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.
Marshall Pruettjoins me to talk about what the best drivers do, and don’t do, that make them the best. His insights on Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, Sebastian Bourdais, Robert Wickens, Josef Newgarden, and others are fascinating – and educational. And the stories he uses to illustrate these insights are hugely fun!
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.
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.
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.
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.
1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, 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.
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.
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.
Elivan Goulart has won over 45% of the races he’s competed in. Today he talks about the Sports Car Driving Association (SCDA), why he wins so many races, self-coaching, whether you need to crash to learn the limits, taking time before driving to mentally prepare, & the strategy behind racecraft.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Peter Carroll 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.
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. That’s it. 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 one of my favorite podcasts yet! And it just so happens to be the first anniversary for the show.
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.