Scot Elkins joins me to talk about the Motorsport Safety Foundation (MSF), its various safety initiatives, and especially the Instructor Certification program it launched in the spring of 2017. We also touch on the topic of electric car racing.
Scot is the COO of the Motorsport Safety Foundation, as well as the race director for the Formula E series. Having spent years as a race engineer, as well as a senior official with the American Le Mans and IMSA series, he has a broad perspective on the sport, from HPDE and track day events, to major international racing.
Learn more about the MSF Instructor Certification program at http://www.motorsport-safety.org/initiatives/certified.
Peter Carroll joins me to talk about his recent article in Speed Secrets Weekly, “14 Ways to Improve Your Driving.” Specifically, we talk about braking too hard, not enough trail braking, getting on the throttle too early, coasting, not using all the track, downshifting too much, shortening the distance by altering your line, and how to experiment with new driving techniques.
Peter Carroll is a BMW and Porsche club racer, track day driver, and instructor. Living in the Toronto area, his home track is Canadian Tire Motorsport Park at Mosport, but he’s driven and instructed at tracks all over North America. He gets a thrill out of helping other drivers learn and improve.
Andrew Comrie-Picard joins me to talk about how to sense the traction limits of any type of car you’re driving, whether on pavement or dirt - just how to drive fast on any surface, and how learning to drive a variety of cars will make you a better driver. Versatility is a good thing! We talk about “dynamic traction," sliding friction, sliding, slip angles, traction circle, weight transfer, and “steering with your feet.” Okay, we talk about rally, rallycross, drifting, road circuit driving, and even radio controlled cars. This is one of my favorite podcasts yet! And it just so happens to be the first anniversary for the show.
ACP (as Andrew is sometimes known) has driven just about everything, from rally to rallycross, from off-road to road courses, from radio controlled cars to drifting and hill climbs. He’s a Canadian-born race car driver, stunt driver, stunt coordinator, automotive journalist, spokesman, and TV personality. Interestingly, he has five university degrees, including a B.A. from The University of Trinity College (University of Toronto), an M.A. from Trinity College, Oxford, and MBA and LL.B. (law) degrees from McGill University, and was a competitive rower at both Oxford and McGill. Amongst other things, he’s won Rally America championships, the Targa Newfoundland Rally, and medals at the X Games.
Learn more about Andrew at:
Brian Bonner joins me to talk about motorsport marketing, or sponsorship. Getting someone else to pay for you to race, or even to do track days, is like a dream come true for many. But how do you do that? Brian has worked with drivers and teams at every level, from Indy Car and NASCAR to club racing. And he’s learned more than a few things along the way – things that can help you.
Brian runs his own motorsport marketing agency, but is so focused on his clients that he talks only about them – and wants you to learn more about them at:
Eleven different drivers sit down with me at NCM Motorsport Park while at a BMW CCA HPDE Track Event and share their thoughts on what makes one track more technical than another, what their favorite corners are, which car they’d most want to drive, what the most valuable lesson they learned at the track is, and how to attract new and younger drivers to our sport.
This episode is different than the past ones, as it’s 3 separate conversations with small groups of drivers participating in the BMW CCA RoundUp event at NCM on October 27-29, 2017. The drivers are Chad Sledd, Bob Habel, Hak Bowman, Erik Corwin, Matt Busby, Kevin Sweeney, Rob Shifflett, Bill Wade, David Bufford, Hayes Teague, and Zack Ketring.
Tom Martin joins me to talk about all things motorsport, from business to the original Can-Am series, from Spec Miata to HPDE and track day driving, from low cost endurance racing to the passion we all share for our sport. It’s a very cool conversation, and his advice about the business of motorsport is invaluable!
Tom owns Winding Road Racing, a multi-facted motorsport business that involves a magazine, retail safety equipment and performance parts stores (online and brick-and-mortar types), a race team, and a builder and supplier of cars for racing and track days.
