Rally Tips: Start Racing With One Differential

oneil winterTeam O’Neil Rally School puts out some interesting rally tips on their Facebook Page. You should check out their school but if you’re not ready, you should at least follow their Facebook Page. This rally tip is about your first rally car. Many people want a vehicle with All Wheel Drive, but Team O’Neil Rally School recommends starting with a 2wd car. If this photo of the rear-wheel drive Ford Escort doesn’t convince you they have 10 reasons why you should start with a 2wd car below.

Sligo Stages rally 2004 by bill caswell 73

Here’s a few reasons from Team O’Neil Rally School on why your first rally car should only have one differential.

1. It’s a proven system. Start small and work your way up, if you can’t win the Little Leagues, you won’t win the World Series.
2. It’s more fun. Compared to a beginner AWD car, you’ll probably be sliding more, which means you’ll be smiling more.
3. It’s cheaper. Lower vehicle and parts costs mean you can do more events, get more seat time, and tear up more tires.
4. It’s better training. You have to carry your speed, learn all the techniques, get the notes right, and drive close to the limit to win.
5. You can stand out to sponsors. One more AWD Subaru might not get anyone’s attention, if you go 2WD, the options are endless.
6. It’s simpler. Less moving parts means less maintenance and fewer things to go wrong, fewer parts and tools to bring racing.
7. You can make more power. 2WD cars are unrestricted, you could legally run 500+hp. Not that you should, but you could.
8. Better competition. 2WD cars run pretty close together at every rally, which means better battles and more fun racing.
9. It’s not just a rally car. A 2WD car can have more options to go ice racing, drifting, hill climbing, rallycrossing, autocrossing, etc.
10. You can win. Want to beat David Higgins? Start writing six-figure checks, and a lot of them… Or start in 2WD like he did.

Bill Caswell is a self-taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator, and rose to internet fame taking a $500 Craigslist BMW to a World Rally Championship event in Mexico in March of 2010. His exploits have featured in places like ESPN Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, NPR Radio, Wired.com and Jalopnik.com. A lifelong fan of rally and motorsport, Caswell famously believes nothing to be impossible.