My absolute favorite form of motorsports to watch is rally racing, especially the top-end World Rally Championship (WRC). On occasion I've been fortunate enough to be able to participate in a low-budget form of the sport, closed-course Rallycross, sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). I've driven three cars in these events to date, all in the same Mitsubishi model line:
- 2002 Lancer ES
- 2003 Lancer Evolution VIII
- 2004 Lancer Ralliart
My favorite, of course, was the Evolution with its all-wheel-drive drifts and explosive power. In two events with this car, I drove in the SS4 class, or Showroom Stock 4-wheel drive, with stock street tires & all. The first time out I placed in the middle of the competition and had a tremendously fun time. My second time out, I got 1st place in my class, and actually narrowly missed setting the fastest speed on the track that day for any class, beat by about one second by an actual race-prepped Pro Rally Subaru Impreza with dirt tires.
A handful of times I've been able to make it out to drag strips at Infineon and Sacramento Raceways to participate in organized, legal quarter-mile racing. Ironically, both cars I've driven out there were Volvo station wagons, one an '85 740 Turbo, the other my rubber-burning '94 850 Turbo.
Where I live there are no racetracks within a convenient distance, so most of the full-scale driving kicks I've gotten have been on low-traffic twisty backroads in Alameda, Santa Clara, Marin, and San Mateo county hills. I prefer to stick to the most technical of roads where speeds are kept low. I take care to respect & slow for other drivers and especially pedestrians and bicyclists on the rare occasion that I encounter them.
Here are a couple of in-car videos captured in the foothills of Mt. Tamalpias: