Getting my feet wet - need reading material - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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Old 12-12-2006, 08:00 PM
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Getting my feet wet - need reading material

I am contimplating putting a car together for the track. I have done a little autocrossing and not much more. I am looking for books that are good for fundamental driving technique - apex, braking, etc.

Do any of you have any ideas on racing "Bibles?"

Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:31 AM
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Hi AlfaGiulia65,

This list is from memory, so the titles might not be exactly correct:

"Competition Driving", by Alan Johnson
"The Technique of Motor Racing" by Piero Taruffi (might be out of print)
"The Racing Driver", by Dennis Jenkinson (again, old, but good reading)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaGiulia65 View Post
I am contimplating putting a car together for the track. I have done a little autocrossing and not much more. I am looking for books that are good for fundamental driving technique - apex, braking, etc.

Do any of you have any ideas on racing "Bibles?"

Thanks.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:17 AM
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That should give you a good start. There are also decent books by Skip Barber and Carroll Smith on the subject, although I don't remember the exact titles right now.

Erik
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:27 AM
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Thanks much - this will make up most of my Christmas list!
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:03 PM
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books

"Going Faster" by Carl Lopez is pretty highly regarded as a teaching tool. It is available on Amazon


-JT
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:25 AM
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Please don't tell any body, as it has been "my secret" for a long time, but A Twist of the Wrist by Keith Code, is one of the best for the overall work required in becoming a better driver.

Code is a motorcycle champion many times over, but this book is about learning how to read a track, and how to use your different levels of concentration to become more aware of the track and traffic, and not about motorcycles.

Remember, AG65, don't tell anyone about this, keep it our secret
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Old 12-14-2006, 09:43 AM
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Your secrect is safe with me George!

I went to Borders Books last night and found a couple, then got promptly shut down by my wife. I guess I will have to wait a couple weeks to immerse my self.

Thanks again for all the suggestions - I am really excited about this. Somehow, thoughts of how I am going to change my car seem to be keeping me up late and waking me up early.
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Old 12-14-2006, 12:40 PM
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The Carrol Smith book "Race to win" (I think thats the title) is probably the most widely read book here in America on driving techniques and race strategy. The Niki Lauda book and the Jacky Stewart book are both good.
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Old 12-16-2006, 01:04 PM
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Race books

Hi AlfaGuilia65

Some good advice from previous posts.

IMO the Carl Lopez "Going Faster" book is the must have. Because of the tie-in with the Skip Barber School the book mirrors the teaching-learning experience of the school programs -- starting with the basics of finding the correct line and working your way through braking, accelerating, rotation, passing, etc. Also, rather than being one driver's opinion on how to drive around a closed course, in "Going Faster" you are getting the collective wisdom of many drivers and instructors, presented in a organized approach -- developed over a 30 yr period -- that is designed to teach. If you find yourself at a Barber School in the future (highly recommended) you will truly appreciate both the quality of the book, as well as the fantastic learning experience of the Barber program.

Alan Johnson "Driving in Competition" is the perfect primer. Carroll Smith "Drive to Win" is a little more oriented towards a driver on a pro career path as I recollect, but great reading. The Paul Frere "Sports Car and Competition Driving" is a classic, as Jenks "The Racing Driver" (I'm re-reading this right now). You can draw good stuff from just about any of the books out there, but the Lopez book is the one to have.

Good luck, Mike

72 GTV
74 Berlina
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Old 12-16-2006, 05:58 PM
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"more gas, less brake"

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Old 12-16-2006, 08:00 PM
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Thought about a session or 2 with the Alfa Club or other local club training?

John Gates
Enumclaw, WA
'65 Spider Arrugginito
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:05 AM
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ditto roundel47's recommendation re: "Going Faster", plus (and not really reading material) the DVD "Speed Secrets of the Glen" (available from www.pdadrivingschool.com) and focused on Watkins Glen but much of the inforation is generic enough to transfer to other venues. what is very informative and nifty is that you can "see" what they are talking about.

that plus the same way you get to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice, also known as "the miracle of seat time". go to every event you can as amny as you can (and do not be put off by the fact that you will most likely be the only alfa and the inevitible jokes, for a while, 1 club that I ran with affectionately referred to the meatball flag as the alfa flag (ouch, but all in fun)

get a Snell 2000 SA rated helmet, or better still a Snell 2005.

enjoy, and repeat the prescription as necessary (but with the caveate that it most likely will result in severe adiction).
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Last edited by Griffo; 12-18-2006 at 07:06 AM. Reason: add a further thought
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Old 12-18-2006, 10:25 AM
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I finally joined AROO last week - I have been meaning to for a while but just haven't gotten around to it. I know they do a few track days a year that I will defintely attend as well as quite a bit of racing experience in the club. There are also a number of autocrosses and hillclimbs around through out the year.

I would be that seat time is more important than just about anything.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlfaGiulia65 View Post
...

I would be that seat time is more important than just about anything.
Got that right.

Reading about racing is roughly akin to using a book to learn how to ride a bicycle or how to swim -- you can only get so far with a physical activity studying it, before you need to actually do it. This is borne out through personal experience -- I read about racing for years and never scared myself to death like at my first driver school. Although I had probably read words to the effect of "never, never miss an apex" in 15 books, there was nothing like heading backwards for the tires at 85 mph out of Downhill at Lime Rock (the result of missing apex by about 2 feet) to make that point indelibly.

Mike
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:34 PM
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Seat time is important... but learning from books and schools will make sure that the seat time is quality seat time and not just hacking around a track for laps on end. IMHO

Happy Holidays!!!
Quentin
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