Being a Great Rally Racer Is About a Lot More Than Sliding

Today's WRC drivers explain the fine art of rally.

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Getty ImagesHugh Peterswald/Icon Sportswire

Rally drivers are a different breed, especially those who race in the World Rally Championship (WRC). Just watch a highlight reel of WRC competition for proof that these racers are unlike anyone else in motorsport. asked a handful of current WRC competitors what it takes to make it in the series, and their answers are quite insightful.

You'll learn, for example, that rally driving isn't just about sending your car sideways mid-corner. As Hyundai factory driver Hayden Padden explains, you actually want to get your car sideways before the corner. That allows for a higher exit speed than sliding around after exiting the corner on power.

There's a lot more detailed information covered here, but one of the most revealing anecdotes comes from Padden's teammate, Andreas Mikkelsen. He reminds us that the youngest WRC champ ever was Colin McRae, who won the 1995 title at age 27. That's actually quite old by motorsports standards, and it speaks to the maturity required of WRC drivers.

So, WRC isn't just jumps and sideways. Good to know.


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