These are the missing chapters in your driving education. I plan to share the skills developed and employed over a twenty-year career at the cutting edge of motorsport, from Le Mans racing to NASCAR, driving the Batmobile and dodging bullets with James Bond, as well as eight years’ duty as The Stig for Top Gear.
The skills I describe were honed on racing tracks by the greatest drivers in the world. As we’ll come to see, their philosophy of speed is really one of economy of motion, and with that comes greater fuel efficiency, safety and control. It’s about driving better, not faster. Whether you’ve been behind the wheel for the best part of 30 years or you bought your L-plate ten seconds ago, this is the stuff your instructor missed, your dad forgot and your mates pretend to know… but don’t.
The journey begins with understanding why we drive the way we do, and how we can improve. You won’t believe this, but the majority of the world’s population is driving on the wrong side of the road because of a simple misunderstanding. Our system of learning has been little different.
Stage two involves getting your hands dirty as we open up the machinery that will transport you to heaven and back. Despite what Google thinks, the ultimate operating system riding onboard this marvel of engineering is you, not the damned computer.
Then we hit the open road and I’ll show you how to drive smoother than a jazz band surfing a soap dish down a butter mountain. To avoid any slip-ups along the way, you’ll learn to see the road through a racing driver’s eyes: looking so far ahead that you’ll know what your great grandchildren will be having for breakfast in 2115.
Once fate is firmly in the back pocket, we’ll venture into the parts of life we can’t always master but can learn to control: driving on ice, handling skids, dealing with emergencies and still managing to enjoy the ride. And we’ll finish with some soul food: stunt driving.
The Highway Code it isn’t, but with How To Drive you’ll learn to read the road, take control of the car with confidence and develop a driving style to be proud of. Driving is about becoming the master of your fate, and, believe me, there’s no better or more worthwhile journey.