Posted: June 24, 2020 Read time: 8 Minutes
A carefully compiled list of the best driving-related books covering topics from road, track, competition and driving psychology.
The Essential Police Driver’s Handbook is the handbook for police driver training. A definitive guide for all drivers wishing to develop their skills and safety to an advanced level. I use Roadcraft as a reference for CATs advanced road training, as did the instructors who taught me. The IAM, ROSPA and the DSA all base their advanced training around the guidance in this book. If you are planning on booking an advanced driving course with CAT, this book offers an excellent introduction to the skills and techniques you will be learning with us out on the road. Recommended by CAT as essential reading for the motoring enthusiast.BUY ON AMAZON
When did you last read a copy of the Highway Code? When you took your driving test? Revised in 2015 this latest edition is the official guide to using our roads safely and legally. Go on its only £2.50 or less, and it could just save your life.BUY ON AMAZON
A fascinating insight into the mental processes involved in driving. It is a little heavy going in places, but stick with it. If we all had to complete a thesis on this book in order to pass our driving test, I am sure the roads would be safer. An interesting and enlightening read.
BUY ON AMAZON
Helpful and informative especially if you are about to take your IAM advanced driving test.BUY ON AMAZON
Essential reading for anyone embarking on the road to becoming an ADI. (Approved Driving Instructor). It retains its status as a bestseller and is not only recommended to trainee instructors, but also as an authoritative guide for experienced ADIs and driver trainers.BUY ON AMAZON
I have had this book in my collection for many years – clearly written and still relevant today.BUY ON AMAZON
An excellent reference book, covering the basic principles of chassis design. An ideal book for driver trainers wanting to get to grips with the basic principles of chassis engineering.BUY ON AMAZON
If you prepare and modify your own track car, its very handy as a reference book. I have had a copy for some years, and has proven invaluable when I’ve needed it.BUY ON AMAZON
Contains detailed practical advice with information on purchasing a system, calibration and interpretation of data. It does not tell you how to drive or set up your car and makes that point clear in the introduction. Lots of clearly explained examples and practical explanations. Very useful for those new to data logging and professionals alike.BUY ON AMAZON
The definitive “how to” guide to driving all major UK racing circuits in the UK. Over 600 pages of useful information covering: SatNav postcodes to circuits; Accommodation; Nearest Shell Fuel stations with postcodes; and an over view of hillclimb, sprint and selected track day venues. I recommend using these guides if you are new to circuit driving and/or haven’t driven a circuit before. You can do your homework before venturing out on an unknown circuit. There is no substitute for experience and learning a circuit from a diagram does not suit everybody – that said they are useful.BUY ON AMAZON
Covers most of the major European circuits and as above, well worth the investment – but I do have reservations on the Nordschleife information. The text is well written but has omissions regarding surface changes and potential hazards. The line drawings are not detailed enough to be of true value.BUY ON AMAZON
Easy reading, not too technical and very little calculation. Aimed at the amateur driver and modifier it gives the reader an overview on all aspects of aerodynamics, including both down force and drag. Very helpful for driver trainers wanting to understand the basics of a complex subject.BUY ON AMAZON
I have read this book several times and often pop back in for another browse. Have you ever experienced that almost spiritual experience of being “in the Zone” when competing? This personal coaching book gives a route map to achieving the zone on demand. If you are a serious competitor and are looking for the edge, this book may help you find it.BUY ON AMAZON
The story of Bernhard Cahiers long and fascinating journey through the automotive world of motorsport. A photographic compilation of the world of sports and formula racing in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Delightful.buy on amazon
A brilliant autobiography, the book positively fizzes with the man’s enthusiasm for life and the pursuit of excellence. I found the book motivational and inspiring.BUY ON AMAZON
There are now 6 books in the Speed Secrets series. Ross Bentley is a successful and respected racer and driving coach. Starting with fundamental driving techniques, and technical vehicle information the series builds in a logical sequence. It’s not just about driving technique. Emphasis is placed on personal development – tuning the driver for optimum performance. The books are clear and concise, but take time to read between the lines. Well worth investing in if circuit driving and racing is your passion.
