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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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Speed Secrets Podcast
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Apr 19, 2018

Dave Pratte joins me to talk about, well… mistakes. Okay, and some things that are not mistakes, too, but Dave and I talk about how valuable mistakes are from a learning perspective. We have fun discussing the judgment one needs when passing, and how ego can make a difference; the most common mistakes drivers make with their cars; the differences between autocross and time attack, and road racing; and what one learns from testing tons of different cars.

Dave and his business partner Peter Tarach run Speed Academy, a performance tuning and car-building shop in Hamilton, Ontario – but they do business online, too. And they have some very cool and helpful videos on their YouTube channel – be sure to check them out. Dave has also been an automotive journalist for AutoGuide.com and Modified magazine, where he’s had the opportunity to trash… err, test hundreds of cars.

Learn more about Dave and Speed Academy at www.Speed.Academy, and follow them at:

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/gofastwithclass

Instagram:@speedacademy

YouTube:www.youtube.com/user/spdacademy

Apr 12, 2018

Scott Mann joins me to talk about High Performance Driver Education (HPDE) instructing, and particularly what are the traits that the best instructor have. We share stories and thoughts about the importance of an open/growth mindset, dealing with Type A personalities, how to practice instructing, and what the best focus on.

Scott is the Chief Driving Instructor for the Las Vegas Region of the Porsche Club of America (PCA), the Zone 8 Chief Instructor for PCA, and one of the PCA’s national instructor trainers. When asked to choose between driving and instructing, his response is “Instructing!” In other words, he’s passionate about the art and science of helping other people how to drive better.

The websites that Scott mentioned in the show are:

http://www.zone8.org

http://lvs.pca.org

http://www.renegadehybrids.com

Email: xlr82win@yahoo.com

Apr 5, 2018

Jeff Braun joins me to talk about what makes the best engineers, and what the best drivers do differently. Of course, Jeff can’t resist sharing what he knows about tuning a car’s handling, so he does that in this episode, too. Most important, by listening to Jeff, you get an insight into the process, or approach, to tuning a car’s performance.

No doubt, Jeff is one of the very best race car engineers in the world. He’s engineered cars at every level, and every type: NASCAR, karts, club racing cars, Indy, GT and Prototypes, and even Top Fuel dragsters. But what sets Jeff apart from many engineers is how he can explain what he’s doing, what a car is doing, and even how the best think.

To register for the Tune Your Car’s Handling webinar that we are doing on April 23-24, 2018, go to https://SpeedSecrets.com/Tune-Your-Handling.

And you can follow Jeff at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AutoRacingTechTips/

Twitter: @jvbraun

Instagram: @jvbraun

Mar 29, 2018

Ed Potkanowicz joins me to talk about the work he does with Wayne Taylor Racing drivers, Jordan Taylor, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Renger van der Zande regarding core body temperature, heart rate and stress to help them improve their performance. What he’s learned from working with elite-level pro drivers, and shares in this podcast will help you drive better and safer.

Ed is an Associate Professor of Exercise Physiology at Ohio Northern University where he focuses on “driver science” – the objective and scientific examination of the driver’s physiological response to the cockpit from which data-based recommendations can be made to improve driver safety, tolerance and performance. He’s also a member of the International Council of Motorsport Sciences, American College of Sport Medicine Member, and the Motorsport Health and Safety Taskforce.

Follow Ed on Twitter @epotkanowicz, and his website at www2.onu.edu/~e-potkanowicz.

Mar 22, 2018

Colin Braun joins me again (he was on episode #7 over a year ago) to talk about his approach to learning a track he’s never been to before, what it takes to get to throttle sooner, how to use the brakes, being smooth with the steering, and what “rotating” a car really means. Basically, he shares with you what he does to be so bloody fast! We recorded this episode while driving from the Lisbon airport to Portimao in Portugal, so we also share a couple of funny travel stories (since Colin’s luggage had gotten lost on his flight and would be in the same clothes for the next 4 days…)!

Colin has won races and championships in sports cars, NASCAR and open-wheel cars. He’s the youngest driver to have ever stood on the podium at Le Mans, won the IMSA Prototype Challenge championship five times, and won NASCAR Trucks series races.

