Stopping Time in the Rush of Winter Rally
Rally drivers are the ramshackle bunch that hang out on the outskirts of town. They’re the outcasts ostracized not because they’re oddballs, but because they’re aloof — they dream of something better to do with their time. That something involves the great outdoors and miles of unpaved roads; the raucous challenges to whip ultra-powerful cars through terrain not suited for most four-wheeled wonders. Rally guys’ eyes glaze over when talk turns to backroads and the perfect, unmonitored stretch of gravel. They’ve got a passion for something that’s reckless and, if you let rational thinking take over, straight bizarre. Drive a car on surfaces with no grip? Let loose the back end to round a corner? Soup up a rusted-out ’87 Quattro? You crazy?
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The wildness, grit and a touch of crazy is what makes rally something of note. It’s nothing without the element of riding the hairline of utter danger. When you drive a car straight into a six-foot-deep snowbank, get towed out and then — antithetical to any natural intuition — you redline the beast back onto the course: those moments define the sport. It’s taking a charred Quattro and pushing it harder than you’d ever drive those more precious, beautiful cars. It’s walking out into sub-zero temps in the New Hampshire wilderness, looking around at a landscape that only consists of snow and thinking, “You know what I’m going to do now? I’m going to go for a drive. A really fast drive.” That’s the spirit of the rally driver: the driver that lives for the fringes and steers life down an alternative, adrenaline-laden path.