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Life of driver
Wouldn't it be nice to earn big bucks, drive fast cars and be admired by thousands? Well, all that is part of a days work for driver but that is only tip of the iceberg. Behind the scenes goes on a lot more, often not so appealing or glamorous work at all. Have a peek on some of the things drivers (and co-drivers too) do for living.

Public relations
When new driver is signed by a team, the one of the first things they do is PR work. And that is something they do on-and-off through-out the season whenever other duties allow. PR work is important because that is exactly why teams and manufacturers are involved in the sport so it is very rare for a driver to be able to skip such an assignment.

Shaking hands, smiling to cameras and answering questions can be tiring. But it's mainly down to personality of the driver that determines if it is a burden or a delight. Some like it, dazzling Petter Solberg being perhaps the best example of the limelight lovers. But most drivers find it somewhat tedious duty.

During a rally, drivers cover some 400 kilometers of stages in full speed over three days. But during testing the covered distances are longer, speeds almost as high and what's the worst, the same piece of short road is covered tens of times making testing quite monotonous. According to driver's comments, tyre testing is the worst as it is mainly comparative work.

Testing is often carried out in a sets of couple of days and shared between different drivers of the team. Some teams even employ test drivers to take some burden off from their drivers. Also, current regulations limit testing work especially in non-European countries and this makes life somewhat easier for current drivers.

Before event begins, drivers go through the stages twice during recce (under current regulations). On hotter events this can really wear even fitter men down and at the same time both crew members should be concentrated on making and checking the notes.

Before recce restrictions were introduced, crews used to go through the stages day and night for weeks before start. In full rally speed and over longer stage distances.

On the event
During the rally life is not just driving either. Media attention, especially with top drivers, is constant and interviews follow each other in rapid succession, reporters often asking the same questions over and over again.

While service crew makes necessary repairs and set-up adjustments, tyre choice is up to driver and with current regulations that is not easy decision to make. In midst of a consultation with team personnel, drivers grap quick lunch, often easily digested pasta.

But crew must work on the car themselves too as between stages they change tyres of the car. Sometimes because of a puncture but more often to even out tyre wear by swapping tyres from front to back and vice versa. If car has sustained damage on the stage, crew may have to make emergency repairs, often with little or no tools.

pr work
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PR work can be fun too Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
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Testing is often monotonous work Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
tyre change
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Petter and Philip changing tyres Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Like travelling?
In turn of millenia, full-time works driver was away from home average 300 days a year. Initially may sound fun but being away from one's family for ten months a year is quite hard.