Follow Colin at colinbraun.com, www.facebook.com/ColinBraun, @colinbraun on Twitter, and @colinbraun on Instagram.

I mentioned being able to download my past webinars – go to SpeedSecrets.com/Webinars to do so.

Mar 15, 2018

Lyn St. James joins me to talk about her career, and more importantly, what she learned about driving that’ll make you a better driver – how precision is more important than bravery, understanding car set up leads to being more sensitive to the limit of the car, who the best drivers she ever raced against are, and why we have a need for speed.

Lyn really doesn’t need any introduction, but the highlights are her being the 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, winning the Daytona 24-Hour race twice and Sebring 12-Hour race once, racing at Le Mans, in Trans-Am and the IMSA GTO series. The list of accomplishments is long, so check out her website at www.lynstjames.com for more info – and to learn about what she’s doing these days.

Mar 8, 2018

Gama Aguilar-Gamez allows me to record a coaching session I do with him. We talk about identifying strengths and weaknesses, and then what he needs to do to improve. We use data to confirm some things that we felt were things he should work on, and talk about the approach he should take to make these improvements. Oh, and we talk about the difference between him and Fernando Alonso.

Gama races in the PRO3 (Spec E30) series in the Pacific Northwest, as well as being a founder of the Track Attack application – a tool that helps you compare data from different systems, and provides a secure storage system.

For more information about Track Attack, go to www.TrackAttack.io; and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @TrackAttackApp.

Mar 1, 2018

Heyward Wagner joins me to talk about what the Sports Car Club of America is up to, and why. We talk about how the club’s focus is on converting car and driving enthusiasts into participants (I love this!), and they’re all about having fun with cars. Specifically, we dive into SCCA road racing, autocross, Track Night In America, and the new focus on Time Trials.

Heyward is the Director of Marketing and Experiential Programs for the SCCA. The son of parents involved in the SCCA, he’s lived and breathed autocross, corner marshaling, rally and rallycross, and club road racing his entire life. But it’s what he learned being a summer camp counselor that has had the biggest impact on how he contributes to the many positive changes the SCCA has seen in the past few years.

 Check out:

Feb 22, 2018

Elivan Goulart joins me to talk about the Sports Car Driving Association (SCDA), and then what makes him so fast, and why he wins so many races. We talk about self-coaching, whether you need to crash to learn the limits, how it’s important to take time before driving to mentally prepare – and how, how to learn to read other drivers, and the strategy behind racecraft.

Elivan started in Karts at the age of 12, then moved into cars in Formula 500 (2001 and 2002 SCCA National Runoff Champion), then moved up to the new Formula SCCA in the Cooper Tires Championship and won Championship in 2004. In 2011 he won the SCCA National Championship in Spec Miata, and was the SCCA Presidents Cup winner that year.  In 2013 Elivan won the SCCA STU National Championship, and has also won the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge TCA Championship. In fact, Elivan has won over 45% of all career races entered since the beginning.

Sports Car Driving Association

Web: www.SCDA1.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sportscardrivingassociation

Elivan’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Elivan-Goulart-Racing

Feb 15, 2018

Ann Morey joins me to talk about how to get in the zone, what gets in the way of doing so, the voices we all have in our heads when driving, self-critique versus self-awareness, experimenting to learn, and the journey she’s on to win Spec Miata races.

Ann writes a great blog about her racing and driving experience at GentleWomanRacer.com. She started doing Driver Education track events about 5 years ago, got addicted to the sport, and now races a Spec Miata in the Southeast.

Blog: www.gentlewomanracer.com

Instagram: @the_ann_m

Twitter: @The_Ann_M

And if you’re interested in the Virtual Track Walk videos I mentioned, check out www.SpeedSecrets.com/Virtual-Track-Walks.

Feb 8, 2018

Steve Stepanian joins me to talk about what the best drivers do, what they don’t do, what his Aha! moments were, and how you can be an even better driver.

