Ever Fancied Co-Driving For A WRC Driver? Read on, if YES!

Group F BMW 325i in Neste Oil Rally Finland - 2007

This opportunity is for those 'Been a rally fan for long & always wanted to get inside the Rally Car', who only dreamt or still dream to be a co-driver for a WRC grade driver, (who drove a Ford Focus WRC prepared by M-Sport, roughly about a decade back). And the driver's name is Antony Warmbold!

To put things clear & straight, you don't get to co-drive in a REAL-rally-event, just with the title of being a 'Rally FAN' or even a 'Rookie Codriver', let alone for a WRC-cadre pilot!

Now to the next obvious question. Who is 'Antony Warmbold'?

Let us allow to introduce himself here!

Antony Warmbold
My name is Antony Warmbold and I want to give back to the sport I love – Rallying! The result is a wonderful opportunity for our lucky winner. I competed as a rally driver in the World Rally Championship in 2003, 2004 and 2005. I got my start in rallying as a co-driver to my father Achim Warmbold, who originally drove with none other than the head of the FIA and former Ferrari team Principal Jean Todt as one of his co-drivers.

I have a desire to pass on the knowledge acquired from my experiences in
the European and World Rally Championships. I passionately believe Motorsport fans should get the opportunity to experience rally sport up close and personal.


What a wonderful concept isn't it! Now let us move towards the business end of it.

How does it work?

Gemma Price codriving for Antony
They will raise some of the funds to finance the project through crowd funding. 21.000 € is the target. As the first part of this competition – each backer (who wishes to enter the selection process) will have to write a short e-mail explaining to me why he/she would be an ideal candidate (max 150 words, see below for address). The minimum donation amount is 10€ and that entitles you to enter the selection competition.

Yes, 10€ and you or someone like you could be in it! Though it is not like, you pay the meager amount and you 'will' get a drive. But it has a selection process to get there, & yeah, a little bit of luck won't do any damage!

Once the project is underway (i.e., successfully funded), everyone will be able to follow the program via the blog, Facebook and a dedicated public YouTube channel.

Now let's understand the process.

Eligibility Criteria, Who can apply?

Antony Warmbold in a Rally Car!
The project is open for anyone who has a car driver’s license, and should be a project backer (as simple as
that!)

In order to take part in the rally with me, it will be necessary to obtain a rallying license from your local Car club or Motorsport authority, whichever is appropriate. This will be looked at in detail on a case by case basis because modalities change depending on where your residence is. Antony will help you with this part.

Upon reaching the target amount (i.e., 21k €), Antony will select 8 candidates from the project backers (i.e., who has paid the humble 10 €, and emailed him their interest to participate). The 8 selectees and he will then hold video conferences which will enable him to start introducing you to the project. At the end of the video conference sessions, he will shortlist 3 candidates. Lets call them 'chosen 3', for familiarity sake.

The program will be covered in social media (ie. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, his blog) therefore as a participant you must agree to appear (film, photo, writing) and be interviewed.

What happens next, to the 'chosen 3'?

BMW 325i group F - Rally car
The next step will be to meet at a rallying facility in Finland, where the 3 candidates will be introduced to the
co-driver’s job in real-world exercises. At this point in time an experienced co-driver will assist in the training.

The objective will be to familiarize you to the environment of a rally car, practice reconnaissance (or recce as we know/read about it), note reading at rally speed in a rally car, changing tires (on-stage), basic mechanical interventions, introduction to time-controls, road-books, etc.

We will then select the best of the 3 after the training has ended. Finally, the winner and Antony will participate together in a rally event.

Brilliant ain't it? How many times in a lifetime of an average person, like us, get a chance like this? Well, with my stats, almost never!

How to account in for the training & rally expenses?

All the expenses, till they are inside the 'chosen 3', would be at their own expenses. i.e., email, video-conferencing, and other internet communications.

