Okay, So These Are Just Front-Wheel-Drive Econoboxes But..

These are the R2 cars of the Belgian Rally Championship. They are not top-level cars and they're not in top-level competition. But still it's some of the most gripping driving I've seen in a while.

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As World Rally Blog points out, these cars don't have the horsepower, or the four-wheel-drive grip of more expensive WRC cars, but that just means these R2 drivers need to push their cars even further past the limit to find an edge over their rivals.

If there's ever been a display of forceful driving, this is it.

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(Hat tip to World Rally Blog!)

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DISCUSSION

I have been following the ERC via DVR (even if it's 6 months behind in the US) and they just covered the R5 cars for next year:

Basically stock engine block, intercooler and turbo (out of the manufacturer's parts bin of production parts at least), but with a racing sequential transmission. Nearly as fast as WRC but at substantially lower cost. I suppose it's like the difference between the super stocks and full unlimited bikes at the Isle of Mann TT: something like $20,000-50,000 more for just a few seconds.

The ERC production class drivers, especially the 2wd ones are my heroes though. Running a production car with a cage on gravel tires through a stock manual tranny, yet they can somehow manage to heel-toe downshift while counter steering and pulling the e-brake with only 2 hands.

Makes me want to get gravel tires and oversize mudflats for my Scion Xa... Already has the extended wheel gap: