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Speed Secrets Podcast

The Speed Secrets Podcast is all about high performance and race driving. In it, Ross Bentley has conversations with guests, resulting in tips, advice and inspiration you can take to the track. Digging into topics such as trail braking, cornering lines, race track specific advice, data acquisition and video analysis, upshifting and downshifting, handling and car setup, steering techniques, and the skill of using the throttle - all while driving on track - the goal is to not just entertain you, but also help you learn. Along the way, these conversations will get into why we drive on race tracks, igniting your passion for the sport. Each episode is 30 to 45 minutes in length – just right for listening to while on your way to work, to the track, or while you're working out. Oh, and in each episode - posted weekly on Thursdays - Ross will share one of his quick and effective Speed Secret tips.
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Jun 20, 2019

After driving the Dallara simulator at their Indy facility, I talk with sim engineer Davide Tarsitano, and Bryce Moore about how you can use it. We talk about the differences between the typical home sim rig and this multimillion-dollar driver- and car-development tool, as well as how it’s not as expensive as one would think when compared to what you can accomplish with no chance of damaging one’s car. Easily, this is the most realistic sim I’ve ever driven, and I’ve had the chance to drive a lot of them. The information Davide shares regarding driving in the rain is very interesting!

Contact Bryce Moore at Dallara at B.Moore@dallara.us, and check out their GT Simulator Program at here. And follow Dallara @dallaragroup.

 

Jun 13, 2019

Andy Hollis joins me to talk about everything to do with the One Lap of America. It’s an event that I’m dying to do, so I pick his brain to learn as much as I can. If it’s not on your list of motorsport events to do yet, it will be after listening to Andy. As he says, it’s “the ultimate motorsport vacation of a lifetime,” or “summer camp for gearheads.”

Andy is a 13-time SCCA national autocross champ, 20-year SCCA rules-maker, track day junkie, 35 years autocross and track day instructor, Race Engineer for 2-time factory-backed championship-winning PWC touring car driver Tom O’Gorman, Crew Chief for Team Honda Research 24/25H enduros at COTA and Thunderhill, and regular contributor to Grassroots Motorsports magazine (especially for tire testing). 

Andy’s Speed Secret: minimize risk and sleep.

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OneLapMcLaren Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OneLapMcLaren/
One Lap of America website: http://www.onelapofamerica.com

 

Jun 6, 2019

Kostas Sidiras & Serxio Veiga join me to talk about… well, anything they want. These guys are so much fun – and we even learn something from them! We talk about driving the Nurburgring, Spa, Mosport, Ring Bananas, Fiat Multiplas, and Porsche GT3s. More importantly, we talk about why we do what we do, and what car people are really like (hint: they might not be normal).

Kostas and Serxio (and friends) have a fun YouTube channel called One Lap Heroes, and both work at RSRNurburg and RSRSpa as instructors. Not surprisingly, they are hardcore car people – who love to have fun! You absolutely must watch their One Lap Heroes YouTube videos.

Kostas’ Speed Secret: don’t be afraid to be slow and make mistakes. Learn from it.

Serxio’s Speed Secret: never stop learning. 

If you’re interested in joining our trip to the Nurburging in August, check out the info at https://SpeedSecrets.com/Ring.

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May 30, 2019

Lawrence Loshak joins me to talk about all sorts of really interesting & helpful topics, such as how to prepare for an event, simulators, adapting to your car, trail braking, left-foot-braking, being proactive with your driving, “taking a set,” comparing front-wheel to rear-wheel & open-wheel to closed-wheel, and transmissions. And he shares 3 Speed Secrets with you! You won’t want to miss this show.

Lawrence is currently leading the Trans-Am championship, and has won five SCCA championships, as well as receiving the Mark Donohue Award. 

Lawrence’s three Speed Secrets:

  1. Brake early. (Advice passed on by PD Cunningham)
  2. Don’t build your first race car out of a car you love.
  3. You have to have a plan of attack.

