One of our readers suggested we track down Carl Jardevall. Carl got his start racing Saabs in Sweden, but he’s since moved on to Volvos and even Mitsubishis. Fortunately, Carl was able to spend a few minutes sharing some of his thoughts on rally over the years.
What’s your name? Where are you located? What do you do for a living?
Carl Jardevall, Live in Half Moon Bay, work in San Carlos CA. own and run Nordic Motors.
What got you interested in rally?
Everything with an engine got me hooked at young age. At around 15 a friend navigated in a beetle rally car. That got me going in the rally direction. Also growing up in Sweden in the sixties and seventies rally cars were all over.
Tell us about your rally car/truck. How long have you had it?
Did you buy your rally car or build it?
My current rally car is a Mitsubishi Lancer 8. I picked up the car in 05 and pretty much 06 took time to build it. First event in 07.
What challenges did this cause? What benefits did you realize as a result?
Time and of course late nights. One plus is you know how and where things are.
Tell us about a time when you stuffed the rally car (or maybe had a nasty off).
Knock on wood so far with the EVO 8 I’ve been lucky, I’ve had a few close calls, with the EVO 4 I had a few years back we did a nasty off in Colorado. Ended up on the nose in to the beautiful Colorado grasslands.
What’s the most rewarding part of being involved in rally? The most challenging?
Rewarding part is the nice people you meet and of course if you do well on stages. Travel and the time input.
How many events did you enter last year? Is that trending up or down? Why?
3 events last year, will probably stay the same or maybe one more depending on outcome.
What kind of cash prize structure would entice you to enter more rallies or push the car harder?
If cash got involved it has to be a fair amount to entice me. In general I try to do my best no matter what, but to push that last 5% you need a major carrot at the end of the day.
How important are car classes? What class/region do you race in?
How many competitors in your class at each event?
I would say car classes are a must. You have so many different levels of competitors and financial background. You need to have a introduction class for people that are new to the sport as well as the guy’s and girls who want’s to spend a lot. I’m currently converting the car over to the SP class. I’ve been running in open but to go all the way out is more than I’m ready to invest.
What do you think about recce vs pacenotes vs blind rally?
When I started rally back in ’75 we didn’t have any recce. All events were blind and to some degree I think the drivers back then had a better ability to read and understand changes in road surface. One major argument for the recce was to make it safer. Well the cars are still going off and roll and you have added time off from work as well. I think the champion ship events may be justified but on club level I’m not sure.
Spectators: Dream come true or worst nightmare? Why?
The more you make a sport popular you will have spectators. The draw back in this country to some degree is the legal system with lawsuits left and right. It also puts a bigger burden on organizers as well.
How do you get local gearheads involved in rally?
You probably will have to get events closer to metropolitan areas. It doesn’t have to be major events, just a short rally sprint of some sort with rally cars. Right now if you are not into rallying you have no idea when and where there is an event.
What do you see is the most critical issue needing addressed by the rally community today?
How would you address that issue if you were in charge?
I would like to see a governing body that worked for the teams/rally drivers instead of running it as a business. You probably have to have two groups of PR people, one that works on attract funding to the sport and a second one to gain reassurance from landowners and the public.
How do you help out at rallies when you aren’t racing?
If you could enter any WRC event, which rally would that be? Why?
New Zealand. Just looking at the pictures and videos from that event says it all.
Your favorite Group B car?
Audi Quattro. The raw power that came out.
We’ve all got a rally hero. Who’s yours?
It has to be Ari Vatanen, a close second would be Michelle Mouton.
Thank a volunteer (or group of them) here.
I have to say anybody that is a volunteer have to receive a big thank you. Most of the events I’ve done has been in the North West. I would assume even a bigger thank you to all of those people.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from your time in the rally community?
There is a lot of enthusiastic people out there. I think the key is to do it with moderation unless you have the funds.
Carl has been rally racing for better than 30 years. We sincerely thank him for taking the time from his busy schedule to share his thoughts on our interview. To see more pictures from the last 30 years of rally, jump over to the Team Jardevall Rally Sport website.