Rally is a motorsport held in a lengthy racing format on public, private and rough roads. It usually involves specialty built road-legal cars. The sport features both a driver and a co-driver, also known as a navigator, who must work together to keep a predetermined schedule between established checkpoints. The role of the navigator is to instruct the driver on things such as where to turn, how hard to turn, and obstacle avoidance. This is especially important as the races aren’t held on a closed circuit, but are rather a point-to-point format across long stretches of unknown or even rugged terrain.
Rallying races are held throughout the year, in every weather condition and surface (think: snow, mud, mountain passages and desert). The tracks are divided into stages. In specialty stages, cars are sent off in intervals and judged by time. These stages tend to be relatively short (30 miles) and there can be anywhere from a dozen to two-dozen or more per rally. Winners are determined by drivers with the lowest overall time for all special stages in an event.
Rallying has been around nearly as long as commercial vehicles. One of the earliest recorded competitive rallies occurred in 1907. The race stretched 7,500 miles from Beijing, China to Paris, France. The Monte Carlo Rally is the largest, longest-running rally. It has gone almost every year since 1911, with breaks during wartime periods. The FIA World Rally Championship, or WRC, is the premier international rally competition.
• Finishers are given points each stage based on their place. The higher the place, the more points. At the end of the rally event, the teams with the most points wins.