Follow Lawrence at…

May 23, 2019

James Colborn joins me to talk about making his comeback to racing after taking more than a year off from it. Not only has he made a comeback, but he’s done it in an open-wheel car – not something he’s driven before – and on tracks he’s never seen before. So, it’s been a bit like starting all over again, but with a solid foundation to start from. And that’s provided a very interesting learning experience.

James is, as his website suggests, a “gentleman driver.” He started with HPDE events, then club racing, some pro racing in production-based race cars, and now is racing a Formula Ford in the UK. All for fun. He’s also a bit of an AIM data guru – mostly self-taught – and freely shares his knowledge and experience with others. 

James’ Speed Secret: Don’t be frightened of data.

 Follow and learn more about James – and especially, check out his AIM data videos – at www.JamesColborn.com.

 

 

May 16, 2019

Kevin Boehm, who’s won the SCCA Runoff three times, shares what he’s learned so you can win the Runoffs. Yes, he’s sharing his secrets - from driving and car prep to his overall strategy towards the event, you’ll hear how Kevin has won three out of the four of the Runoffs he’s raced.

Kevin is an engineer for Honda R&D, working at the Marysville, Ohio facility, and has raced in SCCA as well as IMSA. In 2019, he’ll be heading to VIR, looking to gather his fourth win at the Runoffs – so look out!

Kevin’s Speed Secret: do your homework.

Follow Kevin at:

May 9, 2019

Jim Mero joins me to talk about the Corvette, his contributions to its development over the past decade-plus, life as a development test driver, lapping the Nurburgring as part of one’s job, and what’s ahead for Corvette. Two things that came out of our conversation that I found especially fascinating was his explanation of “linear versus non-linear driving,” and how test drivers rely on their subconscious to drive the car while the conscious mind is focused on developing the car. 

Jim spent 34 years at General Motors, with the last 15 as a Ride & Handling Engineer focused on the Corvette. No doubt, today’s Vette is a direct result of Jim’s engineering and test driving. He retired from GM in September of 2018, and now has his own consulting business, Jim Mero Vehicle Dynamics LLC.

Jim’s Speed Secret(s): “Get a go-kart. Driving is a process. Your best friend is your instructor and the laps you drive. Data will set you free.” 

For more info about Jim…

I also mentioned the online Chalktalk I’m doing on May 14, 2019. Yes, it’s free, but to reserve your spot or join in, go to TrackAttack.io/SSChalktalk.

May 2, 2019

Bill Thomas joins me to talk about… well, lots! All of the various things he does, including his William Thomas Roadsters, Drakan Cars, Performance Garage Club, and importing the CAV GT40. Bill shares his experiences with Ferrari, Lotus, GT40s, and Hellcats. Oh, and we talk about his own track driving experience - specifically, about when and how to experiment with your driving, and why you should do that.

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Bill is the/a owner of:

  • William Thomas Roadsters,LLC
  • Drakan Cars East, LLC
  • Performance Garage Club, LLC
  • GT International, LLC (US Importer for the CAV GT40)

He can be reached at:

Phone: 908-313-4482

 

Apr 25, 2019

Steve Spano joins me to talk about how we can use technology to drive faster, and specifically, the RaceVoice device he helped develop. This device plugs into your existing ECU and data system, and then provides auditory information to you – everything from corner entry and minimum speeds to when to upshift or whether your engine is overheating. I used the RaceVoice recently and absolutely love it, so I wanted you to learn about it.

After this podcast was recorded, I asked Steve for a discount for listeners, and got a “yes.” So, to get a 10% discount on a RaceVoice unit, use the code “speedsecrets” at www.RaceVoice.com.

Steve’s Speed Secret: “Imagine doing what you’re working on with great detail, then go do it.”

For more information about RaceVoice, go to www.RaceVoice.com.

