For as long as I could remember I always wanted to take part in a rally. Growing up in Ukraine I would watch the Paris-Dakar rallies, they were shown on TV more than F1, I think because the Soviet Kamaz teams were in it dominating the truck race. Similarly, there were many Italian rallies shown, in movies as well, of famous Alfa Romeo’s, Fiat’s and Lancia Terra’s racing around in the woods. It was awesome.
More recently while living in New Zealand I finally had an opportunity to participate in my first WRC event. It was meant to be a fantastic experience except my time in NZ didn’t last and I left the country before WRC arrived there. It’s probably not the worst thing that happened because unlike formula or road racing events, rally does not rely on flag marshals so my role would have been limited. There’s no safety barriers to jump over to help drivers that have crashed… these guys are nuts! They race out in the countryside in sand, gravel, snow and ice. Through standing water and jump off ramps getting big air. Compared to road racing these guys are super hero’s. (especially when you think how NASCAR drivers complain about racing in the wet, Formula 1 drivers complain about safety barriers, ALMS/Grand Am would put out a debris flag for standing water, etc.) For WRC the likely marshalling duty I would volunteer for would be time keeping. A task which I would have had difficulty doing in New Zealand since it often requires a vehicle to get between stages, which is amazing in itself. In New Zealand, like in Singapore and Australia before it, I was a pedestrian.
WRC races on through a number of stages over a three day period.
But enough ranting and raving about this series, it is definitely high on my to-do list. Perhaps a vacation in Mexico can coincide with the WRC rally there… Hmmm!