Ryan Dalziel joins me to talk about how he’s developed into one of the best race car drivers in the world – what techniques he thinks are most important (hint: it has to do with corner speed and what you do with the throttle), and how to take your driving to that level. He shares his thoughts about his Tequila Patron-ESM co-drivers, Brendan Hartley and Johannes van Overbeek, and how their driving styles compare, as well as confidence. Then we talk about race driver coaches, and specifically how to find the best one for you.
Ryan has won in practically every form of racing he’s competed in, and is currently driving for Tequila Patron-ESM in IMSA. He’s also one of those drivers who can not only do, but can also explain how he does it – and that’s not a common trait. Recently, Ryan started RaceCarCoaches.com, a website where you can find a coach that is geographically ideal for you.
Ashton Harrison and I talk about racing in the Global MX-5 Cup series, what it’s like as a woman in racing, instructing at the Porsche school, and the challenges that come with being a woman telling a man how to drive.
Ashton is a young woman I’ve had the pleasure of coaching – and she’s fast. Even faster than some of her results have shown (and we talk in the podcast about why that is). She’s raced in Spec Miata and the Global MX-5 Cup series, is an accomplished driving instructor, and loves to help at animal rescue centers around the country.
Oh, and be sure to check out my Ask Ross column, as well as send me your questions, by going to SpeedSecrets.com/Ask-Ross.
Kevin Fandozzi joins me to talk about tires – how to break them in, warm them up, and pressure them. We also talk about how tires are developed, what Kevin did to his tires to podium at the recent SCCA Runoffs, and where Continental Tire is going in the sport. Be sure to listen to his advice in the last 10 minutes or so of the show – it’s super valuable stuff.
Kevin is the Product Manager for Continental Tire Motorsport. As an engineer and club racer (finished second at the SCCA Runoffs at Indy this year), he knows what goes into tires both technically and from behind the wheel.
For more info:
Michael Silver and I talk about how he got to be so good a driver in a short period of time – less than a year. And it’s not just seat time, but how he applied the seat time that made the difference, as he shares here. Oh, and we also talk about astronauts and how Michael communicated with them in space, as well as his incredibly varied background.
Michael started track driving less than a year ago, and to say he’s become addicted to it is an understatement - he’s had about 40 days on track since he began! With a background – education and experience – in computer science, human factors, linguistics, genetics, music, molecular biology, color science, photography, business, and teaching, he brings an interesting perspective to learning how to be an even better driver.
Michael has worked for Apple (where he developed the technology for astronauts to email from space); wrote and directed music for Shakespeare Santa Cruz; was made an honorary Air Force Captain; hung out with Carlos Santana and Keith Richards (after helping set up their studios); been a disc jockey for a large classical music station; and he and his wife, Claire, founded Audio High to help raise money for a number of charities and eventually went on to found a separate non-profit organization (Silver Linings). Pretty boring stuff, right?
David Murry and his son, Dylan join me to talk about the track day business, how to manage modern cars on the track, why NASCAR is a great option for young drivers, how important a driver’s reputation is in this sport, reading a car’s handling, what a son learns from his father who is a racer. And then Dylan and David provide their simple but important advice to you.
David is one of the most successful sports car drivers in recent history, having won in IMSA, ALMS and Grand-Am, in practically every class. He operates his David Murry Track Days program at tracks all over the east coast. His son, Dylan, at 17 years of age, has already raced at Spa, in Legends and NASCAR.
And if you want to sign up for the How to Read My Car webinar, go to SpeedSecrets.com/Read-Your-Car/.
Brian Ghidinelli and I sit down at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, while at the SCCA Runoffs, and we talk about left-foot-braking, driving a Spec Miata fast, how to learn a new track quickly, and the state of the sport – is participation increasing or decreasing, and why.
Brian is the founder of MotorsportReg.com, the leading motorsport event registration site, as well as Race Hero, the timing and scoring app.
While Brian and I were talking, I mentioned the great video of his feet while driving a near record-setting lap of Laguna Seca. His footwork, moving from right- to left-foot braking is something to strive for! You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/_ZeHNGA8MXY
Ryan Kristoff joins me to talk about the electronic driver aids, such as ABS, traction and stability control, and automatic braking systems available in almost all cars these days. And more important to you, do you turn them off when driving on the track or leave them on? That’s the big topic we’re talking about today.
