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Old 10-25-2014, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Reading material for the inexperienced

As I get more into racing, I realize just how uninformed I am. Based on the wealth of information in this sub-forum, and my lack of a building block to utilize such data; what would be a good book, website, or area to start reading to get that higher?

I realize much is to be learned from experience, but those who know me, or have read my build thread, know that I research(read: obsess) a purchase/choice before I do something.

Anyone recommend some good starting points? I'm trying to avoid developing bad habits and consequently wasting time and money as I make the transition into taking this a bit more seriously, as I have with other sports in the past(climbing, biking, canyoneering, dirt biking).

Also, I realize you can't avoid the financial mistakes completely just by being a couch racer(reading about it), but I figure you can always help lessen the impact of wanting to throw a wrench in frustration by educating yourself.

Jeff B.

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Old 10-25-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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Ross Bentley's "Speed Secrets" and "Inner Speed Secrets", plus Carroll Smith's "Tune to Win" are all good starting points. I would start with the Bentley books if you're just learning how to drive on a track.
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:21 PM   #3
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Chassis engineering by Herb Adams is a great book for both the beginner and the intermediate student. It talks about different types of suspension designs, setting up or altering a suspension to help it handle better. Lots of pictures and explanations.
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:32 PM   #4
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Awesome, hopefully they have them in kindle format for my phone.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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The carroll smith books are all good. Some a little outdated but overall a good background of all topics in an easy to understand format. It really just depends what your interested (Driving technique, chassis design, suspension tunning, aero, etc.) and how technical you want to get. Some books are intro books and some are more advanced and require more background to understand fully.

Other's I can recommend is maximum boost by corky bell for turbo info.
perfromance fuel injection system by the DIY auto tune guys for ECU tuning info
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:02 PM   #6
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I second the whole 'Speed Secrets' series by Ross Bentley. He has a great site as well. Did wonders for me in national level karting.
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:09 PM   #7
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Thirdly recommend the Ross Bentley 'Speed Secrets'. Not that I'm any good, but it's written such that it makes sense to a noob...
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:08 AM   #8
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Carroll Smith also has a few other books that cover different areas of setup. Everything from "Engineer to Win" which gets into material science and metal alloy selection up to "Drive to Win" which discusses more of the philosophies of tuning your car (like reading tread wear, keeping parts clean, keeping good records of setups/tire temps/etc.)
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:58 AM   #9
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Another vote for "Tune to Win" and "Drive to Win" by Carroll Smith. They're well written with lots of good info. I'd like to have the whole series one day.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:16 PM   #10
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I don't know your background/experience but have you completed a race driving school to get your license? Ever thought about going back to take an advanced course? That seems like a better way to develop good habits than reading.

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Old 11-03-2014, 02:27 PM   #11
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Speed Secrets: Professional Race Driving Techniques: Ross Bentley: 9780760305188: Amazon.com: Books Speed Secrets: Professional Race Driving Techniques: Ross Bentley: 9780760305188: Amazon.com: Books

Speed Secrets!! this book has saved me so much$$$$. never thought 12 bucks could make you so much faster.

It focuses on the driver, how to drive, how to get sponsors

almost nothing on chassis set up. look to Carroll Smith for those books.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:40 PM   #12
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I just finished 'Competition Car Suspension' by Allan Staniforth. It's mostly about open wheel, but I think there are some things we can learn from it and apply to Miata's as well.

It's pretty much all about building the car, and not driving it though. Not sure you're looking for rebuild one again Jeff?? lol

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Old 11-03-2014, 02:47 PM   #13
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It all depends on how far I decide to take the car prepping it for the track. Once I put the GTC-300 wing on and then the necessary front aero to balance it, it will probably get stripped down once or twice.

Also once I get my custom hitch welded onto my TDI, then I don't have to suffer driving it to events and can go farther with it.

Thanks for the book advice all. Considering Utah just got it's first snow, it is perfect timing.
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Old 11-03-2014, 04:29 PM   #14
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If you like reading about the technical side of aero, Racecar Engineering magazine has some good articles called Aerobytes that you could probably find online. I've read a lot of cool articles from them.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:00 PM   #15
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Turn the boost down, put in fresh brake fluid, show up to track day with intercom helmets, grab an instructor, profit. Repeat 5-10 times, read anything Emilio/William/Sunny/Andrew post about driving, stalk on trackhq, watch in car on YouTube, data aq, paid instruction.
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