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The Day Ayrton Senna Became A Rally Driver


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#1 DOF_power

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:23 PM

F1: The Day Ayrton Senna Became a Rally Driver
Written by: Sam Collins
Stockcar Engineering Magazine  
10/09/2008
London, England


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Did you know that Ayrton Senna tried his hand at Rallying? Few people do; even less have seen the images. But the legendary driver arrived in a Welsh forest in 1986 at the behest of Cars and Car Conversions magazine to sample five of the most modern national and international rally machines. It would be a day to remember, despite the account of the experience having been long forgotten.

The Brazilian driver was a race winner but not yet a World Champion, and he did not bother bringing his driving gloves because he thought it would be like driving a road car. He was wrong and admitted it "It's much more exciting here than in a Formula One car. Because here you don't have the top, top speed, but you have a tremendous acceleration. In the Escort, unbelievable acceleration - and it's rough. It's a much more instant emotion than it is in a Formula One car"

After the event, the magazine printed some incredible pictures to go with their article, but years ago, Cars and Car Conversions closed its doors and everything to do with the magazine was taken on by its sister title, Racecar Engineering. With no obvious editorial or content link, Racecar placed all of those assets into archive storage.

Recently the staff in London uncovered those pictures of Senna in a range of rallying machinery including the awesome Williams Grand Prix-built MG Metro 6R4, and discovered that Senna had enjoyed the day so much that he almost regretted not being a rally driver full time. But he was not tempted to switch "I don't think so. Because it is in the learning process where you take the biggest risks. To go rallying the risk is far, far too high. And I have taken enough risks in Formula One to be where I am."

Edited by DOF_Renault_BMW, 10 October 2008 - 08:27 PM.

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You start with fuel, you do one stop and it's pretty much a train all the way
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#2 Rainmaster

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 08:42 PM

Ahh yes I remember reading about this in a biography of the great man, but it didn't have the pictures, thanks for posting.

I think Senna could drive anything on the limit.
"He has the speed of Casey [Stoner] but the brain of Valentino." ~ Honda's Livio Suppo describing Marc Marquez.

"Everything will be alright in the end. If it is not alright, it is not yet the end." ~ Paulo Coelho

Over the years the racing car has changed and the necessity for the sensitive and precise handling of the faster, lighter grand prix cars of the post war era, emphasised the need for a more subtle and controlled driving technique. Fangio, with his iron self-control and uncanny skill, met this demand with contemptuous ease, to set a style that raised the art of racing driving to the height of a new science. 20 years earlier in 1937, that great French driver Jean-Pierre Wimille, then at the height of his fame, said of Fangio "I have seen at Buenos Aires a brilliant new driver, the day he has a real racing car to drive, he will perform miracles”.

#3 DOF_power

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Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:03 PM

I think (an exhibition from) Walter Rohl would have made him crap his pants.
These where Group B(ee)s.

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You start with fuel, you do one stop and it's pretty much a train all the way
Lewis Hamilton


#4 The Rumble Strip

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 11:55 AM

Vaguley remember this.

As said, one of the greats on the limit all the time.

#5 mikathegreat2

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 07:40 PM

If he was brave he would've strapped himself into a Lanica Delta S4! 0-60mph 2.0 seconds  :wub:
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#6 DOF_power

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 07:54 PM

View PostTeam Formula One, on Oct 11 2008, 02:55 PM, said:

Vaguley remember this.

As said, one of the greats on the limit all the time.


It doesn't say anywhere he was on the limit. The limit for such an unexperienced driver with a Killer Bee meant instant injury or death.

Edited by DOF_Renault_BMW, 11 October 2008 - 07:55 PM.

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You start with fuel, you do one stop and it's pretty much a train all the way
Lewis Hamilton


#7 The Rumble Strip

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Posted 11 October 2008 - 10:00 PM

Fair point.




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