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Glossary

Every sport has its own jargon and the World Rally Championship is no exception. If you’re baffled by rallyspeak, check out this glossary. If you come across a term that’s not here, let us know and we will see if we can add it.

Aerodynamics 
WRC cars have spoilers, splitters and other shaped panels on the bodywork to direct cool air around the engine, gearbox and brakes and help keep the car firmly on the road – or flying level – at high speed.

ALS 
Anti-Lag System, which keeps a car’s turbocharger spinning to ensure there is always turbo boost.

Ceremonial start 
Usually held on a Thursday evening when crews drive onto a podium, greet the fans and give a short interview before making way for the next car. Ceremonial starts often take place against spectacular backdrops or in the centre of the host city.

Ceremonial Start ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2013
Ceremonial Start ADAC Rallye Deutschland 2013

Co-driver 
The navigator in the passenger seat who gives a running commentary through an intercom to the driver about directional changes and road conditions ahead.

Dampers 
An essential part of a rally car’s suspension. Each car has four – one connected to each wheel hub. Dampers absorb bumps in the road and keep the tyres in contact with the surface as often as possible.

Damper Settings 
Rally car dampers are adjustable to provide different characteristics. At the simplest level they can be soft or hard, but other factors like rebound or ride-height can also be altered. Drivers are able to adjust damper settings between stages. The degree of change is usually measured in ‘clicks’ of the adjuster wheel.

Driver Safety 
The crew sits inside a super-strong protective cell surrounded by a roll cage. They strap themselves in with six-point wide-strap safety belts, similar to those used in military fighter planes. The car also features side-impact protection and has an automatic fire extinguisher system and the crew wear flameproof overalls and underwear, safety helmets and a head and neck support system (see HANS device).

Driveshaft 
The part of the transmission which transfers drive from the front or rear differential to the wheel. Each four-wheel drive rally car has four.

FIA
The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, the Paris-based governing body for worldwide motorsport which regulates and controls the World Rally Championship.

Flying Finish
The end of a stage where the timing stops.

Helmet, Intercom, HANS device/ Khalid Al Qassimi
Helmet, Intercom, HANS device/ Khalid Al Qassimi

HANS Device 
A driver safety device compulsory in the WRC. HANS stands for 'head and neck support'. Worn on the shoulders and around the back of the neck, the device is connected to the crash helmet and, in an accident, restricts movement to protect the head and neck from serious injury.

Intercom 
The audio link that enables drivers and co-drivers to hear each other above the noise of the car. Intercom headphones and a microphone are built into each driver and co-driver’s safety helmet.

HANS Device 
A driver safety device compulsory in the WRC. HANS stands for 'head and neck support'. Worn on the shoulders and around the back of the neck, the device is connected to the crash helmet and, in an accident, restricts movement to protect the head and neck from serious injury.

Intercom 
The audio link that enables drivers and co-drivers to hear each other above the noise of the car. Intercom headphones and a microphone are built into each driver and co-driver’s safety helmet.

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14 Jan 2014

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