You Suck At Racing: A Crash Course for the Novice Driver by Ian Korf
Hold the fluff, add extra snark. This entertaining book on racing skips the noise and jumps right into real tips on performance driving and racing…all while keeping it light and often reminding the reader that we are doing this for fun. It reads more like a conversation with a friend over beers than an academic “how to”.
The first few pages of “You Suck At Racing” had me laughing out loud regularly with a combination of blunt honesty and sarcastic jokes. As the pages continued to turn, some jokes continued but it mostly pivoted to putting the information forward as simply as possibly (Which is honestly, a good thing).
You Suck At Racing covers driving techniques like proper line, panic braking, seating position, the importance of rest for the body/Mind, etc.
The book was pretty clearly written for the new driver looking to jump into the ranks of budget endurance racing like 24 Hours of LeMons and Champcar (Formerly Chumpcar), and some of the advice reads as such… but most of the information is universal and while it would be most helpful to a brand new driver, a little review never hurt.
I took a bit of an issue with two sections A) the section on passing: While it is written for the HPDE/Budget Enduro Racing audience, the tips go contrary to sprint racing where battling for midcorner passes is an outright requirement. It’s not a problem, just goes against what I’m used to B) When the author suggested reviewing crash footage at a track to learn the dangerous spots on track: I’ve written in a few posts why I don’t like sharing crash videos, though I admit it is a crafty idea to know where to be careful. I just fear that a sheepish “new to racing” person may go dig through crash videos and change their mind about trying the whole thing out.
All in all, this book is part skills review, and part reminder to not take ourselves too seriously. Just before the end there is a powerful section about being inclusive and making everyone feel welcome in racing, even and especially if they don’t fit the typical demographic. It’s a very quick read and definitely worth running through.
Pros: Simple, quick, easy read. Cuts straight to the chase. Is honest, and entertainingly snarky.
Cons: I don’t love every bit of advice, especially the part suggesting you find crash videos to learn a track, and passing etiquette is quite specific for entry level enduros.
Verdict: Whether you’re thinking about getting into racing or an experienced racer looking for some light reading, this book is 100% worth the read. While you’re waiting for your copy to arrive, check out the author’s blog with the same name, YouSuckAtRacing.wordpress.com/
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