I’m a bit of a motorsport fan and recently went to watch the 2010 Rally Yorkshire in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire. It was the final round of this year’s British Rally Championship and although it may seem a bit off topic for the Simple Motoring website, it isn’t as far out as you might think.
Unlike most racing cars, rally cars have to be road legal – that means registration plates, tax discs, working lights and indicators and all the rest of the stuff we have to take care of on our cars. Rally cars even need a valid MoT test! The reason for this is that many rallies require the cars to travel on public roads between stages – so all the usual rules (including speed limits) apply.
At the Rally Yorkshire this year, the official start was on Scarborough seafront – so all the cars had to make their way along the seafront through the normal traffic to get into the first stage in Langdale Forest!
In case you aren’t familiar with rallies, most rallies are made up of a number of stages, or sections. Cars don’t directly race each other like circuit racing (e.g. Formula 1) – instead, each car is timed over each stage. At the end of the rally, the overall winner is the one with the lowest total time. As the roads can be very tricky and technical to negotiate and constantly change, drivers have the assistance of co-drivers, who have copious notes and maps covering the route for each stage. Their job is to tell the driver what’s coming up – a tight right-hand bend, for example – so that the driver can plan ahead and make the best time possible.
Here’s a short video I’ve put together showing some highlights of this year’s Rally Yorkshire:
If you’re interested in getting involved in rallying as a marshall, driver or co-driver (navigator), then the Its My Motorsport website has loads of excellent information to get you started.