- Series: Driving
- Hardcover: 325 pages
- Publisher: Bentley Pub; 1 edition (September 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0837600731
- ISBN-13: 978-0837600734
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 87 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,591,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Unfair Advantage - Special Edition Hardcover Hardcover – September, 2000
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...Donohue's book is a must-read. -- LA Car, December 2000
...a gripping history of sports cars and road racing. -- Los Angeles Times, December 6, 2000
...must-read titles. -- AutoWeek, November 20-26, 2000
...the return of The Unfair Advantage means everything good -- Excellence, April 2001
Bentley Publishing brings back a book to introduce a singular American motorsports hero to a new generation of racing fans. -- Roundel, February 2001
Donohue tells . . . the story of how racing became a science as well as a sport. -- Automobile, February 2001
Donohue's storytelling evokes a time when modestly funded (and talented) guys made good. -- Sports Car Market, November 2000
Highly recommended. -- 911 & Porsche World, December 2000
Several car books have been released recently, and one that really caught our eye is The Unfair Advantage... -- Grassroots Motorsports, December 2000
The 25th anniversary edition of The Unfair Advantage brings back the long-sought-after title and adds more than 100 new photos -- Hot Rod, January 2001
About the Author
Mark Donohue gained fame in the '60s and '70s as a maverick breed of auto racer who used scientific and engineering skill to win his races. From winning amateur races in his college days as a mechanical engineering student at Brown to taking the checkered flag at the 1972 Indianapolis 500, Mark Donohue strove to understand the dynamics behind high performance, and then perfected his skill in extracting it.He also was a winning co-driver of the 24-hour sports car enduro at Daytona, and he set a world's speed record at Talladega.
Of course, racing has been called "the cruel sport;" Mark suffered many losses and disappointments too, both public and private. His life ended tragically at the age of 38 after a 1975 Formula One accident in Austria. But his legacy remains timeless. In fact, every successful driver today owes a debt of knowledge to Mark Donohue's pioneering work in applying science to speed.
Top customer reviews
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He also believed that mechanical grip and balance needed to be set before messing with aero. There is a photo of him driving a Porsche 917K around a skid pad without any bodywork getting the suspension geometry right. He said the 917K as delivered by Porsche was almost undriveable on real world road courses because Porsche had concentrated almost exclusively on power (1100+ HP) from the boxer 12 and on body aerodynamics. So, through a tight (slow) corner it didn't stick and you couldn't get all that power down either. Porsche never said much about all that, but Roger Penske said the 917 was a winner because of Donohue.
He was also the inventor of the "circle of friction" concept, and its resultant trail-braking technique. At the time, the belief was you would brake as hard as possible in a straight line and then turn in. Mark said, "The tire patch can generate x amount of G force and it doesn't much matter in which direction. So he said you would brake hard, but then turn in more smoothly and ease off the brakes at the same time. And then pick up the throttle as you unwound the wheel. The idea was to keep the G load on the tires the same (and as close to the max as possible) and just rotate the vector.
The engineering and depth Mark describes give me a new perspective on how complicated race cars can be. I recognized and remembered most of the racers names from that era. I've always had the utmost respect for Jim Hall and his Chaparrels after watching them many times at Road America - Marks description just depends that respect. Roger Penske descriptions throughout the book are priceless as well as so much information. .... .... A GREAT READ ....
Mark Donohue was ahead of his time and a genius in his own right,
recommended book if you want understand a little more of this highly creative man.
Not only is his story truly amazing, but the book is well written too. Offering sometimes intimate and humanizing insights to a real hero. Full of fascinating stories, it's hard to put down and it's a book you'll be sad to finish, because you just want more.
It mentions his family and personal life only in passing, though. Had he not died so soon, the followup book he promised at the end of this one might have gone deeper into that. Sadly we will never know.
For gearheads this couldn't be better. For non gearheads, well they'll put it down by the end of the second chapter.
Most recent customer reviews
His efforts were always made with his whole heart, and he applied all of his talent...Read more