So when people think of rally cars, they usually picture a blue Subaru bouncing down a narrow gravel road.
But there are rallies that run on pavement, or “tarmac” as the euros like to say. The cars are mostly the same, but with stiffer suspension settings, larger brakes, sweet 18″ wheels and in most cases, shorter gears in the transmissions. Ocasionally some rich dude will run in a Porsche or Aston Martin, but for the most part, the usual suspects are winning.
This weekend, the World Rally Championship (WRC) visits Spain, for some sunny tarmac hotness. The rally is known as Rally Catalunya, I call it super awesome. The way these cars thread their widened fenders through the narrow roads is unreal. You think watching some dude in Japan drive his JDM’d out Skyline on a “Touge” is fast, check out the rally cars. Changes your view on small euro hatchbacks, that’s for sure.
At the end of the weekend, I’ll recap the final standings of Rally Catalunya. For those who need results right now, Dani Sordo of the Citroen squad is leading over his teammate Sebastien Loeb (the guy who has won the championship for the last five years in a row) after day one by only 1.6 seconds. Two more days of crazy, twisty roads to go.
To get the juices flowing, here are some cool Tarmac rally vids I dug up. Enjoy. And remember, this is (probably) not sped up.
This is 5-time WRC champion Loeb attacking a stage in Ireland in his Citreon C4 WRC:
The Rally Catalunya from 1998. The late 90’s were, in my opinion, some of the best years of rally.
And the best for last. This is french rally hero Jean Ragnotti. Keep in mind, th car in this video is front wheel drive and normally aspirated. This dude can drive.