He’s done it again.. mild-mannered Norm Dewitt has managed to put together another insider racing tech book that both fans and engineers can enjoy and learn from.
I say “mild-mannered” because this guy is always around, quietly getting the straight stuff from the right people.
The first thing that you need to know about “Making it FASTER II: The Indianapolis and Grand Prix Cars ” is that there are passages in this book which even the most deeply embedded members of the motorsports community will read and then say (quietly and most likely to themselves) “Whoa I did not know that. I always wondered how those guys ______.”
In my case (and I thought that I had something of a moderator understanding of the beast) there were revelations and insights (all courtesy of the people who had actually lived the experience) that simply amazed and enlightened me.
In “Faster II,” as he did in his first book on the subject, Dewitt takes a deep dive into modern motorsports, this time focusing on the open wheel (Indy and F1) technology side of the street, but never without the human element parts of the equation that figures it all out, puts it all together, and then has to go out and drive the piss out of it. People run the tech here, not the other way around.
Again, as in his first book, this well-versed author takes off on a subject… be it engine design, aerodynamics, or chassis material. He first assesses and addresses each subject directly; but then, documentary-style, he quickly introduces an unimpeachable expert on the subject (driver, engineer, mechanic designer, team manager, company racing expert) and then lets them explain the intricacies of the particular subject in direct, personal language that cuts through all the jargon and theory.
Review by Doug Stokes