Airikkala: Nothing learnt from F1, track racing...
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This is a discussion on Airikkala: Nothing learnt from F1, track racing... within the Motorsports Talk forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Rallying may not get nearly as much coverage as Formula 1, but that doesn't mean the drivers' are better, in ...

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    Airikkala: Nothing learnt from F1, track racing...

    Rallying may not get nearly as much coverage as Formula 1, but that doesn't mean the drivers' are better, in fact quite the contrary according to 1989 RAC winner and 1979 BRC champion Pentti Airikkala.

    Airikkala, who runs a highly successful rally and race driving school, which is based in Oxfordshire, has taught a number of big names over the years, including the likes of 1995 World Rally champion Colin McRae and 2001 World Rally champion Richard Burns.

    Today he has coached Ford's Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala and even McLaren-Mercedes' F1 star Lewis Hamilton, but Airikkala reckons nothing is learnt from racing.

    "As you may know, I run a rally school and a racing school. Mikko Hirvonen is one of my pupils and so is Jari-Matti Latvala," he told Radio last month at the Castle Combe Rallyday. "I am very proud to be able to teach them. Lewis Hamilton is also someone that I have tried to help. But okay he is in Formula 1, which is boring!

    "At the end of the day however, about 65 per cent of people in my schools are rally people and the rest are racing people - and what a difference! Nice people go into rallying and nasty people go into motor racing, although of course there are exceptions.

    "But it is quite easy to understand why that is the case. In rallying you drive through the forests and mountains at two minute intervals. Whereas in Formula 1 - or motor racing in general - you try and stop somebody from overtaking you. You try to kill him or her by crashing into them or pushing them off the road. That is not nice!

    "Plus, except John Watson, I've never met another F1 or racing driving in my life, who has been a safe driver. But 95 per cent of rally drivers - or even more - are safe drivers' on the road.

    "I have been lucky. I learned from rallying how to be a safe driver - and so far I haven't had a road accident.

    "That is because of the skills I learned rallying. But what skills do you learn from motor racing?

    "Nothing." airikkala_nothing_learnt_from_f1_track_racing.html

    i got a good chuckle from that

    but i'm sure some of you are gonna get fired up about it

    just in case here is who Pentti is:
    Pentti Airikkala - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    World of - Rallying, racing, cars and motorsport
    Last edited by Weasel 555; 10-21-2008 at 11:10 AM.
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    Super Moderator (Actually a SuperSpy) SD_GR's Avatar
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    I have to say all the rallye drivers I've seen in person were very nice, and in fact the higher one goes in the hierarchy, the nicer they become. I've seen local Group N "divas" get snotty with fans (probably due to stress, in their defense) whereas some of the fastest men that ever graced the Earth (Mikkola, Biasion, Vatanen, Rorhl, Blomqvist) were actually personable. No A/C trailers, no crowd control, but usually a "good morning" and at the very least a smile, and if they had time they'd chat even with little kids like me then.

    In the old days when F1 and Group B guys would get together and compete, things were clear cut in many ways.

    When they played football most of the F1 pilots had the edge in speed, but some of the rallymen were quite tall and could take advantage of high crosses etc.

    When they autocrossed in identical closed-wheel cars, the F1 guys were frequently bested, if not humiliated.

    Since the 1980s FISA (and then FIA) did everything possible to kill rallying, since they could not charge people and TV rights were difficult to deal with. To a large extent they've succeeded.
    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms, 1929
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