Ross Bentley is not a stranger to anybody, especially in the car racing world. His works and achievements are the results of his persistence and perseverance that made him today. Bentley is one of the most influential people; as a successful racing driver, he is also a performance coach, businessman, and a guest speaker. As an experienced in real-world race driving, networking, coaching, marketing, and business, he is an amazing author. He has nine books published, including topics such as mental preparation and race driving techniques. Hence, his books also include motorsports and aviation business aspects, which can help racing drivers and pilots.
One of his published books – Speed Secrets, has already sold over 130,000 copies. It talks about comprehensive instructions for racing drivers. The books offer racing career’s business aspects, driving techniques, and mental preparation. Bentley also includes tactical racing information on the Speed Secrets websites – for free. In addition, it has several valuable paid courses and tactical podcasts. As a successful race driver, he has an incredible and unique valuable and educational insight to make it to the motorsport industry. With this, he can share some of his best racing tips.
#1 Learning the Technical Side – You may not need to know, but you should.
As a racing driver, understanding the necessary engineering, can communicate with the crew and being savvy depends on a lot of funding. Yes, having a lot of money and funds can get away with knowing less, especially in funding a racing career, best teams, and strong engineering staff. However, having to come up with some developments, engineering, and car set-up can make you learn more.
One of the great examples is in the late 90s, where Bentley was driving a prototype car. He drove the car at Daytona in the 24 race, where the team owner hired Danny Sullivan, a legendary Indy 500 driver who drove for Penske. Sullivan was his co-driver, and one time that Sullivan drove the car, he asked him if they needed a front rebound in the shocks. Sullivan only said that he doesn’t know about those things, and he didn’t care about it. Bentley was shocked and only said, “wow” as he thinks Sullivan knows about that stuff.
Again, he only said that every driver has strengths and weaknesses yet has different opinions and ways to cope with those things. Bentley added that Sullivan was a great networker, an incredible promoter, and also a sponsor. He added that those things helped Sullivan with his lack of technical knowledge. Yes, every driver has strong points in different areas, either in technical, sponsorship, or promotions.
#2 The Key To Success is Versatility
Bently mentioned that the key to success is versatility. The whole marketing, mental games, and business are necessary as to how fast a driver may take. Making it in a racing career means to be fast, and you also need to be a fast driver yet, it is only a part of it. He also added that anybody trying to make a career should look at it as a proper job, and one of them is the need to be fast. He also added that a good team builder should know how to market themselves and understand the business and contract. All those things are important and all part of the package.
#3 You Can Be A Pro Racer – Situation Doesn’t Matter.
Bentley has spent a year focusing less on looking for money but more on getting himself connected to more people. He shares his passion, commitment, and willingness to whatever it takes him on the top. Luckily, all the people he looked at helped him, especially the money he needed. For those reasons, it was a big turning point in his career, and he wished to learn it earlier. He was overly focused on putting an excellent marketing program to benefit the company and said that it was a good and important education. Then, he started to work to build a team with the people around him, and things began to change. Bentley learned that inspired people around him wanted to help him, and it doesn’t cost anything.
#4 Trying Something New Might Change Your Life – Never Hesitate.
When Ross Bentley started his high-performance school, he had students that came to him. He began to put together a little handbook with three pages stapled together. He keeps adding more, and it becomes a helpful little handbook and hands it over to his students. As time passes, he keeps adding as he starts to work his way in driving Indy cars. By the end of every week, he would write notes on everything he learned so that he could remember it. One time, even on the plane while coming home from a race, he still wrote stuff in his notebook, and upon getting home, he will stick it in his documents.
One day, as his book grew and grew, someone said that what if he published those books. He hesitated at first and said that it was no good. However, at that time, he was also writing on a weekly column in his hometown newspaper, named the Vancouver Sun. He writes articles every week about driving and did it for about four years.
Bentley thinks that if anybody wants to write a book, it is the best thing that anyone can do. He added that it forces you to write every week and has the discipline to be a writer. It also forces him to be a better writer, thanks to his loving wife, who is also a great editor, learning a lot of things from her.
#5 Racers Are Not That Different, Novice or Professionals
Bentley had been going and working with a novice high-performance driver education student and also working with a pro driver. Both the student and driver have different ways and also have similarities. Everyone knows that novice drivers are nervous and not so confident. However, surprisingly, pros are also the same. Well, looking at the basic skills and the people who think that the pros are special is not true. They are all the same but have different ways to handle it.
#6 Getting Your Piece of Advice From Is Important
Having good advice from the right person is important. Bentley sure is a good driver, author, and coach yet said that he only trusts one or two persons in the motorsport marketing services. This type of sport is driven by passion, and people involved in the business are very passionate about it. However, some individuals are not always strong in business. He said that it is too difficult for those perspectives to find an individual that you’ll trust and will provide you the best advice. Looking at their backgrounds is also important. It includes career advice, marketing advice, sponsorship advice, and business advice. He also added that looking at their reputation and how long they have been in the business is necessary as there are more bad ones than good ones.
#7 Lookout for Opportunity – Always
Bentley first instructed way back in the 80s and found that he loves helping other drivers just as much as the love for driving. Through the years, he tried to make a career as a race driver. For Bentley, racing is one of the most difficult businesses in the world. However, it is the only profession that he had to compete for the job with somebody who was also willing to pay for the job. Similar to his previous career, race car driving is also paid and to gain income. Yet again, he said that he also loves it as much as he loves driving.
Bentley’s business started to grow and think he’s one of the very few individuals that got in the business. Getting up every day, he thinks about driving and also about coaching, which he also shares with others. He was very fortunate to do what he loved in his life and a point where he can share it with other individuals. He said that he’s not an expert, but has the opportunity to get up every morning and only thinks about driving and doing it for decades. As mentioned earlier, Bentley collected different things in which he can share with other people.
#8 Releasing the Brakes
From a technique perspective, lacking awareness of what you do to a car when you get the brake release right, Bentley said. Yes, he takes days by just talking about releasing the brake properly. However, most drivers drove the line in the right way and got the throttle the right time. He also added that the magic starts when you’re coming into the corner. Mark Donohue said that when driving a car at its limit through the corner is similar to a tightrope-walking. Going in a corner on the limit is identical to jumping through the tightrope while being blindfolded. For those reasons, it is where there is a difference between the best and the rest, especially in the corner entry section.
#9 Taking Advantage of New Resources
Bentley looked at everything as a tool for him to use. At a point in time, his primary tool is his words and eyes. Today, he has different and more tools to work with. It also becomes easier for him and also for other people to get involved with while coaching. For him, it is both good and bad as it allows other people to get involved in doing so, which is also needed. However, it is there for anybody to tell a lie and simply say that “I am the driver coach now.”
Recently, Bentley has been doing more online, which for him, is exciting. It is because he enjoys sharing what he learned from coaching one driver. When he starts an E-course online or webinar, he can greatly impact those people, which he also loves the most.
#10 You’ll Lose if you Stop Learning. Success is Not an Entitlement.
Yes, relying on your talent can get you somewhere. The bottom line is every one of us is born with about the same talent, and it is for you how to use that talent to make a difference. He included that the drivers in every type of motorsports, such as NASCAR, Indy, drag, or motorcycle racing, are the most hardworking people. So for him, the biggest mistake for a driver is thinking that “I’m Fast” and does not focus on learning to improve.
He also added that the second is the reluctance to focus on mental games. Some of the drivers think that if they focus on mental games, it means that there must be something wrong with them. However, the best to work up with is their minds, similar as they do with their bodies. One of the things that Bentley does is putting individuals on metal fitness training programs.