Varmint Hunters Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most of the rallying the world sees these days is either on the snow of Monte Carlo and Sweden or the gravel of Greece, Finland, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Turkey, Wales, etc. There is still quite a bit of tarmac rallying around the world but gov't permission for public road closures is getting more and more difficult each year - our tarmac rally is down to only 100 miles these days, used to be closer to 500 in the 70s.

The Isle of Man is one of the most famous road courses in the world; the annual Manx TT is a legendary motorcycle race and the Manx International Rally has seen monumental battles over the years. I was there last year for the rally and it was totally amazing - fantastic tarmac grip until the roads get slippery under the trees or foggy over the mountain passes and then some really big offs.

This vid is of a Partrick Snijers, Belgian tarmac expert driving what could possibly be described as the greatest tarmac rally car ever: the BMW E30 M3 with the 2.4ltr 4-cyl 'homologation special' engine at around 300bhp. On some of these roads the wing mirrors are literally in the hedges on both sides of the road with the car in 6th gear. Not for the faint-of-heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9BmDY-5ork
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
MM—tnks for sharing. I really miss the ralley coverage on US TV [ctxt]

Satellite coverage Since it disappeared fm the Speed Channel, replaced mostly by wall to wall coverage of NASCAR [which I also enjoy]. They have very little coverage even of the DAKAR RALLY, while they at least had a daily synopsis some years ago. Has dropped to one or two ‘’specials’’ aired at unknown times.

Does ur comment re the increase of road closures significantly reduced the Rally’s held in Europe?? Has this impacted TV coverage [ which may be like saying ‘’is there US football coverage of the NFL]. I get about all the channels offered by Direct TV and have not see any rally coverage in a few years or more.

Continue to enjoy ur posts on rally, military stuff, etc.

Happy new year to u and urs,

Barry Ross aka JUMPER
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Barry.

Here's the thing about rallying - the loooooong, fierce debate. Rallying started with old events like the Mille Miglia in Italy which were just like Nurburgring and LeMans on public roads. The difference with rallying in those days is that roads were not closed and so cars were set off at one minute intervals so they wouldn't be passing each other on blind corners (much). After many years someone decided the sport would be safer if the roads were closed to public access and well-marshaled in case of accidents. What then happened was a public outcry from people who didn't much care for motorsport and who just wanted to get where they wanted to go. The same is true for bicycle races today. So the sport was taken onto private roads which only need the permission of the landowner and are usually unpaved.

Here's the beef. It could be argued (especially by me) that modern cars have no place on gravel roads, except for Finland and New Zealand there are no developed countries I can think of who's public roads aren't paved. Sure, gravel driving is more spectacular (few enjoy sliding a car as much as I do) but are gravel roads relevant in a market where the sport is meant to help manufacturers sell cars? The fact remains that few countries allow the closure of hundreds of miles of tarmac roads for rallies despite this issue. The French I think have the greatest access to closed roads, they don't stop for villages, junctions etc. and can close miles of stages easily. The more houses are built on country roads, the fewer miles we'll be able to close. This is what keeps US rallying at such a low level despite the car culture, the only roads available for US rallyists are hundreds of miles away from civilisation with very poor spectator access. Imagine if you lived close to a spectacular tarmac mountain road with dozens of access roads where spectators could get in; I bet you'd go out and have a look just for something to do. We get up to 5,000 people standing on a single corner on Sunday mornings just for that reason. Imagine the entire Daytona stand population stretched out over a 30-mile, winding Florida country road at night in a drizzling rain! That'd be a party!

It would be remiss of me to discuss tarmac rallying and not mention the Frenchman Jean Ragnotti. He used to be a stunt driver before rallying professionally and is probably the craziest SOB to ever don a helmet in anger. The Renault Clio in the vid is a 2ltr normally aspirated front-wheel-drive car running at 1,000Kgs on 8" slicks (same class as my Cosworth). Enjoy http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5824151739013559192&q=ragnotti
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top