ABOUT

Ed Dellis is the Mechanical Engineer and Racing Inventor who has been teaching Friction Circle Analysis "Inside Out" since the mid-'80s. Dellis' unique method uses everyday props to convey THE FEEL AT THE LIMIT from the driver's perspective. Traditional Friction Circle conventions analyzed the forces acting on the tire...not anymore.

Driving Presentations & Lessons

Dellis Motorsports Resume (click)

The blue/white Lister #007 LITERALLY stops traffic…especially in combination with a model waving a Checkered Flag on the front line.  Drivers stopping to check out #007 are candidates for any high-performance car on a lot…guaranteed.

Hair-raising 7000-rpm REVS recorded on smartphones are sure to spread online ensuring long-lasting returns on your investment for years to come.  This music comes courtesy of a trumpeted side-draft fuel injection system mounted on a 400 cu-in Donovan aluminum block that echoes sounds from a gear drive, Crower roller racing camshaft and shaft rockers, and a Spiral Turbo Baffle exhaust system.

…AND Dellis is definitely not shy about sharing the music upon request, either.

Once Dellis starts talking, his matter-of-fact style of sharing driving secrets and racing stories one-on-one is engaging to both enthusiasts and casual prospects alike.

FREE — Driving Instruction

Displaying the word FREE below the car piques curiousity from passers by, too.

The free driving lessons are newsworthy with members of the media for which Dellis knows well as a full-journalist member of the Motor Press Guild.

Distracted Drivers — 1st-Hand Experience

With very high-performance cars now in the hands of Distracted Drivers, a certain amount of social responsibility goes with selling these cars.   Dellis knows since he was literally killed by a distracted driver on New Year’s Eve ’04…he has spoken about the experience 3x on the radio, so far.

CARE Ambulance was taking his body to the morgue at Garden Grove Memorial Hospital just before specialists at UCI Medical Center were able to revive him.  Dellis is currently writing a book about the experience called Before I Die Again.

Including FREE 1-HR Driving Lessons from a death-defying instructor with each purchase is especially newsworthy today, and Dellis’ on-camera experience allows him to comfortably explain the purpose of providing instruction to new customers.

Dellis’ high-performance driving instruction dates back to the mid-80s when he taught Police Pursuit Driving at the Bobby Rahal TrackTime Driving Schools and before that at Skip Barber.  His mechanical engineering degree gives him insight into the physics involved, but his ability to explain it in plain English is where Dellis shines.

Every driver is different.

Lessons begin by studying both hand- and foot-work in a low-pressure environment so drivers can adjust their seats properly.  The object is eliminate distractions inside the cockpit and be in perfect harmony with the controls in the car.

Once the customer is comfortable, then safe lines through turns are learned.  Speeds are slowly increased until car control is developed using a disciplined, step-by-step process.

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The Art & Science

Presentations on Friction Circle Analysis from the DRIVER’s perspective teaches you how to analyze steering feel so you can intuitively make the right moves with your hands and feet to get the car to respond according to your wishes.

With 2-1/2 years teaching full-time at the Skip Barber Racing School under his belt, Dellis began leading the classroom on the weekends at the Bobby Rahal TrackTime Driving School after he accepted a full-time Associate Editor’s position at SAE’s Automotive Engineering magazine.

At TrackTime, Dellis was able to fine-tune his presentations over 6-1/2 years so anyone could understand the advanced car-control principles.  He also was able to put a set of moldable grips on the steering wheel of Bobby Rahal’s car in Long Beach a month before its official track debut at the Indy 500.

PersonaGrip & The Steering Wheel Guy

Dellis invented and twice patented the custom-molded steering wheels that you see today throughout IndyCar, F1, NASCAR, et al.

At the 1993 Indy 500, Dellis designed the steering wheel grips (Ser.#001) for race winner, Emerson Fittipaldi. Other drivers that gambled on the track debut of the new, untested technology include: Sullivan, Ribbs, Cheever, and St. James.

