Rallying

Rally is a form of motorsport that takes place on public or private roads with modified production or specially built road-legal cars. It 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. Rallies may be won by pure speed within the stages or alternatively by driving to a predetermined ideal journey time within the stages.

Petter Solberg - 2006 Cyprus Rally
Petter Solberg driving on gravel at the 2006 Cyprus Rally, a World Rally Championship event

History

Pre-World War I era

Russo-balt s24-55 ralli monte-karlo 1
1912 Monte Carlo Rally entrant, Russo-Balt "Monako" Torpédo

The term "rally", as a branch of motorsport, probably dates from the first Monte Carlo Rally of January 1911. Until the late 1920s, few if any other events used the term.[1] Rallying itself can be traced back to the 1894 Paris–Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition (Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux), sponsored by a Paris newspaper, Le Petit Journal, which attracted considerable public interest and entries from leading manufacturers. Prizes were awarded to the vehicles by a jury based on the reports of the observers who rode in each car; the official winner was Albert Lemaître driving a 3 hp Peugeot, although the Comte de Dion had finished first but his steam powered vehicle was ineligible for the official competition.[2] This event led directly to a period of city-to-city road races in France and other European countries, which introduced many of the features found in later rallies: individual start times with cars running against the clock rather than head to head; time controls at the entry and exit points of towns along the way; road books and route notes; and driving over long distances on ordinary, mainly gravel, roads, facing hazards such as dust, traffic, pedestrians and farm animals.

The first of these great races was the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race of June 1895, won by Paul Koechlin in a Peugeot, despite arriving 11 hours after Émile Levassor in a Panhard et Levassor.[3] Levassor's time for the 1,178 km (732 mi) course, running virtually without a break, was 48 hours and 48 minutes, an average speed of 24 km/h (15 mph).[4]

From 24 September-3 October 1895, the Automobile Club de France sponsored the longest race to date, a 1,710 km (1,060 mi) event, from Bordeaux to Agen and back.[5] Because it was held in ten stages, it can be considered the first rally. The first three places were taken by a Panhard, a Panhard, and a three-wheeler De Dion-Bouton.[6]

In the Paris–Madrid race of May 1903, the Mors of Fernand Gabriel took just under five and a quarter hours for the 550 km (340 mi) to Bordeaux, an average of 105 km/h (65.3 mph). Speeds had now far outstripped the safe limits of dusty highways thronged with spectators and open to other traffic, people and animals; there were numerous crashes, many injuries and eight deaths. The French government stopped the race and banned this style of event.[7] From then on, racing in Europe (apart from Italy) would be on closed circuits, initially on long loops of public highway and then, in 1907, on the first purpose-built track, England's Brooklands.[8] Racing was going its own separate way.

One of the earliest of road races, the Tour de France of 1899, was to have a long history, running 18 times as a reliability trial between 1906 and 1937, before being revived in 1951 by the Automobile Club de Nice.[9]

Italy had been running road competitions since 1895, when a reliability trial was run from Turin to Asti and back. The country's first true motor race was held in 1897 along the shore of Lake Maggiore, from Arona to Stresa and back.[10] This led to a long tradition of road racing, including events like Sicily's Targa Florio (from 1906[11]) and Giro di Sicilia (Tour of Sicily, 1914), which went right round the island,[12] both of which continued on and off until after World War II. The first Alpine event was held in 1898, the Austrian Touring Club's three-day Automobile Run through South Tyrol, which included the infamous Stelvio Pass.[13]

In Britain, the legal maximum speed of 12 mph (19 km/h) precluded road racing, but in April and May 1900, the Automobile Club of Great Britain (the forerunner of the Royal Automobile Club) organised the Thousand Mile Trial, a 15-day event linking Britain's major cities, in order to promote this novel form of transport. Seventy vehicles took part, the majority of them trade entries. They had to complete thirteen stages of route varying in length from 43 to 123 miles (69 to 198 km) at average speeds of up to the legal limit of 12 mph (19 km/h), and tackle six hillclimb or speed tests. On rest days and at lunch halts, the cars were shown to the public in exhibition halls.[14] This was followed in 1901 by a five-day trial based in Glasgow[15] The Scottish Automobile Club organised an annual Glasgow–London non-stop trial from 1902 to 1904, then the Scottish Reliability Trial from 1905.[16] The Motor Cycling Club allowed cars to enter its trials and runs from 1904 (London–Edinburgh, London–Land's End, London–Exeter—all still in being as mud-plugging classic trials).[16] In 1908 the Royal Automobile Club held its 2,000 mi (3,200 km) International Touring Car Trial,[17] and 1914 the important Light Car Trial for manufacturers of cars up to 1400 cc, to test comparative performances and improve the breed.[18] In 1924, the exercise was repeated as the Small Car Trials.[19]

In Germany, the Herkomer Trophy was first held in 1905, and again in 1906. This challenging five-day event attracted over 100 entrants to tackle its 1,000 km (620 mi) road section, a hillclimb and a speed trial, but sadly it was marred by poor organisation and confusing regulations.[20] One participant had been Prince Henry of Austria, who was inspired to do better, so he enlisted the aid of the Imperial Automobile Club of Germany to create the first Prinz Heinrich Fahrt (Prince Henry Trial) in 1908. Another trial was held in 1910. These were very successful, attracting top drivers and works cars from major teams – several manufacturers added "Prince Henry" models to their ranges.[21] The first Alpine Trial was held in 1909, in Austria; by 1914, this was the toughest event of its kind, producing a star performance from Britain's James Radley in his Rolls-Royce Alpine Eagle.[22]

Then in 1911 came the first Monte Carlo Rally (later known colloquially as "the Monte"), organised by a group of wealthy locals who formed the "Sport Automobile Vélocipédique Monégasque" and bankrolled by the "Société des Bains de Mer" (the "sea bathing company"), the operators of the famous casino who were keen to attract wealthy sporting motorists.[23] The competitive elements were slight, but getting to Monaco in winter was a challenge in itself. A second event was held in 1912.