Then the 'chosen 3' will be covered from the funds raised, for;

Training

  • Full transport (to and from) between your home & training area / hotel (Hämeenlinna, Finland)
  • If any flights required: economy class
  • Accommodation and food (http://www.katistenkartano.fi/en/katinen-manor)
  • 3 days on-site for training
  • Training stage: 4 km long typical Finnish style forest road (rental, repair costs)
  • Rally car: BMW 325i group F
  • Consumables (tires, brake pads, fuel, other fluids)
  • Insurance for rally car
  • Service crew for rally car
  • Standard practice car (rental car)
  • Consultant co-driver
  • Facility manager
  • Social media coverage

Rally

  • Full transport (to and from) between your home & Rally location (Finland)
  • Accommodation and food
  • Rally entry fee
  • Reconnaissance car rental and service
  • Rally car rental and service package
  • Insurance for rally car
  • Consumables (tires, brake pads, fuel, other fluids)
  • Driver/co-driver equipment (All regulation required clothing, helmets, Hans devices, etc.)
  • Rally driver / co-driver licenses (To be obtained from country of residence’s automobile club or association or federation)
  • Social media coverage

Not covered by budget

  • Your own liability insurance
  • Your own medical insurance (Make sure with your insurance provider that you are covered abroad or subscribe a specific sports medical insurance for the time of the event)

We are confident that the budget can be reached with the help of you backers; so please feel free to share with your friends!

Finally the Event, & the Rally Car!

The plan is to compete in the Finnish national rally ITÄRALLI JOENSUU (13.06.15) in a Group F BMW 325i.

What and how the rally car sounds & feels like, have a look at this below clip (although not driven by Antony himself)



What is the role of a Co-driver?

Just watch this for the answer!

Still Interested?

Then here are the contact details below of, Antony Warmbold & Thrill Pledge!
  • antony.warmbold@gmail.com
  • +33 (0) 6 78 63 08 43 

Best of luck!

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Ogier wins the Season Opener | Rally MonteCarlo, WRC - 2015

Neuville over the icy roads around Monaco | pic courtesy - ColinMcMaster

The Pole - Robert Kubica
Rally MonteCarlo, was expected to be a battle of the Sebastiens', and it was, although for a very short time of the event. A couple of mistakes, proved costly to the senior Seb and the VW driver Ogier took charge and keep it till the victory, at the end of SS15, today.

Kubica's SS14 crash
Robert Kubica proved his speed, but lost over consistency as he had many off's and crashes. The pole's latest retirement was today at the penultimate stage finish, where he crashed due to a broken/lost brake pedal?!

Latvala a bit sideways
VW drivers were the cool headed [& talented] chaps of the entire competition, and occupy all the steps on the podium. Sebastien Ogier, Jari-Matti Latvala & Andreas Mikkelsen proved their mettle of being the champions of the yesteryear, and trying hard to keep it that way.

Today, the day started with the rally's final service and laden with their choice of tyre compounds, the WRC brigade rolled towards the first stage; Col St.Jean - St.Laurent 10.16 km in total closed section, which was also the final [Power] stage [offering bonus points] of the rally.

Rally Winner's collage - Seb.Ogier
Penultimate stage of the rally, the SS14 La Bollene Vesubie - Sospel with a competitive distance of 31.66 km, was a stage where few drivers powered it hard, while others saved it to the final stage that offered extra bonus points. The stage conditions were favourable to the drivers, as the weather was clear and roads drier; compared to last year and with little snow ice except between the famous pass through Col Du Turini.

Kris Meeke happy with PS win
Kris Meeke had saved the tyres from the previous stage, and gunned it on the Power Stage and earned the 3 bonus points, Loeb took the two bonus points and Latvala the final one with a third quickest time. In the end it was the overall victory that counted to the defending champions, and they took to the podium finally.


