Rally racing is the most dynamic motorsport in the world, or at least it was. From the 1970s to the late 1990s, rally racing wore this crown and rally cars were some of the most coveted automotive icons of their time. The sport has spawned world-famous stars in both driver and vehicle, such as Colin McRae and the Subaru WRX STI. But the last few years have not been favorable to the sport of rallying and it needs a facelift. The Top Gear America the hosts think they have it all figured out.
The heroes of rally races
Rally drivers are some of the best racing car drivers in the world. The constant variations in terrain and traction combined with the open stage course conditions that can change in seconds force them to develop divine levels of control and finesse. It is no wonder that legends like Walter Rohrl and Sebasian Loeb have entered road racing with great success. Rally racing has also produced (or attracted) some of Formula 1’s greatest drivers like Alain Prost and Kimi Raikkonen. Even modern legends like Ken Block and Travis Pastrana consistently demonstrate that they can hold their own on the tarmac with the best.
Pilots aren’t the only heroes. Cars like the Lancia Stratos were hyper-exotic posters similar to Ferrari and Lamborghini and turned out to be extremely capable racing cars; winning races and stages for years on an obsolete two-wheel-drive chassis when the mainstream of the sport had long shifted to four-wheel drive.
But it wasn’t just the country club and the yacht crowd that could reach a world class rally car. Group B rally races have turned everyday devices into legends. The Ford Escort, Focus and Fiesta cars, the Toyota Celica, the Subaru Impreza and the Mitsubishi Lancer were all dream cars the average weekend warrior could achieve. Have you ever wondered why WRXs and Evos were so popular in the 1990s? Win on Sunday, sell on Monday and these cars have made a lot of gains.
Fundamental flaws in rally racing
Rally racing today is not what it was 20 years ago. Only three manufacturers took part in the 2020 World Rally Championship (WRC), while dozens took part. Fan participation fell, TV coverage and viewership dropped, but the Top Gear America the hosts know how to fix it. According to them, rally racing faces five fundamental flaws that they will solve only in the way Top Gear America can.
Cars-Modern rally cars are cool and fast, but they’re all based on boring subcompact cars that no one likes. If you went to high school between 1995 and 2005 you probably wanted a Subaru or a Mitsubishi as your first car and that was because of rally racing. What car inspires today’s young people to get out and drive, the Ford Fiesta? Ford doesn’t even do it anymore!
No, rally racing needs car heroes who bring variety to the sport and can win the hearts of young people. Jethro kicks the old school back in his 2020 Subaru WRX STI Series White, believing this more street-level evolution of Subaru’s indomitable rally car still has the right DNA.
Dax has gone for a more dormant approach with the 2020 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400. A sporty sedan in a rally race? Don’t worry kids, Dax hasn’t lost his mind. The Q50 Red Sport has 400bhp and all-wheel drive, and it comes from the same engineering geniuses who created Rob’s ride – the 2020 Nissan GT-R Track Edition – that doesn’t belong to off-roading at all. . But Rob thinks it’s going to be a blast anyway with his 600 killer horsepower for Tokyo.
The drivers-Modern rally car drivers are just too good! How is the average weekend warrior supposed to keep up with Tanner Foust on a local race weekend? They can not ! So the guys want to try to level the playing field and give everyone an equal chance to win. Remember, Jethro is a true professional race car driver – Rob has no hope of matching him in skills. But at the same time, he has almost twice as much horsepower in the GT-R as Jethro in the Subaru. It’s time to break the handicaps!
Public participation—The best part of the motorport for the viewer is to be there; feel the pressure of the exhaust gases hitting you as the cars roll by, the wall of sound that makes you vibrate to your heart and the smell of hydrocarbons littering the atmosphere. Rally fans are among the most dedicated to getting as close to the action as possible, often risking their lives to get the best view. So how can our brave hosts bring people closer to the action without risking their safety? This one might need a workshop a little longer …
The look-A modern WRC car looks like the technological marvel that it is, and technological marvels are generally expensive. At around $ 750,000, a WRC race car doesn’t miss this mark. To get more people involved in rally racing, the barrier to entry should be lowered so that the amateur racer is not too expensive, but the cars should still look cool.
Jethro opted for a sleek set of graphics, à la Colin McRae and his 555 liveries. Dax opted for more utility and sturdiness by cutting its wings and lifting the Infiniti. The light bar also adds a wicked look. Rob just went for quirky styling stitches – no rear bumpers, side pipes, and truck bed liner to protect the fenders. The guys certainly feature a diverse cast of eye-catching characters here.
The event-The rally racing events themselves are in need of help the most. The same stages go on year after year, cars are launched one at a time to avoid everyone’s favorite part of motorsport – crashes – and the co-drivers are so good with the ratings that even if a driver isn’t. unfamiliar with the terrain, they can charge with confidence. It’s time to reverse that! More co-pilots, more well-known stages and tracks and give us this wheel-to-wheel action! What could possibly go wrong?
This is not the end of Top Gear America for this season. The action returns from May 7, 2021, only on the MotorTrend app. Don’t worry, there’s plenty to watch in the meantime, like BBC seasons 1-27 Top Gear, Roadkill, The fastest cars in the dirty south Where Dirt every day. Plus, there’s no better time to binge on the first half of this season of Top Gear America that right after watching the midseason finale.