RALLYING: A SPORT LIKE NO OTHER!
There are no ovals, pace cars or rain delays. Rally
racing features real cars racing against the clock on closed-off sections of
real roads that are usually unpaved and unforgiving. Events can last several
days and cover hundreds of Kilometers through rain, snow, day or night. This
extreme test of skill, speed and endurance is what makes rally racing the
world’s premiere and most exciting motor sport, and one that is quickly
growing in Canada.
Insiders and even casual fans consider rally
drivers to be the best all around drivers on the planet. They must master
every road surface and every weather condition while possessing the
endurance and stamina needed to make it through long hours and hundreds of
Kilometers. As the old saying goes, "Circuit racers see 10 turns 1000 times
while rally drivers see 1000 turns 1 time!"
The key to a rally driver’s success is their
co-driver. Rally drivers cannot practice the course and must rely on their
navigator (or co-driver) to survive. The co-driver uses a computerized
odometer along with a supplied route book or recce notes to
communicate to the driver what lies ahead on the road. The route book
describes in detail the road ahead and includes warnings for hazards such as
cliffs, trees and junctions. Recce notes are composed by the driver and
co-driver the day before the rally as they take a reconnaissance run on the
stages and takes notes. All speed limits must be obeyed or face a fine or
disqualification Rally drivers determine what speed and angle to enter
each turn or crest in the road by listening to their co-driver's constant
Gravel logging roads, mountain passes, well
groomed forest roads - these are what make up the tracks for rally drivers.
They are temporarily closed, actual public roads on which rally drivers can
go flat out. With many events held across the country, the Canadaian
RallyChampionship has a mix of everything from ice and snow in to super
fast, smooth gravel A typical Canadain Rally Championship event
will last two days and feature over 200 Kilometers of roads split up into
competitive stages and transit sections. The competitive stages, or “special
stages” are where the action lies; these are timed sprints on roads that
vary from 5 to 35 kms. in length. The lowest cumulative time wins.
A rally car is the ultimate real world sports car;
one that is capable of high speed and incredible handling on any road
surface and in every weather condition. Fast yet strong, they must survive
hundred of kilometers and several days of torture. As an additional
challenge, all rally cars must be street legal, since they must traverse
public roads with traffic between the competitive timed sections. The
Canadaian Rally Championship features a lineup of cars that the average fan
could buy from their local dealer, including Subaru WRX STis, Hyundai
Tiborun, Mitsubishi Lancers and Evos , Ford Focuses, VW Golfs, Honda,
Toyota, and the list goes on.
Watching rally on TV is a spectacle, but
seeing it in person is an awe inspiring experience. Fans get to line the
road, mere feet from the sliding, jumping and gravel spraying action. There
is usually transportation to the spectator areas. Fans can also freely check
out the service areas where drivers and their teams repair the cars as well
as at Park Expose. Meeting your favorite driver and touching your favorite
rally car are guaranteed. Tickets? Most rally events are totally free!
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