Power Stage - Top 5 {SS15 COL ST JEAN - ST LAURENT 2 / 10.16 km}

Pos Flag + Driver Time Diff Prev Diff 1st
1. 3 GBR  K. MEEKE 6:30.5

2. 4 FRA  S. LOEB 6:30.7 +0.2 +0.2
3. 2 FIN  J. LATVALA 6:32.4 +1.7 +1.9
4. 1 FRA  S. OGIER 6:33.2 +0.8 +2.7
5. 9 NOR  A. MIKKELSEN 6:34.9 +1.7 +4.4
Seb.Loeb speaking to media staff


Volkswagen bagged the maximum points for constructor title, while Hyundai with the second maximum with no retirements, while Citroen & MSport had to deal with their share of DNF's.



Final Overall - Top 10

Pos # Driver Time Diff Prev Diff 1st
1. 1 FRA  S. OGIER 3:36:40.2 - -
2. 2 FIN  J. LATVALA 3:37:38.2 +58.0 +58.0
3. 9 NOR  A. MIKKELSEN  3:38:52.5 +1:14.3 +2:12.3
4. 12  NOR  M. OSTBERG 3:39:23.8 +31.3 +2:43.6
5. 7 BEL  T. NEUVILLE 3:39:52.3 +28.5 +3:12.1
6. 8 ESP  D. SORDO 3:39:53.1 +0.8 +3:12.9
7. 5 GBR  E. EVANS 3:42:03.9 +2:10.8 +5:23.7
8. 4 FRA  S. LOEB 3:45:14.9 +3:11.0 +8:34.7
9. 21 CZE  M. PROKOP 3:46:35.0 +1:20.1 +9:54.8
10. 3 GBR  K. MEEKE 3:47:35.8 +1:00.8 +10:55.6

Ecstatic Winning Team of Volkswagen Motorsport @ Rally Monte-Carlo

Next of WRC action resumes towards the north pole, at Rally Sweden from 12th next month; which is again cold and fast
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WRC, 2015 Rally Monte-Carlo Final-Leg - Rolling On!

The WRC's famous pass, Col de Turini - pic courtesy: rallytravel.com
Neuville in his Hyundai i20 WRC
In a few minutes from now [in progress], the remaining final three stages of Rally Monte-Carlo will begin with the pass through the famous - Col du Turini. The first stage, COL ST JEAN - ST LAURENT, with a total of 10.16 km competitive section will be re-run later at noon, as the rally's Power Stage, to conclude the event at Monaco. Second stage would be LA BOLLENE VESUBIE - SOSPEL, which is 31.66 km.


Ogier posing for Sophie Grallion
Yesterday, the day was scheduled with 4 stages; but the day's opener stage was cancelled due to safety reason, because of huge spectating crowd lining along the stage. Hence the day begun with the monster 51.7 km run, where Robert Kubica made a pleasing time of 33.4s ahead of Kris Meeke. Rally leader Ogier lost nearly 2 minutes in this test, but maintained enough gap to retain his top spot with a 42.8 second lead, at the end of the day.

A busy service park @ MSport

Today's start order would be like; 1. Lorenzo Bertelli 2. Sebastien Chardonnet 3. Ott Tanak 4. Yuriy Protasov 5. Robert Kubica 6. Henning Solberg 7. Kris Meeke 8. Sebastien Loeb 9. Martin Prokop, 10. ,11. ,12. , and 13. Mads Ostberg, 14. Andreas Mikkelsen, 15. Jari Matti Latvala & 16. Sebastien Ogier.



Citroen camp, with Loeb!
An early morning's & final 45-min service [in the rally] for the cars prepared them to tackle the final stages without any hiccups.

And as usual the tyre choices rule the roost; Ogier has 3 Super soft + 2 soft, Latvala with 4 SS + 2S, Mikkelsen: 3 SS + 2S, Tanak: 4S + 2SS in boot, Evans has 4SS + 2S, while the boys at Hyundai & Citroen have 6 Softs for each of their car.
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