Glossary to the World of Rallies
Every sport has its a jargon and the World of Rally Championships is no exception. For new fans and enthusiasts, watching the sport can become a trifle tedious if they have not been exposed to the ‘lingo’ the sport promotes. If you’re baffled by rallyspeak, check out this glossary.
Active differential The centre differential on a four wheel drive WRC car that uses computer input to send power to the wheels with the best grip, to maximise performance. From 2006 active front and rear differentials were banned and are now mechanically operated..
Aerodynamics WRC cars have spoilers, splitters and other shaped panels on the bodywork to direct cool air past the engine, gearbox and brakes and help keep the car firmly on the road at high speeds.
Co-driver The navigator in the front passenger seat who gives a running commentary to the driver about road conditions ahead.
Driver safety WRC cars don’t have airbags. Instead, the crew sit inside a protective roll cage and strap themselves in with six-point wide-strap safety belts. The car has an automatic fire extinguisher system plumbed-in and the crew wear flameproof overalls, safety helmets and a head and neck support system (see HANS device).
FIA The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, the Geneva-based governing body for world-wide motor sport which regulates and controls the World Rally Championship.
Flying finish The end of a stage where the timing stops.
Gravel cars Cars which are driven through stages ahead of the competitors to report back on weather and surface conditions.
Gravel settings The choice of tyres and suspension adjustments to give a WRC car maximum performance on a loose surfaced stage.
HANS® device HANS stands for head and neck support. Worn on the shoulders and around the back of the neck, in the event of an accident, the HANS® Device reduces the amount the head swings forward and can help protect a driver’s head and neck from serious injury.
Intercom The radio link that enables the driver to hear the co-driver’s instructions above the noise of the engine and transmission. Intercom headphones and a microphone are built into the safety helmet.
J-WRC Junior World Rally Championship. Like the P-WRC, a support championship for the World Rally Championship. The J-WRC has seven rounds and is for front-wheel drive 1600cc hot hatchbacks. J-WRC drivers must be born on or after 1st January 1979 - so they cannot be older than 28 at the start of the Championship year to compete.
Launch control This helps the driver to make the fastest getaway from a standing start. The system has a device that prevents the engine stalling.
Leg A day’s rallying.
OTL Over time limit. Competitors arriving more than 15 minutes late at a time control or service area or who are more than 30 minutes late in total during the rally are OTL and excluded from the results.
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