Did you ever see that famous “forceful driving” video of a BMW E30 M3 rally car skipping across the road? Fast forward a few decades and here’s that same driver absolutely whipping another rear-drive performance car on a rally stage, only this time it’s a Nissan 350Z.
The driver in question is the great Patrick Snijers, and I’ll put in the forceful driving video just because I love it and can’t watch it enough:
And here is Patrick again, in a borrowed 350Z running on bio-methanol in the 2010 East Belgian Rally. He finished 15th, the first rear-wheel drive car, a good ways ahead of a BMW E90 M3 and a Porsche 996.
These cars look faster and less out-and-out sideways than you’d think. Watch a video of the full rally and you’ll see that the built Mitsubishi Evos are sideways into and out of the loose corners, while the 350Z are straight up fast, looking to conserve momentum when possible.
The Netherlands hosted a whole 350Z rally cup, the videos of which are extremely wonderful. I encourage you to scan through these:
And now, annoyingly, I really want to build a 350Z with a skidplate and some tall coilovers. Chris Forsberg is actually just finishing up one such build, and I’m patiently waiting to see how it turns out. If these cars are as reliable as I hope they are, my bank account may be in danger.