Speed Secrets

Posted on August 15, 2011. Filed under: Book Reviews |

While looking for some new and interesting quotes for TypeRacer, I stumbled upon a book called Speed Secrets: Professional Race Driving Techniques by Ross Bentley.  Although this book will not win any prizes for writing style, it’s a very practical and enlightening manual for anyone who wants to become a good race car driver.  While flipping through its pages, lots of Ross Bentley’s advice jumped out as being relevant to any form of racing, including our favorite kind – typeracing!

I wanted to share some quotes from this book with you: perhaps they will help you improve your own racing performance as you’re typing those same quotes on typeracer 😉

In most cases, there is more to be gained by maximizing the performance of the driver than tricking out the car. The most important factor is the driver, the ultimate control system of a race car.

If you want to drive a race car well, whether to win an Indy car racer or just have fun competing in the middle of the pack in an amateur race, you must be seated properly in the car. First of all, you must be comfortable, otherwise it will be overly tiring and very difficult to concentrate. Many races have been lost simply because a driver lost concentration due to discomfort from a poorly fitted seat.

Being comfortable in the car is critical. If you’re not comfortable, it will not only take more physical energy to drive, but it will also affect you mentally. A painful body will reduce your concentration level.

I often see racers, particularly at the back of the pack in amateur races, trying to go fast, with their arms flailing around, banging off shifts, jerking the steering into a turn with feet stabbing at the pedals — the car usually in massive slides through the turns. It may feel as fast and even look fast, but I’ll guarantee it’s not. If the driver would only slow down, the car would actually go faster. It reminds me of the saying, “never confuse movement for action.”

The less you do with the controls, the less chance of error. Steer, shift, and use the pedals smoothly, and with finesse – not with blinding speed and brute force. The slower you move, the faster the car moves.

Sometimes you concentrate more on racing the cars around you, rather than focusing on what you need to do. Having said that, some drivers actually perform best when there is a little extra incentive – like chasing another car. Plus, you may be able to get a good draft off the car in front. But be careful you don’t get too caught up in what the competition is doing. Focus on your own performance rather than on the competition.

Look and think as far ahead as possible. Often, a driver’s natural reaction is to look at the wall or the point you’re just about to get to. That’s not enough. You won’t drive a smooth, flowing line if you don’t look far ahead. And looking well ahead, and concentrating on getting to where I’m looking, seems to really help me.

We often believe the more we practice a skill or technique – over and over again, many times – the better we’ll get. This is not necessarily true. Experience is not always all that it’s cracked up to be. In fact, every time you practice a technique incorrectly, you’re increasing your chances of doing it wrong again. It’s easy to become very experienced at repeating the same mistakes. Practice doesn’t make perfect; only perfect practice makes perfect.

So don’t practice too much at first, or you’re likely to develop incorrect patterns or movements. Instead, begin with a few laps, maintaining intense concentration and motivation. Continue practicing only while concentration and interest are strong. If you begin to repeat an error, or if your concentration or attention starts to fade, if you start to become casual, then stop. Clear your head, get your concentration and motivation back, then go again.

Races are not won in the first corner; however, they are often lost there. It’s usually best to run as quick as you can for the first few laps, then settle into a comfortable, consistent pace – all the while ready to take advantage of any opportunity to pass. Never turn down an opportunity to pass – you may not get it again.

Most races are decided in the last 10 percent of the race.

Never give up, no matter how far behind you are, no matter how unlikely it seems you will catch your competitor in front of you. Keep pushing until the checkered flag falls. How many times have you seen the leader of a race have a mechanical problem with only a few laps to go? You will never be able to take advantage of their problems if you are not close. You have to be close to take advantage of luck.

— Ross Bentley, Speed Secrets: Professional Race Driving Techniques

I hope you enjoy typing these new quotes as much as I enjoyed reading them. And remember, if you find any interesting quotes you’d like me to add to the rotation, please contribute!

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16 Responses to “Speed Secrets”

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“many racers have been lost…”

Oh my…

Thanks for pointing out the typo. It’s fixed now 🙂

Quotes are impressive. Good work Alex! 🙂

Good to see some new quotes
Good work Alex keep it up and I have already gone through some 4 new quotes today.

very good stuff. Funny how racing cars can relate to typing.


eye-opening! thanks for posting.. 🙂

I enjoy typing new quote!! 😀

1- Thanks for new texts

2- My idea more stats on the site

3- Number Race last 24 hours
Number Race last week
Number Race last month
Number Race last years

Scuse my english


To add to DU4’s list.

– Number of Races quit last 24 hours
– Number of Races quit last week
– Number of Races quit last month
– Number of Races quit last years
– Percentage of races quit

—– OR —–

Normalize the stats across the board and don’t allow quitting.. which OH by the way if someone types 120WPM “average” it doesn’t mean they type 120WPM only on races that they don’t quit. Seriously. ALL stats are pretty meaningless unless race-selecting is addressed.

I also like the idea of not allowing non-premium accounts to affect the outcome of a race. So if an obvious cheater puts up 220WPM, they don’t get fist place, don’t get in the leaderbork. Cheaters, or people who aren’t really serious about increasing their typing speed, shouldn’t take up leaderbork space over someone who is really trying and has paid their premium fee. So if joebloe finishes 180WPM, he gets a message that says “Contratulations! you would have been 1st on the leaderbork and 1st in the race. If you had a premium account you would be remembered, but since you are cheap there is no record of you ever existing. Even your mother thinks you are ugy!”.. or something to that effect. Anyways Alex deserves to be a MULTI-billionaire 😀


It’s about time that some new texts were added. And the inclusion of these particular texts with the racing tips just adds further incentive to us, the typeracers, to practice and improve our typing speed the correct on typeracer (although I suspect that for some of us it will be difficult to read and comprehend the texts when we are only concentrating on the typing part). So thanks all around Alex (we expect newer innovations soon though, so please don’t go take your foot of the peddle towards site advancement). By the way chimchim , I respect you as a person and I think you are one of the greatest typists alive today and your love for typeracing is perhaps unmatched anywhere in the globe, but what you said here is ludicrous. I especially hope you aren’t serious about the premium account comment. Money doesn’t grow on trees you know.