Two ultra long distance challenges took place at this time. The Peking-Paris of 1907 was not officially a competition, but a "raid", the French term for an expedition or collective endeavour whose promoters, the newspaper "Le Matin", rather optimistically expected participants to help each other; it was 'won' by Prince Scipione Borghese, Luigi Barzini, and Ettore Guizzardi in an Itala.[24] The New York–Paris of the following year, which went via Japan and Siberia, was won by George Schuster and others in a Thomas Flyer.[25] Each event attracted only a handful of adventurous souls, but in both cases the successful drivers exhibited characteristics modern rally drivers would recognise: meticulous preparation, mechanical skill, resourcefulness, perseverance and a certain single-minded ruthlessness. The New York–Seattle race of 1909, if shorter, was no easier. Rather gentler (and more akin to modern rallying) was the Glidden Tour, run by the American Automobile Association between 1902 and 1913, which had timed legs between control points and a marking system to determine the winners.[26]

Interwar years

The First World War brought a lull to rallying. The Monte Carlo Rally was not resuscitated until 1924, but since then, apart from World War II and its aftermath, it has been an annual event and remains a regular round of the World Rally Championship. In the 1930s, helped by the tough winters, it became the premier European rally, attracting 300 or more participants.[27]

In the 1920s, numerous variations on the Alpine theme sprang up in Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany. The most important of these were Austria's Alpenfahrt, which continued into its 44th edition in 1973, Italy's Coppa delle Alpi, and the Coupe Internationale des Alpes (International Alpine Trial), organised jointly by the automobile clubs of Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and, latterly, France. This last event, run from 1928 to 1936, attracted strong international fields vying for an individual Glacier Cup or a team Alpine Cup, including successful Talbot, Riley, MG and Triumph teams from Britain and increasingly strong and well funded works representation from Adolf Hitler's Germany, keen to prove its engineering and sporting prowess with successful marques like Adler, Wanderer and Trumpf.[28]

The French started their own Rallye des Alpes Françaises in 1932, which continued after World War II as the Rallye International des Alpes, the name often shortened to Coupe des Alpes.[29] Other important rallies started between the wars included Britain's RAC Rally (1932)[30] and Belgium's Liège-Rome-Liège or just Liège, officially called "Le Marathon de la Route" (1931),[31] two events of radically different character; the former a gentle tour between cities from various start points, "rallying" at a seaside resort with a series of manoeuvrability and car control tests; the latter a thinly disguised road race over some of Europe's toughest mountain roads.

In Ireland, the first Ulster Motor Rally (1931) was run from multiple starting points. After several years in this format, it transitioned into the 1,000-mile (1,600 km) Circuit of Ireland Rally.[32] In Italy, Benito Mussolini's government encouraged motorsport of all kinds and facilitated road racing, so the sport quickly restarted after World War I. In 1927 the Mille Miglia (Thousand Mile) was founded, run over a 1,000-mile (1,600 km) loop of highways from Brescia to Rome and back. It continued in this form until 1938.[33]

The Liège of August 1939 was the last major event before World War II. Belgium's Jean Trasenster (Bugatti) and France's Jean Trevoux (Hotchkiss) tied for first place, denying the German works teams shortly before their countries were overrun.[34] This was one of five Liège wins for Trasenster; Trevoux won four Montes between 1934 and 1951.

Post-World War II years

Osmo Kalpala - 1956 Rally Finland.jpeg
Osmo Kalpala servicing his car (a DKW F93) during the 1956 Jyväskylän Suurajot, now known as Rally Finland

Rallying was again slow to get under way after a major war, but the 1950s were the Golden Age of the long-distance road rally. In Europe, the Monte Carlo Rally, the French and Austrian Alpines, and the Liège were joined by a host of new events that quickly established themselves as classics: the Lisbon Rally (Portugal, 1947), the Tulip Rally (the Netherlands, 1949), the Rally to the Midnight Sun (Sweden, 1951, now the Swedish Rally), the Rally of the 1000 Lakes (Finland, 1951 – now the Rally Finland), and the Acropolis Rally (Greece, 1956).[35] The RAC Rally gained International status on its return in 1951, but for 10 years its emphasis on map-reading navigation and short manoevrability tests made it unpopular with foreign crews.[36] The FIA created in 1953 a European Rally Championship (at first called the "Touring Championship") of eleven events; it was first won by Helmut Polensky of Germany. This was the premier international championship until 1973, when the FIA created the World Rally Championship for Manufacturers, won that first year by Alpine-Renault. Not until 1979 was there a World Rally Championship for Drivers, won that year by Björn Waldegård.

Initially, most of the major postwar rallies were fairly gentlemanly, but the organisers of the French Alpine and the Liège (which moved its turning point from Rome into Yugoslavia in 1956) straight away set difficult time schedules: the Automobile Club de Marseille et Provence laid on a long tough route over a succession of rugged passes, stated that cars would have to be driven flat out from start to finish, and gave a coveted Coupe des Alpes ("Alpine Cup") to anyone achieving an unpenalised run;[37] while Belgium's Royal Motor Union made clear no car was expected to finish the Liège unpenalised – when one did (1951 winner Johnny Claes in a Jaguar XK120) they tightened the timing to make sure it never happened again.[38] These two events became the ones for "the men" to do. The Monte, because of its glamour, got the media coverage and the biggest entries (and in snowy years was also a genuine challenge); while the Acropolis took advantage of Greece's appalling roads to become a truly tough event.[39] In 1956 came Corsica's Tour de Corse, 24 hours of virtually non-stop flat out driving on some of the narrowest and twistiest mountain roads on the planet – the first major rally to be won by a woman, Belgium's Gilberte Thirion, in a Renault Dauphine.[40]

