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Ultimate Speed Secrets: The Complete Guide to High-Performance and Race Driving Flexibound – August 25, 2011
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From the Publisher
Driving a race car is not something you can do “by the book.” You have to learn mostly through hands-on experience, but you can learn many of the basics by reading and studying a book. Save years of trial and error learning by simply reading and understanding this book!
For the Beginner...
I hope this book serves as a reference for a long time. Some of the information may not make sense until you’ve gone past the basics and begun working on fine-tuning your techniques. But I hope it will help you start on the right foot and that you can refer to it again later.
For the Experienced Driver...
There may be a lot of information you already know. You may be using some of that information, and you may not even understand why you are using some of it. I suggest you read it again and really think it through. It’s surprising how a fresh approach can sometimes make it all click for you, resulting in a dramatic increase in speed.
This Book is Your Guide to Success
Parts of Ultimate Speed Secrets are written with one focus: driving a car at the limit, getting the maximum speed out of it, no matter what the surface or layout of road or track in front of you. Another part of the book is written in the pursuit of winning races. No matter how fast you are, there comes a time in racing where the wheel-to-wheel competition, or racecraft , takes precedence. It’s one thing to drive fast and another entirely to out-race the competition. And because some people either want to make a living racing professionally, or at least want someone else to off set their expenses, I touch on what it takes to be a professional racer, from career moves to sponsorship.
Even if you are a beginner, reading and using the information in this book may help you develop your basic skills without acquiring any bad habits. That will give you an edge on your competition, who oft en spend more time dealing with their bad habits than working on improving.
"This new book presents more racing knowledge in an easy to comprehend, adapt and use than any previous ones over decades of racing. It is not a quick read but an excellent one with much to ponder, reflect on and put into practice. After each track session you'll probably return to it to further hone your skills and fitness both mental and physical. It is complete coaching for the vintage or amateur and it also has many items for the serious aspiring oval or road racer. This means team building, team dynamics, sponsors and sponsorships and much more. It has much to offer the vintage racer no matter the type of car or the intensity of the competition. Buy it, read it, practice the info and you'll be a safer, quicker and more satisfied race car driver." - Vintage Oval Racing
"If you are a track-day driver or a regular racer, I guaranteed the $20 or less you pay for his book will be the most cost-effective way to lower your lap time you ever invested." - Keith Martin's Sports Car Market
About the Author
Ross Bentley is the author of the popular Motorbooks Speed Secrets series. He is a racing coach, race car driver, author, and speaker. Bentley grew up in a racing family in Vancouver, British Columbia. He raced in the CART Indy Car series in the 1990s before moving on to endurance racing, where he won the 1998 GT3 United States Road Racing Championship and the 2003 SRPII Class Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Bentley currently resides in Redmond, Washington.
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I drive more to have fun and test my own personal limits rather than trying to win. I compete with my daily driver, which is a Miata MX-5.
Not wanting to spend the money to attend a full-scale race training program, I purchased Speed Secrets. I'm now in the process of reading it the second time. This book is brimming with knowledge and insights that will help anyone improve their skills.
I've created my personal pre-event checklist based on the insights in this book.
The next thing is finding answers to chassis tuning problems one does not fully grasp while making modifications. On my quest to improving my cars i thought i knew what modifications would be best, only to find out what i wanted didn't always translate well to the road, even when the parts i purchased were premium parts. This book helped me figure out why certain changes didn't turn out as i planned and i was able to fix my tuning course accordingly.
Note- It is best suited to look at this as a index guide not a book to read page to page. The explanations for certain topics are not in order and has bits of each subject explained over multiple chapters. If you are looking for an answer, you probably won't find it under one chapter.
Lastly - I no way should you assume simply because you have the knowledge in your brain that you will already drive better. Practice..Practice and practice some more (as with everything in life). You can read about late apex'ing all day long. Not until you actually go out and practice it over a variety of turns will you actually start to grasp what you know.
There is very little substitute for getting behind the wheel and feeling and practicing all this book discusses but it gives you all the knowledge you need in order to KNOW how to be a faster and safer driver. I think the instructors in the one or two-day events I go to can only cover so much and can only get so deep into the specifics of what this book discusses. Digging deeper into all the physics of driving on the edge and how that applies to your available inputs (steering, braking, accelerating) is extremely helpful.
I look forward to reading the remainder of the book but if I only had the first 150 pages I feel like I already got more than my money's worth from this book hence the early review.
Top international reviews
I bought that book mainly because I started SimRacing at the PC. And I mentioned that I am very weak because I had literally no driving technique. Before I read the book I thought I knew a lot of finding the right racing line. That was my strenght. But he showed me the real secrets of the perfect racing line. How I can adjust it, how I can find the line, what my priorities should be.
But the book grants you everything you need to know. Pedaltechniques, Physical mechanics etc etc. Even though I am not a native english speaker the language was pretty easy to understand.
One of the best things you can find in this book is, that the author bores you never. You never read sites over sites with dry theory. From time to time he tells you a small story about his life at the track. And sometimes you understand quotes of driver like Mario Andretti.
This is not only a book. It is the racing bible!