Apr 18, 2019

Ingrid Steffensen is on the show today, and we talk about expanding our comfort zone, getting into flow, what we learn about ourselves from track driving, writing, learning, and her book Fast Girl: Don’t Brake Until You See the Face of God. Which, by the way, is an absolutely great read!

Ingrid started in the HPDE world in a Mini Cooper S, graduated to a Lotus Elise, and is now about to upgrade to an Exige Cup car. She also instructs, both in-car and in the classroom. When she’s not at the track, she’s probably writing her next book – or even another article for Speed Secrets Weekly.

Ingrid’s Speed Secret: Look further ahead.

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Apr 11, 2019

Johannes van Overbeek and I reminisce about the time we spent together at ESM Patron Racing, and he gives away all of his secrets about winning endurance races. We then compare right-foot with left-foot-braking, how a driver can be a nice laid back guy out of the car and yet be a killer behind the wheel, and why he recently retired from regular race driving.

Johannes has won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Sebring 12-hour, Petit Le Mans, raced at Le Mans, and won the Thunderhill 25-hour race six times! He knows how to win endurance races...actually, just about any type of racing. He’s driven for ESM Patron Racing, the Flying Lizards, and factory Porsche and BMW teams.

Johannes’ Speed Secret: Unclutter your brain.

Follow Johannes:

 

Apr 11, 2019

Johannes van Overbeek and I reminisce about the time we spent together at ESM Patron Racing, and he gives away all of his secrets about winning endurance races. We then compare right-foot with left-foot-braking, how a driver can be a nice laid back guy out of the car and yet be a killer behind the wheel, and why he recently retired from regular race driving.

Johannes has won the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Sebring 12-hour, Petit Le Mans, raced at Le Mans, and won the Thunderhill 25-hour race six times! He knows how to win endurance races...actually, just about any type of racing. He’s driven for ESM Patron Racing, the Flying Lizards, and factory Porsche and BMW teams.

Johannes’ Speed Secret: Unclutter your brain.

Follow Johannes:

Apr 4, 2019

Trevor Ashline joins me to talk about the latest in head and neck restraint devices, as well as all sorts of other safety related topics. As VP of Engineering and Product Development for Simpson Performance Products, and a motorsport enthusiast himself, he knows his stuff – and shares it with you in this show. Should a HANS or Hybrid-S device be used with airbags? With standard OEM Seatbelts? How long do these devices stay safe? How do they interact with seats and roll cages? These are just some of the topics we talk about.

Ever since Dale Earnhardt’s death back in 2001, the use of head and neck restraint devices has increased, and in some events they’re mandatory. But what if you track a stock production car with standard OEM Seatbelts where a HANS device doesn’t work for you? There is one device that is FIA certified to work with OEM belts – the Hybrid-S - invented by Trevor.

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Mar 28, 2019

Richard Kelley joins me to talk about his experience of capturing some of the most incredibly powerful images of F1 drivers from 1972 to 1984. His photos of Niki Lauda, James Hunt, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Gilles Villeneuve and others will connect with you and either make you smile, get goose bumps, or cry. His perspective as someone who has closely observed some of the best drivers in the world, as well as raced himself, make his advice about visualization, situational awareness and sensory input hugely valuable to every driver.

Richard has been a photojournalist, writer, communicator and historian for most of his life. In addition to his F1 photography, he’s worked for Car and Driver, Mitsubishi (where he was Motorsport Manager, and largely responsible for the Evo), and the Chicago Tribune. He also successfully raced Formula Ford and Atlantic.

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Mar 21, 2019

Spencer Pumpelly and I talk about what karting doesn’t teach, how to brake with ABS and release them to rotate the car, why an early apex is better than a late one, when a pass really begins, corner entry speed, and the importance of eliminating the fluff (that part throttle stuff that does more harm than good). Oh, and we also touch on the similarities between flying helicopter and performance driving (just in case you’ve always wanted to know!).

