How to prepare for a rally

What do you have to do to prepare for a rally?

What I normally have to prepare in order to get the most out of each rally is, of course, fitness. But on top of that, there is so much more. For example, you need to have a good test before the rally, and also very good cooperation with the engineers to plan every single stage of the rally, what you’re going to do. And then there is understanding the tyres. 

How do you put together a strategy for the rally with plenty of surface changes like Monte Carlo? 

You can never do a rally or win a rally by yourself: you need to have good people around you that do a lot of strategy, tyre choices. You drive on so many different surfaces and with the right people around, only then are you prepared enough to get the most out of the rally.

How do you prepare for a rally on gravel or snow?

Each surface, whether it’s a tarmac rally, a snow rally or gravel rally, is different. But because the cars and the setup are so different in each country, even the gravel and asphalt are not the same in each country, it’s down to the team and the people around you to work together to understand the requirements of each surface for your car. Cooperation and teamwork go a long way to getting the right strategy for the race.

How important is physical training?

Well, physical training is maybe one of the most important things because, even if the rally is not the hardest or most demanding, you do so many of them through the season. You do the recce, you do the testing, so to stay healthy all the time is, of course, absolutely crucial to succeeding in any rally.

How does a recce work? 

The recce is basically the driver and the co-driver going through every single stage twice before the rally. So, the first time you drive through, you write the pace note, and the second time you are checking them and finetuning the notes. This normally happens on the Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday before each race and is maybe the biggest or most important aspect for the drivers to be fast on the stage. It also gives you an extra level of safety which is also very important.

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