7 Books which will make you go faster…

What is the hardest things for people to admit? Ever. Something that you will probably never hear from any man and many women in the world. Whilst they will admit to being old, ugly, overweight, nerdy, indebted, tasteless, vicious, thieves, addicted, they will admit to drug abuse, to betraying their spouses, to having been really mean to someone, they will NOT admit to one thing.They will bite off their tongue before saying it. Men and (most) women alike will never admit to being BAD drivers. Or have YOU ever heard a “I’m a crap driver. I have no feeling for a car or driving whatsoever“. The closest anyone has come was: “ I am not interested in driving, but I‘m a good driver on the road“.Often you will hear: “I‘ m a fast driver, I‘m about to loose my license because they have caught me so often. Ho ho“. Oh yeah, Baby. I always thought I was a fantastic driver, naturally. Till I did my first race. When I came out of Le mans classic 2008 (my first race, poor me) I was in deep shock. The Le Mans classic experience being almost too much for any petrol head, was certainly overwhelming for me. With the flag coming down and my senses returning, I took a vow to spend two years learning about Racing in order to find out wether I truly liked it or not.Two years have past now and with my automotive Luck, with the help of fantastic drivers like Claudia Hürtgen teaching me, with Driving schools like Scuderia Hanseat, with all the patient people teaching me about cars I now know with great certainty: learning how to race a car is probably one of the best things I have ever done in my life. Utterly rewarding, immensely frustrating and worrying, fascinating, demanding, gratifying, humbling, amusing; there is no end in sight to this adventure. I love it. I adore it. I can‘t get enough of it.

And here is the List of my favourite books, making me feel good when I´m not on a track.

“Going faster”The Skip Barber Racing School:
A fantastic and complex Oeuvre. Talks about the dilemma of late Apexing at speed. Or Double-clutch downshifting with photographs to illustrate the point. Quite technical.
I understand: little, very little.

Ross Bentley:
“Speed Secrets”
“Professional Race Driving Techniques”
“Speed secrets” is a series of books about racing and I love each one of them.
This one talks about the basics of race driving and beyond. Here’s a sentence I underlined:”Smooth is fast: don’t yank or jerk the steering wheel-smoothly and gently feed in the required steering input that your eyes looking well down the road tell you“.
Easy. Obvious even.
So hard to remember when you’re battling on track.
More speed secrets, with tips like: “use your street driving to make you a better driver. Suggesting exercises you can do in any traffic, in any car. Makes driving on normal roads more interesting and safer.
Or talking about transition: “If you cannot make the transition from brake to throttle in the corner seamlessly, you will never carry good corner speed.”
So true.
So difficult..
“Inner speed secrets”
Mental strategies to maximize your racing performance: talking about a receiptive mind, going from a beta producing to alpha/theta producing mind. Mental imagery and mental programming. Feelings, emotions etc.
I feel at home.
Here is a compact version of all five Volumes, for those who feel more comfortable in German. This is my first racing book, I have read and underlined it to bits. You will find tips like: “if the car feels like going on rails, you are going too slow.“ well…
I wished it would ever feel like going on rails…
It also tells you how to improve your feeling for grip in normal traffic. If over the years I had remebered just a single advice I had underlined I would be a much better driver now…..
I love this book, I always find interesting bits, tips I have NEVER heard or read before (I swear), astonishing exercises and facts.
See how dog-eared it is?
Carrol Smith
“Drive to win.
The Essential guide to Race Driving”
Yet again, full of good advice. According to Carrol Race drivers and fighter jet pilots must have the same mind frame. I don´t really feel at home here. Only when he starts talking about the ability to strike at the right moment I understand what he means. I´m a mother of boys. Striking like lightening at the right moments means survival.
Yet doesn’t fit my mental set up. Or my handbag.
Give it a try and seee yourself.
Especially if you don’t carry handbags.
And here is my greatest offering to you. Because you have lasted till now.
“Dr. Paul Castle”
Psychology of Motorsport success.
This works. It did on me. It made me cooler and faster. I read it on the beach last year.
In the holidays.
Before the Oldtimer Grand Prix.
When I beat those two guys who were unbeatable before.
Dr. Paul Castle, I thank you!
(If one of those two are reading this by chance, I don’t mean you, forget it!
The book is not for you two. It’s in German anyway. It’s written for women. It’s written for ugly old hysterical women. Who are stupid. Not for you!)

What???!!! No? Not useful?!
ok ok ok ok


I’ll be away for two long weeks now, giving YOU clever people time to tell me what the beauties above are (See if your bets are matching mine).

Thank YOU.


  1. jj says:

    Michel et Gabriele – il y a soixante ans …

  2. DRIVVEN.net says:

    Is there any book on seeing properly, propably the most important aspect of racing; how to look, where to look etc.. It’s time I get some new glasses before I start racing I guess :-)

  3. Mike Gulett says:


    I read the first book and also attended the Skip Barber racing classes at Laguna Seca. I still am not very fast.

  4. Arneyb says:

    Liebes Fräulein Spangenberg,
    das ist mal ein sehr hilfreicher Beitrag. Ich glaube ich werde mir die “Technik des Rennfahrens” gleich mal ordern. Leider hast Du aber einen Aspekt vergessen: Man muß diese Bücher auch lesen, um daraus lernen zu können. Ich habe seit über 2 Jahren Prof. Bernt Spiegels Buch “Die obere Hälfte des Motorrades” auf meinem Nachttisch liegen und habe es immer noch nicht angefangen. Das soll übrigens auch für Autofahrer sehr lehrreich sein. Ich werde mir jetzt fest vornehmen dieses verdammte Buch durchzulesen, dann werd ichs Dir mal mitbringen (mit Eselsohren).

  5. Anonymous says:

    ich sah dich fahren, komplimentefischer!
    prof. spiegel kann dir nichts mehr beibringen.
    dr. a.d. ben zine

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gaby, bin noch ganz beeindruckt von der Runde in Deinem 993. Du bist eins mit dem Auto – sensationell.
    Hast Du Lust im 04.-05.August einem M3 mit mir zu teilen beim BMW Training? Claudia ist Instructorin.

    LG Franc

  7. jj:Oui!
    Drivven:oui, aussi.
    Mike:nor am I. It doesn´t matter!Perhaps you want some Nordschleifentarining?
    Arneyb: Lesen??? Ich dacht unter´s Kopfkissen legen hilft auch?
    DR. a. d. Benzine: Wer ist Prof Spiegel?
    Franc: Ich würde NIX lieber machen als mit Dir einen M3 zu teilen, aber in der Woche sind wir in den Ferien und das gäb ein Wahnsinnsgebrüll…..

  8. Arneyb says:

    Ben meint Prof Bernt Spiegel, der mit dem Buch. Ich hab es jetzt endlich angefangen und lerne gerade fleissig. Du hast ihn übrigens bei der 2008er Scuderia Hanseat Abendveranstaltung gesehen. Da hat er einen Vortrag gehalten.

  9. Arneyb: da hab ich geschwänzt…

  10. Cameron Kemp says:

    Car racers should read these books. They will learn something in it that they could apply in their career.

Leave a Comment