Only a very few drivers can honestly say they wouldn’t love to feel the adrenalin rush of high speed racing with plenty of curves, hills, and the unexpected maneuvering that comes about during a rally course race. It’s only human nature to have a desire to live on the edge a bit, even though that mostly means taking risks with plenty of safety equipment for a back up, just in case. Rally driving is kind of like that because even though high speed driving and the need to be experienced at fast decision making is vital you also have plenty of “backup technology”. The cars are built to withstand lots of abuse and in case there is an accident you should be safe because of all the built in safety features. Lets imagine taking one of those small cars onto a rally course and putting it through the paces, first to qualify and finally to drive it competitively. Learn to stop even before accelerating The “go pedal” is the fun one and hitting the gas causes that little car to squeal out and rapidly accelerate… fun huh? But you may also want that mechanical bullet you’ve launched to stop or at least slow down for that fast approaching curve in the track! Anticipate the upcoming curve and begin slowing by letting off the gas as you approach the curve. This is assuming you have downshifted to second gear and are in a front wheel drive vehicle. Using the foot brake you can feel whether or not you have control of your vehicle and as long as you do just slow enough to maneuver the turn without overly straining the tires on your car. If you break traction the car will begin to slide and most likely you’ll find the rear end coming around ahead of your front end.
If you steer into that slide, in other words aim the front end toward where the rear is heading you will correct your spin out and regain control. This also signified you entered that curve too fast. By finessing the foot brake (tapping on and backing off) you can maintain control without slowing down too much. Always remember everything happens in double time on the track Anticipating your next move needs to include fast reflexes and decisions quickly made and well before they’re executed. If you have driven the track and became familiar with the curves and idiosyncrasy of that particular rally track, you will be better able to anticipate what you will need to do next.
Driving in a rally type race is fun and very competitive with the person you are competing against most being yourself! Testing your reflexes and decision making is always a challenge. A rally race involves individual starts with times kept for each team. Usually the driver drives and the team member will keep notes regarding gas fill ups, road hazards such as gravel, dirt, and traffic issues to report to the driver. While not directly competing against other drivers, rally driving involves a team work that is vital to a successful run.