HOW hard does a driver have to work at the wheel of a World Rally Car? For the 59.13 kilometre Monte Lerno stage on last weekend’s Rally Italia Sardegna, Hyundai Shell Motorsport’s Juho Hanninen could identify just one 200 metre section where he would have time to take a drink.
Rally driving demands extreme, sustained concentration to negotiate turns, bumps and jumps at high speed over ever-changing road surfaces.
During reconnaissance before the rally, the Hyundai i20-driving Finn searched for a place where he would be able to take a drink from his CamelBak, which he said would give him a boost through the longest stage in the WRC season.
“I was a bit worried about this long stage before because I expect the heat will be a big problem,” Hanninen told the website MAXRALLY.
“When I saw on the recce it’s mainly quite fast and you will get a lot of air inside the car that will help, but even though it’s fast there is a lot of turning so I have found one place where I can have a drink.
“There is a 200-metre straight so I will drink something and for sure it helps.
“I remember a 45-kilometre stage in Greece where I took a bit from the CamelBak and it gives you a bit of a fresh feeling.
“Okay, maybe I could lose one second because I cannot change gear at the same time, so I will have to be in sixth gear at that time and be on full throttle.”
In the end Hanninen’s preparation wasn’t needed – he exited the event well before Monte Lerno in a high-speed off on the fifth stage.