Spencer currently races for Magnus Racing and TRG, and has won in almost every level of racing he’s competed in. In this podcast, he talks about Le Mans and racing in ARCA. He’s also a great coach, as illustrated by his comment that, “The line is not the cause, it’s the result.” Great stuff! 

Spencer’s Speed Secret: Eliminate the fluff!

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Mar 14, 2019

Peter Puffer joins me to talk about why we do what we do (driving fast around race tracks), the psychology of instructing a driver on track, and what makes a great instructor (hint: observing and paying attention to the student is a good place to start!). Peter also talks about how too much, and also too little, anxiety can negatively impact performance.

Peter, who is a psychologist as a profession, grew up around motorsport and started driving in HPDE events and track days back in 1997. Since that time he’s driven and raced at tracks throughout the midwest and elsewhere. He’s been a HPDE instructor for 18 years, and is the chief instructor for the Glacier Lakes Audi Club.

Peter’s Speed Secret: always be a student.

Peter can be contacted at peter.puffer@audiglacierlakes.org

Mar 7, 2019

Wallace Bradley joins me to talk about that thing we don’t want to talk about: when to stop driving. Whether it’s age, money, risk, or “been there, done that,” there comes a time when we all need to make a decision to cut back on our driving or stop cold turkey. How should we make that decision, and then do it?

Wallace started high-performance driving about ten years ago, and has been participating mostly in PCA events at tracks primarily in eastern North America ever since. Like many, he started instructing shortly after getting involved, giving back to the sport. As he also tracks a motorcycle, he’s been thinking about cutting back on the number of track days he does each year in his Porsche 944.

Wallace’s Speed Secret: Commit to yourself and your fitness.

Feb 28, 2019

Dave Weckl, a drumming legend, joins me to talk about the rhythm of driving and drumming, how playing music relates to performance driving, and what makes the best performers in anything great.

Dave is a true drumming legend. Modern Drummer magazine inducted Dave into their Hall of Fame and named him one of the 25 best drummers of all time, and he’s played with performers like Paul Simon, Madonna, Robert Plant and Chick Corea. He also has his own band, tours a lot, and has an online training program for drummers. But he also drives a Corvette on track, and has proven that driving is an art just like music.

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Feb 21, 2019

Dr. Shannon Irvine joins me to talk about mindset, confidence, mental triggers, fear… and so much more about the mental game of performance & race driving. We all know that the mental game is what makes the difference on the track – but what do we do about it? Shannon shares some deliberate strategies to help you improve your driving performance.

Dr. Shannon Irvine is an Entrepreneur, High Achievement Mentor, Host of the Epic Success Podcast, a PhD. in Neuro-Psychology and a Philanthropist.

Her mission is to help entrepreneurs go for their God given dreams by giving them the step-by-step blueprint to go from “Dream to Launch” in a way that honors what they value most.

Dr. Shannon helps her clients “neuro-hack” their success and build an Epic Life and Business that they love by harnessing the power of the brain to hardwire productivity, goal attainment, and high performance mindset mastery.

Through her courses, programs, and Epic Success Podcast, her clients learn the power of neuroachievement™ — her process for shifting how to think, act, and grow, so they can achieve anything they desire. They learn how to hardwire what they want, and delete anything that’s holding them back! 

Shannon’s Speed Secret: Be aware of what you say to yourself, and what you think.

Shannon mentioned the Brain Priming audio series, and you can access it here: https://drshannonirvine.com/mindyourbusiness

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Feb 14, 2019

Adam Jabaay is back (he was my guest on Episode #11), and we’re talking about his Slip Angle podcast, about the Gridlife events, and what makes a great driving event. He tells us about how Gridlife is launching a wheel-to-wheel race series (Touring Cup), and what brings young drivers and spectators to driving events.

Adam races a Honda in SCCA and NASA events, is a founder and organizer of the Gridlife events, hosts the Slip Angle podcast, and has a passion for older motorhomes. Having purchased the Time Stretcher 3000 from Sears many years ago, he manages to fit 26 hours of activity into each day.