Ryan is a SCCA racer, as well as an automotive engineer who works on electronic safety systems for Bosch Engineering.
To follow Ryan:
Phil Wilkes joins me to talk about car racing and flying – but not at the same time. We’re talking racing, track driving, and piloting planes. Oh, and simulators, self-coaching, and the mental game.
Phil is a commercial pilot and training officer for that big classic Australian airline, a former (for now – he may be back) Formula Vee racer, and the co-author (along with me) of the book, Performance Pilot.
You can purchase a copy of Performance Pilot – either hard copy or Kindle version – through Amazon.
Simon Kirkby joins me to talk about Lime Rock Park, the Lime Rock Driver’s Club, Skip Barber, and what he’s learned through decades of working with the icon of driver training. Along the way, Simon shares stories about Terry Earwood, Dorsey Schroeder, Simona de Silvestro and others. Oh, and he talks about 3 different ways to get through the Left-Hander at Lime Rock fast!
Simon is the Director of the Lime Rock Driver’s Club, a very special place and program for drivers of almost all levels who are passionate about driving.
Sam Smith joins me to talk about writing for Road & Track, how he got his start working on and writing about cars, his own racing, fellow Editor-at-Large Peter Egan, driving a NASCAR Cup car with Boris Said, Jack Baruth, hanging out with Kimi Raikkonen at Fiorano, having a day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 5 historic Indy car... well, you get the idea – amazing stories!
Sam is the Editor-at-Large for Road & Track magazine, as well as an amateur racer and hard-core car guy. Obviously, you can follow him by reading Road & Track, in print and online at roadandtrack.com, but also on Twitter and Instagram @thatsamsmith. Or feel free to drop him a line by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, please pick up a copy of the October issue of Road & Track magazine. Better yet, subscribe to it by going to roadandtrack.com.
In this episode I talk about the trip to the Nurburgring that I help organize each year. For more information about it, go to SpeedSecrets.com and enter your name in the box to be put on the list for details about the 2018 trip.
Steve Smith joins me to talk about racing Porsche Boxters in the World Racing League, why endurance racing is so much fun, and how he and his teammates have turned their racing efforts into a serious fundraising program for charities.
Steve is a co-owner of Big Mission Motorsports, a 2-car team that races in the World Racing League. Besides focusing on winning races, the team has raised over $10,000 this year alone for the Salvation Army of El Paso County, Cancer Research Institute, and the Semper Fi Fund. The team also rents seats for endurance races, so if you're interested...
To learn more about Big Mission Motorsport, check and follow:
Be sure to check out World Racing League at http://www.worldracingleague.org
Big Mission Motorsports sponsors/partners:
Michael O’Neal joins me to talk about his experience at the Monterey Historics (he had just gotten back from the event), Porsches, his adventures in buying and restoring his ’72 911, autocrossing, what being a solopreneur is all about, how anyone can build a business in motorsport, and what he loves about driving. And you’ll move his passion for everything he does.
Michael’s business is the Solopreneur Hour and Solo Lab, where he helps solopreneurs (and I believe, any entrepreneur) with advice, coaching and resources. That’s when he strictly working. And when he’s not (although the lines are blurred between “working” and his hobbies), he’s playing the drums, mountain biking, playing racquetball, working on his Porsche, and most importantly, driving. He’s a multi-time autocross champion, and avid track day geek.
“Spectacularity” is the new word that Michael invented today!
Check out Michael’s world here:
Artoftheinterview.co (not .com!)
Kenton Koch joins me to talk about car control, how to develop these skills, what driving the limit takes, and the difference between cars with aerodynamic downforce and those that don’t. We recorded this conversation between races at the Trois Rivieres round of the IMSA Prototype Challenge event, where Kenton dominated both races.