The Liège continued as uncompromisingly an open road event run to an impossible time schedule, and remained Europe's toughest rally until 1964, by which time it had turned to the wilds of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria to find traffic-free roads; but in the end the pressures were irresistible.[41] The Coupe des Alpes struggled on until 1973 until it too succumbed, its demise no doubt hastened by the decision of the French motor sporting authorities to select the Tour de Corse as its representative event in international rally championships.[42]

These events were road races in all but name, but in Italy such races were still allowed, and the Mille Miglia continued until a serious accident in 1957 caused it to be banned.[43] Meanwhile, in 1981, the Tour de France was revived by the Automobile-Club de Nice as a different kind of rally, based primarily on a series of races at circuits and hillclimbs around the country.[44] It was successful for a while and continued until 1986. It spawned similar events in a few other countries, but none survive.

Rallying became very popular in Sweden and Finland in the 1950s, thanks in part to the invention there of the specialsträcka (Swedish) or erikoiskoe (Finnish), or special stage: shorter sections of route, usually on minor or private roads—predominantly gravel in these countries—away from habitation and traffic, which were separately timed.[45][46] These at long last provided the solution to the conflict inherent in the notion of driving as fast as possible on ordinary roads. The idea spread to other countries, albeit more slowly to the most demanding events.

Jari-Matti Latvala-2007 Wales Rally GB 001
Jari-Matti Latvala on the muddy gravel roads of the 2007 Wales Rally GB.

The RAC Rally had formally become an International event in 1951, but Britain's laws precluded the closure of public highways for special stages. This meant it had to rely on short manoeuvrability tests, regularity sections and night map-reading navigation to find a winner, which made it unattractive to foreign crews. In 1961, Jack Kemsley was able to persuade the Forestry Commission to open their many hundreds of miles of well surfaced and sinuous gravel roads, and the event was transformed into one of the most demanding and popular in the calendar, by 1983 having over 600 miles (970 km) of stage.[47] It is now called Rally GB.

Rallying also took off in Spain and Portugal and by the 1960s had spread to their colonial territories in the mid-Atlantic. By the end of the 1960s events had not only begun in Madeira and the Canary Islands, but also on the far-flung Azores.

Outside Europe

EAS1973
Checkpoint during the 1973 Safari Rally

In countries where there was no shortage of demanding roads across remote terrain, other events sprang up. In South America, the biggest of these took the form of long distance city to city races, each of around 5,000 to 6,000 miles (8,000–9,500 km), divided into daily legs. The first was the Gran Premio del Norte of 1940, run from Buenos Aires to Lima and back; it was won by Juan Manuel Fangio in a much modified Chevrolet coupé.[48] This event was repeated in 1947, and in 1948 an even more ambitious one was held, the Gran Premio de la América del Sur from Buenos Aires to Caracas, Venezuela—Fangio had an accident in which his co-driver was killed.[49] Then in 1950 came the fast and dangerous Carrera Panamericana, a 1,911-mile (3,075 km) road race in stages across Mexico to celebrate the opening of the asphalt highway between the Guatemala and United States borders, which ran until 1954.[50] All these events fell victim to the cost – financial, social and environmental – of putting them on in an increasingly complex and developed world, although smaller road races continued long after, and a few still do in countries like Bolivia.

In Africa, 1950 saw the first French-run Méditerranée-le Cap, a 10,000-mile (16,000 km) rally from the Mediterranean to South Africa; it was run on and off until 1961, when the new political situation hastened its demise.[51] In 1953 East Africa saw the demanding Coronation Safari, which went on to become the Safari Rally and a World Championship round,[52] to be followed in due course by the Rallye du Maroc and the Rallye Côte d'Ivoire. Australia's Redex Round Australia Trial also dates from 1953, although this remained isolated from the rest of the rallying world.[53]

Canada hosted one of the world's longest and most gruelling rallies in the 1960s, the Shell 4000 Rally. It was also the only one sanctioned by FIA in North America.[1][54]

Intercontinental rallying

The quest for longer and tougher events saw the re-establishment of the intercontinental rallies beginning with the London–Sydney Marathon held in 1968. The rally trekked across Europe, the Middle-East and the sub-continent before boarding a ship in Bombay to arrive in Fremantle eight days later before the final push across Australia to Sydney. The huge success of this event saw the creation of the World Cup Rallies, linked to Association Football's FIFA World Cup. The first was the 1970 London to Mexico World Cup Rally which saw competitors travel from London eastwards across to Bulgaria before turning westwards on a more southerly route before boarding a ship in Lisbon. Disembarking in Rio de Janeiro the route travelled southward into Argentina before turning northwards along the western coast of South America before arriving in Mexico City.

The 1974 London-Sahara-Munich World Cup Rally followed four years later. The rally travelled southwards into Africa but a navigational error saw most of the rally become lost in Algerian desert. Eventually only seven teams reached the southernmost point of the rally in Nigeria with five teams making it back to West Germany having driven all legs and only the winning team completing the full distance. This, coupled with the economic climate of the 1970s the heat went out of intercontinental rallying after a second London–Sydney Marathon in 1977. The concept though was revived in 1979 for the original Paris-Dakar Rally. The success of the Dakar would eventually see intercontinental rallying recognised as its own discipline; the Rally Raid.

Modern times

The introduction of the special stage brought rallying effectively into the modern era. It placed a premium on fast driving, and enabled healthy programmes of smaller events to spring up in Britain, France, Scandinavia, Belgium and elsewhere.

