WRC: Describing The Undescribable
Attempting The Impossible

World Rally Championship drivers are as humanly close to the superheros we read about in comics and watch at cinemas as possible.

A lofty statement, sure, but also an accurate account. Think about it: lightning fast reflexes, the ability to sense the future, courage above that of a regular person. I wanted to avoid the clichés, but since you mentioned it, yes, I did witness some drivers fly during the weekend, too.

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For those that care to argue with my playful theory, I’d challenge you to join the spectators in the forests, deserts, coastal roads or whatever sadistic ‘road’ course is closest to where you call home.

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I can’t recall a single scenario that even comes close to the rush of standing just metres away from one-tonne of steel as it hurtles past at maximum velocity and at the edge of control (and possibly airborne), on an otherwise undriveable goat track.


Or avoiding the flying gravel traveling in its wake.

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As I mentioned in my preview story, watching a WRC special stage first-hand is an indescribable experience. But what the hell, I’m going to try.

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There’s more to spectating than the expected kick of adrenaline you’d expect, though. Let me walk you through the entire experience.

In Australia at least, those waves of excitement are balanced beautifully with a zen-like state of relaxation that being immersed within nature brings. Fresh air, bird calls and the sounds of the wind dancing with the tree leaves.

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The tranquility is, of course, punctuated with some of the world’s angriest four-cylinder engines on a regular basis. To be precise, three minute intervals for WRC classes and two minute intervals for the Australian Rally series.

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Nature is silenced; usually, the rhythmic thudding of the chopper blades cutting through the air proceeds the vicious little rally engine. Relaxation is replaced with anticipation.

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A distant engine echoes through the trees, faintly at first, but building all the time. Your mind tries to map out the course as the sound rises, dips and fades around the landscape that separates you.

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Finally, the reverberation reduces, and specific, nuanced sound that helps to identify each manufacturer before the car crests, or blasts around the final corner standing between the two of you.

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As the car rushes into sight, time slows down ever so slightly. Water splashes seem to move at half pace; the car hangs in the hang when airborne. Although it feels slower, the sense of speed is not lost.

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Your brain processes the details of what just transpired, replaying the action with your mind’s eye as the engine sounds fade away in the opposite direction. A short time after, the soothing sounds of nature resume once more.

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I suspect I’ve fallen plenty short of my lofty goal of accurately sharing the moment, but hopefully, I’ve motivated at least one of you to say yes to adventure and make plans to experience the excitement of WRC first-hand. If that is you, trust me, you’ve made the right decision.

Matthew Everingham
Instagram: matthew_everingham

Exhibit A

For those who require a little more persuasion, I’ve curated a gallery of images to give you a more visual taste of what you’ve been missing if you’ve never been.

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What an action packed set of photos! I can feel the energy; well done! cheers!

Matthew Everingham


Dino Dalle Carbonare

You've outdone yourself Matty boy!!

Matthew Everingham

Eyyyyyy! Grazie.


Excellent photos Matt! Did you do a skid in your Lancer?

Matthew Everingham

Haha. Yes. Skids, gravel bombs and the occasional togue section driving between stages.

I'll share some more of all this on my next story. ;]


you are a mad man behind action shots Matt! wow!

Matthew Everingham

Thank you.


but how do they go so fast without huge aero and engines that last longer than 10 miles? I thought time attack was the fastest...

Matthew Everingham

I doubt they'd exceed 200kmh often. Driving at 180kmh on a road we'd drive on at 30 or 40kmh sure does look like warp speed though.


It's not so much raw speed, as it is the poor conditions. The average speed of a WRC course is around 80 miles per hour (this is built into the layout of the track, and the drivers drive with no actual speed limit). Other competitions definitely see much higher speeds on the speedometer, but rally feels the fastest and most dangerous, because instead of running on a dedicated track or cordoned-off road course, they're flying down gravel roads and dodging trees every turn.


You're a monster Matt

Matthew Everingham



Probably the best photography on this website to date - you're giving Dino a run for his money these days! Yew.

Matthew Everingham

Cheers man.

But seriously, Shush, you'll get me killed or worse...

TheFreakinCat Gaming

whats worse than being killed?


TheFreakinCat Gaming... he could get expelled from Hogwarts.


Ha ha, but seriously- Matt you definitely killed it here. The action shots and positions you found were awesome, put us RIGHT there where you'd want to be if you were actually there.
Keep it up!


Hi, Matthew.

Can you join me near the edge of this very tall building for a moment?

Matthew Everingham



Little angry cars smashing through the forest while a little angry man takes photos. I'd pay to see that!

Matthew Everingham

I'm surly. Not angry.


I saw these new generation cars at Wales Rally GB for the first time this year. Nothing short of breathtaking the speed they can travel at on loose gravel. Gutted for our Craig Breen on an awful weekend of luck. Hope he gets a seat next year.

Outstanding shots as always, Matthew.

Matthew Everingham

I can't imagine these cars are much slower than the glorious Group B cars we all lament.



These cars are MUCH faster than those of the Group B era. Lancia were beating Group B stage times with the Group A Integrale in the early 90's.

The current specification WRCars are not only much faster but arguably providing the same spectacle as the Group B cars.


Fantastic shots Matthew!


Matthew what is the shutter speed you use to take the more of the movement shots of cars?

Matthew Everingham

The shutter speeds are different for most of these shots, but the easy to get some motion into any shot is to shoot in SHUTTER PRIORITY mode and start at around 1/xxx, where xxx = rough speed of car.
E.g. Car at 100mph or kmh is shot at 1/100th of a second. Car travelling at 50km/h to be shot at 1/50th.
The closer to a full second the shutter is open, the harder it is to bang out a sharp one, but it's also how to get the more pronounced blur into a shot.
I hope that helps. Good luck! :)




some stellar shots here mate.
i feel like i've clicked the wheel on the back of the camera on a 128GB card full of images.
there are soooooo many photatoes!


Great article and absolutely fantastic pictures. This season has been the best WRC title fight for well over a decade, I can't sing the praises of these latest specification cars enough!


Describing the drivers as superheros was the only way I could find to explain what is to witness an rally stage to my friends who isn't into it. Great article, amazing photos! I love the panning approach, it's a great way to transmit the speed feeling that you get in the stages.