Revving up for rally races
Drifting through hairpin turns while spewing mud on a dirt road during a heavy downpour … leaving tire tracks and the competition behind. This is the world of rally racing, where endurance, speed and ability are tested in timed stages on closed sections of challenging municipal roadways.
Watch Rally Races
The FIA Federation International de l’ Automobile is the governing organization that oversees European (ERC) and World Rally Championships (WRC). ERC’s annual races are 200- to 230-kilometer routes over pavement and dangerous terrain, like dirt, gravel and slush. This year’s destinations include Greece, Portugal, Belgium and the Czech Republic. For the detailed schedule, visit www.fiaerc.com.
World Rally Championships span five continents, with several races in Europe. Portugal, Italy, Poland, Finland, Germany and Spain are on the 2016 agenda; go to www.wrc.com for dates. Additional qualifying and recreational rallies are organized across Europe year round, listed at www.rallytheworld.com, http://msabrc.com, www.fia.com/rallies and www.endurorally. com. Conduct a country-specific Internet search if you want to go to a race while on vacation (or schedule vacation around a race). Ready to watch the races? Book a hotel now, and head to the rally’s official website for spectator information, such as detailed directions and maps to staging locations. Some rallies are free, while advance tickets are required for others and can usually be purchased online.
Time to Rally
For more action, recruit a few friends and join an amateur rally to tackle some of Europe’s highest mountain passes and smoothest highways. Events are untimed and held on open roads where participating teams must follow national speed and safety laws. Beware that vehicle specs; license, insurance and vehicle registration; passport and visa requirements; and fees vary.