Since then, the nature of the events themselves has evolved relatively slowly. The increasing costs, both of organization and of competing, as well as safety concerns, have, over the last twenty years, brought progressively shorter rallies, shorter stages and the elimination of nighttime running, scornfully referred to as "office hours rallying" by older hands. Some of the older international events have gone, replaced by others from a much wider spread of countries around the world, until today rallying is truly a worldwide sport. At the same time, fields have shrunk dramatically, as the amateur in his near-standard car is squeezed out.

Gruelling long distance events continued to be run. In 1967, a group of American offroaders created the Mexican 1000 Rally, a tough 1,000-mile race for cars and motorcycles which ran the length of the Baja California peninsula, much of it initially over roadless desert, which quickly gained fame as the Baja 1000, today run by the SCORE organization.[55] "Baja" events now take place in a number of other countries worldwide.

1968 brought the first of a series of British-organised intercontinental rallies, the Daily Express London-Sydney Marathon, which attracted over 100 crews including a number of works teams and top drivers; it was won by the Hillman Hunter of Andrew Cowan/Brian Coyle/Colin Malkin.[56] Not to be outdone, the rival Daily Mirror sponsored in 1970 the London-Mexico World Cup Rally, linking the stadia of two successive football World Cups, on a route that crossed Europe to Bulgaria and back before shipping out from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro, after looping around South America, and a run through some of the most frightening sections of Peru's road race, the Caminos del Inca, they wrap it up being shipped to Panama and a final run up Central America. The Ford Escort of Hannu Mikkola and Gunnar Palm won.[57] These were followed in 1974 by the London-Sahara-Munich World Cup Rally,[58] and in 1977 by the Singapore Airlines London-Sydney Rally.[59]

In 1979, a young Frenchman, Thierry Sabine, founded an institution when he organised the first "rallye-raid" from Paris to Dakar, in Senegal, the event now called the Dakar Rally. From amateur beginnings it quickly became a massive commercial circus catering for cars, motorcycles and trucks, and spawned other similar events.[60] Since 2008, it has been held in South America.

Rally car evolution

Timo Mäkinen - 1965 Rally Finland (cropped)
Timo Mäkinen drives the Mini Cooper S to first of three wins in the 1000 Lakes Rally. Mini also won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964, 1965 and 1967.

The main change over that period has been in the cars, and in the professionalisation and commercialisation of the sport. Manufacturers had entered works cars in rallies, and in their forerunner and cousin events, from the very beginning: the 1894 Paris-Rouen was mainly a competition between them, while the Thousand Mile Trial of 1900 had more trade than private entries.

Although there had been exceptions like the outlandish Ford V8 specials created by the Romanians for the 1936 Monte Carlo Rally, rallies before World War II had tended to be for standard or near-standard production cars, a rule supported by manufacturers because it created a relatively even playing field. After the war, most competing cars were production saloons or sports cars, with only minor modifications to improve performance, handling, braking and suspension. This kept costs down and allowed many more people to afford the sport using ordinary family cars, so entry lists grew into the hundreds.

As public interest grew, car companies started to introduce special models or variants for rallying, such as the British Motor Corporation's highly successful Mini Cooper, introduced in 1962, and its successor the Mini Cooper S (1963), developed by the Cooper Car Company. Shortly after, Ford of Britain first hired Lotus to create a high-performance version of their Cortina family car, then in 1968 launched the Escort Twin Cam, one of the most successful rally cars of its era.[61] Similarly, Abarth developed high performance versions of Fiats 124 roadster and 131 saloon.

Other manufacturers were not content with modifying their 'bread-and-butter' cars. Renault bankrolled the small volume sports-car maker Alpine to transform their little A110 Berlinette coupé into a world-beating rally car, and hired a skilled team of drivers too; then in 1974 came the Lancia Stratos, the first car designed from scratch to win rallies, and the dominant asphalt rally car of its time. These makers overcame the rules of FISA (as the FIA was called at the time) by building the requisite number of these models for the road.

In 1980, a German car maker, Audi, at that time not noted for their interest in rallying, introduced a rather large and heavy coupé version of their family saloon, installed a turbocharged 2.1 litre five-cylinder engine, and fitted it with four-wheel drive. Thus the Audi Quattro was born. International regulations had prohibited four-wheel drive; but FISA accepted that this was a genuine production car, and changed the rules. The Quattro quickly became the car to beat on snow, ice or gravel; and in 1983 took Hannu Mikkola to the World Rally Championship title. Other manufacturers had no production four-wheel drive car on which to base their response, so FISA was persuaded to change the rules, and open the Championship to cars in Group B. This allowed cars to be much further removed from production models, and so was created a generation of rallying supercars, of which the most radical and impressive were the Peugeot 205 T16, Renault 5 Turbo and the Lancia Delta S4, with flimsy fibreglass bodies roughly the shape of the standard car tacked onto lightweight spaceframe chassis, four-wheel drive, and power outputs reportedly as high as 600 hp (450 kW). Further Group B cars were developed by Ford (the RS200), British Leyland (the Metro 6R4) and many others, but these were less successful.

This particular era was not to last. On the 1986 Rallye de Portugal, four spectators were killed; then in May, on the Tour de Corse, Henri Toivonen went over the edge of a mountain road and was incinerated in the fireball that followed. FISA immediately changed the rules again: rallying after 1987 would be in Group A cars, closer to the production model. One notably successful car during this period was the Lancia Delta Integrale, dominating world rallying during 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991 and 1992 – winning six consecutive world rally championships, a feat yet unbeaten.

Drivers

Sebastien Loeb
Sébastien Loeb, the world's most successful rally driver in terms of WRC wins

Most of the works drivers of the 1950s were amateurs, paid little or nothing, reimbursed their expenses and given bonuses for winning (although there were certainly exceptions, such as the Grand Prix drivers who were brought in for some events). Then in 1960 came arguably the first rallying superstar (and one of the first to be paid to rally full-time), Sweden's Erik Carlsson, driving for Saab.

