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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to take some money from my retirement plan and spend on Rally School.
a) Should I learn more from David Higgins School than O?Neil?
b) Do you think that I am too old for this sport (I am 41) to switch from spectator into new rising Canadian rally star?

Jerry



?If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm?
Bruce Barton
 

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I started at 40. Now 44. The bad part is that your survival instinct (and just think of all those people who depend upon your very existance...)is too great to let you go flat out over blind crests (even after you've got the chops to do it), so you won't win rallies. The good part is you are old enough to know it, so you know it's unlikely you won't be the Champeen Rally God (that's up to some mid-20s wizard), so you realize you're just in it to do as well as you can and MOST importantly to have a great time learning this ultimate kind of car control as well as finding a few guys you can swap stage times with, so you are perhaps less tempted to sell your children to buy the latest hot ticket gonad-enhancing turbochargedallwheeldrivedogboxrallybeast car which you may well go out and turn into prerecycled steel at the next 90 left. You aren't, however, too old to delay your retirement while you play this ridiculously fun game.

Can't comment on the school comparison. I've done lots of time at Tim's and personally think the money I've invested in training with O'Neil instead of buying some hot car has been well worth it, for all the reasons given above.

The only downside I can see to getting into the sport at 41 is that you're past the performance peak age but not old enough to be a curmudgeonly gravelgeezer/Old Fart.
 

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Hi,
I was at David's School last May, where my driver and I went through 1-2-1 courses with David and with Top Irish Co-driver Chris Patterson.
The Forest Xperience facility is absolutely TOP with real forest stages that are used for testing by works team, all year long. (Peugeot Total and Burnsie were there, last december).
The cars are Escort Mk2, Vauxhall Astras, Mk2 GTIs all rally prepared and 4wd cars can be provided upor request.
The all enviroment is completed by the Higgins family Bed and Breakfast, the Cambrian House, in the middle of the Welsh countryside, which is also a museum of pictures, trophies etc. from the two former British Rally Champions and their parents rally experience.
We were lucky enough that our instructors, David and Chris, were able to follow up our training in the Rally of Wales, the following weekend, so that experience was really priceless for us.
Tim O'Neal is been our teammate at Pikes Peak and he is really a great guy and excellent driver, but I've never been to his school.
Good luck.
Alex Gelsomino
http://64.65.11.83/gallery/Rally/Castrol_rallye/massimo_bettiol/golf_iv_tdi_kit_car.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I must correct my post first. I respect equally both drivers and know that I may learn amazingly from both. It is not my intend to compare quality of their schools.
Besides learning I am looking more for having a good time and honest advice. (Who knows I may be not the good candidate for rally driver and it is my kids who start talking about sending me to school).
Looking at ?budget? I can afford the ?base? level and I am not looking to take away from Pat, Tom McGeer or Sylvan the joy of winning the Canadian Championship events but realistically I may have chance to beat some Maple Leaves or Montreal Canadians funs :p in the lower class.

Jerry
 

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age

>b) Do you think that I am too old for this sport (I am 41)

Don't worry, those are Canadian years. At the current exchange rate,
you're only 28 if you rally in the U.S.

Mike (also 41)
 

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Too Old?!?!?

>b) Do you think that I am too old for this sport (I am 41)
>to switch from spectator into new rising Canadian rally star?
>Jerry

Not only no but HELL NO. If you're fit, have your head screwed on straight and aren't suffering through delusions of becoming a new rising Canadian rally star ;) there is no reason in the world you can't have a fulfilling career driving rally cars. I'll be 50 next month and have been successfully mixing it up with the pups since I came back to rallying as a 46-year-old youngster.

Halley ...
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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I co-drove from age 45 till 53. AT 53 I built my own car and am in my 3rd year of running it. I'll never win anything but I'm having fun and proving that I'm no where near ready for 'retirement'. :+
 

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I cannot speak for the Higgins school, as I have not been there
or heard any detail reports on it other than what is above.

I have come to understand that there are different types of
schools. One is the technique based school where the
fundamentals are taught through drills which add complexity
as you progress through them. The idea is to master one and
then move on to the next, raising your game as you go.
Best results are obtained by going back to brush up, as
the movements take time to become natural, and once they
do, you can can reach the next rung and work on the next thing.
With me I am working on modulating brake against throttle..

Tim's school and the school led by Pentti Airikala (sic)in the UK
are of this type. Both Burns and McCrea are graduates of Pentti's
school. May people in the US have gone to Tim's school and have
done much better afterward. Reportedly even one guy who had the
name of another unnamed school on his fender... Hint, don't go
to anyplace that does NOT teach LFB.

The other type of school I understand is less about drills and
more about driving on stages, i.e The Forest Experience.
I would guess that is is harder to isolate things into specific
skills at this type of school, but perhaps once you have the
moves you can better learn to apply them across a range of
realistic conditions. But this paragraph is mostly speculation...
YMMV

paul timmerman
 
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Jerry,

I completed the Forest Experience Rally school one day course back in 1997 while living in England.
The setting in Carno and Caersws (sp?) Wales is absolutely beautiful, plus Tony and Christina Higgins were really nice and took care of getting me from the train station and back to it.

On to the content here... The school was great, however I could only afford the class where you share a car with other drivers. We all shared the attention of one instructor (David) for the day. I drove the Astra and kept having trouble with sitting on the right side of the car (even though I'd been driving right handed cars for many months) and with the rock solid brake pedal.

The only drills we did were around a logging lot where we practiced handbrake turns and slowing down enough for tight corners. Most of the school was blasting down some great logging roads around the course.

Truly a top notch school- perhaps get a little experience first so you can really learn what there is to be learned.

I haven't been to Tim's school yet, I'm waiting to go after it feels like I can't learn from myself anymore. I've heard great things about Tim's courses and if you consider a cost/seat time comparisson I believe you could get a lot more seat time up in Vermont without flying to the UK and getting yourself to Wales.

If you've never driven aggressively before, do some autocrossing or rally crossing to be comfortable with sliding the car and pushing it hard first. If you're not yet settled in with throwing a car around the course may not be as beneficial.

Matthew
www.trirally.com
 

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I'm a big believer in Tim O'Neil's school. A full one-on-one day there improved my driving immensely. I traded emails with Pentti Airikkala and the Higgins and even looked into the Ari Vantanen school in Finland and on balance decided on New Hampshire. I was not let down - at Baie last weekend there were some turns where I could almost feel Tim's ghost grab the knee of my driving suit to prevent me from punching the throttle too early. We've finished on the podium and not gone (very far!) off the road every event since the school.

And at 30 am I too old to fantasize about being the next Canadian rally Champ-een?? McGeer is 41 I think...

ACP
www.musketeerracing.com
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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Although I went to Tony Higgins' school in 1995, I can close my eyes and remember everything. There's no substitute for those forest stages!

I wish I had more opportunities to practise nowadays, as it seems as if every year more forest roads in New England are closed, chained off, turned into yuppie developments, or overrun with designer dudes with ATV's and snowmobiles. The latter don't seem to like rally cars, actually ran me off the road once in the middle of nowhere, then buggered off.

Cheers
Rob in NYC
 
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