I agree with you on premium accounts. Do we remove Jelani and Jordan from the list just because they haven’t been active on TypeRacer for a long time and left before premium accounts started? I hope not. They’ve both been legendary here. Although I may at some point upgrade to a premium account, I’m out of here if we limit the leaderboard to only premium users…

Cool.. finally.. relevant discussion 😀 FIrst, thanks for the kind comments Dreams… not sure how deserving I am of them, but nevertheless appreciated greatly as egos are meant to be built 😀 My intent is to NOT remove known-fast typists, That would ABSOTIVELY be ludicrous. I’m more concerned about flushing(appropriate word!) out all of the cheaters and race selectors. That being in light of others concerned about true statistics, which in my opinion is the MOST valuable asset of typeracer. People who are genuinely interested in typing really care about how well they are doing. People who are interested only in their ego race select. What this means is if you look at any given leaderbork to compare your average against someone else, you see averages that you just cannot compare since yours may be a “true” average, and someone else has a higher average but quits 9 out of 10 races. To me, that person who quits 9 out of 10 races isn’t serious about typing as much as they are making it look to everyone like they are a very fast typer. Then to top that off, you get people who I suspect are cheating, and/or have multiple accounts, and flood the leaderbork. I can gurantee you these people/bots do -NOT- have premium accounts. I can also gurantee you that the people who DO have premium accounts care about their typing and most probably do not cheat. Do you see the correlation here? It’s pretty obvious.

So my obvious “solution” is to don’t allow these people to leave a mark anywhere on typeracer unless they have a premium account. $11.99 a year(or whatever it is?) comes about to about $1 a month, or roughly 3 cents a day(US dollar). I’d have to double check, but that might be less than minimum wage, meaning one hour of work for anyone working in the US will pay for a full year of being able to see their true typing progress on typeracer. Sure people may be in financial hardship and may not be able to afford it. I completely sympathize, but nothing is preventing them from still hopping on typeracer. Worth repeating in all-caps: NON-PREMIUM ACCOUNTS CAN STILL TYPERACE! (I’m not yelling.. just easy to overlook). They just won’t know how well they are doing over time. In my opinion, $11.99(or whatever it costs) is a very small price to pay for such a valuable commodity. You would most probably -NEVER- see the Manu(re) “army” flooding the leaderbork again. Plus, I’m not sure people realize the amount of effort and domain regestration fees and host fees Alex put into this way-cool sight. If it wasn’t a cool sight, the forums would be quiet, but they are not.

Secondly, I’d really like to penalize leaving races. Sure it happens legitimately; you sneeze, phone rings, spontaneous combustion, dog/boyfriend starts leg-humping you, hershey-squirt, etc. If some anti-quit-mechanism were put in place, like if you leave a race then you can’t join again for 1 minute; Imagine how clean the leaderbork will get.(!!!) 1 minute is a LONG time for a race selector. That means instead of Manu(re) quitting 5343223 races an hour, he can quit only 60 times an hour. Pretty 0rgazmic thought! And for those who legitmiately leave a race, 1 minute is enough time to wipe the snail-trail down your chin, answer the phone, jump in the pool, find the vaseline, bathe, etc. No harm done, Statistics intact.

It’s almost like we need 2 sets of leaderborks: one for premium members, and one for non-premimum members. If you view the premium-member leaderbork, you know all of the people on it are honest(statistics-wise). If you view the non-premium member leaderbork, you get the current leaderboard now. Maybe a toggle switch to let you view one other the other. That way you can get a list without all of the questionable people you don’t really care to see.. you know.. the people who have egos bigger than abiilties.

Anyways I typed way too much about something that has nothing to do with this blog. I’m not affiliated with typeracer at all so this is not a paid advertisment. I just think 1) credit should be given where credit is due, and 2) dues should be given if you really care about your statistics, and 3) Alex should become so rich that his employes will all be rich. Again, if you can’t pay dues, you can absolutely still join races. All of this is just my opinion, and is a proposed solution that would adress everything that I see is “wrong” with typeracer, which is still the best site on the net! Cya at the races!


1648 GMT -6 hrs Sunday, August 28, 2011

I can affirm that there’s something fishy here: You begin a typerace with good acceleration, then appears some complications and you lose some momentum, and finally you recover an awesome level of velocity BUT the obnoxious WPM counter DOESN’T reflect your FASTEST PERFORMANCE following an area of trouble —a certain area causing your little car to decrease its speed. This dubious piece of code has been robbing us of our REAL race statistics from the very beginning of the TypeRacer.

2046 GMT -6 hrs Sunday, August 28, 2011

… then some complications arise …
… then some complications appear …

Me and another competitor both typed at the astounding speed of 92 words per minute in a certain competition. However, it gave him the victory instead of myself, when we either should have been given a “tie” or no decision. My win percentage is now at 6/7, or 98.6%. This is just unnaceptable. It should be at 100% because I have never actually lost. I’m hoping you can do something to fix this.

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