In the 1960s, the competitions manager of BMC, Stuart Turner, hired a series of brave and gifted young Finns, skills honed on their country's highly competitive gravel or snow rallies, and the modern professional driver was born. As special stage rallying spread around the world Scandinavian drivers were challenged by drivers from Italy, Germany, Britain, Spain and elsewhere. Today, a World Champion may be of any nationality.

The World Rally Championship now visits nearly all continents, taking its stylish sideways driving style and specialized cars to a vast global market, estimated by some to be second only to the Formula One juggernaut. This has produced unprecedented levels of visibility in recent years, but in many ways removed the motorsport from its grassroots past. For better or worse, rally has become a lucrative business.

Rally types

Chris Atkinson - 2006 Rally Japan
Spectators along a special stage watch Chris Atkinson drive past in a Subaru Impreza WRC.

There are two main forms: stage rallies and road rallies. Since the 1960s, stage rallies have been the professional branch of the sport. They are based on straightforward speed over stretches of road closed to other traffic. These may vary from asphalt mountain passes to rough forest tracks, from ice and snow to desert sand, each chosen to provide an enjoyable challenge for the crew and a test of the car's performance and reliability.

The entertaining and unpredictable nature of the stages, and the fact that the vehicles are in some cases closely related to road cars, means that the bigger events draw massive spectator interest, especially in Europe, Asia and Oceania.

Wilson Escort
An Escort RS Cosworth on a stage rally, driven by British driver Malcolm Wilson

Road rallies are the original form, held on highways open to normal traffic, where the emphasis is not on outright speed but on accurate timekeeping and navigation and on vehicle reliability, often on difficult roads and over long distances. They are now primarily amateur events. There are several types of road rallies testing accuracy, navigation or problem solving. Some common types are: Regularity rally or a Time-Speed-Distance rally (also TSD rally, testing ability to stay on track and on time),[62] others are Monte-Carlo styles (Monte Carlo, Pan Am, Pan Carlo, Continental) rally (testing navigation and timing), and various Gimmick rally types (testing logic and observation).

Many early rallies were called trials, and a few still are, although this term is now mainly applied to the specialist form of motor sport of climbing as far as you can up steep and slippery hills. And many meets or assemblies of car enthusiasts and their vehicles are still called rallies, even if they involve merely the task of getting there (often on a trailer).

Rallying is a very popular sport at the "grass roots" of motorsport—that is, motor clubs. Individuals interested in becoming involved in rallying are encouraged to join their local automotive clubs. Club rallies (e.g. road rallies or regularity rallies) are usually run on public roads with an emphasis on navigation and teamwork. These skills are important fundamentals required for anyone who wishes to progress to higher-level events. (See Categories of rallies.) Short special stage practice events on public roads are in some countries organized by the local clubs, with a permission of the local police, the community normally using the road, and the road authority. The public road is closed during these by the organisers or the police.

Rally courses

François Duval - 2007 Rallye Deutschland
François Duval takes a hairpin turn on an asphalt-based special stage in Germany.

Rallying is also 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 from bitter cold to monsoonal rain. 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.

Grönholm vs. Loeb
Marcus Grönholm and Sébastien Loeb compete on a gravel-based super special stage in Argentina.

A typical rally course consists of a sequence of relatively short (up to about 50 km (31 mi)), timed "special stages" where the actual competition takes place, and untimed "transport stages" where the rally cars must be driven under their own power to the next competitive stage within a generous time limit. Rally cars are thus unlike virtually any other top-line racing cars in that they retain the ability to run at normal driving speeds, and indeed are registered for street travel. Some events contain "super special stages" where two competing cars set off on two parallel tracks (often small enough to fit in a football stadium), giving the illusion they are circuit racing head to head. Run over a day, a weekend, or more, the winner of the event has the lowest combined special and super special stage times. Given the short distances of super special stages compared to the regular special stages and consequent near-identical times for the frontrunning cars, it is very rare for these spectator-oriented stages to decide rally results, though it is a well-known axiom that a team cannot win the rally at the super special, but they can certainly lose it.

Pacenotes and reconnaissance

Pacenotes are a unique and major tool in modern rallying. Television spectators will occasionally notice the voice of a co-driver in mid-race reading the pacenotes over the car's internal intercom. These pacenotes provide a detailed description of the course and allow the driver to predict conditions ahead and prepare for various course conditions such as turns and jumps.

In many rallies, including those of the World Rally Championship (WRC), drivers are allowed to run on the stages of the course before competition and create their own pacenotes. This process is called reconnaissance or recce. During reconnaissance, the co-driver writes down shorthand notes (the pacenotes) on how to best drive the stage. Usually the drivers call out the turns and road conditions for the co-drivers to write down. These pacenotes are read aloud through an internal intercom system during the actual race, allowing the driver to anticipate the upcoming terrain and thus take the course as fast as possible.

Other rallies provide organizer-created "route notes" also referred to as "stage notes" and disallow reconnaissance and use of other pacenotes. These notes are usually created using a predetermined pacenote format, from which a co-driver can optionally add comments or transpose into other pacenote notations. Many North American rallies do not conduct reconnaissance but provide stage notes through the use of the Jemba Inertia Notes System, due to time and budget constraints.[63]

In the past, most rally courses were not allowed to be scanned prior to the race, and the co-drivers used only maps supplied by the organization. The exact route of the rally often remained secret until race day. Modern rallies have mostly converted to using organizer-supplied notes or allowing full reconnaissance, as opposed to racing the stages blindly. This change has been brought on in large part due to competitor demand.

Historic rallying

Peter Rally1
A Saab 96 participates in a historic rally.

In the wake of the ever more advanced rally cars of the 21st century is a trend towards historic rallying (also known as classic rallying), in which older cars compete under older rules.[64][65] This is a popular sport and even attracts some previous drivers back into the sport. Many who enter, however, have started their competition careers in historic rallying.

