What is Rally Racing?
I have chosen this topic to discuss in my first blog post as it is my favorite in the world of auto performance. Rally racing (Rally, Rallying, Stage Rally, ProRally) traces back to as far as 1911 in the Monte Carlo Rally events. Rallying may seem foreign to many In the U.S. because its birth and much of its history takes place overseas in countries found in Europe or near. However, rally racing is growing in popularity in the U.S., particularly in New England due to its suitable terrain for the extreme motorsport.
Rally races take place in various conditions such as gravel, icy/snowy roads, pavement, and muddy/wet surfaces daytime and night time as well. Difficult terrains combined with speeds that can reach over 100mph make for a very interesting and skillful sport that requires some of the best drivers in the world. For each rally event, drivers race different sections called stages, and are timed. There is no head to head racing, instead the driver with the fastest time wins the Rally Event.
For every Rally driver, there is their co-driver counterpart, who is equally as important towards successfully completing races. Because each rally stage is unique, and no gps systems are allowed, a co-driver is needed to deliver to the driver what is coming up ahead. The co-driver does so by reading off his “pace-notes”. Pace-notes will tell the driver whether the next turn is a left or right, how sharp it is so that he knows which gear and speed to keep the car in, and other various things to look out for. At the speeds rally cars travel, a driver must have exceptional multitasking skills in order to take in all of this information while responding to the way his car travels the course.
The cars used in rally racing are some of the most diverse performance wise. Not only do the cars need to have quick acceleration but they must also have amazing handling along with durability to withstand the immense amount of abuse they are put through. Also, because drivers are required to drive on public roads to get between the different stages in events, their cars must be street legal.
Some Sample Cars: (top to bottom) Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, Ford Focus RS