"Shave lap times or find a faster line through your favorite set of S-curves with professional race driver Ross Bentley as he shows you the quickest line from apex to apex! With tips and commentary from current race drivers, Bentley covers the vital techniques of speed, from visualizing lines to interpreting tire temps to put you in front of the pack. Includes discussion of practice techniques, chassis set-up, and working with your pit chief. "BUY ON AMAZON
"Discover the secrets that will make you a faster and more successful racecar driver with this up-to-date insight into the latest techniques in racing. Professional driver and driving coach Ross Bentley, reveals what it takes to be fast and win races at the highest levels. Chock full of diagrams and concise “speed secrets,” Bentley has created an all-new approach to learning and perfecting the ideal line around the racetrack. He teaches you how to turn errors into more speed, left-foot braking techniques, as well as three sure-fire ways to lower your best lap time. Ross Bentley, who is the author of Speed Secrets, Inner Speed Secrets, and Bob Bondurant on Race Kart Driving, was a driver for the winning SRPII team at the Rolex 24 Hour race at Daytona. Ross is a member of Team Seattle, which also took home second place in SRPII. The two Team Seattle cars finished 7th and 8th overall in a field of 44 cars."
"Maximize your driving ability with tips from the experts! Based on performance seminars conducted by the authors for race car drivers, this informative guide helps you consistently perform at your highest level. Chapters discuss: The Driver – The Ultimate Management System; Inner Race Driving; Skills and Techniques; and Strategies."buy on amazon
Race teams have discovered great benefits can be derived from “tuning” their driver to perform at his/her full potential. Thus, this book is for everyone who works with a driver: engineers, crew chiefs, team owners, mechanics, and the driver’s parents. This unique book instructs the driver’s support team how to prepare and communicate with the driver so the driver delivers the best performance in races, practice sessions, and off-track team functions. Written by veteran racer and driving coach Ross Bentley, this book helps the driver’s support team devise effective approaches to “tuning” their driver. It will help them identify techniques that do and don’t work with their specific driver. The result should be better communication and a driver who is “tuned” for success.BUY ON AMAZON
"To succeed in any form of racing, a driver must be more than fast. In today’s ultra-competitive motorsports scene, where there’s competition for financial support as well as for checkered flags, a racer must have a full complement of on- and off-track skills. To become a champion, a driver must augment his or her racing, testing, and physical skills with traits and skills such as mental toughness marketing savvy, and career-building abilities. “Speed Secrets 5: The Complete Driver” is the first handbook for the aspiring professional or ambitious amateur racer. It provides insights that will help aspiring racers reach their full potential in their quest to become well-rounded racers. This book is an ideal companion to the earlier, strong-selling “Speed Secrets” titles and will receive exposure and promotion through author Ross Bentley’s Speed Secrets business (which includes driving schools and personalized instruction)."BUY ON AMAZON
"Being the best in a sport requires having a mental model of what the best is – one that instructs, motivates and inspires. Drawing on his own personal experience as a competition driver and coach, author Ross Bentley helps both the aspiring professional and ambitious amateur to develop the mental techniques and model essential for successful racing. His book reviews the techniques needed to drive fast, win races, and build a career as a professional racing driver. More importantly, it schools readers."BUY ON AMAZON
"Performance Driver Track Day Course I participated in the course arranged by Porsche Club GB and very happy to give 5 stars all round. The team has put a huge amount of thought and effort into making the facilities and training Covid-secure, which is indicative of their professionalism. I found the whole day both fascinating and a lot of fun, in briefings, on the various driving segments, and chatting with the team and other participants. I was genuinely in awe of how much Colin moved my theoretical and practical driving on, and what he got me to get the car to do in the space of one day - always building confidence, encouraging me to explore my limits, while not pushing me beyond them. Can't wait to return!"
"I have had a reasonable degree of driving training over the years as am ex police officer and advanced police driver. I took the performance driver driver training to learn about track driving, and found it excellent. My instructor was Paul who was fantastic. The training built up during the day and I learnt so much about the capabilities of my own car and although I was nervous about using my own car realised afterwards it was the best thing for me to do. The instruction was extremely informative from an engineering perspective coupled with driving, friendly and tailored to your individual needs and abilities. At no time was I encouraged or pushed to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. It was extremely professional throughout. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone whatever your standard of driving."
