Video: Flinging a Nissan 240SX Rally Car Between the Trees!

Ryan Symancek lives a charmed life. Traveling to exotic destinations and driving rally cars through picturesque New England forests must be tough to beat. Plus, he gets to race Chump Car occasionally. It’s not a bad life, not even if he has to sit in the passenger seat on occasion.

It doesn’t help that in this video, the passenger seat is in a cozy Nissan 240SX fastback, which provides ample headroom for anyone under 5’7″. The drift special, when modified correctly, is surprisingly effective on a gravel course. This comes down to its weight, its petite dimensions, and its ideal weight distribution. Nimble and soft in its transitions, it’s ideal for high-speed rallysprint.

Rallysprint is one of those categories that help the ambitious amateurs get seat time, serious speed, and the occasional grey hair—all for a modest price. Rallysprint serves as a bridge between crunching cones in rallycross, which I experienced last fall, and full-blown stage rally. Obviously, big bucks are required for a stage rally, however, entry fees at this event amounted to $300, and that provided a well-maintained course, some frighteningly fast sections, and a few reassuring trees lining the edge of the course—nothing which rallycross can offer.

Where rallysprint differs from stage rally is in the ability to repeat the rallysprint’s stage, which measures somewhere from one to two miles. Obviously, stage notes are necessary on a course this long, but getting to repeat a stage means the driver can push themselves harder and harder with the security of knowing the general shape of the course. If you’ve ever wondered how rally drivers develop the confidence to countersteer between trees at one-hundred miles an hour without killing themselves in the process, you have your answer.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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