There is an Irish family who have called all their children after racing drivers. Just one of the things John Kenny found out when he decided to make a documentary about rallying.
Kenny is an RTE sports journalist who has covered many sports but his firm favourite is rallying. He loves everything from the roar of the engines to the easy camraderie between competitors.
In this documentary, Kenny brings the listener behind the scenes at the Cork 20 Rally 2015, which took place in North Cork last October.
He records the contrast between the spectators excitement at the danger and the organisers’ fear of it: one farmer wishes the cars would drive faster near his land - even if it meant hitting his wall. While nearby, marshalls are threatening to call off a stage unless spectators stand well back.
Kenny focusses particularly on the overlooked work of the ‘co-drivers’ and the companies who sell them navigation guides, called ‘pacenotes’.
One of those co-drivers is Alison Levis, a chef from Skibbereen, who navigates for her brother, Adrian, who is a truck driver and farmer. Alison and Adrian love rallying but especially the stages - where they are racing against the clock. Alison: “You’re sitting there concentrating. You’re on your notes. You’re in the zone.” Adrian: “Say a stage takes 10 minutes. For 10 minutes, you’re free. It’s you and the road. You forget about everything - you’re free.” Alison: “You’re not on Facebook, or Snapchat. You’re not checking in.” Adrian: “That’s why we do it!”
Zen and the Art of Irish Rallying, sort of.