There’s nothing quite like rally. Covering hundreds of corners - each one unique - over dirt, dust, gravel and everything in between at blistering speed, requires almost superhuman concentration. What’s more, while you are screaming down narrow roads you need to carefully listen to a unique set of cryptic-like instructions - shouted at you in real time by your co-driver - to know what’s coming up next.
“Into 5 right long; opens over crest, 40, 6 left into 5 right, plus long don’t-cut tightens into 1.”
Miss one instruction, and at the very least you’ll make a mistake and lose time; and at worst it could be a fast exit from the road, and the end of your weekend.
Each rally consists of a number of timed sections, or stages; of which there are usually between 15 and 25 over the entire weekend. All of the stages are run on closed roads, and unlike circuit racing there is no direct driver to driver racing. Instead in the WRC each two man crew takes to the stage one at a time to try and complete it as fast as they can. The driver (and their co-driver) with the lowest combined stage times wins the rally.
What’s more the driver and co-drivers’ duties extend beyond just getting the car from start to finish as quickly as possible though. At the beginning of the weekend it’s their job to map out the upcoming stages via reconnaissance - known as recce - runs.