Rally cars are the swiss army knife of the motorsports world. They can tackle any and all conditions because they have been carefully tailored to the harshest of conditions. And they succeed because above all else they are resilient. Don’t believe me? Try hitting a rally stage in your stock Ford Fiesta and let me know how that goes. It’s one of the things that make the series so exciting to watch.
Thankfully we have the nice folks at Team O’Neil Rally School to show us what it takes to make a rally car so bullet proof. The New Hampshire based rally school offers a slew of different courses all focused on some aspect to performance driving. There is a course called ‘Cars and Guns’ that has peaked my interest. Regardless, they know a thing or two about rally driving. But what most people don’t know is they also know a thing or two about building rally cars and not just their own. See, O’Neil actually offers customers the opportunity to have Team O’Neil construct their rally car for them. And if you want, you can help out. It’s a great program that lets you get your hands dirty, with the added security of on site professionals.
While that is great if you are looking to get into rally racing, which you should be, they are happy to help the average Joe to just understand the sport a bit better. The team has put together a great set of videos that take an in-depth look into what it takes to really prep a rally car, and how it might differ from your traditional track build. Coming from a strict asphalt background I was surprised by some of the differences. Things I would have never thought of can actually be a big problem, like drilled rotors. How is that a bad thing? Watch and find out.
Overall Car Breakdown
To add to the fun Team O’Neil also made a great set of videos focusing on Rally tires and wheels, something that is often overlooked. Being the only thing connecting these little tanks to the ground, it’s imperative to have some durable rubber to make it through a stage. Tire principals are similar to those we use on the track, but there are some key differences that make it an interesting watch. Where I had my mind blow was how different the wheels can be. It’s truly incredible how durable they can build these cars, now I just want to trash one through the woods.