"Truly exceptional In my experience, driving instruction has generally consisted of being repeatedly told that you are 'doing it wrong' accordingly to some unknown standard or principle that you had hoped to learn about by taking said instruction. Then there is Colin. It is not that common to find an individual who genuinely understands both people and engineering. It is incredibly rare to find one who can actively apply both to deliver a sustained behavioural change. Colin adapts his teaching style to the way you learn. For me, he lead with the WHY of the learning point, grounded in physics and engineering. We'd then put it in to practice, often doing several variants of an excercise to explore how the car reacts to differing inputs, providing valuable context for what good feels like and reinforcing the learning point. Each point built on the previous ones, layering up and coming together in to a whole, one far greater than the sum of it's parts. Subtle changes to huge effect. I was concerned on the day that the learnings would rapidly fade, but I have found that because Colin has taught me an understanding the lessons have persisted, even if I do still need some more practice (48 laps of the Silverstone GP circuit last Thursday definitely helped!). Add to this the fact that Colin is great company and an absolute pleasure to spend time with, and you have one of the most positive learning experiences I've ever known. Truly exceptional. I could not recommend more highly. Thank you!"
"Superb day with calm knowledgable and professional guidance from Paul. Thank you Paul. The course is so well structured consistently building ability and knowledge in complete safety. I fully recommend anyone wishing to increase their knowledge, confidence and experience to attend."
"Far better than any track day you can imagine! There is a massive difference between a typical driver experience or track day events and CAT driver training. The main difference is that you drive your own car to the full extent of it's capabilities, and your own, while being given expert one to one tuition by brilliant trainers Colin and Paul, who come from a Motorsport and auto engineering background. Their combined domain knowledge of engineering and competitive Motorsport allows them to explain the physics of why the car behaves as it does and how you can exploit the cars characteristics for maximum performance., in a safe fun environment. The frankly brilliant experience on the track is matched by the quality hospitality hosted by Jo, and classroom training, which prepares you for what you will experience on the next stage. These stages include such delights as the ring, where you will drive with no hands on the wheel at 100MPH, providing you with a clear understanding of the fact the car finds its own balance , and my personal favourite the alpine stage, with hairpins a plenty and 'character building' drops and rock faces. I have to admit to being slightly 'corner shy' before the training, however after some brilliant coaching from Collin urging me to 'stay on the gas, stay on the gas!' I am now far more confident and safe in the twisty stuff!"
"I don’t want to make this review too long and detailed, so I think the best way to summarise it is this: I think I possibly learnt more in one day that I’ve ever learnt before and the skills are relevant to all driving and can be practised daily. On the way home, I drove the ‘long way’ just to practise and feel the difference in the attitude of the car. I used to do this now and again because there are a few good straights and it’s nice to give the car a ‘blast’. This time, I drove that way home because I wanted to drive round the corners properly."
"Extremely professional driver training. Period. I wanted a course that would deliver a very high level of training, in an organised and professional manner. The course exceeded my expectations in every way, I wish I had started working with CAT Driver training years ago. There is no doubt that if you are looking for absolute top level training, there isn't anywhere else to look. Somehow they manage to follow a very tried and tested course structure, yet it is tailored all the way along to meet your requirements and current skill set. very impressive. I cannot rate this company highly enough. I have more dates booked already."
"Very structured training Paul was very clear and methodical in his coaching. The training technique was built up in various sections during the day and all came together like a jigsaw puzzle in the end for a great result."
"It's hard not to be enthusiastic about the lasting impact CAT Driver Training will have on your approach to driving. I spent a day with Paul exploring the potential of my new vehicle. The coaching is clear, methodical and structured to allow you to go on learning for a full day without overload. The training venue is superb and quiet enough (on the day I attended) to allow uninterrupted driving. Brilliant admin team too. Absolutely 5 Star!"
"Everything you read about these people is true and i cannot really add anything apart from clicking these five stars and to say they are truly incredibly knowledgeable, professional and nice. I did the Performance Driver Track day in my amazing six-month-old 911 GTS 4 and I now know so much more about my car and myself. I was in a group of six people all with different driving skill levels from the complete novice (me) to regular track day enthusiasts and the day was a journey of discovery for everyone. I am so pleased to have done it."
"First class performance car training day. Many thanks to Paul & your great team for a really enjoyable training day at Millbrook on Friday. I learnt a lot more about the capabilities of my F430 and found many new limits! The attention to detail in the delivery of the training was exceptional. I would recommend this to anyone with a performance car who wants to fully understand and enjoy their vehicle."
"An amazing day. If you drive you should go to CAT. If you have a performance car you MUST go to CAT. A day with CAT will transform your driving, you it be safer on the road in any situation and it will be the biggest performance upgrade your car will ever get. I learned so much in one day without any pressure, effort or stress. Colin's coaching is world class, he makes it simple / interesting to understand and easy to absorb / remember. The whole day and and everything leading up to it are well organised by the team. They REALLY care that you have a great day and TOTALLY deliver. You owe it to yourself to go."
