Entering most rally races requires two things – a vehicle capable of competing with some of the best in the world, and enough money to pay the often very high entrance fees. Of course, entering a rally race and actually surviving the event and coming out the other side in good shape are two different things. If youre thinking about entering any of the myriad of rally races held throughout the UK each year, you’ll need to know a thing or two about survival.
Attend Rally School
Sure, you might have natural driving aptitude. You might have a need for speed. However, that does not translate into being able to drive a rally race successfully. It’s important that you are able to go into the race prepared for the rigours unique to rallying. That means you need to attend rally school. Not sure where you might find such a school? You’ll find a handy listed of accredited training facilities here.
Safety Matters Greatly
No rally racers worth their salt go into the process unprepared. While that means they need to hone their skills, they also pay a lot of attention to safety concerns. You need to make sure that your vehicle is outfitted correctly for racing, including having a robust roll cage installed, having the right brakes, and ensuring that they’re in good condition, and more. Your seatbelt harness needs to be up to snuff, and the seat itself needs to fit you perfectly. You also need to have safety gear with you at all times, including a fire extinguisher. Of course, your racing helmet is also important, as is the HANS device installed in your car. Once you think you have it completely outfitted, find yourself a scrutineer and have them look it over as well.
Drive as Much as You Can
Track racers have an advantage over rally racers – theyre able to learn the track’s personality and conditions through practice. As a rally racer, you will not have that luxury. You can make up for it to some extent by driving as often as you can. Mix up your surfaces – shoot for pavement, gravel and dirt. Drive in as many conditions as you can – sun, rain, sleet and snow. Drive as many different types of vehicles as you can so that you can become more familiar and build experience.
Choose the Right Car
Whether you’re hiring a car or buying one outright, you need to make sure that it’s not only up to the challenge of the rally, but that you’re comfortable with it. Do your research, test drive as much as possible, and then once you have a car, spend as much time as you can behind the wheel.
The steps above will help ensure that you’re able to survive your first rally race. There are other steps you’ll need to take, though, including your competition license from the MSN if you’re racing in a sanctioned event. Preparation, training, and a head for safety – those are critical considerations for any rally race.