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Feb 7, 2019

Don Kitch joins me to talk about the art of racing in the rain, as we sit together at Pacific Raceway in Seattle, the very place where Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain came to life – and the “home” of the upcoming Patrick Dempsey movie. Don and I dissect eight of my Speed Secrets that are aimed at driving fast in the rain, as well as our love for simply being at a race track.

Don and I have been close friends for over 25 years, and have worked together throughout that time, sharing a race car at Daytona with Team Seattle, coaching drivers, conducting high-performance driving schools, and having our luggage get lost during air travel. Don is the owner and chief instructor for ProFormance Racing School, and the founder of the Team Seattle program that has raised millions of dollars for the Seattle Childrens Hospital. He began racing in 1982… and some think he will never stop! For sure, he will never stop sharing his knowledge and passion for high performance driving.

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Jan 31, 2019

Greg Woodrowjoins me to talk about what makes those crazy Aussie V8 Supercar drivers so good, and specifically the training they have all had racing Formula Ford. We also talk about the state of motorsport in Australia, the advice that Luke Youldon and Bruin Beasley of Erebus gave during my Inner Speed Secrets seminar in Melbourne, and finally, some of the fun that we had together – and what we learned – when I was down-under recently.

Greg is the owner of G-Force Motorsport and G-Force Events located in Melbourne, Australia. After twenty years as the agent for Mygale Cars in Australia and New Zealand, where he built an unbeatable empire of Mygale products that have won the last ten Australian Formula Ford Championships and the last ten New Zealand Formula Ford championships back-to-back, Greg sold the Mygale business and now runs a race team for Formula Ford and Porsche drivers, as well as motorsport-orientated events that involve corporations at every level.

Greg’s Speed Secret: Never give up. Un-ending commitment makes the difference.

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Jan 24, 2019

Chuck Tucker joins me to talk about HPDE instructing – what the best instructors do, how the classroom sessions need to work with the in-car instruction, the secret of the “secret goal,” and the best driving drills being used today.

Chuck, who is an engineering professor in real life, changes into his superman instructor suit when instructing with NASA Great Lakes Region, as well as the PCA and BMW clubs.

Chuck’s Speed Secret: Ask your student questions – then listen.

You can find Chuck on Facebook, as well as email him at ctucker@illinois.edu.

If you’re ever looking for a good track map, just go to SpeedSecrets.com/Trackmaps.

Jan 17, 2019

Andy Pilgrim joins me to talk about racing and traffic safety education. He tells us about his experience co-driving with Dale Earnhardt Sr and Jr at Daytona, why he’s won so often, and the work he’s doing in the traffic safety education world – and why you should care. Andy tells you how you can get free copies of the training videos he’s produced.

Andy has won in just about everything he’s driven from the factory Corvettes to Cadillacs. He’s committed to giving back by helping save young drivers’ lives, through his Traffic Safety Education Foundation work.

Andy’s Speed Secret: Eyes to the vanishing point.

To learn more about Andy’s traffic safety initiatives, go to his Traffic Safety Education Foundation website at www.tsef.org. And you can also contact him through his website at www.AndyPilgrim.com.

Jan 10, 2019

Randy Beikmann joins me to talk about the ideal line – the one that results in the fastest lap times – something that he’s been modeling from a mathematical perspective, and then relating to real track driving. What he shares will give you a deeper understanding of why you drive the line you – or should drive the line you’re currently not!

 Randy is a former engineer for General Motors, and currently teaches engineering at Kettering University. He’s written the super-important book, Physics for Gearheads – a must-have for anyone interested in understanding vehicle dynamics and driving at a deeper level. As important is the fact that he’s also a track rat who drives a Porsche Cayman in PCA events.

 Randy’s Speed Secret: Power is not the end-all. Traction is more important.

 You can purchase Randy’s Physics for Gearheads at Barnes & Noble, or on Amazon.

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