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“The impossible takes a little longer.”
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    2021 Rallye de Monte-Carlo

    February 24, 2021

    2021 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo

    Let me share what exactly was my main job at this event. I was the driver of Sean Johnston and Alex Kihurani Gravel Crew (also called “Ice Crew” or “Route Note Crew”), co-driven by Mike Gilbey.

    This means that Mike and I had the privilege of making the most final changes in Sean’s and Alex’s pace notes, which they had no chance but to accept, because they received them right before they started the stages.

    The reason this job exists on tarmac rallies is because mud, gravel and other rubbish can get pulled onto the asphalt by recce and rally cars ahead of our boys and we (the Gravel Crew) can drive the stage 1-2 hours before rally cars and give them the most recent updates.

    The reason this job is super critical at an event like Monte is because weather and altitude conditions often change road conditions drastically between when the driver and co-driver see the stages on recce and when they attack the stage in a rally car (usually 2-3 days later).

    The nature of this event causes the craziest possible mix of conditions: dry tarmac with super high grip and sheer ICE! And all this on steep mountain roads, often lined by cliffs! So, rally drivers often commit to blind corners solely based on the information provided by the Gravel Crew. This year we had hundreds of corners and braking zones which changed from tarmac to ice and vice versa.

    Anyone who knows me does know that I am proper committed when driving a rally car, but even I got goosebumps when I added things to pace notes and I realized that 2 humans will be accelerating over this blind crest to over 150 km/h JUST BECAUSE I AM TELLING THEM TO, even though when they saw this road 2 days ago, it was covered with polished ice, and you could not go faster than 50 km/h.

    The job of a top level Gravel Crew is not limited to the above, but what I’ve described here are the key things. So, huge kudos to the boys for literally trusting their lives to me and Mike!

    It was awesome to work the crazy hours (up at 3:30 AM and finish next days analysis around 10+ pm, etc.), it was amazing to have a chance to learn from no other than Alex Bengue, to drive a PROPER recce car prepped by Sainteloc team, to know that we are TRUSTED 100% and to receive the super high praise.

    Lastly: another cool part about this is that there’s no limit to perfection, things can always be improved, made even better, this is why I LOOOOOVE rallying! And this applies to the relationship between Rally and Gravel Crews, so we’ll do an even better job at the next rally!

    P.S. Now that we are so in sync, Sean has no choice but to be my Gravel Crew driver, when I will enter my 1st Rallye Monte Carlo!

    Hand-over-hand STEERING – the ONLY PROPER WAY

    February 24, 2021

    The only correct way of steering, which is called hand-over-hand steering technique.

    Remember that steering is the most important control of the car. Not the brakes, STEERING.

    - start with hands in 9 and 3 position, thumbs in
    - turn right until your arms are crossed
    - at that point move the bottom hand to the top of the wheel (12 o’clock)
    - keep turning, when your right reaches 3 o’clock, put left hand also to the top of the wheel (12 o’clock) and continue
    - to turn back the other way, repeat the same procedure, just turning left

    You are probably watching this video because you are about to take one of our Race Lab courses.
    If so, here’s what I’d like you to practice before the course starts.

    - take your coat off
    - get in your street car, go to an empty parking lot
    - put the car in drive or first gear and let it coast. The car will move at about 5 km/h
    - start from the initial position (9 and 3), go full lock right, then full lock left
    - again full lock right and full lock left
    - then straighten the wheel
    - Do this again but starting from the left, like this
    - Do it 4 times until you straighten again
    - Go again starting from a different direction

    I want you to train you muscle memory so that these moves are natural and you don’t have to think about them at all.
    And you must be able to do this fast.
    Do this for 5 minutes on the parking lot, take a break, go for another 5 minutes.
    If you are not comfortable after 2 sessions, go again.
    After you can do this comfortably and quickly on the parking lot, start practicing it on the roads in your daily driving.
    Practice it as much as possible between now and the start of your Race Lab course. It will make a huge difference.

    If you are not taking our course, please still get good at this. I promise that one day this will come in very handy and being good at this will make you a much better driver overall.

