Here are three super-useful driving tips from DirtFish lead instructor Nate Tennis on how to get maximum pace from your rally car on snow. You can see them all in action by watching the video above.
You want to wait for all of the inputs that you ask from the car to take effect. So if you get into it and get excited, it’s quite easy to throw in a lot of wheel, throw in a lot of input, but we really need to calm things down and be very, very patient.
Especially when racing, you get excited to be back on the throttle, back on the brakes, and any other input at your disposal. You want to be very patient because a tire can only do so many things. If you get excited halfway through a corner and start mashing on the gas pedals and the brakes and cranking on the steering wheel, you’re going to completely overwhelm that tire.
So what you want to do is set the car into a corner, and just wait. Let the slide develop, and be patient until you find the exit of the corner. When the car is positioned the way you want to, that’s when you start to apply the gas pedal. Not before then.
2. Be smooth
Be smooth. Unbelievably smooth. The reason we have a lot of successful Scandinavian rally drivers is because they start out on the snow. Snow exaggerates all your inputs, and penalises you for being aggressive. You need to be very, very smooth because you have the least amount of grip of any surface.
3. Good vision
This is an obvious one in any form of motorsport, however it’s especially true in the snow, mainly because you can’t see very well. There’s white on the ground, there’s white on the snowbanks, there might even be white coming down in the sky. It makes it really hard to discern where the corner starts, where the corner ends, and even where you are in the middle of the corner.
Add to the fact that the car is most likely going to be sliding, we really need to keep our eyes up looking where we want to go. That helps guide the car in the correct direction as well as find out where the next corner entry or exit is.