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How NOT to suck as a rally co-pilot

Written by Dave Coulter


Posted on August 02 2017

How NOT to suck as a rally co-pilot

Please forgive the rather aggressive title, but this is a serious subject.  Someone has seriously hooked you up, besure you return the favour.  There are several responsibilities you hold when sitting right seat.  Let’s get started:

Pack Light

Have you ever seen the trunk in a Lamborghini Huracan? It has barely enough room to contain owners ego, little on your roller blades.  Your driver should get 75% of this room, figure out what you need to survive, cut that in half then fill your lunch box.  I also recommend disposable socks and underwear (think: sweat).






Be Organized

Your driver doesn’t want to pull over after 15 minutes because you left your portable vitamin D light in the trunk (not that seasonal depression is something to take lightly).  Every morning, take 5 minutes to figure out what you’ll need in the car.  Let me share some key items:

  • Portable battery pack - I brought 4 on Ace Spade Rally, bring one for your driver too.
  • Redbull, water, snacks.
  • Route Card/Map
  • A sweater - Dress in layers. If you’re on Snowball Rally - replace sweater with -40c parka.
  • Sunglasses

Communications & Navigation

This will be; by far, the most important role you hold.  The driver is busy strictly following the speed limit… they don’t have time for your bullshit.  They need to know when/where to turn.  They need to know where other cars are.  They need to know where the cops are.  They need to know why they brought you. What you’ll need:

  • Waze - What moron doesn’t have waze running on a rally? ( I downloaded the app on Day 3 of Ace Spade Rally after being publicly ridiculed in person and on the internet).
  • Maps - Dealers choice, Google Maps is great as you can download should you not have cell phone service during a leg of the rally.  You should do your homework prior to the rally to understand dead zones.
  • FRS Radio - Some rallies supply radios, some don’t. A radio will allow you to communicate with everyone within 2-3 miles.  They’re great for communicating road hazards and practicing your improv comedy skills   
  • Radar Detector

I hope this provides some insight into being a wicked co-pilot.  Ultimately, you’re there to make your drivers life easier and have fun…. because there is no better life than a rally life.



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