"Absolutely Brilliant! The best advice I can give: believe every one of the glowing reviews on CAT! I approached CAT because I wanted to feel more comfortable with my newly-purchased BMW, the first rear-wheel drive car to be used for every-day driving after decades of FWD cars. I wanted to find out what the car's capabilities are, what it would feel like in extreme conditions, understand what it was telling me at the limits and, generally to get advice on my own technique. I wasn't a novice, having done plenty of track days and laps of the Nordschleife but I just knew that there's always plenty more to learn... A day's Performance Driver session met every one of my targets, and then more! Paul was a patient, logical and technical instructor who took time to explain what would happen in each manoeuvre and then fully debriefed that stage so that I not only knew what the car was doing but also understood what effect on the car my own actions were having. The proof of the pudding was in the final stage - setting consistent timed laps of the handling circuit. I'd worried a little about this all day as I'd have described my driving as enthusiastic but perhaps not consistent. The results were close to unbelievable to me! By remembering all that Paul had demonstrated and explained to me I surpassed my wildest dreams. Fantastic! As a result of this day, I now have more belief in my ability to read what my car's saying to me which brings confidence and relaxation. The car and I are now a team, rather than me just sitting there making it go down the road. I can highly recommend the whole CAT experience. Professional, friendly, patient, technical when required and not afraid to challenge when necessary. Oh, and the lunch is good too! I wish I could afford to go back every month..."
"Achieve your driving goals here! Can't ask for more than that! The entire experience was a positive and pleasant one. Everyone I met at CAT Driver Training contributed positively to the day, regardless of the role, so thank you to Jo, Lynne and of course, Colin! CAT have existing programmes for teaching anyone the fundamentals and advanced techniques of how to drive fast, but Colin can identify really quickly what you can and cannot do, and is quick to understand how to best use your time. I went in with my own unique set of requirements which slightly 'broke' the programme, but it was no problem at all and the most impressive thing was that I achieved my goals by the end of the day! I wanted to understand my car, be able to find and drive at the grip limit, and also understand how to be a faster and better driver. A lot to fit into a day, but Colin managed it in the most efficient way possible, and we achieved them all! Colin has great insights into vehicle dynamics, as well as the human machine behind the wheel. He understands why we sometimes don't function as optimally as we would like! His ability to listen to you, translate your input and isolate what is not working with your current technique helps focus the day on exactly what needs attention. This focus, along with Colin's 'feeling' of how the package of car and driver is behaving, makes him uniquely qualified to provide great direction and input to help you become the best driver possible. A lot of people talk about it, but very few can translate the inputs to a specific process for you to follow as a driver. The process is all about starting with foundations and building on them. It doesn't always seem to make sense, but trust the system - it all comes together in the end! The time is not cheap, but it will help you achieve your goals, so how do you put a price on that!? Thank you CAT Driver Training!!
"Best In Class Driver Training The training provided by Colin at CAT Driver training is superb. I am lucky enough to attended training days with Porsche, Lotus, Aston Martin and the day with a Colin at Millbrook has topped them all being informative, challenging, practical and above all delivered by a true Petrol Head. Thanks again and I will be back with the 911."
"Reminding how to drive fast A day with Colin on a 'One to One' basis is almost essential for anyone who lives on a small rock in the middle of the English Channel or lives in a city. We don't drive fast and don't get the opportunity to drive fast unless we are on a track. Colin spent the day reminding me how much fun it was to have 'fast feet' and to make the Tyres 'squeak' as they reach the sticky limit. I think I lost about 7kg in weight during the day as I was worked so hard but oh what a day. Thoroughly recommended to anyone who had a petrol head. Best bit was the 'Alpine Loop' at the end of the day. Full gas on the exit with all four squeaking. 👍😃"
"Excellent! Colin, Jo, Paul and the team are amazing, professional and have a unique ability to cover all areas of driving properly. My driving capability has been enhanced beyond measure. I highly recommend them and the CAT Advanced Driving Academy Programme. During the course it became clear to me that CAT Driving are one of the very few on the planet with such experience and capability. They have designed a brilliant dedicated package focused on working with you and delivered with an attentive caring personal touch."
"Paul was amazing: awesome teacher with a great brain. Made me realize my Mustang has actually way more grip and better and better handling than I thought. Top notch facilities in Millbrook. Totally worth it."