Rallying, aside from being clearly the most awesome form of motorsport, has one particularly major issue. As a spectator, you usually see the total sum of not very much from your viewing point. With long, technical stages that are generally spread across huge areas, it’s usually not possible to watch all of the action in person – unless you’re viewing from a helicopter. Thankfully, someone realised this many, many years ago and started putting cameras into the cars so we can relive some of the greatest moments in motorsport that pretty much no one saw happen. In no particular order…
“Oh, dear God.”
Ari Vatanen, Manx Rally, Opel Manta 400. It’s probably the most famous on-board rally footage which also happens to include the famous line from Terry Harryman as Vatanen manages to squeeze the Manta through a particularly narrow gateway, immediately after clipping a wall. It’s butthole-clenching stuff. No matter how many times I watch it, I still expect it to end in disaster.
Röhrl Versus the Human Sea
I think if there was ever a video that depicted the insanity that was Group B, this is it. Although it’s benefitted (or suffered) from an editor’s hand, there’s no doubting what you see as Röhrl pilots his quattro S2 through a sea of people. Breathtaking.
Flat out followed Immediately by Brake Failure
It’s easily every driver’s worst nightmare. Approaching a square right at 120mph, Fisher somehow manages to guide his out of control Manta through spectators and cars parked in the run-off area. This is the sort of natural talent that very few are born with.
I’ll make no apologies for another Irish video in here. It may only be 14 seconds long, but it has hours of replay value. Flat, over jump, pull another gear. Ain’t care.
If in Doubt, Flat Out
Finally, I leave you with this. No gimmicks, no accidents, no cheesy music. Just six minutes of one of the greatest talents rallying has ever seen. Count those upshifts and watch in complete and utter admiration as McRae casually catches an armful of opposite lock at the top of fifth gear. On gravel. In the wet.
These are just five of my favourites, ones which I come back to time and time again. What are yours?