Film

In February 2015, The National Film & Television School in England premiered one of their graduating films called "Group B" directed by ex-rally driver Nick Rowland. The film, set during the last year of the Group B class of rally tells the story of a young driver having to face a difficult comeback after a 'long and troubled absence'. The young driver is played by Scottish actor Richard Madden, and his co-driver played by Northern Irish actor Michael Smiley.

The film features Group B class cars such as Ford RS200, Opel Manta and Tony Pond's MG Metro 6R4. The stunt driving in the film has been attributed to Rally America champion David Higgins.[66]

Rally driving techniques

See also

References

  1. ^ Robson, Graham. An Illustrated History of Rallying (Osprey Publishing, 1981), p.7.
  2. ^ Rose, Gerald (1909). A Record of Motor Racing 1894–1908 (1949 facsimile ed.). Royal Automobile Club. p. 1.
  3. ^ "Ces merveilleux fous roulants sur leurs drôles de machines". Le Figaro (in French). 9 July 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  4. ^ Rose, G. 1909, p 19
  5. ^ Grand Prix History online (retrieved 11 June 2017)
  6. ^ Grand Prix History online (retrieved 11 June 2017)
  7. ^ Rose, G 1909 p 177
  8. ^ Boddy, William: "The History of Brooklands Motor Course", page 11. Grenville, 1957.
  9. ^ Louche, Maurice. Le Tour de France Automobile 1899–1986. Maurice Louche 1987
  10. ^ Jones, Chris. Road Race (George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1977), p.22.
  11. ^ Jones, p.31
  12. ^ Jones, p.39
  13. ^ Pfundner, Martin. Die Alpenfahrt 1910–1973 (Böhlau Verlag, 2005), p.9.
  14. ^ Bennett, Elizabeth. Thousand Mile Trial. Elizabeth Bennett, 2000.
  15. ^ Cowbourne, Donald. British Trial Drivers, Their Cars, Motorcycles and Awards 1902–1914 (Westbury Publishing 2003), p.275.
  16. ^ a b Cowbourne 2005 p 279
  17. ^ Cowbourne 2005 p 374
  18. ^ Cowbourne 2005 p 422
  19. ^ Cowbourne, Donald. British Trial Drivers, Their Cars and Awards 1919–1928 (Smith Settle, 2001), p.416.
  20. ^ Robson, p.17.
  21. ^ Robson, p.20.
  22. ^ Robson, p.21
  23. ^ Louche, Maurice. Le Rallye Monte-Carlo au XXe Siècle (Maurice Louche, 2001), p.25.
  24. ^ Andrews, Allen. The Mad Motorists: The Great Peking–Paris Race of '07 (Harrap, 1964), p.16.
  25. ^ Schuster, George, with Mahoney, Tom. The Longest Auto Race (John Day Company, 1966), p.11.
  26. ^ Villard, Henry Serrano. The Great Road Races 1894–1914 (Arthur Barker Ltd, 1972), p.124.
  27. ^ Louche 2001 pp.44–79 & 377–384.
  28. ^ Pfundner 2005, p.45
  29. ^ Pfundner 2005, p.81
  30. ^ Hamilton, Maurice. RAC Rally (Partridge Press, 1987), p.9.
  31. ^ Delsaux, Jean-Paul. Marathon de la Route 1931/1971 (Jean-Paul Delsaux, 1991), p.7.
  32. ^ Hamill, Sammy. The Circuit of Ireland Rally: Fifty Years On (Tudor, 1981)", p.10.
  33. ^ Lurani, Giovanni. La Storia della Mille Miglia (De Agostini, 1979), p.7.
  34. ^ Delsaux 1991, p.27
  35. ^ Robson, p.45.
  36. ^ Hamilton 1987, p.17
  37. ^ Robson, p.46
  38. ^ Robson, p.55
  39. ^ Robson, p.55.
  40. ^ Louche, Maurice. Le Tour de Corse Automobile 1956–1986 (Maurice Louche, 1989), p.26.
  41. ^ Delsaux
  42. ^ Pfundner 2005 p 180
  43. ^ Lurani 1979, p.165
  44. ^ Louche 1989, p.56
  45. ^ Tunberg, Anders, and Haventon, Peter. Full fart genom Sverige: Svenska Rallyt 50 år (Full speed through Sweden: 50 years of the Swedish Rally). Bienen & Haventon, 2000.
  46. ^ Mäkinen, Marko, and Rauhala, Samuli. Finnish Grand Prix: 50 years of rallying (UserCom Finland Oy, 2001), p.9.
  47. ^ Hamilton 1987 p 30
  48. ^ Fangio, Juan Manuel, with Carozzo, Roberto. Fangio: My Racing Life (Patrick Stephens Ltd, 1990), p.50.
  49. ^ Fangio and Carozzo, p.92
  50. ^ Murphy, Daryl E: "Carrera Panamericana: History of the Mexican Road Race, 1950-54", page 12. iUniverse Inc.,2nd edition 2008.
  51. ^ Fromentin, Pierre: "16.000 km à travers l'Afrique", page 1. Plon, 1954.
  52. ^ Barnard, Roger: "Safari Rally: The First 40 Years", page 10. Westholme Publishing, 1992.
  53. ^ Tuckey, Bill, and Floyd, Thomas B: "Gregorys 25 Years of Around Australia Trials: From Redex to Repco", page 33. Gregory's Publishing 1979.
  54. ^ British Columbia Trans-Canada and Shell 4000 Rally history project shell-4000-rally.org, accessed 4 January 2019
  55. ^ Fiolka, Marty: "1000 Miles to Glory: The History of the Baja 1000", page 35. David Bull 2005.
  56. ^ Brittan, Nick: "Marathon: Around the world in a cloud of dust". Motor Racing Publications, 1969.
  57. ^ Hudson-Evans, Richard, and Robson, Graham: "The Big Drive: The Book of the World Cup Rally 1970". Speed & Sports Publications, 1970.
  58. ^ Green, Evan: "A Boot Full of Right Arms: Adventures in the London-Sahara-Munich Rally and other Motoring Marathons", Cassell Australia 1975.
  59. ^ Stathatos, John. The Long Drive: The Story of the Singapore Airlines London-Sydney Rally. Pelham 1978.
  60. ^ Jones, Dot & Jim. Dakar: The Challenge of the Desert (Dinefwr, 2003), p.14.
  61. ^ "Veloce Books". veloce.co.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  62. ^ TSD Rally Retrieved 13 August 2006
  63. ^ Rallying Glossary Retrieved 13 August 2006.
  64. ^ UK HRCR's Historic Road Rally Retrieved 13 August 2006
  65. ^ Historic Rally Association (Australia) Retrieved 13 August 2006
  66. ^ Jalopnik Film Festival- Robb Stark Races In Rallying's Deadliest Era In New Film Group B films.jalopnik.com, accessed 4 January 2019

