Launching A Rally Car Is Way Harder Than You Think

Gif: Top Gear (YouTube)

Anyone pretty familiar with racing knows that starting a race car isn’t anything like starting a road car—in fact, it’s about ten times more difficult. And launching a World Rally Championship Hyundai i20 comes with its own set of twists and turns.

A new video from Top Gear shows Ollie Marriage going through the motions of getting a rally car up and running—which is actually about as mind blowing as it is instructional.

Remember the first time you learned to drive a manual car, where all the different processes of getting moving seemed next to impossible to master compared to the simplicity of an automatic? The WRC car launch process makes a regular ol’ manual seem like a breeze.

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You have to start the Hyundai and get it into gear. You have to press and hold the ‘start’ button on the steering wheel. You have to pull the handbrake. You have to rev it up before then releasing the start button. You have to release both the handbrake and the clutch at the same time. Then—and only then—can you think about actually moving the car forward.

I’m sure it’s a no-brainer once you get the hang of it, but man. I wonder how long it takes for a Regular Joe to master that launch procedure.

It’d all be worth it for that split-second launch into motion, though.

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About the author

Elizabeth Blackstock

Staff writer. Motorsport fanatic. Proud owner of a 2013 Mazda 2.