How to Get Into Rally Car Racing Part 1

How to Get Into Rally Car Racing
How to Get Into Rally Car Racing

Rally car racing is well loved all around the world, but there is perhaps no other place on earth better suited to it than the British isles. The premise is to race around a circuit that is quite narrow, covered in mud and gravel with sharp turns, change of elevation, and limited visibility. There are variations to this of course, and rallying does happen on perfectly paved roads, but those are arguably less fun to watch. The sport amassed a very dedicated following from around the world who pretty much need no other motor sport in their lives. It is a weird sport because you don’t see cars racing each other. Everyone is racing against the clock on the same track. Some believe this eliminates a great deal of luck, as there cannot be any fowl play and the drivers don’t suffer from debris flying from under the wheels of the ones ahead. It is a pure sport of skill and focus. If you lose attention for as much as a fraction of a second, and you suddenly have a bush in your windshield.

It’s daunting, no doubt about it, but then all motor racing is. Funnily enough, even life-long enthusiasts often doubt whether it is a good idea for them to switch their decades of spectating for seat behind the wheel. They begin to doubt whether they are serious enough about the sport, which often comes from concerns about money. Motorsport is not cheap and rallying is not the cheapest option in an already expensive area. Putting five figures into a hobby is no joke for the average person. So how do you get around that mental block of not knowing whether you’re fooling yourself into a passion or not? Volunteer. Rallys are big messy events that require a lot of staff. Rally tracks are often public roads that need to be closed off, traffic needs to be redirected, local residents spoken to and informed, and the track prepared. Volunteering is the first step that takes you out of the spectator seat. Admittedly, you’re not racing yet, but you are closer to racing than ever before. Not only do you get the best view of the track, you also get access to the rally club. Volunteers are often rewarded with privileges, such as free meals and the ability to mingle with the race drivers. This is a perfect opportunity to talk to someone who also had to start it all at some point just like you, see how they think, see if you match the passion.

This will also help you decide which of the two main types of rallying you prefer – Road Rallying or Stage Rallying. Road rallies are held on paved public roads, and stage rallies on off-road tracks. While not mutually exclusive, it is best to decide which you will go for early on as it will determine the vehicle choice, rally school and application procedure. You can always do both, but beginners usually have funds for only one.