DRIFTING AWAY: This rally driver epitomises the skills and talent of all rally drivers. Image: facebook
Cape Town - Rally drivers are some of the bravest motorsport people out there.
From the moment a rally stage gets underway, these guys and girls are on the limit, giving it their all in an attempt to be the fastest at the end of a session.
Their lives are literally flashing by.
Getting it right, all the time
Just to prove that rally drivers are fearless, this video perfectly sums up how astonishingly brave they are.
According to the video's uploader, this clip was filmed in Kenya.
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A Hyundai rally car comes around a corner at a considerable speed, but soon after he flicks the steering wheel to the left and gets his car into a sideways drift. With dust and sand creating a trail of excitement, the driver fits the car between a concrete wall and a barrier.
With perfect precision, the car approaches the corner and at the right moment the driver is back on the accelerator and on his merry way again. And still the dust is hanging thick in the air.
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How it's done
We approached former rally navigator, Cindi Harding, and asked her a couple of questions to better understand the psyche of a rally driver. Harding nowadays acts as operations manager for Carvault.
Wheels24: How do rally drivers go about preparing for a rally stage?
CH: Most rally drivers get in as much practice time as possible. They find a piece of farm- or forest road that they are allowed to use and just test, again and again and again, improving their times against the clock. Changing settings and seeing if that makes the car handle better, faster etc.
Wheels24: What training do drivers go through to handle these machines?
CH: Most, I would say, have been driving all their lives. There isn’t really a rally driver training school. They tend to come from families where racing or rallying is in their blood and it’s something they have grown up with. Racing go-karts, driving around a farm, that kind of thing.
Wheels24: Is drifting a rally car as easy as it looks, or is there more to it?
CH: That’s a trick question. It’s easy to some, it comes naturally and as I said they have been doing it all their lives. To others I am sure it is terrifying and scary and would take a lot of time on a skid pan or similar to learn how to do it...