External links

2005 Wales Rally GB

The 2005 Wales Rally GB (formally known as 61st Wales Rally of Great Britain) was a rallying autosports race held over four days between 15 September and 18 September 2005, and operated out of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. It was the 12th race of the 2005 World Rally Championship (WRC) season. Contested over 15 stages, Petter Solberg won the race for the Subaru World Rally Team. François Duval finished second for the Citroën World Rally Team, with Sébastien Loeb third in the other Citroën.

This rally saw the death of Markko Märtin's co-driver Michael Park of Team Peugeot Total after Märtin's 307 lost control and traction, causing it to go off-road and crash into a tree at Stage 15 of the rally.

2015 Rally Finland

The 2015 Rally Finland (65th Neste Oil Rally Finland) was the eighth round of the 2015 World Rally Championship season, the top international rallying competition. It was held around Jyväskylä, Finland from 30 July to 2 August 2015. Jari-Matti Latvala won the rally, his third victory in his home country of Finland.

Co-driver

A co-driver is the navigator of a rally car in the sport of rallying, who sits in the front passenger seat. The co-driver's job is to navigate, commonly by reading off a set of pacenotes to the driver, but other competitions require map interpretation. In stage rallying communication is often over a radio headset, due to the high level of noise in the car. The co-driver tells the driver what lies ahead, where to turn, the severity of the turn, and what obstacles to look out for, and any incidents or accidents that may have occurred further ahead in the stage. This role is particularly critical in high-end rally competitions such as WRC. Co-drivers are also often called on to perform maintenance on the car during road sections and special stages, such as changing a wheel.

European Rally Championship

The European Rally Championship (officially FIA European Rally Championship) is an automobile rally competition held annually on the European continent and organized by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

The championship has been organized since 1953 and have disputed in different European countries, alternating between rallies on asphalt and gravel. It was the first supranational rally championship that was organized in the world and therefore the oldest one. In 2012 it had 60 editions and in 2013 its was renewed with the merger with the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

Group 3 (racing)

The Group 3 racing class referred to a set of regulations for Grand Touring Cars competing in sportscar racing and rallying events regulated by the FIA. These regulations were active, in various forms, from 1957 to 1981

Group A

Group A was a set of motorsport regulations introduced by FIA covering production-derived vehicles intended for outright competition in Touring car racing and Rallying. In contrast to the short-lived Group B and Group C, the Group A referred to production-derived vehicles limited in terms of power, weight, allowed technology and overall cost. Group A was aimed at ensuring a large number of privately owned entries in races.

Group A was introduced by the FIA in 1982 to replace the outgoing Group 2 as "modified touring cars", while Group N would replace Group 1 as "standard touring cars". The FIA continued to promulgate regulations for Group A Touring Cars until at least 1993, and the category survived in domestic championships until 1994. However, Group A is still used as the basis for most rally competitions around the world.

Group N

In relation to motorsport governed by the FIA, Group N referred to a set of regulations providing 'standard' production vehicles for competition, often referred to as the "Showroom Class".

This contrasted with the Group A all-out competition production-derived vehicles. Group N cars are limited in terms of modifications made from standard specification. Group N was introduced by the FIA in 1982 to replace the outgoing Group 1 as "standard touring cars".

To qualify for homologation, a minimum of 2500 cars of the competing model had to be built in one year, out of 25,000 for the entire range of the model (e.g.: 2500 Subaru Impreza WRX, out of 25,000 Subaru Impreza).

The Group N regulations were officially replaced in 2013. No new cars will be homologated under Group A or Group N regulations, and instead existing cars are reclassified according to Group R rules (specifically the R4 class). The R4 class itself will be gradually phased out.In 2015, the FIA realigned the rally classes yet again, finalizing the phase-out of R4. A new class, NR4 has been added, and is identical to the previous Group N class, just with a new name to fit in with the other "R" names. R4 cars are now not allowed in FIA sanctioned rallies in Europe, but since R4 was basically a transition group for old Group N, many of those could likely be re-homologated as NR4.

Lancia

Lancia (Italian: [ˈlantʃa]) was an Italian automobile manufacturer founded in 1906 by Vincenzo Lancia as Lancia & C.. It became part of the Fiat Group in 1969; the current company, Lancia Automobiles, was established in 2007.

The company has a strong rally heritage and is noted for using letters of the Greek alphabet for its model names.

Lancia vehicles are no longer sold outside Italy and comprise only the Ypsilon supermini range, as the late Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne foreshadowed in January 2014 until his death in 2018.

Lancia in rallying

Italian car manufacturer Lancia participated in top-level rallying until 1992, winning sixteen World Rally Championship titles.

