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Where do I start? How do I get involved?

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What does it take to become a rally driver or navigator and where does one begin?

RALLY DRIVER

To begin with rallying as a potential rally driver you can start by becoming a navigator, this is a cost effective way of introducing yourself to rally participation, many rally drivers are looking for navigators on a permanent or help out situation.

To participate as a driver you will require a rally vehicle that can be built from a road going vehicle or custom built rally car already rigged out, that normally comes with a price tag. The S20 class caters for any rally car with an engine limit of 2 liter and non-turbo charged. The vehicle must have approved bucket seats, roll cage and 5-6 point safety belt harness that can be fitted.

Purchase an older type of Golf, Ford, Nissan, Datsun as examples, one does not necessary need a powerful engine 60-90 Kw output will be competitive, remember rallying is about car control, driving ability and consistency, not necessary high speed. Shock absorbers are an important component and can be purchased from rally suppliers or a pair of heavy duty LDV shocks may do the trick as a start.

Wheels with a 15” diameter are recommended due to the availability of used tyres that are used for National competition and handed down. Point to remember when purchasing a vehicle to convert for rallying is that the vehicle must be street legal. This is also an advantage besides a necessity for the open stages the vehicle can drive to and from a rally. Find a navigator who has a passion for the sport and form a partnership and share expenses.

NAVIGATOR

Navigator is an important component of a rally team and brings out the best in the driver particularly in stages that are negotiated at speed and driven with precision. One does not need to be an accountant to be a navigator, working through the road book calling directions, corner degrees and direction based on odometer readings, cautions marked in the notes is where the driver calculates mentally what speed to negotiate blind rises and corners, road surface, braking distances etc.

Timing versus distance is also an important feature to make sure time penalties are not incurred by entering stages late or early. The navigator also needs a fair knowledge of the vehicle to assist the driver with tyre changes, minor mechanical issues, fuel consumption and familiar with safety rules and first aid is an advantage.

DRIVER & NAVIGATOR

To be successful the driver and navigator need to work as a team with an understanding of compatibility and trust. Many of our teams have lady navigators, married or dating couples, fathers and sons/daughters or guy’s also work well together and share the responsibilities of vehicle preparation.

Costs besides the vehicles are protective clothing, crash helmets and a few rally accessories; both competitors will require a Motor Sport South Africa competition licence and medical insurance, membership of the Algoa Rally Association and an entry fee per event. The advantage of rally is the driver and navigator can choose to share costs, mechanically prepare the vehicle, find sponsors and share resources.

Enjoy the outdoors with the family supporting or service crew, join Algoa Rally Association in any of the following categories:

Driver

Navigator

Service technician

Marshall

Official

Administrator

Sponsor

Medica

Social Member

Photographer

General – Any services that will add value

For more information send your details to Algoa Rally Association and we can assist or point you in the right direction.

More in this category: Become a competitor »

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