Have you ever dreamed of being a pro race car driver the likes of which the world has never seen? While there are always going to be famous drivers out there that every young man and woman wants to be compared to, or break those unbroken records of, but for a number of reasons they never seemed to be able to break into the circuit. All is not lost! You can enter the wonderful world of amateur rally car racing, set records, break records and before you know it, you just might be pro as well. But how do you get your start? Here are some steps to take.
It All Begins with a Vintage Car – The Rally Car!
The first thing you need to do is find rally cars for sale. Not many local shops will carry the kind of vintage car you need to modify for a rally race, but you can find them online. There are some modifications (mods) you will need to do, but in the end, if you find the right car at the right price, you’re in like Flynn as the saying goes. Oddly, some rally cars although roadworthy, aren’t great on public roads due to the mods they’ve gone through. Although they started as a passenger automobile, they no longer resemble one and they handle like anything but! Looking to rally? Be prepared to jump on board for the ride of your life.
The Ultimate TSD
Usually a rally is referred to as the TSD, which means Time-Speed-Distance, of which these are the deciding factors in a race. Some are timed, some are set on winning the distance and others still are speed. Vintage rallies are all the rage and have been for a number of years and oddly, now there are literally tens of thousands of young drivers turning their sights on rallying. Where once they wanted to be the next US Dale Earnhardt, Sr or UK Jackie Stewart, they now simply want to join the crowds and fun of rallying that actually provides even more entertainment that the F1 in many cases.
Prepping Your Ride
Once you’ve chosen a car and have it at home in the drive, it’s time to start those mods that will have your car rally-ready by the time the next event is held. What you will do if you are one of the select ‘smart’ few, is take ample time on your preparation. This stage is vital for more than just the win. Your safety could count on making the right mods correctly so that you aren’t going to be subjected to any unnecessary dangers. Some of the more popular Post-War cars include:
- Shelby GT
- Aston Martin DB
- Corvette Stingray
And the list goes on, but those are amongst the most popular cars for modding. You can see they were all sports cars in their own right when they were on the road as transport and not vintage rally. It is advised that you give careful attention to any particular issues that may lead to problems and do your mods carefully based on safety first, rally race second. Brakes are a high priority as are the driveshaft and transmission. Remember – safety first!
Getting that Rally and Personal Equipment Read for the Rally
Some people like to invest in a number of hi tech products that help you work towards the victory. A digital stop watch is always nice – remember the T of the TSD – time really is of the essence here. Clipboards, pens markers in an assortment of colours, two-way radios or mounted intercoms will work nicely as well. Then there’s your personal gear. You mustn’t forget a top-of-the-line helmet to protect that lovely brain of yours and don’t forget to install some kind of navigator along with your other hi tech gadgets and gizmos. Some drivers say that warm boots are a must and we can probably figure out why that is. Many of those old cars had a lot lacking in the heat department and sometimes road conditions will be on the wet side. If you need to step out for a moment, you’ll be well covered and protected.
Getting Team Mates – Vintage Rallying Is a Team Sport After All
This may be one of the most difficult tasks you have set before you but with social media, you can quickly make the ‘rounds’ of various pages, get a feel for those who you feel would be a good match and then network, network, network! Show up at events, rally car shows and keep your face out there. Within a short time you’ll be able to ‘collect’ people who are like you, looking for that rally team, and once you’ve the proper number of mates, there you go! Or, there are teams with drivers dropping out all the time. What may be great is to find a sponsor early on who loves your car and what you’ve done to it. With a sponsor backing you, finding a team is easier than you can imagine. In fact, some sponsors might even add you to their team if they have one already.
So That’s What It Takes
There you have some of what it takes to enter the wonderful world of amateur rally racing. Whether your goal is to eventually enter a pro circuit or stay as an amateur, it’s all in the ‘game’ so enjoy your ride. Rallying is your passion and whether you win the big one or just go along for the ride of a lifetime, make every moment count. So many young (and old!) drivers were too consumed with the win to enjoy the race. Rallying is fun and entertaining with more than a hint of danger.
Take your time and do things right. Make it a social side of racing and you’ll have more fun than you’d ever thought possible this side of heaven. Before you know it, you’ll be spotting kindred spirits and in that moment, that recognition, you’ll know that every step in the journey has been well worth the effort.