Marc Martí

Marc Martí Moreno (born 1 October 1966) is a Spanish rally co-driver.

Nazir Hoosein

Nazir Hoosein is an Indian racing driver and motorsport administrator. He is the current President of the Motorsports Association of India, Vice President of the FIA for Sport, chief steward of the World Rally Championship and a member of the World Motor Sport Council.In 1980 Hoosein founded the Himalayan Rally Association and started the Himalayan Rally, run through the world's highest mountains in the north of India. He founded the Indian Automotive Racing Club as he was unhappy with the way that motorsport was organised in India, and then helped in the forming of the Federation of Motor Sport Clubs of India (FMSCI). He became President of the FMSCI in 1984.In 1988 Hoosein organised the Great Desert-Himalaya Rally, which ran from the Thar Desert of Rajasthan through the Shivalik hills, Himachal and Ladakh. The event ended in Srinagar.In 1993, Hoosein was elected to the World Motor Sport Council; however, in 1999 the FMSCI decided that it no longer wanted Hoosein to be their representative to the FIA. This led to Hoosein forming the Motorsports Association of India (MAI) in opposition to the FMSCI. Hoosein is an ally of FIA President Max Mosley, and assisted Mosley in gaining votes from the Asian members of the FIA throughout the 1990s. The FIA decided in 2000 that MAI should be recognised as motor sport's governing body in India. However, the Indian government refused to recognise the MAI, which meant that Hoosein was unable to represent India at the FIA. A deal was completed allowing Hoosein to be a member of the World Motor Sport Council representing People's Republic of China.Hoosein was elected a Vice President of the FIA for Sport in 2005 as a member of the candidacy list of Max Mosley, who was re-elected as President of the FIA. The following year he was appointed as the chief steward of the World Rally Championship, a position he still holds. He has previously been a race steward for Formula One events.

Ove Andersson

Ove Andersson (3 January 1938 – 11 June 2008), nicknamed Påven ("the Pope"), was a Swedish rally driver and the first head of Toyota's F1 programme.

Rally 'round the flag effect

The rally 'round the flag effect (or syndrome) is a concept used in political science and international relations to explain increased short-run popular support of the President of the United States during periods of international crisis or war. Because rally 'round The Flag effect can reduce criticism of governmental policies, it can be seen as a factor of diversionary foreign policy.

Rally raid

Rally raid, also known as cross-country rallying, is a form of long distance off-road racing that takes place over several days. The length of the event can be as short as 2-3 days for a cross-country baja to as long as 15 days with marathon rallies like the Dakar Rally; with other cross-country rally events lasting 4-5 days. With skill in navigation being key, the driving skill and endurance of riders, drivers, co-drivers, and machines are put to the test. The total distance covered can be anywhere between 600km to over 5000km with terrain ranging from sandy dunes, forest roads, mountain roads, and dry river beds; among others.The most well known of rally raid events is the Dakar Rally; a marathon rally which can last anywhere from 10-15 days. Other prominent marathon rallies include the Africa Eco Race and Silk Way Rally. Well known examples of cross-country rallies include the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Rally of Morocco, and the Rallye des Pharaons. The Baja Aragón is an example of a cross-country baja with the Baja Russia Northern Forest taking place entirely in snow. Other examples of rally raid races include the TransAnatolia Rally Raid, Hellas Rally Raid, Borneo Rally Raid, and Raid De Himalaya.

The first African rally raid run was the Côte-Côte Rally, first held in December 1976.While the sport is most known for the Dakar Rally, a number of international competitions also exist; the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas for cars, buggies, SSVs, & trucks and the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship and FIM Bajas World Cup for motorbikes & quads. For amateurs the Budapest-Bamako has been considered the world's largest amateur rally raid spanning two continents and 9000 kilometers.

Special stage (rallying)

A special stage (SS) is a section of closed road at a stage rallying event. Racers attempt to complete the stage in the shortest time. A race on a special stage is coordinated such that each competing racer begins after a set interval, to reduce the chance of impedance by other competitors. Each special stage is a relatively short section, usually up to about 30 miles in length. A rally usually comprises approximately 15–30 special stages. The driver with the lowest overall time for all special stages in an event is the winner.

Sports Car Club of America

The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is an American automobile club and sanctioning body supporting road racing, rallying, and autocross in the United States. Formed in 1944, it runs many programs for both amateur and professional racers.

World Rally Championship

The World Rally Championship (WRC) is a rallying series organised by the FIA, culminating with a champion driver, co-driver and manufacturer. The driver's world championship and manufacturer's world championship are separate championships, but based on the same point system. The series currently consists of 14 three-day events driven on surfaces ranging from gravel and tarmac to snow and ice. Each rally is split into 15–25 special stages which are run against the clock on closed roads.The WRC was formed from well-known and popular international rallies, most of which had previously been part of the European Rally Championship or the International Championship for Manufacturers, and the series was first contested in 1973. The World Rally Car is the current car specification in the series. It evolved from Group A cars which replaced the banned Group B supercars. World Rally Cars are built on production 1.6-litre four-cylinder cars, but feature turbochargers, anti-lag systems, four-wheel-drive, sequential gearboxes, aerodynamic parts and other enhancements bringing the price of a WRC car to around US$1 million (€700,000 / £500,000).The WRC features three support championships, the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC, formerly the WRC Academy), the World Rally Championship-2 (WRC 2, formerly the Super 2000 World Rally Championship), and the World Rally Championship-3 (WRC-3, formerly the Production World Rally Championship) which are contested on the same events and stages as the WRC, but with different regulations. The WRC-2, WRC-3 and junior entrants race through the stages after the WRC drivers.

X Games XII

X Games XII (12) took place on August 3–6, 2006 in Los Angeles, California at the Staples Center, Home Depot Center and Long Beach Marine Stadium. It was broadcast on the ESPN networks and ABC.

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