    This technique is used in racing and rallying, but it is just as important for anyone who drives regular cars, at regular speeds, every day.
    I personally know 2 people who have suffered long-lasting injuries in accidents on a very straight highways, because they couldn’t correct their cars quickly enough when they started sliding.

    Teaser of our Toronto-based advanced driving school – Race Lab

    November 22, 2017

    Dear friends, Race Lab Inc. is a premier advanced driving school with an unparalleled track record of developing safer, more confident and highly adaptable drivers. Learn more…

    You can use your car, or rent one of ours.

    Our fleet includes: Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus RS, Subaru Impreza (manual and automatic), Subaru Impreza WRX, Subaru Impreza WRX STi, Mitsubishi Evo X (track spec), championship-winning rallycross car (4WD turbo), a championship-winning Production Class rally car (4WD turbo), and a championship winning Open Class rally car (4WD turbo).

    LOCATIONS
    Canada:
    Toronto, ON
    Hamilton, ON
    Brockville, ON
    Montpellier, QC

    USA:
    Catlett, VA

    SCHEDULE

    All my 2014 WRC adventures in one YouTube playlist

    February 7, 2015

    Dear friends, hit this link for a playlist on my YouTube channel, which has all the videos from my 2014 season. (New videos are still coming!)

    Or watch some of the selected videos separately:

    First of the three videos from the 2014 WRC Vodafone Rally de Portugal

    One and only video we made at WRC Rally Poland, when we had to withdraw…

    This one is about not even starting the 2014 Neste Oil Rally Finland

    Move vids from 2014 are still coming, check back for updates, or click here to subscribe directly to the channel.

    I’ve been chosen for the Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy!

    February 12, 2014

    Remember all my WRC dreams, discussions and plans?

    We made it! It’s one of the coolest ways to get into the top level of rally sport!

    I’m very proud to have been selected for the 2014 Drive DMACK Fiesta Trophy. 5 European rounds in 2014: Portugal (3–6 April), Poland (27–29 June), Finland (HOOAH!) (1–3 August), Germany (22–24 August) and France (3–5 October).

    It’s important that we’re going to be doing the full mileage of each event, unlike the Junior World Rally Championship, or the WRC Academy run previously.

    We will be taking on the world in the front wheel drive Ford Fiesta R2s. The title sponsor of the Trophy is DMACK Tyres; M-Sport (UK) is going to take care of the cars. The competition is very strong and experienced, including Tom Cave, Jose Suarez, and Quentin Gilbert, as well as Max Vatanen, the son of WRC legend Ari Vatanen.

    The prize is 7 rounds in an R5 Fiesta in 2015. However, we are being realistic about our chances – I have no WRC or front wheel drive experience. So it’s going to be all about getting experience, making good pacenotes for the future and HAVING A BLAST!

    I’ve always said that the impossible takes a little longer! And now the dream comes true!

    MASSIVE thank you to Can-Jam Motorsports, Tim O’Neil Rally School, and all other sponsors (will announce in due time), and – my favorite – our awesome fans and friends for their huge support on all the levels!

    I wouldn’t be anywhere near this opportunity without you! I LOVE YOU PEOPLE!!!

    Very much deserved praise goes to DMACK and M-Sport for making this amazing opportunity possible, and for choosing me as one of the drivers!

    This Trophy is a wonderful opportunity for new or inexperienced people to get into the top level of the sport and measure themselves against some of the best! Same cars, same tires, a top team, great rallies, and a super desirable prize!

    I am extremely proud to be flying a Canadian flag in the World Rally Championship!!! Amazing stuff, eh!?


    Let the preparations begin!

    #DestinationWRC

    January 27, 2014

    Friends!

    I thank you for your huge support and patience. As you know, there is a lot of new stuff that we have been working on for most of 2013. Mainly, my WRC debut in 2014 and a career plan, that is looking into my future within the awesome sport of World Rallying!

    We will announce the plan, and launch my new website at the end of March.

    Meanwhile, please head to my twitter and facebook to keep updated with daily craziness!

    Yours,
    Crazy Leo
    #DestinationWRC