Kenton is one of the best up-and-coming young sports car drivers, having won in every form and class of racing he’s competed in, from Skip Barber Racing Series to the Global MX-5 Cup, and IMSA Prototype Challenge to winning his class at the Daytona 24-Hour race. And get this: his Winning Percentage over the past 4 years is 52 wins out of 75 races, or 70%! There are not many drivers who can claim that!
Learn more about and follow Kenton at:
Michael Zimicki joins me to talk about driver coaching. We dive into the question of how many true, pro coaches there are (as opposed to just how many call themselves coaches), what great coaches do, and what you should look for if and when you look to hire one. Oh, and we talk about what the best drivers do differently.
Mike has coached drivers such as Graham Rahal, Danica Patrick, Jon Fogarty, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and many, many more big names; he’s also coached drivers you’ve never heard of. The bottom line is he’s one of the best. Follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mfzcoach/, and on the web at https://www.sliderulemotorsports.com.
In this episode I introduced my new program called The 30-Day Zone Challenge (okay, not the coolest name ever, but it does the job). You can sign up for 30 days of email coaching at no cost (since you’ll be Beta testing it) at https://speedsecrets.com/zone.
TJ Fischer joins me to talk about racing with asthma, his asthma awareness campaign, late braking, the mindset that the best drivers have, the importance of the right coach, and how to get up to speed quickly.
TJ currently competes in the Pro Mazda series, part of the Mazda Road to Indy program, driving for Team Pelfrey.
John Drysdale joins me to talk about his experience in his first season of amateur club racing – about what he’s learning, what’s surprised him and what hasn’t, and most importantly, what’s helping him the most. Whether you’re moving into club racing, or up from one run group to another in HPDE and track day events, John’s experience is relevant.
John lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, and races at Atlantic Motorsport Park. 2017 is his first season of competitive club racing, and he’s sharing his experience in a blog called “Four Seconds” (the amount of time he felt he needed to find to become a competitive racer).
You can follow along with John’s adventure by going to RocketRacingMotorsport.com.
Robert Pool joins me to talk about how to practice to improve your performance in anything, the book that he and Anders Ericsson wrote, and the research that Ericsson is known for worldwide. We’re talking about “deliberate practice,” the new science of expertise, and clarifying the “10,000 hour rule.” Oh, and what you hear Robert talk about will help you be a better driver (if you use what he talks about).
Robert is a science writer who co-authored the book, Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, along with Dr. Anders Ericsson, who is considered to be the world’s leading authority on why some people excel, and others don’t.
Follow the work that Robert and Anders Ericsson are doing by going to PeakTheBook.com. And be sure to read Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. It’s one of the three most important books ever written.
Ryan Staub joins me to talk about the fun stuff – risk and insurance for the track. Okay, that’s not all we talk about because that would be boring (but important stuff to know). We also talk about the car club scene, where younger drivers are participating in performance driving events, and the cultures that the best HPDE organizations have.
Ryan Staub is a member of the Audi Club of North America, BMW Car Club of America, Porsche Club of America, SCCA, and just about every other motorsport club you can mention. He gets around and knows his stuff. He’s also the VP - Motorsports Practice Leader of Lockton Affinity Motorsports insurance.
To learn more about Lockton Affinity Motorports, go to LocktonMotorsports.com.
Allen Berg joins me to talk about his experience racing F3 against Ayrton Senna and Martin Brundle, how he made it to Formula One, and his transition into coaching drivers today. During our conversation we share a few stories about when we raced against each other, and the similar experience we had at our first “big” drivers meetings – Allen at the 1986 Detroit Formula One Grand Prix, and mine in my first Indy car race in 1990. Of course, I ask him one of my favorite questions: What is it that the best drivers do that others don’t?
Allen and I raced against each other in our first years of racing, and then he went to Europe where he made it into Formula One, driving for the Osella F1 team in 1986. He then raced in Latin America before coming back to North America and establishing what I believe is the best open-wheel racing school in the country, Allen Berg Racing Schools.
To learn more about Allen and his school, go to AllenBergRacingSchools.com.