Mysteriously, the winning steering wheel disappeared during the Victory Banquet that evening.

To this day, no one knows the exact whereabouts of Ser.#001 although a replica bearing that serial number and similar engravings was donated to the Indy Museum.  Dellis has since designed 790+ steering wheel grips as of this writing.

He is currently traveling the world speaking at steering conferences about how drivers can improve their ability to drive on the edges of the Friction Circle using a relaxed grip on the steering wheel.

Please visit SteeringWheelTechnology.com to watch videos of his presentations.

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The Teaching Philosophy

It all boils down to where the rubber meets the road…quite literally.

Your car doesn’t know if YOUR hands/feet are on the controls, or if Lewis Hamilton is seated in the driver’s seat.

A thorough understanding of how your tires interact with the road — both individually and as a group — allows you to visualize how to operate the controls without thinking.

With this new feel for the limit, you can intuitively extract the most performance from your machine with 100% confidence that you’ll remain under the limit.

Dellis’ Friction Circle teaching method is designed to give you this intuitive feel so your hands and feet move to get the desired result.

LESSONS

Using a Building-Block approach, you are stepped through a carefully honed driving instruction process that removes the fear of the limit...in fact, when finished, you'll crave it.

PERFECT DESIGN

A relaxed grip on the steering wheel blocks less steering feedback.

The feedback is the turning resistance which builds up to a peak just before traction goes away…engineers call this the top of the mu-slip curve.

Since less feedback is available with power steering, learning how to touch the steering wheel in the most kinematically efficient manner translates to opening up channels for reading what remains of the steering feedback…engineers call this improving the signal-to-noise ratio.

Each cockpit is laid out differently, and humans come in all ratios. 

So, by analyzing and learning your car’s ergonomics together with your body’s kinematics — with respect to your seating position and body proportions — you can operate the controls in your proprioceptive sweetspot.  This is the point where muscles are at their ideal exertion level for reading the steering feedback, or turning resistance.

PICKING THE RIGHT LINE THROUGH A TURN

Knowing how to analyze a turn properly as you approach it in the canyons will always keep you safe and under the limit.

So, driving the correct line at the proper speed through a turn is not only smoother, it’s safer, too.

Most drivers know to straighten out the turn as much as possible by starting and finishing on the outside areas of the turn…this is called “apexing”.

However, getting the car at the right ANGLE while approaching the apex is the secret.

While learning well below the limit, your confidence will build as you begin to recognize the telltale signs of disaster well before it occurs.

PHASE TWO

On the racetrack, speeds can increase more quickly since many of the unknowns on the street disappear.

This can allow you to begin dancing on the edges of the Friction Circle sooner with better focus since on the street you already developed a new feel for the top of the mu-slip curve at a lower threshold — using your new muscle memory — and your lines will be perfect, too.

Heel & Toe or Hell & Tow?

Proper footwork allows you to dance with more finesse along the vertical axis of the Friction Circle.

In traditional stick shift cars you’ll learn how to downshift smoothly while braking into a turn.

However, since each car has its own unique pedal arrangement, you first need to learn the optimal foot-and-ankle orientation for transitioning smoothly from braking to accelerating…a procedure used to stabilize the rear end after a rotation which occurs just before peak cornering g’s.

Paddle-shifted cars come in all shapes and flavors. 

You will learn how to explore and make adjustments in the shift timing and brake pedal pressure for each of your car’s computer algorithms in the different driving modes.

ADVANCED CAR CONTROL

Advanced Car Control delves into the realm where the car starts sliding around under you.

For racers, sliding the car slightly around the track is Standard Operating Procedure.

You will learn to get comfortable with the feeling of your car moving around underneath you while negotiating turns.

Turns out, a tire generates its maximum forces when it’s slipping slightly.

When the tire is turning, the sideways slipping is called a “slip angle” which is the difference between where the tire is pointed, and where it’s actually going…much like a plane flying in a crosswind.  Mind you, it’s trying to go where it’s pointed, but because of things like momentum it slips sideways a little.

