Can Top Gear America save rally races?
Rally races are the most dynamic motor sport in the world – or at least they used to be. From the 1970s to the late 1990s, rally racing wore the crown and rally cars were some of the most sought-after vehicle icons of their time. The sport spawned world-renowned stars in both driver and vehicle, such as Colin McRae and the Subaru WRX STI. But the last few years have not been good for rallying and it needs a facelift. The Top Gear America Hosts think they figured all this out.
The heroes of the rally race
Rally drivers are among the best racing car drivers in the world. The constant fluctuations in terrain and traction combined with open stage course conditions that can change in a matter of seconds force them to develop god-like levels of control and finesse. No wonder that legends like Walter Rohrl and Sebasian Loeb made their way into road racing with great success. Rally racing has also spawned (or attracted) some of the greatest Formula 1 drivers like Alain Prost and Kimi Raikkonen. Even modern legends like Ken Block and Travis Pastrana regularly show that they can hold their own on asphalt with the best.
The drivers aren’t the only heroes. Cars like the Lancia Stratos were hyperexotic poster art, much like Ferrari and Lamborghini, and were only referred to as extremely wired racing cars. They won races and stages for years on an outdated two-wheel drive chassis by the time the dominators of the sport had long switched to all-wheel drive.
But not only the country club and the yacht crowd could achieve a world class rally car. Group B rally races turned everyday problems into legends. Ford’s Escort, Focus, and Fiesta, Toyota Celica, Subaru Impreza, and Mitsubishi Lancer were all boy-racing dream cars that the average weekend warrior could achieve. Have you ever wondered why WRXs and Evos were so popular in the 1990s? Win on Sunday, sell on Monday and boy, these cars won a lot.
Basic flaws in rally racing
Rally races are no longer like they were 20 years ago. Only three manufacturers took part in the 2020 World Rally Championship (WRC) when dozens were competing. Fan turnout has decreased, TV coverage and viewership have decreased, but the Top Gear America Hosts know how to fix it. The way you see it, rally racing faces five fundamental shortcomings that it will only address this way Top Gear America can.
The cars-Modern rally cars are cool and fast when everyone gets out, but they’re all based on boring small cars that nobody likes. If you went to high school between 1995 and 2005, you probably wanted a Subaru or Mitsubishi for your first car, and that was due to rally racing. Which car inspires today’s youth to get out and drive, the Ford Fiesta? Ford doesn’t even make it anymore!
No, rally races need heroes who can add variety to the sport and win the hearts of young people. Stepping on the old school with his 2020 Subaru WRX STI Series White, Jethro notes that this more road-focused development of Subaru’s indomitable rally car still has the right DNA.
Dax has taken a rather sleepy approach with the 2020 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400. A sporty limousine in a rally race? Don’t worry kids, Dax has not lost his mind. The Q50 Red Sport has 400 horsepower and all-wheel drive and comes from the same technical geniuses who created Rob’s driving style – the 2020 Nissan GT-R Track Edition – that doesn’t belong off-road at all. But Rob thinks that with 600 horsepower destroying Tokyo, it will still be a great time.
The driver-Modern rally drivers are just too damn good! How is the average weekend warrior supposed to keep up with Tanner Foust on a local racing weekend? You can not! So the guys want to try to level the field and give everyone the same shot to win. Remember, Jethro is a true professional racing driver – Rob has no hope of qualifying him for his skills. At the same time, it has almost twice the power in the GT-R as Jethro in the Subaru. Time to break your handics!
Participation of the publicThe best part of motorsport for the spectator is being there; You can feel the exhaust pressure hit you as the cars race by, the baffle vibrate to the core and the smell of hydrocarbons in the atmosphere. Rally racing fans are some of the most dedicated to getting as close as possible to the action, and often risking life and limb to get the best view. How can our brave hosts bring people closer to the action without endangering their safety? This may have to be worked on for a while …
The look-A modern WRC car looks like the technological marvel it is – and usually technological marvels are expensive. At around $ 750,000, a WRC racing car doesn’t miss this mark. In order to attract more people to rally races, the barrier to entry needs to be lowered so that the Amature racer doesn’t have a prize, but the cars still need to look cool.
Jethro opted for a clean set of Grhics, a la Colin McRae and his 555 liveries. Dax went for more utility and sturdiness by cutting its fenders and raising the Infiniti. The light bar also makes for a mean look. Rob only opted for off-the-wall style points – no rear bumper, side tubes, and truck bed to set up the fenders. The guys definitely present a variety of eye-catching characters here.
The event-Rally races themselves need most of the help. The same stages are driven year after year, cars are released individually to prevent everyone’s favorite part of motorsport – the accidents – and co-drivers from being able to handle the notes so well that they can when a driver is with the terrain unfamiliar is sure to rush forward. It’s time to turn this upside down! No more co-drivers, no more familiar stages and routes and give us this bike-to-bike action! What could go wrong?
This is not the end of Top Gear America for this season. The action will all be back from May 7, 2021, only on MotorTrend p. Don’t worry, there’s plenty to see in the meantime, like seasons 1-27 of the BBC Top gear, roadkill, Fastest cars in the dirty south or Dirt every day. Plus, there’s no better time to look around the first half of this season Top Gear America than right after the mid-season finale.