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The Dirt on Rally Racing

September 20, 2010

Three frames overlayed give a sense of motion as Travis Pastrana slides through this hairpin.

Rally racing is definitely one of the coolest forms of four-wheeled racing on the planet. Huge amounts are spent by top-level teams — behind only to Formula 1 and perhaps MotoGP. Here is the lowdown, in case you are unfamiliar with the awesome motorsport that is rally racing.

From Wikipedia: “Rallying, also known as rally racing, is a form of auto racing that takes place on public or private roads with modified production or specially built road-legal cars. This motorsport is distinguished by running not on a circuit, but instead in a point-to-point format in which participants and their co-drivers drive between set control points (special stages), leaving at regular intervals from one or more start points.

“Rally is  unique in its choice of where and when to race. Rallies take place on all surfaces and in all conditions: asphalt(tarmac), gravel, or snow and ice, sometimes more than one in a single rally, depending on the course and event. Rallies are also run every month of the year, in every climate, bitter cold to monsoon rain. This contributes to the notion of top rally drivers as some of the best car control experts in the world. As a result of the drivers not knowing exactly what lies ahead, the lower traction available on dirt roads, and the driving characteristics of small cars, the drivers are much less visibly smooth than circuit racers, regularly sending the car literally flying over bumps, and sliding the cars out of corners.”

Here is a video to give you an idea of what makes rally racing is so spectacular:

If that didn’t get you excited, then check this out. An offshoot of rally racing, Gymkhana is described by Wikipedia as: “Time and/or speed events in an automobile that can feature obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels. The driver must maneuver through a predetermined “track” performing many different driving techniques. What separates gymkhana from traditional autocross events is that the gymkhana requires drivers to perform reversals, 180 degree spins, 360 degree spins, parking boxes, figure 8s and other advanced skills. Drifting is also encouraged where helpful or necessary. Essentially, a gymkhana is any event featuring a starting point, a finish line and some sort of “obstacle” to get through, around, or by, all within a time limit.”

To give you an idea of what that is like, watch this video.  Prepare to giggle uncontrollably while clinging to your chair.

Ken Block’s Gymkhana 3 Part 2:

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 22, 2012 3:25 pm

    Good blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

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