When the tire is going straight, the slip is called a “slip ratio” since it compares how fast the tire is actually rotating to how fast it would be rotating if it matched the car’s speed perfectly and wasn’t slipping.

You will learn what it feels like to approach those limits without going past them.

However, in the event you accidentally venture too far past the ideal amount of slip, your familiarity with the feeling at the limit will make it easy to get it back…without trying to memorize a set of rules.

It’s all about developing FEEL.

Fuzzy Dice Paradigm

Friction Circles were originally analyzed using the forces acting on the CAR’s tires.  The Fuzzy Dice Paradigm is just the opposite, and analyzes the forces the DRIVER FEELS.

Unless you’re on a racetrack, myriad variables can enter the picture very quickly giving you little or no time to react.  By learning how to FEEL your car’s behavior at and near the limit, it’s easier to maximize your realistic options for escape when the moment occurs.

Once the Science of Driving is explained in plain English, you’ll know how physics affects your car in every situation.  This method is far better than memorizing a set of rules which can lead you into trouble.

So, using plain English with everyday props — fuzzy dice, hairbrushes, and balloons — you can develop an feel for the limit, and intuitively know what to do well before it arrives.

You can then confidently predict your car’s behavior by visualizing how the weight will get transferred around the car as it navigates the incident in front of you.

In the event you have a “moment”, your body’s natural adrenaline dump can then be used to ENHANCE YOUR PERFORMANCE rather than cause you to choke and freeze due to fear of the unknown….if, for nothing else, because there are no more unknowns.

For this reason, after an accident drivers will sometimes say, “Everything seemed to happen in slow motion.”  Why? Because your internal body clock starts racing and you’re able to process more information in the same amount of time…which is how slow-motion movies are made.

PROGRAMS DESIGNED TO SUIT EACH DRIVER

Since every situation is different and can range from IndyCars to 50+ mpg hybrids, each program is individually tailored to match your driving needs and objectives.

Police Pursuit Training requires a different strategy than overcoming Freeway Driving Fears…very common in Southern California.

Unless you’re 100% comfortable, you cannot learn. 

By hiring Dellis, each lesson builds upon the first afternoon’s drive in the canyons, freeways, and side streets.  So, the first half-day is spent cruising around getting to know the you, your car, and your driving goals.

Depending on your comfort level, a more spirited approach can be used during the later stages of the first meeting, too.

At the conclusion of the first drive, your follow-up debriefing will include developing a strategy that helps you achieve your driving goals in the most efficient manner.  Strategies can range from off-peak freeway cruises to full-day trackday events at local racetracks.

Youth Driving Programs can involve learning the rules of the road, when to use courtesy, when to take the right-of-way, and common sense strategies for driving safely. 

Driving tips for Situational Awareness addresses emergency escape routes, parking lot safety, and safe lane positioning.

Safer digital etiquette for navigating with smartphones, and texting while driving is covered, as well.

CUSTOM WORK

Dellis invented the paradigm-shifting custom-molded steering wheel grips that you see in the highest levels of racing today. Part of that work includes coaching drivers to see with their hands when designing their grips, and then instructing them to relax their grip tension when using it out on the track.

FROM THE BLOG

Left- or Right-Foot Braking?

July 11, 2015
Left- or Right-Foot Braking — a Matter of Preference Driving stars discuss braking techniques in...

CONTACT INFO

SHIPPING ADDRESS

You can ship your steering wheel AND all your money to:
2973 Harbor Blvd. #314, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, USA

ONLINE CONTACT

Send your issues and suggestions to:
info[at]scienceofdriving.com

CALLING THE MAD SCIENTIST

ProPak Customers can call anytime with questions about their steering wheel grip design.

All others may reach Dellis from Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 18:00 Pacific Time Zone (GMT-08:00) at:
(seven, one, four) 342.3020

BEST SUPPORT

Dellis takes your driving issues seriously. For every question his students have he will provide an answer.

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