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.
Terry Earwood joins me to talk about… well, a little of everything about driving: drag racing, Sebring, road racing, autocross, instructing, the Skip Barber school, teaching cops to drive, and the 39,000 drivers he’s instructed. Oh, and we laugh about the funniest things we’ve seen drivers do.
If you’ve spent any time around Terry you know this episode will make you laugh, as he’s one of the funniest people you’ll ever meet. For decades, he was the chief instructor for the Skip Barber school – now he’s one of the lead instructors, as well as helping put on driving events for BF Goodrich. In fact, Terry suggests you go to the BFG Garage at https://garage.bfgoodrichtires.com, or @BFGoodrichTires.
Vivek Goel joins me to talk about what he learned when he surveyed 350 performance drivers, asking them about their level of experience and ability, and what they do to improve. Of course, after talking about what the best drivers in his survey did, I ask Vivek what he does.
Vivek is a very competitive autocrosser who has also done some track day driving. He also writes a blog, available at www.BeyondSeatTime.com, where he digs into the what, how and why of what drivers do. As a self-proclaimed “ardent student,” Vivek shares what he’s learned – and we all can learn from him.
Brandon Sneed joins me to talk about what the best athletes in the world are doing to improve their performance. And before you think steroids to build the body, we’re talking about improving the performance of their minds.
Brandon is the author of the book, Head in the Game, as well as a writer for B/R Mag at Bleacher Report. The book is all about “mental engineering,” and in the process of researching the latest technologies and techniques athletes are using to improve their performance, he’s become one of the most knowledgeable people about the “secrets” of these high-performers.
To buy Brandon’s book, Head in the Game (and you absolutely should!), go to Amazon.
And to read Brandon’s blog, listen to his podcast, or learn more about him, go to http://headinthegamebook.com.
During the show Brandon mentioned a link to https://getversus.com.
Ron Simons joins me to talk about driving the Nurburgring – how to do it, how to prepare, what are the things you should avoid, and the challenges of doing so. Along the way (no pun intended, since I recorded this show while driving together from Nurburg to Spa), we talk about the differences between driving the Ring and Spa, the Belgian circuit just over an hour’s drive away.
Ron owns and operates RSRNurburg, a business dedicated to providing car rentals, instruction, and other services to drivers wanting to drive the famous Nordschleife circuit, as well as Spa in Belgium. Oh, and they arrange road tours of the area, too, in some very cool cars.
James Houghton joins me to talk about Time Attack – what it is and where it fits into the motorsport world. Since he drives a 600-horsepower Front-Wheel-Drive car, we also talk about how to be fast in FWD cars, and then share our thoughts on how to prepare to go fast, fast – get up to speed very quickly (the first lap).
James is one of the fastest young drivers in North American Time Attack competition. You can follow him on Facebook at Facebook.com/JamesHougton or Facebook.com/timeattacktyper, and Instagram at @time_attack_typer.
Glenn McGee joins me to talk about sim racing, what he learned from it that helped him move into real racing, what surprises he had when he got to his first car race, what advice he’d give other young racers moving up the ladder, and what the Mazda Road to Indy is like on the inside.
Glenn started off being a serious First-Person Shooter gamer, before he moved into sim racing. After winning the iRacing/Mazda championship, he was invited to compete in the Mazda Shootout, which he won. That lead to him getting a funded ride in the Global MX-5 Cup series, where he currently is racing – while working towards racing in open-wheel cars.
For more information or to follow Glenn:
Jesse Love and I talk about what it’s like being a young racer – just 12 years old – who has more driving experience than most who are listening to this podcast. We talk about what he does to mentally prepare for a Midget or Late Model oval race, how road racing is different, what’s been the biggest influences on his success to date, and what he’s learned that you can use.
Jesse is from the Bay Area in California, and has been competing in Quarter Midgets, Midgets and now Late Model stock cars. He started when he was just five years old, and going into his first season in 2017 of Late Model stock cars, he’s won the first two out of two races. He’s definitely on the path to NASCAR stardom.
Here’s how you can learn more about and follow Jesse:
Dennis Macchio joins me to talk about how to best find and use a mentor to help you with your driving, driver coaching, and a very interesting approach to using your vision (that is based on the system that Bertil Roos developed). Also, Dennis shares his insights about what gets in the way of some drivers improving, managing fear, and how to learn more and improve your performance and race driving.
