People who take a RallyPro Performance Driving School rally course often get the Rally “bug”. These people often ask us how they can become a rally driver.
Perhaps you’ve already taken some courses, participated in a rally event, or just got excited from online videos! Either way, The FIRM has one of the best performance driving schools in the nation and one of the best tracks in North America. We offer surface changes, gravel, lime-rock, mud, sand, asphalt, and water.
Our instructors teach professionals, military students, and people who have never even driven a stick!
If you are looking to learn more about how to be a rally driver and how to compete in rally, we’ve got you covered.
Rallying is an easy sport to break into, but a hard sport to master.
It may feel like a secret society due to its relative obscurity in the United States. The good news, though, is since the rally community is a tight-knit group, once you’re in, it’s easy to learn all about the key events and meet the key players!
RallyPro Performance Driving School at The FIRM can help you break into the rally world or level up your performance. If that’s all you’re looking for then, BOOK NOW. Otherwise, read on for more helpful tips on how to become a rally driver, get a license, or just learn a bit more about the sport.
So, You Want to Become a Rally Driver
We’ve collected 6 of the best tips to help you on your journey to becoming a rally driver!
1) Join Your Local Car Club
A great way to get involved in rally driving is to join a local car club. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is a cornerstone of our community. Their RallyCross program is an affordable program with more relaxed rules than other rally events.
Join your local club for volunteer opportunities and the opportunity to network.
Even if you don’t have a car yet, your local club is most likely willing to let you volunteer so that you can learn more about the sport. Many of these clubs stay alive because of the volunteers!
2) Find a Mentor!
Once you’ve joined the club and develop a network, it’s time to cultivate relationships!
These clubs usually have very friendly members who will welcome talented and committed racers into their community. The more members who take you under their wing, the more opportunities you will be afforded with lower barriers to entry. Members want you to succeed. The more people who join the community, the greater chance of growth, which translates into more opportunities for all!
You’re going to need this support to become a rally driver or co-driver.
3) Time for RallyPro Performance Driving School
You’ve likely spent many hours catching up on WRC action and buried in your laptop watching rallying videos on YouTube.
Now that you’ve joined your local car club and maybe even tested your skills in rallycross, it’s time to ask yourself a serious question…
Did you enjoy driving a rally car?
If the answer is “yes”, then it’s time to book a RallyPro Performance Driving School course at The FIRM. A 1-day introduction to rally will teach you ultimate car control and give you the knowledge and confidence to take your car to the competitive edge in a rally event!
Name of RACE TEAM @ The FIRM Rally Testing
4) Get Your Car
At RallyPro Performance Driving School, our chief instructor Bryn Walters teaches you why “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow.”
If you haven’t already chosen your car, now’s a great time to pick a slow car. Then you can learn about the car classes for your local car club.
We suggest you start with a 2WD as they are easier and less expensive to repair compared to AWD cars.
4) What’s After RallyCross?
“The SCCA recognized that currently there is a large gap in competition opportunities between RallyCross and stage rally. To fill that gap, the SCCA has created a program called RallySprint. RallySprint will provide intermediate steps between RallyCross and stage rally. The incremental steps provide competition opportunities with increased challenge and speed. The safety requirements and financial investments in equipment increase incrementally as well. Safety for competitors and teams, volunteers and spectators are of the utmost importance.
Our goal is to provide “affordable seat time” in a safe environment to practice and learn advanced rally-type skills.
These events also help the rally community by serving as training sessions for workers. Many volunteers are needed in the roles of control workers, scoring, radio communications, spectator marshals, course marshals. These events give new workers a chance to learn, and also gives experienced workers a chance to learn new positions.”
Learn more about RallySprint here.
5) Drive Any Time You Get the Chance
It’s important to understand that rally racing doesn’t allow you to drive the lap repeatedly to learn the track or conditions.
For this reason, you must take seat time wherever and whenever the opportunity presents itself.
RallyPro Performance Driving School at The FIRM hosts four annual RallyX events. This is another great way to get more seat time because, in general, events in the Southeast are pretty sparse.
6) Get Your Rally License
Once you build a car, you’ll need to test it. You may also want a bit more instruction to get you more confident for competitive driving. That’s where RallyPro Performance Driving School will come in handy!
Before you can sign up for a sanctioned event, you need to get a Rally License from The American Rally Association (ARA) or the Nasa Rally Sports Association (NASA). These are the two main sanctioning bodies in the U.S. ARA sanctioned events require an ARA license and NASA sanctioned events require a NASA license.
Familiarize yourself with The American Rally Association calendar of events as well as the Nasa Rally Sports Schedule. It is important, to read all the rules in depth. If your car makes it without breaking down and getting smashed, you don’t want to lose points because of penalties.
There are a lot of rules and it takes time to learn them all. The entire sport can seem overwhelming at times. This is why having a mentor and getting connected with others is so important!
Do your research and learn as much as you can. Once you attend events, you will get to meet some of the top rally drivers.