How do you start Rally Driving?
Rally driving can give drivers, co-drivers and support crew some of the most exhilarating, exciting, challenging, hilarious and memorable experiences of their lives. It presents situations and circumstances that ask more of the crews’ resilience, resourcefulness, courage and humour than most other sports and it keeps inviting them back, and the vast majority readily accept the invitation!
In order to be on the guest list there are a number of steps drivers need to take.
- First of all, book a course at a rally driving school to confirm if you actually enjoy rally driving. If you do, that’s great you can crack on, if you find you don’t enjoy it you will have saved yourself a healthy sum of money and a lot of time.
- Assuming you’ve got the bug lets crack on! The next step is to join your local motor club, details of these can be found on the Motorsport UK web site, where you will find a group of experienced and helpful competitors and organisers, only too willing to help you into the sport they love. They’ll be able to give you advice on the choice of suitable cars for your first rally car and tips on preparing it to ensure it meets Motorsport UK regulations, to which events to look at beginning your rally adventure with.
If you haven’t got a co-driver they will be able to recommend an experienced one to guide.
- The most sensible option for a driver’s first rally car is relatively low powered, front wheel drive, easy to maintain and relatively cheap to repair if damaged. If you have the budget and desire to drive a more powerful car it is advisable to organise a one to one training course to ensure you are safe and comfortable in the car before entering your first rally.
- Buying the right safety gear is next, the basics are: helmet; HANS device, race suit, driving gloves, driving boots. Aim to get the best kit you can afford, particularly your crash helmet, the more comfortable you feel in the car the better you’ll drive.
- Seat time is the key to developing your skill set in the main rally driving techniques. Venues to practice are few and far between so the choice you have is competitive events and one to one rally driving courses. In your first season it is advisable to combine the two, there’s a lot to learn, top drivers say they never stop learning. A ratio of three events to one training course is a good guide.
- Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!