Books for Road Racers

The following list are some of the well known books for road racing. These are aimed primarily at driving tecniques, race driving theory, and race strategy. We think these are the first books you should be on the lookout for. Typically each book also has a book reference, and as you get more detailed in your quest to fine tune your car and driving, the more references you read the better.

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GoingFaster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving

This book, prepared by the Skip Barber Racing School, is a very thorough reference to driving techniques, race driving theory, practice skills, basic tire and cassis tuning, and an introduction to competitive racing. Highlights include excellent discussions on the racing line, cornering, braking, and car control. This is one of the must haves!

  • Author: The Skip Barber Racing School
  • © 1997, Skip Barber Racing School and Robert Bently, Inc.
  • Publisher: Robert Bently, Inc. Automotive Publishers

Drive to Win, The Essential Guide to Race Driving

Carroll smith has been involved in racing for over 30 years. He writes this book, not as a driver, but as an engineer and team manager. It's a valuable perspective. This one has excellent discussions on tires, braking, shifting, and practice session data colection. It also has a lot of good stories. This one is a must have also.

  • Author: Carroll Smith
  • © 1996, Carroll Smith
  • Publisher: Carroll Smith Consulting, Inc.

Performance Handling

This book is one of the classic references for the enthusiast driver and racer. It's not an engineer's reference, but rather a practical guide with just enough theory to help you understand the principles and parts involved in making a street car perform to its best. Some of the hardware specific references are out of date, but the principles of traction, weight transfer, and suspension components are explained clearly and completely. A definate must have!

  • Author: Don Alexander
  • © 1991, Don Alexander
  • Publisher: Motorbooks International Publishers

Speed Secrets, Professional Race Driving Techniques

This book is a great second source to the Skip Barber and Carroll Smith books. The other books have more detail and examples in some areas, but this book is written very well with clear descriptions. Good clear discussions of traction, heel-toe downshift, braking, and corner entry. A solid second-opinion book.

  • Author: Ross Bentley
  • © 1998, Ross Bentley
  • Publisher: MBI Publishing Company

Think to Win, The New Approach to Fast Driving

This is a unique book. While it deals with driving techniques and other technical subjects, it combines the technical subject with mental and physical preparation. Each subject is summarized into the basic task, the driver's mental and skillset tools, the racing game plan, priorities, and practice exercises. If you're serious about improving your personal race driving habits, skills, and mental preparation, this is a very useful book.

  • Author: Don Alexander
  • © 1995, Don Alexander and Robert Bently, Inc.
  • Publisher: Robert Bently, Inc. Automotive Publishers

Winning, A Race Driver's Handbook

Though written by George Anderson, this book includes supportive and even rebuttal commentary from several experienced and well-known racers. Written primarily form the perspective of SCCA racing, the book covers several driving technique and technical subjects. It's main highlight is the commentary from several points of view on its many subjects. It also features detailed lap commentary about several of the main professional US race tracks. Although some track configurations have changed since the book was published.

  • Author: George A. Anderson
  • © 1993, W. Mitty, Inc.
  • Publisher: Motorbooks International Publishers

Bob Bondurant on High Performance Driving

Simpler than the books above, but good straightforward description of the basics in seating, steering, shifting, heel-toe, and driving the racing line. As a second source, it offers some good nuggets.

  • Author: Bob Bondurant
  • © 1993, Bob Bondurant and John Blakemore
  • Publisher: Motorbooks International Publishers

Ayrton Senna's Principles of Race Driving

This book doesn't have the in-depth detail of the above books, but does have some good line references, and provides some insight from one of the world's great drivers. It's not a primary reference, but it's a good supplemental book.

  • Author: Ayrton Senna
  • © 1993 Hazleton Publishing Ltd

Car Modifications

There are, of course, multitudes of books about high performance tuning of specific cars and motors, and rather than list them all here, we think that a visit to your favorite bookstore and raceshop are the way to get started in that area.

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