WRC drivers turn to YouTube to help with Rally NZ prep

World Rally Championship drivers have found themselves searching YouTube for old footage to help aid preparations for Rally New Zealand, which returns this weekend after a 10-year hiatus.

WRC drivers turn to YouTube to help with Rally NZ prep
Listen to this article

The fast and flowing gravel roads of New Zealand have long been a hit with rally drivers but only three of the current WRC Rally1 roster can boast experience of the country’s famous roads.

Eight-time world champion Sebastien Ogier, who has re-joined Toyota for New Zealand, threw away what would have been a maiden WRC win in 2010, while Hyundai duo Thierry Neuville and Ott Tanak featured in the last edition of the rally in 2012.

As a result, several drivers have resorted to scoring YouTube videos and even computer games to help with their preparation in the lead up to the event.

Toyota’s Elfyn Evans admitted he went on a “YouTube hunt’ for footage and onboards to help ready himself.

“It has been a bit of a YouTube hunt and whatever we get from the organisers," Evans told Motorsport.com.

“It always looks like slightly different from real life to how it does on the videos. It is not so different but it is very difficult to try and learn the stages.

Asked if he could draw comparisons from his native Welsh gravel roads that boast some similar characteristics, he said: “The scenery doesn’t look a millions miles away [from Wales] with the green grass and the sheep.

"There is something similar with the second two stages on Friday, they are bit more Wales like in points, and on Sunday I guess they are bit like Wales, but that is a bit more artificial.

“It is great rally still and a massive challenge,” he added. “Anywhere you go with new notes from the beginning is always difficult.”

Read Also:
WRC Rally New Zealand returns after a 10-year hiatus, with Sebastien Loeb winning the previous edition in 2012.

WRC Rally New Zealand returns after a 10-year hiatus, with Sebastien Loeb winning the previous edition in 2012.

Photo by: willyweyens.com

Hyundai’s Oliver Solberg has experienced Rally New Zealand but as an 11-year-old onlooker watching his father 2003 world champion Petter Solberg finish third in 2012.

The 21-year-old has elected to delve into his father’s knowledge for assistance while also revealing that the DiRT Rally computer game has also proved to be helpful.

“For sure, I have been asking my father a lot, as he has a lot of experience, and of course YouTube is a good place to go,” Solberg told Motorsport.com.

“There are a lot of old rally videos on there and a lot of onboards so there is a lot to look at and a lot to learn.

“You can see how the drivers were driving and mistakes that others have done. I also remember a lot of parts from DiRT Rally the computer game.

“When I was doing recce this week I was like ‘this is this place' and 'I remember that’ which is cool."

Quizzed about his hopes for the event, he added: “On tarmac I feel good with the car but just on gravel so far I haven’t had any good experiences. The car looks to be better and better, but we will see.”

At M-Sport-Ford, Gus Greensmith has taken advantage of onboard videos sourced by a New Zealander who works for the team.

The Briton, who declares this event as one of his dream rallies, is already enamoured with the roads following this week’s recce.

“Thanks to one of the guys in our team, who is a Kiwi, he has passed on a few onboards, so I have been able to get a feeling for the roads and see how they are,” Greensmith told Motorsport.com.

“For me, it is the dream rally. As kid the dream rallies were Monte-Carlo and New Zealand.

“I drove the stages this week and it was every bit as special as I thought it would be. One of the stages on Friday is the most beautiful 31 kilometres I’ve ever seen.”

Rally New Zealand begins on Thursday courtesy of a super special stage held in the centre of host city Auckland, before the first of the gravel stages on Friday.

shares
comments

Related video

WRC New Zealand: Everything you need to know
Previous article

WRC New Zealand: Everything you need to know

Next article

Rovanpera focused on having “proper weekend” in NZ, not WRC title

Rovanpera focused on having “proper weekend” in NZ, not WRC title
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
15 h
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Prime

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak.

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Prime

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier.

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Prime

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Prime

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Prime

Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers is no less demanding. We got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Prime

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Prime

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022