Most of my “How To Drive Fast” column is, unsurprisingly, about how to drive fast. As well as posing techniques, some of my pieces offer a glimpse into the inner-workings of motorsport, while others are just plain ridiculous. Siphoning through the bunch, you’ll notice I haven’t much talked about safety. So let’s start…
One man has blown up my twitter in the past 48 hours. That man is fellow Jalopnian, James F Johnson Jr. (@dmidwestredneck), and he desperately wants me to race in Robby Gordon’s new Stadium Super Truck Series. And, if you look at the kickass video below, it isn’t hard to see why.
Stories are told about how drivers change when the helmet goes on, the visor slams shut and the engines roar to life. Some say the "nice guy" demeanor is replaced by a wild, savage creature desperate for success, no matter the consequences.
Ever wondered what happens when a professional racecar driver steps out of his car during a race weekend? You might imagine a mass of flashing cameras, adoring fans, and servants delivering gallons of caviar to $2 million motorhomes. But that, unfortunately for racers, is not the case.
What makes Jimmie Johnson so much better than Dale Jr.? Why can Felipe Massa never keep pace with Fernando Alonso? What is it that makes the top drivers stand tall above the rest? Is it purely a greater dedication to the cause, or maybe they're just braver? Perhaps it is simply a matter of genetics?
Let's face it: racing is expensive. Many people can't afford to purchase a car, make it race-ready, and then proceed to crash it every weekend. Indoor go-karting, therefore, may be the most cost effective way to express your inner Jeff Gordon.
How does one prepare for the deciding round of the Formula One World Championship? If you're 1976 World Champion James Hunt, you embark on a rampage of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine. You might also have sex with 33 flight attendants in two weeks.
You know what question I get asked most as a racecar driver? No, not, "Do you get scared?" and, amazingly, not even, "How fast does your car go?" The most commonly asked question is, "Why do you have to be fit to drive a racecar? All you do is sit down and turn a wheel?"
My racing career has always been about driving high performance, insanely fast, purpose-built racecars. Open-wheel bullets, such as IndyCars, have traditionally been my meat of choice. And while these machines may be some of the coolest, toughest cars to handle on Planet Earth, the techniques required to drive a…
Ever wondered how you could become a ridiculously wealthy racecar driver? An individual who only bathes in SmartWater, possesses 17 white Persian kittens and maintains a staff of five to dispose of all the purple Skittles?
On a bitterly cold December morning in 2004, a slightly spottier version of me sporting a ridiculous haircut was readying to pilot a 980+ horsepower McLaren Formula One car at the legendary Silverstone racetrack. It would be my first time driving such a machine and I remember the emotions exceptionally well.
Back in the summer of 1995, at the tender age of 10, I sat shotgun in my father's TVR Griffith, headed to the traditional establishment that all respectable Brits frequent every Sunday: The pub.
November 14th, 1945, Tony Hulman, a businessman from Terre Haute, IN., purchased the famed but rundown Indianapolis Motor Speedway from Eddie Rickenbacker for $750,000. It was this purchase that brought the fabled Speedway back from the ashes of World War ll and turned it into the World's Greatest Race Course.
You've always been told to "be who you are," and not to pretend to be someone you're not. Wise words, indeed. But if you are a second-rate driver, it's probably worth pretending you are a five-time champ like Jimmie Johnson, instead.
The compact segment is fiercely contended, with strong competitors coming from every major carmaker. With increasing quality deriving from each geographical location, expectations are rising, and customers are no longer willing to settle for a crappy econobox.
Seldom do we all agree. Some like blondes, others brunettes, and some even like gingers. Some people wear tweed jackets, others would burn a man in tweed. I enjoy questionable music, I hate oysters, and I can't understand a bloody word people from Georgia say.
Data-logging is without question the fastest way to improve your driving. The reams of information these systems provide can help a driver evaluate his form and identify areas to improve. For racecar drivers, data-logging is as vital as stock reports are for investors.
Ayrton Senna is arguably the greatest racecar driver to ever walk this planet –- and neighboring planets too — but he will always be the undisputed rain master. When the heavens opened he was unbeatable, showcasing his prowess in a way no other driver could match.
The general consensus is that driving on an oval is easy. After all, it's just a big wide circle where the driver only turns left. How hard can it be? And why would you want to race on something so simplistic in the first place, when you have amazing road courses like Laguna Seca and the Watkins Glen at your disposal?
Driving fast on the racetrack is fun. But the most fun you can have is being locked in a vicious duel with another driver, where you come out on top via a well-timed, beautifully executed overtaking maneuver — pumping up your ego while deflating your opposition's.