race Driving Techniques
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