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L6 500 R6
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Since I have no prior racing experience I'd like to ask a question of those who have come to rally from other motorsports. Would you consider rally to be more or less demanding on the driver(s) than other forms of motorsports. Especially those of you who do your own service and have limited support. I see lots of posts about getting into rally and what kind of car should I get but little about what happens after you get the car.
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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I'd say yes without a doubt.
I've raced pro and amateur series for 20 years and always been a threat to win or won. This is a humbling group, a lot of very fast drivers in this sport. Racing without a net too, few workers, few safety considerations, no one to follow to learn from. Pretty daunting stuff. I learn more every stage than a season of road racing and I'm glad I had the varied background before starting this.
rz
 

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Right now, I would say that it is about the same level of involvement and expense as when I raced motorcycles.

Granted, I raced bikes at a higher level than I currently run rally so it may not be a fair comparison.

Back then, I did almost all of the work on the bike before getting to the events. Only minor jetting and gearing changes were done at the track. But there was still plenty to do.

What I got out of the bike experience was a desire NOT to travel to events that are more than 5 or 6 hours away on a consistent basis. My desire for sitting behind the steering wheel and droning down the interstate has been satisfied for the rest of my life.

As far as rally goes right now, I consider myself fortunate. I have a few friends who really enjoy just being there and helping out, so I have an easier time because I don't have to worry about anything other than driving at events. Having co-driven, I'd have to say that driving is the easy part.

I don't regret the 9 years I spent on 2 wheels, but the older I get, the more I like the idea of a cage.

As far as level of competition goes, I would have to say that the field was much closer in bikes. Probably due to similarity of equipment as much as anything else. There will always be the fast guys and backmarkers. The beauty of rally is that you have to make up a fair amount of time before hitting 'traffic' and even then it is only one other vehicle. Nothing like arriving in the braking zone for the chicane at Daytona with 30 other bikes all wanting the same piece of road.....

See you in the woods....

Matt Manspeaker
Seattle, WA USA
89 323GTX - Open
 

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>Since I have no prior racing experience I'd like to ask a
>question of those who have come to rally from other
>motorsports. Would you consider rally to be more or less
>demanding on the driver(s) than other forms of motorsports.
>Especially those of you who do your own service and have
>limited support. I see lots of posts about getting into
>rally and what kind of car should I get but little about
>what happens after you get the car.

I came from dirt bike racing. IMHO, rally is much physically easier on the driver. Dirt bike racing (Enduros) you have no cage, and you're basically racing in your underwear with a flimsy piece of tuperware on your chest, you're hitting trees on purpose, you get a lot more physically beat-up even when a race goes well (bleeding monkey-butt!), if you hit a deer you won't be to happy, when it rains you're wet, when it's cold you're cold, any mistake means you get slammed on the ground, when you crash it always HURTS, there are no safety nets of any kind, the trails are much more variable than rally roads, the roads/trail aren't closed for an Enduro so there can always be oncoming traffic, my bikes had the same top speed as my rallyTruck (80-90) but bikes run on a much narrower trail, bikes were kick started, picked up, pryed out of mud holes, pushed up hills, carried over logs, tipped upsidedown to drain the water out,...

Some things are tougher with Rally though. Mentally there's more going on. The vehicles aren't very durable, so you always have to factor that in, there's a co-driver to communicate with, you have to learn to take advantage of the info in the route book/notes if you want to go fast, you have to put a team together for each event, the transits aren't marked,...

Hope that's what you're looking for.

Jim Cox
#558
 

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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WOW,
Somebody that thinks beyond the hood of the car!
I came from motorcyle road racing and switched over at a young age.
Yes,.. rallye is probably the most demanding motorsport along side Baja and other endurance events like motocross.
I'm not saying that others are not demanding.
Your on your feet for most of the day (and some of the night). Little rest, little food or drink. Driving, working and waiting.
But,.. we are all crazy and love it. Or why else would you build a car, take it into the woods, trash it, go back home, rebuild and do it all over again. :+
As you said,.. most people don't look behind the curtain.

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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I was addressing the knowledge/technique end of things compared to road racing cars in the series I've driven.
(you bike guys are nuts!)
Besides the corner workers, the practice and even test days, there's a PA system that calls you to the grid so you don't need a watch.
Morgan, last time on track was 2 years ago testing a new car at the Glen for someone.
rz
 

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Well put, Jim.

The act of rallying is a lot easier on you than the act of racing enduros, hare scrambles, or motocross.

The car, however, has a lot more systems to go wrong, a lot more sheet metal to bend, use tires way quicker, etc. Pre-event prep and post-event teardown/ispection/maintenance requires way more labor on the car.

Our bikes were designed and built for this. Cars are not.

It came down to throwing my money away in rally versus throwing my health away in motorcycles...and the fact that I am way to big to be successful in bikes.

Lurch
 

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I'd have to say that the demands put on both race and rally drivers are rather extreme, though the challenges are entirely differant. While I've heard some rallyists say that "once you know the line on a road course there isn't anymore challenge to going fast..." Trouble is, to pass anyone, you have to go faster than them, on the SLOW part of the road, as per the fact that they'll most likely already be taking the fast line. The closest thing to that is encountering dust clouds from previous cars, thus hindering how fast you're able to go.

The guy who wins rallies is the person who can leave the smallest cushion for error. The trick to going fast in a stage rally is knowing how to save yourself once you've gone in way too deep/fast. But you're always leaving a cushion, because unlike road racing, there are no sand traps, tire barriers, or ambulance crew that will be there in under two minutes.

However, in a road race, since you know the piece of road, to win, you can't leave any cushion for error. That makes for some interesting situations when the previous car through the turn blew his engine and there is now oil all over the racing line, and you're coming through at 11 tenths with 2 or 3 cars right on your bumper. (As happened to my dad once, and he still manged to hold onto the lead, despite suddenly seeing the armco barrier that was on the inside of the turn through his windshield.)

My $0.02

Nick Polimeni
'71 Volvo 142E (daily driver/RallyCross)
"Shrug like you mean it!"
 
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