Dennis is president of the Bertil Roos Racing School. He’s been coaching drivers for nearly 40 years, having started at Bridgehampton, and then taking over the operation of the Bertil Roos school in 1998.
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Ian Korf and I talk about his experience driving FWD cars, how to practice with simulators, and what a driver’s DNA says about their ability… and then Ian flips the table and starts interviewing me – and we talk about how to manage being nervous before an event, whether a driver should care about what happens to other drivers on the track, and what heroes I have.
Ian is a professor at UC Davis who is also a driving instructor, author of the You Suck At Racing book (available on Amazon), and an endurance racer. I stumbled onto his website, yousuckatracing.com a couple of years ago, and have enjoyed and learned a lot from the content there. Ian also writes articles every now and then for Speed Secrets Weekly. Be sure to check his blog out at www.yousuckatracing.com.
Tyler Clary, Olympic Gold Medal-winning swimmer talks about his newly-launched racing career, how he’s learned to be so fast so quickly (and how you can learn from him), what similarities racing has with swimming, and what it takes to be a winner.
Tyler won the gold medal in the 200 meter backstroke at the 2012 Olympics in London. Since retiring from competitive swimming he’s committed to doing what it takes to make a career in racing.
You can follow and cheer Tyler along - or contact him - at:
Michael Roban and I talk about what it takes to be successful – in anything, including all levels of motorsport… Advice for when first starting in track days and racing, how best to learn to be a better performance/race driver while not taking too big a risk with your car, learning from mistakes, and his advice (as a relative newbie to the sport) on how best to get started.
Michael’s day job is financing motion pictures, a career he started by giving his services away for free (not unlike most pro race drivers). Just over two years ago he discovered track days, and then club racing, and has started racing with the Porsche Owners Club (POC). Michael and I met when I was leading Racer’s Clinic program for the POC at Spring Mountain.
Simon Hayes of Performance Physixx joins me to talk about what the best race drivers do to ensure they’re fit to drive… as well as providing advice on how you can improve your fitness levels – and drive even better.
Simon and his team at Performance Physixx works with drivers of all levels (although he currently spends a lot of time with Indy car and sports car drivers, having trained F1 drivers in the past) on their physical fitness and nutrition to improve their driving performance. You can learn more about Simon, Performance Physixx, and how they can help you by going to their website at www.performancephysixx.com.
Michael Beck, Adam Nielsen and Robert Vierhout from the Ten-Tenths Podcast join me to talk about autocross, engine swaps, and why people are in this sport. And then… each tells of their Aha! moment when they learned something that made a big impact of them driving faster – something you can use.
The Ten-Tenths Podcast is just over a year old now, and has become popular because of the casual – and often, very funny – discussions that Michael, Adam and Robert have.
Listen in and subscribe to the Ten-Tenths Podcast by visiting http://tententhspodcast.com, and be sure to follow them on Twitter (@10tenthspodcast), Facebook (www.facebook.com/tententhspodcast/) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/tententhspodcast/).
James McMahon and Davin Surdivant of Kartpulse join me in a conversation about how to use karting to tune up your car driving skills, and even more… actually going karting as an end in itself. It’s such a great form of motorsport, and James and Davin share their experience in this episode, providing advice on what you can learn from karting that you can apply to driving your car.
Kartpulse is an online community designed to grow awareness of the sport of karting. Its grassroots community is focused on sharing information and helping each other to keep the sport as fun as possible. James and Davin are the co-founders of Kartpulse, and they help to develop the online resources that the community shares, such as articles, social media and the Kartpulse Forums.
Kartpulse Site: Kartpulse.com
Kartpulse Forums: forums.kartpulse.com
Follow Kartpulse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
The video of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost that James refers to is at: https://youtu.be/D0Sg8it4ZbY. It’s very cool! And the video that Davin refers to is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql11ht4WqgM
Jeff McKague and I talk about where to look when driving, how mistakes can be identified by vision errors, how to train your vision, and the advantages of being a slow learner. Yes, being a slow learner has its advantages – and can actually help you be a faster driver.
