This is what every rally journalist, reporter, doubter and fan should experience, if possible. It’s one thing to admire the speed and skill of drivers from the outside, but once you climb into that cockpit and strap yourself tight in the racing seat, the perspective shifts from “wow they’re fast” (coming from the spectator by the side of the road) to “what the hell is this speed and why are we capable of negotiating this corner, where’s the physics now, what happened to gravity” (coming from the person in the co-driver seat, after being driven by a talented WRC driver). If you ever get the chance to become a co-driver, don’t think twice. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, and even if it’s not a WRC car. Just the idea of being in the car, unable to move, seeing the driver doing his job of seemingly defying the laws of physics… it will change the way you think about this sport, permanently.
Journalists, reporters and people who are involved in following and presenting rally should be standing in line to hitch a ride in a rally car. Not just because it’s awesome and megafun but also to be able to learn more about the sport and its ways. Sure, sitting next to a rally driver for few kilometers is not same as doing that for three days straight, all while you’re reading the pace notes, minding the time control entries and 10000 other things. But no matter how short or slow your WRC/rally car ride will be, you must do it if you get a chance. You’ll understand why afterwards.
Becs Williams of the WRC Live radio recently decided to do the inevitable – if you’re reporting from WRC events and talk to all these drivers and co-drivers, sooner or later you will turn into a little kid, yearning for a chance to step into a rally car for some co-driving fun. In Portugal Becs accepted the invitation from Hyundai Motorsport and bravely went for a ride across the famous Fafe Rally Sprint road with Thierry Neuville. Bravo for bravery, Becs, the world does not envy you, not at all. Nope. I mean, I wouldn’t do it even if they payed me. OK, where do I sign up?