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Book Review – Making it Faster

Making It Faster

By Dan Binks and Norm DeWitt

Forward by Tommy Kendall

Publisher: Norm DeWitt

Date of Publication: December 2, 2013

546 pages

From the back cover:  In motorsports there have been an endless series of performance advances where one wonders, how did they ever figure this out? Other times one asks, how did they not see this when the answer was there for all to see? These are the stories of discovery by 3 generations of racers and designers, who changed the state of the art forever. It is also the story of clever tricks and rule book interpretations to win the ever-escalating contest between rule makers and loophole seekers, told by those directly involved in Formula One, Le Mans, Indy car, IMSA, Moto GP, Trans-Am and NASCAR. Their innovations dazzled us all.

The back cover provides a good description of what you will find in this book.  It is long and somewhat dis-jointed and chaotic but in the end, I came away with many new insights into the thinking and mindset of racers and car designers.  Also unusual is that the book draws from a broad cross section of racing types and genres and from an impressive list of racing personalities. Norm DeWitt either has a photographic memory or keeps very good notes as this book is full of quotes attributed to an astounding array of names that I recognize from the racing world from the 60’s up to today.  It’s a lot like having a long barroom chat with Norm as he recounts the things he has seen and heard.  From the tone of the book, I gather that much of the content comes from Norm, with Danny Binks obviously having been extensively interviewed for his in-sight.

The book is loosely organized into chapters as follows:  Dan Binks, The Chassis, Engine and Drivetrain, Powerplant Innovation, Tires and Brakes, Suspension, Weight, Polar Moment, and CG; Aerodynamics, Electronics, Details and Setup, Safety, and The Future.

You won’t want to try and read it in one sitting but taken is small chunks, there are a lot of fun nuggets of racing history and engineering thinking captured by this book.  I give it 3 thumbs up!





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