In some parts of the United States, surveys have revealed competitors enter just 2.3 rallies per year (RPY). Using generous assumptions that the average rally is 2 days long and provides 300 stage miles, this 2.3 RPY figure means many American rallyists are investing a great deal of time, energy, and money into building a vehicle they will drive less than 5 days (4.6) and less than 700 miles (690) per year. When you consider preparing a race vehicle can cost upwards of $6000 (on top of the cost of the vehicle itself), does rally – by itself – present a good value?
The Multi-Use Rally Vehicle
A recent conversation with Dan Spalinger of New Hampshire uncovered an interesting idea which might alleviate this problem. Dan is a Senior Editor at Nissan Sport Magazine and writes about a variety of Nissan motorsport topics on his personal site, NISMO Stuff. The truck above is Dan’s and here’s what he said which struck me as being such an interesting idea.
The truck will hopefully be ready for some hill climb races here in the Northeast in ’11 along with at least one full on stage rally as well… Then in ’12 I want to bring it west for one decent sized desert race… Taking the slow and steady approach to the project.
Dan is impressed by vehicles that do a number of things well. While not a rally car, a full-sized truck should be more than capable of devouring stage miles – just ask Bill Holmes out in California. A full-sized truck should be able to hold its own at the local hill climb event, too. A full-sized truck, properly prepared, should be able to do both of these and still complete a desert race in the southwestern desert.
Do you enter your rally car/truck in non-rally events?
We’d love to learn more about that. Which ones? Where and why? Given the extensive investments and sacrifices made to prepare a rally vehicle, it would seem a shame to know most people really only get to legitimately enjoy them for a couple days and a few hundred miles of seat time a year.