Speed Secrets Podcast
Conversations (& Tips) to Help You Drive Better
The Speed Secrets Podcast is all about high performance and race driving. In it, I have conversations with guests, resulting in tips, advice, and inspiration you can take to the track.
Guests include drivers of all levels and types, engineers, coaches and instructors, safety experts, race officials, HPDE event organizers, and anyone else who can help you drive better and have more fun.
Each episode is 30 to 45 minutes in length – just right to listen to while on your way to work, to the track, or while you’re working out. Oh, and in each episode – posted every Thursday – I will share one of my quick and effective Speed Secret tips.
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.
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.
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 of driving and piloting.
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!
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!
Steve Smith joins me to talk about racing Porsche Boxters in the World Racing League (WRL), why endurance racing is so much fun, and how he and his teammates have turned their racing efforts in a serious fundraising program for charities.
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.
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.
Michael Zimicki talks 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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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. Of course, I ask him one of my favorite questions: What is it that the best drivers do that others don’t?
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, and the 39,000 drivers he’s instructed. Oh, and we laugh about the funniest things we’ve seen drivers do, teaching cops how to drive.
Vivek Goel joins me to talk about what he learned when he surveyed 350 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.
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.
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, we talk about the differences between driving the Ring and Spa, the Belgian circuit just over an hour’s drive away.
Glenn McGee talks 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.
While conversations dig into the details of things (like cornering lines, trail and left-foot braking, race track specific advice, data acquisition and video analysis, upshifting and downshifting, steering techniques, and the use of the throttle), the broader perspective of topics such as the following are covered:
- What specific techniques and skills the best drivers use
- The most challenging corners
- How to adapt to handling problems
- What separates the best drivers from the rest
- How to learn new techniques and tracks
- Safety tips and resources
- Handling and car setup
- Data and video analysis techniques
- Fun and interesting stories
- Why we drive
- Passion and enthusiasm for our sport
WHY A PODCAST?
Since my first Speed Secrets book was published back in 1998, many drivers have asked about audio versions of them. They wanted to listen to them while driving to the track, to and from work, and while exercising.
Some of the most educational, and fun conversations I have are at the track with a driver, official, coach, engineer, team member, or safety expert. I often wish I’d recorded those conversations so I could share them with you.
If you have a suggestion of a topic or guest for the podcast, please send me an email.