Everyone always falls head over heels for the drivers in motorsports, but listen to me—you're looking at the wrong side of the car. If you're looking for a significant other, go for the codriver.
It's a formula that's proved successful for Sébastien and Séverine Loeb, who most recently won the Rallye du Var as husband and wife. They have a surprising history of dominating events that they enter.
If I had to guess, they probably bicker a lot less than most couples, too. There's a lot to be said for the ability to focus on the problem at hand and not get distracted by "YEAH, WELL, YOU NEVER PUT AWAY YOUR LAUNDRY AND YOU SMELL LIKE CAMEMBERT AND DUCK ARMPITS." Codrivers tend to be pretty good about that, else you'll never finish a stage.
I, too, date a codriver, even though I mostly hoon on pavement and haven't bought that Baja Type 3 just yet. It works, man. It just works.
What makes a codriver an attractive mate? Let me explain.
First of all, most codrivers are often a bit humbler than their across-the-car counterparts. They're used to the poopbutt in the driver's seat getting credit for everything from people who don't quite understand what rally is, and that's just part of the game. Let me put it this way: I don't hear a lot of rally codrivers telling fanciful stories about cars they've smoked (bro).
If too much ego is a turn-off, start looking for a codriver.
Secondly, and this should go without saying, they're fairly decent passengers as long as they trust whoever's driving the car. I'm a terrible passenger, so this works out pretty well.
They're also used to working under pressure. Even if you're not rallying yourself, this helps in all the other crap life throws at you. Car is busted? Problems at work? Have to choose between the red wire or the blue wire, else you'll blow the entire building up?
Meh, at least you're not having to keep your place in notes in a car at speed. Get it wrong and you'll hit a tree!
For example, I'm used to having several months to get a car ready, so I'm not exactly great at figuring out last-minute fixes to the LeMons car. Rally people are good to have around for that. Put this zip tie here, duct tape this, tighten that bolt, boom, done. Go back out and don't break it again.
Last, but certainly not least, they're great at keeping everything organized, which is something you want as long as you don't like driving each other insane.
If you're a hot disorganized mess, a codriver is an excellent foil to that. If you can't stand to be around a hot disorganized mess, you're much less likely to find one in a codriver, too. If they're any good, they have to be great at keeping everything organized and on schedule.
Codriving just isn't reading notes. Codrivers keep track of practically the whole operation, which includes taking and reading recce notes, but also ensuring transit and service stages are done on time, help with car prep, knowing every nook and cranny of the rulebook and supplemental regulations to ensure that your team doesn't do the wrong thing at the wrong time, organizing the logistics behind stops, transits and services beforehand, doing quick hooptie-grade fixes whenever the service guys aren't allowed to touch the car, and keeping organized records that must be turned into the event itself.
There's a lot of stuff to keep track of on a race weekend, and the better codrivers are excellent at it.
Granted, most of these qualities aren't necessarily attractive per se, but items that will keep you from driving each other insane. You probably know who you're attracted to, so I don't really need to spell that out for you. Treat them well, though: if you're too much of a walking pit of drama and despair, that's no good, either.
That being said, will things be a bit more calm and relaxed with a codriver, even if you're both nuts who like to fling around a car at speed? Probably.
Of course, there's a huge bonus if you go rallying: pairs of significant others who can handle each other the rest of the year aren't that shabby at the actual racing, either.
Photo credits: Getty Images