My adventure at the 20th rally of the city of Valencia.
Alvaro Martínez is a freelance writer who writes articles in his spare time and works doing car reviews, writing about unusual cars and many other things.
A few days ago while I was watching possible motorsport events I could attend… I realized that I had never attended a rally, I had been a circuit-only enthusiast and I was sure that Rally was one of those kinds of special events since the fans are VERY close to the cars they had gone to see in first place, so I got hands-on work and prepared for what would be one of my best weekends yet
The trip wasn´t… incident-free
One of the many reasons why you have to get up early to attend a rally is due to the long distances you have to travel, Starting in my hometown I had ahead 2 hours of traveling trough corner filled mountain passes. Even If I left at 11 I still would have to drive VERY fast up the mountain pass.
Even if we had left at 10 AM and reached the town by noon most of that time we expent it stuck behind a trailer that couldn`t care less about a car wanting to pass him. A water bottle later and a single cigar we managed to eventually overtake him as a long straight came which meant we had to make up time and step on the throttle.
As my father drove I sat on the passenger seat checking the material I was carrying, A bottle of water, The camera on my phone alongside some Kleenex to clean it, My binoculars & gloves… I, however, realized we didn`t bring up some food with us, that meant we would have to stop on a nearby town and get at least some sandwiches with us since four hours in a rally course don`t exactly pass fast, Most of the time is a waiting game between cars and finding the perfect watching spot.
After our brief stop to get some food I decided to drive myself so my father could have a break from driving through the mountain passes, I had a feeling my father`s arms developed arthritis since mine started to be fatigued only after 1 hour and half of driving, he then would help me navigate the roads and I would take care of the driving all the way to the town of Cortes de Pallás.
After I saw my phone`s battery drop to 70% I knew it would be wise to just shut it down and drive guided by the signals and my father`s indications, eventually I had gotten passed by a Rally Spec Porsche 911 on a corner, and doing my best to try and follow it (I certainly got outaccelerated/outmaneuvered) I eventually had to ask for directions and luckily… We had managed to find the starting line of the rally, but still… we had half an hour to find a good parking spot for our car and a good place to view the rally.
The arrival & conclussion.
After arriving at the stage with half an hour to spare to find a good parking spot for our car (in which it wasn't in danger of being hit by a rally car) including a good spot to view the rally from.
Luckily for us It didn`t take much time to find the perfect spot to watch the rally, a large esplanade which was protected by a cluster of rocks was the perfect place to park and as plus we could see a corner entry, the exit and a large straight including the next corner which took a light right.
The first part was a game of waiting and waiting with only the civil guard cars locking down the road with the sirens blaring, rally organization cars trying their best to drive fast down the course with a weird siren-whistle to scare off any animals.
While that was going on I had time to walk around my spot to find pathways into other places to take photos and videos, However that meant great torture, frequently I was pricked with asparagus plants while trying to ascend steep slopes of loose soil fighting to don`t tumble down the slope in order to reach a better viewing spot.
The start of the rally was opened by a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X that with its backfires made all the spectators turn their heads, and surprisingly only 45 seconds later a Renault CLIO skid the tires on the corner where I was taking pictures, The rest of the rally would be a caution game while switching spots listening for howling engines to take cover.
At the end of the rally ended by the disappointingly slow classic cars driven by newbies, I had a big sip of water because ... 4 hours in the sun was 4 hours in the sun, and still I did the drive back home... I had definitively a great experience during saturday.
I can say that I would recommend my readers to assist to a rally at least one time on their lives, Between a racetrack event and a rally you don`t have angry officials shoving you off the pitlanes or kids yelling hysterically while throwing their fries & coke cola everywhere, You`re just two-three meters away from the cars on each corner responsible of your actions and how close do you get, there are no fences "protecting" you from the noise of the racecars, just you and the rally cars.