Q: Any recommendations for data acquisition books?

ask-ross-bentley-q&aQ: I am about to venture into using data analysis. Is there a good book you can recommend to a neophyte on this quest? Subjects such as what to expect, how to make sense of data, relationship between data and what me and/or the car are doing, and what to do different to improve my racecraft would be welcomed. Among others subjects that you believe are important.
A: My favorite two data books are:

The one area that I don’t recall either doing a great job of is illustrating how to use data to improve racecraft. But they’re good for everything else.

I’ve heard good things about Analysis Techniques for Racecar Data Acquisition by Jorge Segers, but not read it myself (it’s in the stack of books next to my bed!).


  1. While Fey’s book is the seminal work, and Segers is the most all encompassing, I think the best single book to have, for practical application across a wide variety of systems, is Bob Knox’s book, “A Practical Guide to Race Car Data Analysis.”

    • And I trust your recommendation more than just about anything else, Peter! So… what Peter said.

  2. I’m just an amateur at this stuff, but I have an software/engineering background so I’m fascinated by data and what I can learn from it. I’ve read the books by Chris Brown, Buddy Fey, Bob Knox and Jorge Segers (in that chronological order).

    I’m looking at this stuff purely to improve the performance of the spacer between the seat and the steering wheel assuming that the car is otherwise a fixed setup proposition. In that context, all the advice in these books about engineering the car is interesting but at a second order level. Fey, Knox and Segers are mostly writing for engineers from my take. Brown has more guidance that helped me with driving relative to the others. The Knox book is probably the best in terms of ideas on how to collect and organize data in ways that will let you get to insights.

    I’d add one more to the list: Michael Krumm’s book “Driving on the Edge”. There are some snippets in there that provide insight using data to examine what techniques work best. It’s not a data book per se but I found the way it referenced data in the context of driving better quite compelling.

    Frankly I wish there were a more comprehensive book that speaks to driver performance analysis — written perhaps by a driver who can relate data to driving technique — as a complement to the books written by the engineers that cover the broader platform of tuning the car and the driver. A scale-out opportunity for Peter perhaps?? 😉

  3. Krumm’s book is superb. And yes, there’s an opportunity to write down exactly that, the methodology of turning what the data says into an action plan!


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