Here are a few of the more interesting parallel careers from the present and the past.
Colin McRae: McRae became arguably the most famous rally driver that ever lived, which was just as well because becoming the most famous plumber that ever lived wouldn’t have carried quite the same cachet. Nonetheless, this was the profession McRae chose before turning his hand to driving.
Ari Vatanen: The 1981 world champion used to drive industrial road rollers, before he switched to rally cars and finally the European Parliament.
Marcus Gronholm: He may have been a two-time title winner, but the flying Finn was also a farmer, and then went on to manage a shopping centre post-retirement. No wonder he decided becoming a rallycross driver was slightly more interesting.
Didier Auriol: The Frenchman kept his skills sharp during the early part of his career by driving an ambulance around his native Millau. Then he went on to win the 1994 World Rally Championship.
Sebastien Ogier: Volkswagen’s star driver was until comparatively recently a ski instructor. Sadly, his contract no longer allows him to carry out this somewhat dangerous profession.
Petter Solberg: The Ford star had the most unlikely job of all when he was younger: he was a professional disco dancer, entering (and winning) competitions across the whole of Norway. These days, his moves are restricted to the driving seat.
Ott Tanak: We know the Estonian now for his skills inside a car, but when he’s not driving you’ll find him underneath it: he also works as a mechanic for the team run by his mentor Markko Martin.
Daniel Oliveira: The Brazilian privateer probably has the coolest alternative job in the entire service park: he played guitar in a death metal band back home (pictured above, right).
Chris Atkinson: Now he drives for WRC Team MINI Portugal; in the past he used to be a stockbroker. Go figure.
Sebastien Loeb: The most successful driver in the history of rallying - he recently claimed his ninth world crown - wasn’t always destined for fame and fortune. For a while it looked like he was going to be an electrician instead. Then he discovered rallying.