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From digest.v7.n924 Sun Jan 11 14:50:13 1998
From: Bob Stommel <>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 10:20:28
Subject: First driver school, books, etc.

Paul Kunz wrote:

>There are a number of books on race driving techinques. Buy and
>read them. There's also some book on suspension tuning that you ought
>to get and read. Reading these books will prepare you better for the
>first driver's school better than any modifications to your car

For your first driver school, the student manual that comes with your registration materials is probably all the written material you need. As you attend more schools, there are several good books for improving general high-performance driving skills. I like these two:

  1. Bob Bondurant on High Performance Driving, Motorbooks International, ISBN 0-87938-751-3
  2. Competition Driving by Alain Prost, Motorbooks International, ISBN 0-905138-80-5 (This one contains some racing stuff that you won't need for driver schools)

For more racing-related info, I like these three (take this recommendation with a grain of salt; I'm still a rookie when it comes to racing):

  1. Winning - A Race Driver's Handbook, Motorbooks International, ISBN 0-87938-776-9
  2. Think to Win - A New Approach to Fast Driving, by Don Alexander, Robert Bentley Publishers, ISBN 0-8376-0070-7
  3. Ayrton Senna's Principles of Race Driving, Motorbooks International, ISBN 1-874557-40-3

A good book on suspension modifications (including understandable explanations of how each component affects the car's handling) is: Performance Handling - How to Make Your Car Handle - Techniques for the 1990's [does this mean all the advise goes bad at the turn of the millenium?], Motorbooks International, ISBN 0-87938-418-2

Irwin Eberhart wrote:

>Third thing "I" would do is, as much autocrossing as you can prior to the
>school. Although autocrossing is not like driving on a track, it will teach
>you some good accident avoidance skills and how your car will react when you
>do some wild manuevers.

I personally don't think that autocrossing teaches you the skills you need on a road course. Try some autocross moves to save the car at speed and you'll be in the weeds. If you want to do an autocross, do it to learn how to autocross, not to learn skills for a road course.

Tools at the track:

Okay, okay, maybe you don't really need to bring all those tools I listed. Unless, of course, you're a certified gearhead like me. ;-)

Bob Stommel
Bimwad Motorsports

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