Why Rally Drivers Should Also Qualify As Pilots


MS-RT FIesta WRC jumping in Poland
MS-RT FIesta WRC jumping in Poland, 2018

In our series this week in appreciation of the World Rally Championship, rally drivers, and basically all things rally, today we bring you two videos to make your jaw drop.

We know that rally drivers can sometimes have butt-clenching moments. We know that sometimes the cars they drive seem like they shouldn’t even be out on the rally stage.

But if there is one thing that almost every rally driver needs, it’s a pilot’s license, because man, do some of those cars fly.

There is a bit of slang from motorsports in Australia that defines what all of these jumps entail: “Lick the stamp and send it.”

With everything from the legendary Group B cars like the Audi Sport Quattro S1, to the modern WRC cars like the MS-RT Fiesta WRC or the Toyota Yaris WRC, with wings meant as much to keep them from entering orbit as they are to stick the car to the road, you get a full serving of jumps.

Oh, and there is a part 2:

Now, if part one didn’t make you think that rally drivers needed straightjackets, then part two should convince you.

What is particularly impressive is how some of these drivers will take the jumps not straight on, but almost fully sideways, such as at 1 minute and 40 seconds in part 2. 10 feet in the air, completely sideways off the crest of the jump, lands it perfectly aimed down the next section of road and carries on.

The only other motorsport quote that fits here is from the late, great World Champion Colin McRae: “When in doubt, flat out.”