Why I Love Rally, Reason #19

The rally fans.

Behind the great shots of the cars in action, you’ll also find a slew of rally fans who have driven their cars down rocky roads and climbed up hills to see their rally heroes for just that split second. We sit there for hours on a rock getting dust, mud or water sprayed on us. We are there to push the cars back out when the drivers go off the road. We sound our air horns, wait in the service park for autographs, and wave ridiculously large flags. And we do it with gusto. We are amazing!

How did the fans even get up there?

Sebastien with rally fans

November 28, 2007. Rally, Why I Love Rally. Leave a comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #18

Beauty is a car sliding sideways around a corner.

I maintain that our rally drivers could out-drift drifting champions. It’s simply one of the many driving techniques that they must master. They have so much car control and sideways experience. It’s business as usual.

Behold:

The other guys are good…

But that’s just Monte Carlo, really.

October 4, 2007. Auto Racing, Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Sports, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 1 comment.

Spreading the Joy

Last Saturday, I had a group of friends over at my house to watch “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” But before I put in the movie, I opportunistically slipped in the 2006 WRC season review DVD. The results? Most of them wanted to watch rallying more than the movie! One of my friends wants to start an all-female rally team (although I have to sit that one out, as I lack the talent to either drive or codrive) and another can’t stop thinking about driving a rally car. Success!

So to all the rally connoisseurs in the US who find themselves alone in their fandom, spread the joy! It’s actually really easy. You’d be surprised how many people will start to love rallying for all the same reasons you love it.

August 13, 2007. Rally, Rallying, Thoughts, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 2 comments.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #17

I love the neat-o Karcher car washes that high-pressure spray all the mud off of those beautiful WRC cars before they come into service.

I want one.

A quick shower

August 10, 2007. Rally, Rallying, Why I Love Rally, WRC. Leave a comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #16

It’s that time of year, when the WRC takes a summer holiday and I busy myself with other things. Like getting a full night’s sleep for two whole months. The entire series may be in tough times, but I want to take a moment and remember why I fell in love with the WRC in the first place.

The spectacular images.

When I see photos of other racing series, I see car, car, car, car and some other car. On a circuit. Turning maybe. Some wrecks in gravel traps or into tyre barriers.

When I see photos of rallying, I see jumps! Crests! Mud thrown everywhere! Mountain scenery! Cliffs! Cars driving with no wheels! Rolls! Sideways drifts!

It’s all pretty freakin’ awesome. Empirically speaking.

Just another day in the office for Mikko and Jarmo The rally way around a corner, courtesy of Manfred Stohl

June 15, 2007. Auto Racing, Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 1 comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #15

The WRC is a geography lesson: 16 rounds in 16 different countries.

Grab a map. Point out where Sardinia is. Name the capital of Finland. Impress your friends! (My brother overheard people arguing over whether Bolivia is in Africa or Europe–eek!)

Marcus on a mappy map

May 28, 2007. Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Why I Love Rally, WRC. Leave a comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #14

Jumps and yumps!

Mikko-Finland06 Big yump   Atko’s big, nose-crushing jump

None of the F1 talk of downforce–the higher, the better!

April 25, 2007. Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 2 comments.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #13

The drivers can chat over a big plate of pasta salad.

Lunchtime for Atko, Marcus, Glenn, Phil, Manfred, Ilka, Luis…

Or hang out before time controls.

Henning and Mikko chatting

April 23, 2007. Appreciation, Rally, Rallying, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 2 comments.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #12

I love, love, love the growl of a rally car. Behold: the lumpy boxer engine of the Impreza, the aggressive Xsara, and the monstruous Audi Quattro.

March 26, 2007. Appreciation, Auto Racing, Citroen, Rally, Rallying, Subaru, Why I Love Rally, WRC. Leave a comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #11

I love that the competition, when you boil it down, is only against the clock. If you can set the fastest time, you win. The drivers aren’t held up by other drivers like they are in circuit racing. It’s about pure speed, technique, bravery, maturity and commitment (and luck).

And it’s also about doing their best with the trials that get thrown at them. The best drivers adapt, push through them and just carry on. When the rally’s done, excluding mechanical failure, the driver can only look to himself for the answers.

I guess I like the statement it makes about life. We don’t need to elbow everyone out of our path in order to feel that we’ve succeeded. We do our best, and we can be happy with that. On that note, have a wonderful new year.

Podium - Rally Finland 2006

January 2, 2007. Rally, Rallying, Why I Love Rally, WRC. Leave a comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #10

Most of the rally drivers are humble, geniunely nice people.

With all the driving talent they’ve got, they could probably rule the planet if they wanted to.

But, when you’re driving on the roughest roads this side of Dakar, sitting forever at time controls, changing your own tyres, taking whatever Lady Luck and Mother Nature can throw at you, and sweating it out in 120 degree cockpits over three exhausting days, you simply can’t be a diva.
Seb and Petter are notoriously personable. Marcus is a farmer. The others don’t make a whole lot of money. And with seats that are hard to get and easy to lose, the drivers are just grateful to be in a car.

Plus, you’ll never see a NASCAR face-punching, all-up-in-yo-face brawl. You don’t have to worry about our rally heroes acting like children…

Petter pulling on Marcus’ ears

but it’s funny when they do!

December 20, 2006. Auto Racing, Citroen, Ford, Motorsport, Peugeot, Rally, Rallying, Solberg, Sports, Subaru, Why I Love Rally, WRC. Leave a comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #9

The guys who hand-cut tyres. I don’t know why, but I like.

Pirelli Competizioni guy cutting tyres

November 29, 2006. Auto Racing, Mistubishi, Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Sports, Subaru, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 1 comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #8

Clearly-labeled cars. A simple thing, but it makes spectating so much easier. (Are you listening, Formula 1?)

Gigi Galli
(Gigi Galli and Giovanni Bernacchini, 2006 Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo)

November 28, 2006. Auto Racing, F1, Mistubishi, Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Sports, Why I Love Rally, WRC. Leave a comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #7

They drive on this:
 Panzerplatte
(Rallye Deutschland, Baumholder, Panzerplatte stage)

Not this:
 Indianapolis Motor Speedway
 (Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Drive around oval. Repeat 200 times.)

November 28, 2006. Auto Racing, Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Sports, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 1 comment.

Why I Love Rally, Reason #6

Whatever brand of bravery–or insanity–that pushes drivers to speed over 100 mph on this:

seb-driving-on-edge-of-monte-cliff.jpg

November 28, 2006. Auto Racing, Citroen, Motorsport, Rally, Rallying, Sports, Why I Love Rally, WRC. 1 comment.

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