Jeff is a long-time driver coach and certified sports vision trainer. He lives in the Toronto, Canada area.
To learn more about what Jeff does, go to his website at http://eventmatrix.ca.
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Ryan Selsor and I talk about what sim racing is, how track drivers can use simulators to improve their driving, what he’s learned from sim racing that applies directly to track driving, and what you need to get started using a sim.
Ryan is one of the top sim racers in the world (although that’s a bit like comparing a Formula One driver to a NASCAR driver and saying one is better than the other), and has also done autocrossing and track days. In other words, he can relate the sim world to the “real” one.
In our conversation, Ryan and I talked about a lot of different resources and websites:
Thanks for listening, and talk to you next week.
Dr. Mike O’Neill and I talk about flow, or getting into the zone, and focus, and how that applies to driving faster. His research in the workplace, along with his experience as a race driver, has led to specific tactics that you can use to perform more consistently at your best – in flow – and that’s what we discuss in this conversation.
Dr. Mike leads workplace research at Haworth, a global office furniture manufacturer based in Holland, Michigan. Their research provides a global perspective, and practical insights, on how the design of workspace affects people’s health and work performance. Early on, Mike worked in design consulting; he then became a professor of interior design and industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Since then, he has led research efforts in the office furniture industry. His educational background includes degrees in psychology and architecture. He has written numerous articles and two books about how the design of office space affects work performance. On the personal side, Mike holds a private pilot’s license - and a competition racing license through Midwest Council. He races his ‘74 Porsche in the Vintage/Historic class, at tracks including Road America, Blackhawk Farms, and GingerMan, and is also a nationally certified DE instructor through Porsche Club of America.
For more info about Dr. Mike and to contact him:
Matt Covert and I talk about autocrossing, road racing, and the steps in between; whether smooth is fast or not; and especially what he’s learned from others – from what they’ve done well, and their mistakes. In fact, it’s the mistakes that we’ve all made that we learn the most from – so let’s learn from some of the people Matt has talked to.
I met Matt just a few months ago, and have been super-impressed with his Racers HQ podcast and magazine – and the help he’s providing to many drivers. In addition, he’s done stunt driving, and is an avid autocrosser.
As Matt mentioned during the show, he interviewed me for his magazine, Racers HQ, and you can get access to the article for free by going to http://www.racershq.com/ross. In it, I share a “Top Ten of Tips.” And be sure to listen to Matt’s podcast and check out the other information he shares by going to http://www.racershq.com.
Thanks for listening.
Adam Jabaay and I talk about how to club race for next to nothing, building your network and community to get people to help you, and providing value to others. We then get into what Gridlife is, and how younger people are getting into the sport, but in different ways than in the past.
Adam is a club racer in SCCA, NASA and Lemons, a HPDE instructor, and one of the organizers of the Gridlife events. He’s also a co-host, along with Austin Cabot, on the Slip Angle podcast; in addition, they have the TrackTuned.com blog.
If you take a few minutes to leave a review of this podcast I'll send you a check for a million dollars. Well, not quite. In fact, not even close. But it would still be cool if you'd leave a review. I'll send you a "thank you"!
James Colborn and discuss why some drivers love and use data acquisition systems, and some don’t; how he’s become a bit of a guru with data; what it is that he likes so much about using data; and whether data can be over-used. Then we switch to talking about the experience of moving from track day driver to club racer, and then to pro racing – and even back again.
James is a self-funded amateur/pro racer and sometimes track day driver who has become a data acquisition geek. He shares tips and advice on how to use data systems through some very useful videos he posts on his website at http://www.jamescolborn.com. Oh, and he describes himself as "Most happy when racing."
I hope you enjoy this week’s episode. Keep learning and having fun!
James Chartres and I talk about how a club racer or track day driver can manage all of the things that are needed before and at the track, and still allow time to really focus on one’s driving. We also talk about some specific driving techniques, including left-foot braking, trail braking, and driving a momentum car.
James races a Spec Racer Ford in the SCCA San Francisco region, runs his own team – Kanga Motorsport – and in his spare time is an aerospace engineer for NASA (or is that the other way around?!). As a club racer, James has put together some amazing marketing partnerships to help support his team, too.
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