Rally driving is one of the most demanding driving styles in the world. In order to effectively control a rally car on tight corners and rough tracks, there are a number of driving techniques that drivers have acquired. Here are just a few of their most impressive methods.

Hand Brake Turns

When approaching any turning, particularly a tight bend, rally drivers have to allow themselves time to perform a ‘hand brake turn’. A hand brake turn is designed to maintain the vehicle’s balance. To achieve this, a driver must first begin steering to apply pressure to the outside wheels through steering before using the handbrake to lock the wheels. This wheel lock has the effect of lessening the grip that the tyres hold on the road surface which subsequently allows the car to make its turn without slowing the engine for when the race continues. Instead of a traditional cable handbrake, rally cars are often designed to include a device called a ‘hydraulic handbrake’. This allows the rear brakes to lock the back wheels immediately. This proves very helpful when executing a handbrake turn.

Hill Jumping

One of the most thrilling but controversial techniques of rally driving is the practice of ‘hill jumping’. Hill jumping consists of accelerating a vehicle on the drive up to a hill to give the car an airborne leap across it. If a hill jump is implemented correctly, the car will cover great distance once clearing the hill without slowing down the engine. Hill jumping has been widely criticised as it can result in injury to the occupants of the vehicle when the car lands sharply. This manoeuvre has also been challenged due to the danger it poses to thrill seeking audience members who stand watching the race at the side of the rally circuit. Ouch!

Scandinavian Flick

The Scandinavian flick is a term that gets its name from originally being devised by several successful north European rally drivers. However, executing the maneuver is not always easy. To successfully complete a Scandinavian Flick, drivers approaching a turn should steer slightly in the opposite direction before then steering directly back at the turn before coming off the gas and gently tapping the brake. If this trick is done correctly, the car should slide sideways and end up facing marginally away from the turn. Next the driver should steer towards the turn and release the handbrake while still holding down the throttle. This should make the car swing round and easily clear the corner.

Although this move is an excellent way of getting around the circuit, it is largely used as a crowd pleasing device rather than as a technically proficient tactic due to the difficulty in accuracy it causes.

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