Two months ago I enrolled in the "Performance Driving 101" course offered by Ross Bentley's Speed Secrets company. I'm a big fan of his driver coaching books and own "Speed Secrets: Professional Driving Techniques" and "Speed Secrets: More Professional Driving Techniques". As an competitive sim racer I'm always looking for some extra knowledge that may help me out on the virtual track.
The e-Course is divided into modules of the following topics:
- Vehicle Dynamics
Ross discusses each module in a series of videos presented as if he is standing at the front of the classroom talking to you. The lectures are broken up with visual demonstrations of the theory delivered by the iRacing simulator and charts and simple diagrams.
As Ross talks through each of the modules he explains the why of the theory, such as why the line through a particular radius and corner changes depending on the the corners or straights preceding and proceding it. He is also adapt at simplifying concepts like wieght change in cornering and how it affects grip and the balance of the car.
As I said earlier, I'm a big fan of his "Professional Driving Techniques" books and I think this course succinctly captures the most important concepts of the books. Unlike the books, the e-Course doens't discuss a lot of the physchological aspects of being a racing driver, for example preparing yourself for a race. It doesn't discussing other very valuable race driver skills such as passing safely (when to pass and how.
At $79.95 it may be pretty expensive (I purchased it at 50% off) for some, particularly sim racers. You can safely bet that it's cheaper than any other race coaching / training session out there. Having read the books first I'm not sure if I learned the content from the books or had already understood it all via osmosis and general reading over the years 25 years I've been an avid fan of motorsport. If you're short on time and learn best in a lecture environment I recommend the e-Course rather than the book. However, the two books are the same price as the e-Course and even though you don't get a certificate at the end (oh wow :p) the books are significantly more detailed and about many facets of race driving. There's easily a few days of lecturers in there, rather than a few hours. If I had to choose between the eCourse or the books, I'd chose the books. If you've read the books or are a pretty experienced and fast sim racer, I don't think the eCourse has much value.