Published December 2021
Review by Christine Abbott
Participating in Motorsport can seem daunting and elusive and Leanne Fahy’s new book published by Vecoce Publishing as part of the Speed Pro series was written to dispel some of the fears and to show that it is not difficult to turn your dream of being a racing driver into a reality. From making the initial decision to ‘give it a go’ through to sitting on the grid at your first race meeting this book is designed to take you through the process step by step whether it’s a kart or car.
The author Leanne Fahy has worked in the motorsport industry for 14 years, including a decade of freelance journalism for Auto sport and Motorsport News. With this background the book meets the expectations of being well written and clear both in structure and prose. However, Leanne brings to the book more than just being a writer, she has worked around motorsport and drivers (2 and 4 wheels) either as a track day organizer or managing PR and media campaigns for drivers and racing teams for all of her working life, bringing her into direct contact with the sport and its drivers. It is this experience that is evident throughout the book.
In each chapter there is a section on Kart racing and Car racing – so depending on your interest you can immediately get to where you want to be. There is no doubt; this is not a cheap hobby and in the first chapter we are taken through setting a cost effective budget, what licenses to apply for, race equipment including all the regulations and where to buy it (even the kettle for the essential cup of tea!). The second chapter takes us through choosing and buying your car and the myriad of championships in the UK. Having got your licenses, applied to join a championship, car and equipment ready, the next chapter covers track time with detail on everything from flags, rules and procedures and a sample schedule for both track days and test days. Next, we get to booking your first race meeting where Leanne takes us through what to be aware of including data logging, transponders and meeting procedures. Finally, we are introduced to the use of simulators, driver coaching and the media. A handy number of appendixes including essential check lists are supplied that I suspect will be photocopied by the reader for each race meeting.
Overall, reading the book is like having a knowledgeable friend on speed dial and one that will be well thumbed by newbie race driver. It meets its tag line “everything you need to know to start motor racing in Karts and Cars”. The danger of a book that contains so much practical guidance is that it could be out of date very quickly as regulations change and prices so I suspect that Leanne will have quite a job each year to keep the book current and fit for purpose for the following season. I would have liked to have seen website addresses for suppliers and organisations this would have added to the resource, or maybe a website linked to the book where up to date information could be found and hyperlinks to suppliers and organisations.
It would make a great gift to encourage the ‘would be’ racing driver in your life whether that is you or another. And if you need any further encouragement read Rob Oldlands blogs on our website as he records his first year as a racing driver in the Caterham Academy series.