Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting sideways.

There is no motorsport quite like WRC racing, which is a sport where you strap a Scandinavian maniac to a four-wheel-drive turbocharged rocket and then send him racing sideways down a mountainside through a meat tunnel of drunken, cheering Finnish spectators, whereupon he explodes.



There's really nothing else in the same genre; it's like some kind of bizarre hybrid of automobile racing and the running of the bulls in Pamplona. I mean, what other racing event occasionally results in spectators leaving fingers stuck in the sheet metal of cars they reached out to touch in passing?

(H/T to Ry Jones.)

25 comments:

Joseph said...

I for one was imensly saddened when WRC coverage was discontinued in the states. It was one of the things I feel truly made my large flatscreen purchase worthwhile. That and Top Gear.

PS WRC has a youtube channel, no hard rock music, but cool sounds and I like listening to the co-driver even though I can't usually understand them.

http://www.youtube.com/user/wrc?blend=1&ob=4

Tango Juliet said...

I guess I'm getting cautious in my middle age but I'm convinced that standing alongside that course is borderline foolish.

Joseph said...

BTW "retail orgy" & "through a meat tunnel... whereupon he explodes"

Got something on the mind today? :)

Anonymous said...

I'm old enough to remember the Killer B's. Worked on safety crews for Forumula Atlantic and CanAm races but drew the line at rally.

The fans are nuttier than the drivers.

Gerry

Laura said...

Confession time! I originally bought my Impreza to fulfill that dream of racing in WRC.

Obviously, I never got that far - the car needs a LOT more work to get to that point, and I'm ready to sell it...but I do loves me some WRC insanity.

Queenie said...

Absolutely love your blog. I love the way I feel compelled to read more AND more. You're obviously a smart quick witted person and you're highly entertaining. You need a column of sorts. I have a blog but am nowhere near your talent.
Q x

Robert said...

Tam, you are soooo right in the head. Where were you when I was 20 yrs old? ;)

Larry said...

That looks like a hell of a lot of fun...I wonder if the Baja would be any good at it...
Someone else would have to drive, though. I'm at the point in my life where I am pretty well convinced of my own mortality.

Marja said...

There are different ways to eliminate the idiots from the gene pool. My people like cars. Sometimes, in unofficial occasions, combined with hard liquors. Vodka will do if there is no Koskenkorva available.

(And yes, I have played with driving way too fast on some forest roads when I was a lot younger and thought there was no risk to run into anything else living than possibly reindeer - I worked in Lapland most summers when young. Didn't manage to trash any of my cars, got a couple of bad scares. I think it's genetic, or something).

Lewis said...

WRC is to NASCAR as Rugby is to the NFL.

wv: haten. haters be haten!

bluesun said...

NO! The flag isn't a target! It's showing the edge of the road!

og said...

"I mean, what other racing event occasionally results in spectators leaving fingers stuck in the sheet metal of cars they reached out to touch in passing?"

Baja. I've never been lucky enough to see WRC up close, but one of the guys I used to pit for up at Crandon took me to Baja.

SODA is plenty fun, aside from being sort course, but BAJA is a full tilt boogie hoot, and the combination of loud purpose built vehicles getting big big air and slinging shit everywhere plus alcoholism, nudity, and the occasional beating made it an experience to remember. Any hardcore gearhead ought to go at least once. Plus, if you have a vehicle you even think has a chance of surviving it, you can prerun the course yourself for about a grand.

WV: pixacktj. The name of the first segment driver for Terrible Herbst.

WindRider said...

Ah, this looks like the Ultimate Racing Sport: all crash!

Gewehr98 said...

Watching all the crash footage, I am left with one lasting impression:

They sure know how to engineer themselves some high-G windshield wipers!

Tam said...

Watching WRC, I occasionally wonder why they don't have wipers on the side windows, since they spend as much time facing forward as the windshield.

ScottH said...

That explains the Dudesons:

http://dudesons.com/

Old NFO said...

All true... Crazy (the drivers) and crazier (the fans)...

Bubblehead Les. said...

RE Wipers: There's a Top Gear episode where they hit a Track in the Middle of Winter and participate in a Ice Racing Event where the cars DO have wipers on the side. WRC in the Snow. Check it out.

TheMinuteman said...

White Water Jet Boat racing is much the same. The line up on the shore lines at the waters edge to watch the boats go flying by. Of course the rapids are where every lines up, and those are the areas where everything is the most unpredictable. Usually they stay in the water but they have been known to have momentum carry them onto land. Seriously, how can you argue against strapping a jet turbine to a boat to power the jet pump? Who doesn't want to see that!? It's down right awesome, to see, but I'm sure a lot of the spectators haven't considered the, "What could go wrong" question.

At least when I watch I'm sitting encased inside of a boat on the water with a radio in front of me. Upshot of being a ham radio operator, we're the safety communications for the race. Double awesome is that the World Championships are coming to the US, and my current stomping grounds this April.

I get a week and a half of non-stop racing, followed by helping manufacture explosives and shooting goodness with Joe immediately after.

TotC said...

Organizing these events is fun also. For the last six years, I've worked (played) as one of the course opening cars for the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. Should you ever get the chance to sit right seat with someone, I highly suggest you take the chance.

We had a gal who after riding in rally's fastest VW bug, turned from being a wallflower to a thrill seeking adventure junkie. Go figure.

Farmmom said...

It reminds me of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb except that there they race UP the hillside.

Stretch said...

Rules for a long life-
Never try to out drink a Finn.
Never try to out drive a Finn.

Matt G said...

Here I am forty, and I thought that I had all desire for such things behind me... yet I want to do that* so badly that it hurts.




________________________
*Using other people's money. Sponsor me?

Anonymous said...

Having lived through, excuse me, survived, the original life cycle of Air Supply's "All Out of Love", if the song on the soundtrack for that video was indeed "All Out of Love", as indicated, then I'm havin' the AWESOMEST acid flashback EVER! Now, where the hell DID I leave Kesey?
Tokenokie

montieth said...

If WRC is the automobile racing and the running of the bulls combined what is the Isle of Man TT? Bike racing combined with the run down the trench around the Death Star?

Instead of a wall of meat, you have a wall of stone AND meat and far less around the competitors whether on bikes or hacks.