Rally racing's humble beginnings can be found in a little town across the pond called Paris, France, where over one hundred teams arrived to compete in 1894. It was a competition to see who could travel a set distance in the shortest amount of time, with the fewest mechanical issues along the way. It was truly racing in its most raw form, bringing together people from across the world to compete to see who can create the best machine on the face of the earth. This piece of information alone helps me to understand how the sport exploded in popularity in such a short amount of time. By 1911, there were dozens of manufactures participating and throngs of fans who lined the course dodging the oncoming horseless carriages; waving and cheering them on.
As a direct result of the exploding popularity, the participants and the cars became more and more evolved until they are what we see today, all wheel drive, turbo-powered rocket ships; definitely a far-cry from their older, more fragile counterparts.
Over the last century, there have been rule changes aplenty, with organizers doing their best to ensure the safety and entertainment for the spectators and drivers alike. There were many points in the history of Rally racing where their future was uncertain at best, and non-existent at worst. Fortunately for us and the rest of the world, Rally Racing has turned into one of the oldest and most celebrated traditions in automotive history, and it instills countless individuals with awe and passion for all that is good in the world of cars and will continue to do so for generations to come. Check out this sweet clip for some serious car porn.