7 Book Reviews on Car Racing
Motor racing has been with us from the moment cars were invented; indeed a primary reason for the development of the automobile has not been to spread mass transportation to the masses but to enjoy the thrills of racing and the need for speed. Every car manufacturer in the West can trace their origins to motor racing and relative newcomers have been quick to spot the marketing potential of associating their car marquee with racing prowess whether it is the Indy 500, the Le Mans 24 or less glamorous, but ultra-strenuous rally driving as epitomized in the Paris-Dakar race through to the humble stock car meets and dirt tracks dotted around the country.
Car racing books focus on either the cars and their drivers as they race at prestigious events and tracks, or otherwise they purport to advise wannabe’s on racing and driving technique to help them cut those vital few fractions of a second off their lap times.
Here are our top 7 books on car racing for you to enjoy. We’ll be writing about the most expensive cars.
Speed Secrets: Professional Race Driving Techniques
Ross Bentley (1998)
This is the ultimate “how to” for would-be Indy car champions and covers every theoretical aspect of acquiring better driving skills and techniques. The book is well-written and the author, Ross Bentley has a great deal of car racing experience both behind the wheel and in the pits.
Packed with very useful information covering optimal seating through to working with your pit crew, this book allows the reader to improve their driving and provides practical advice on how to coax the very best performance out of your car, no matter whether you are racing professionally or simply want to beat the muscle car revving its engine at the stop light.
Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving
Carl Lopez (2001)
This book complements Ross Bentley’s but be warned, while it contains a great deal of analysis it is very hard reading. This is a book for those who are truly serious about gaining the theoretical background to how their vehicles perform in almost any given racing situation. Don’t expect to be entertained by this work; expect to have your brain stretched to the limit before you have the opportunity to do the same with your race car.
Motor racing is a worldwide passion and competition is extremely high no matter which race or car you are looking at. The Le Mans 24 hour race has dominated the world of motor racing endurance and still does even with the advent of the Daytona Rolex 24 Hour event which is still in relative infancy. Le Mans has a long history of producing thrilling individual races but the continuous competition between American Ford and their Shelby Mustangs pitted against the fantastic Italian Ferrari’s has provided one of the greatest spectacles in the world. One which is still being lived out today and nowhere else will you find these two racing giants going head-to-head and down to the last piece of tread from their performance tires.
Matt Stone & Preston Lerner
Paul Newman may have been a great actor, but he has never really been credited with the world class racing career he enjoyed and which has been left to us today as a living legacy with the Newman Wallach racing team. This book is packed with photographs of Newman’s time behind the wheel and on the track but it does let itself down as the definitive Newman racing history. More of Newman’s interaction with the racing community, and especially in supporting younger drivers, would have been better. A glaring omission is Newman’s teaming with Eddie Wachs to create the Newman-Wachs Formula Atlantic racing team which enjoyed so much success in 2008 when Paul sadly passed away.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway: 100 Years of Racing
The Indianapolis 500 is an iconic race track and event which dominates the US car racing scene like no other. The Indianapolis Speedway has already celebrated its 100th birthday, which also gives you an idea of just how long men have been testing themselves and their machines! This hardback volume is an excellent testament to the history behind the track and one of America’s premier sporting events and while no book could capture the spirit of the Indy, this work does a fine job of bringing to life the trials, tribulations and overwhelming triumphs of speedway drama. An excellent read and worth the time and money!
Legendary Race Cars
There is much more to car racing than simply NASCAR! I know this may sound like blasphemy to some but, the rest of the world, especially the Europeans, have been racing cars for just as long (and even longer) than we have in the US.
This book picks out the best of the very best cars for a range of classes including the development of the dragster, the iconic DB1R through to the Shelby Mustangs and virtually every other motor racing marquee of significance including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus, Ford GT40, Audi and many more.
This is a great book for expanding your knowledge and understanding of the worldwide, motor racing tradition.
NASCAR: The Complete History
No book review on car racing would be complete without reference to NASCAR, and this book is certainly the most complete, and comprehensive history of NASCAR from inception to its current dominant position in North America.
This book takes you on a year-by-year journey through the development of NASA and the stories, cars, drivers and events which captured the imagination of the devotees of the original, dirt track racing sport which captivates millions every weekend.