Driving a WRC…oh and meeting someone famous :o)
My first experience of a World Rally Car – awesomeness
So I turn up to help film the BBC King of Speed documentary with Idris Elba and just sitting there waiting for me to take the wheel was a full blown Mini World Rally Car!
I have the insane goal to be World Rally Champion, which I know is a massive task and years of constant work, but sitting in this car made my goal feel so much closer, more achievable in my head and become far less dreamy.
I always had the pre-conception that a World Rally Car would feel like a bus to drive, that it would feel massive and I would feel like an ant. It felt pretty normal to be honest (after 16 cushions and 4 books were put under my butt) which is a comforting thing…. I mean the size thing, not the cushions.
So here I was in the type of cars I have been watching for years and dreaming of taking the wheel of. I was pretty nervous if I am completely honest, but as soon as I pulled away, my heart was grinning. The World Rally Car munched through the gears like some sort of T-Rex. It was like it was shouting at me for more and more gears, mental. The torque was incredible, felt like my helmet was making a dent in the seat. The grip too was mind blowing, we were only on gravel set-up and tyres to make it more dramatic for filming, it must be extraordinary on tarmac set-up and slicks. The thing was so loud too. I was attempting to explain to Idris what I was doing, I’m not sure he heard fully despite the intercom, lol. Though once we swapped seats and Idris’s adrenalin started to kick in and make his hearing a little fuzzy, I had to be louder than the car! It was fun.
It was an amazing opportunity, and the car happened to be Prodrive’s museum car that Dani Sordo took the podium with twice in 2011, so I felt really privileged to be able to drive the beast though a little more pressure.
I didn’t stall it either, bonus!
I also got to meet Paddy Hopkirk who won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1964 and former British Rally Champion David Llewellin :o) Coolio.