Steve has an amazing passion for the sport of performance and race driving, which is why he jokes that he doesn’t need a therapist! His enthusiasm comes through in this podcast, as well as his experience and advice that you can use. When he’s not racing Spec E30 or instructing, Steve is the Chairman of the Driving Events Committee of the BMW CCA, the Pacific Region DEC Rep, and license director for the Southwest region of NASA.

Check out the links to:

BMW CCA: https://www.bmwcca.org

BMW Club Racing: http://www.bmwccaclubracing.com

NASA Pro Racing: https://nasaproracing.com

Feb 1, 2018

Dale Sievwright joins me to talk about electric cars, being an engineer at Tesla, racing gas-powered cars, autonomous vehicles, and the future of driving.

When Dale isn’t working to make Teslas quiet as an NVH engineering techician, he’s either spending time with his wife and son, or racing. Dale drove a BMW Touring Car for Rotek Racing in the VLN series at the Nurburgring and will be returning this year. Dale is also a 3-time class winner at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, driving for El Diablo Motorsports/Bimmerworld, and has had multiple podiums in the United States Touring Car Championship.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dale.sievwright.3

Instagram: @thedalesievwright

Jan 25, 2018

Erin Vogel joins me to talk about self-coaching, instructing at HPDE events, visualization (especially after focusing on sensory input), fear, and how to find that little bit more speed. We have this very cool conversation about what one learns from instructing, and how racing makes you a faster track day driver.

Erin has been track driving since 2009, and racing since 2014. She races a Spec Boxter in Porsche Owners Club and Porsche Club of America events, and instructs primarily with the Audi Club.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.vogel.98

Instagram: @erynn.vo

Blog: http://www.gearsgunsandglitter.com

Jan 18, 2018

David Vodden joins me to talk about why some race tracks are more successful than others, why some car clubs and event organizers do a better job than others, whether our sport is growing or not, and what the real secret is to being faster around Thunderhill.

David is the President and CEO of Thunderhill Raceways. He’s been with the facility since before it was even built, being a part of the initial planning and development process. And before that he managed an oval track.

Web: https://www.thunderhill.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thunderhill-raceway

Twitter: @ThunderhillPark

Jan 11, 2018

Andrew Rains joins me to talk about how to use – and train – your peripheral vision to improve your driving, as well as the APEX Pro device, and using data to coach yourself. We wrap up the show with Andrew’s insight into what he wishes he knew when he first started track driving.

Andrew has been going to the track since he was five years old, has raced in Pirelli World Challenge and club racing, coaches at Barber Motorsport Park (and other places!), and is the Marketing Director for APEX Pro.

To learn more, following the links below:

And feel free to email Andrew at Andrew@apextrackcoach.com for information on the APEX Pro.

Jan 4, 2018

Danny Kok joins me to talk about the AMG Driving Academy he runs in Canada, the ice driving programs he puts on, and about his plans to go racing in 2018. Danny, an accomplished racer and great driver coach, hasn’t raced much in the past few years, so he shares his plans to get ready, as well as how he’s training his co-driver for his first season of racing.

Danny, my former business partner, runs the Canadian AMG Driving Academy, which conducts driver training programs on race tracks and in the snow and ice of Gimli, Manitoba. Be sure to check out www.AMGDrivingAcademy.ca for information about the programs he and his team conducts. And follow Danny’s 2018 racing on Instagram @Shinning_Star_Motorsports, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Shining-Star-Motorsports-156852091722973/

Dec 28, 2017

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.

Dec 21, 2017

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.

Dec 14, 2017

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:

Dec 7, 2017

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:

Nov 30, 2017

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.

Nov 23, 2017

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.

Go to www.WindingRoadRacing.com for cars, parts and racing info, and www.WindingRoad.com for the magazine (driving, new cars, video info).

Nov 16, 2017

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.

Web: http://www.ryandalziel.com

Twitter: @ryan_dalziel

Facebook: ryandalzielofficialpage

Instagram: @ryan_dalziel

Nov 9, 2017

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.

You can follow along with Ashton – and especially, learn from her blog – at AshtonHarrison.com, Instagram @aharrison_, Twitter @aharrison03, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/AHMotorsports03/.

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.

Nov 2, 2017

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:

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