Rallying is a form of motorsport that takes place on public or private roads with modified production or specially built road-legal cars. It is distinguished by running not on a circuit, but instead in a point-to-point format in which participants and their co-drivers drive between set control points (special stages), leaving at regular intervals from one or more start points. Rallies may be won by pure speed within the stages or alternatively by driving to a predetermined ideal journey time within the stages.
The term “rally”, as a branch of motorsport, probably dates from the first Monte Carlo Rally of January 1911. Until the late 1920s, few if any other events used the term. Rallying itself can be traced back to the 1894 Paris–Rouen Horseless Carriage Competition (Concours des Voitures sans Chevaux), sponsored by a Paris newspaper, Le Petit Journal, which attracted considerable public interest and entries from leading manufacturers. Prizes were awarded to the vehicles by a jury based on the reports of the observers who rode in each car; the official winner was Albert Lemaître driving a 3 hp Peugeot, although the Comte de Dion had finished first but his steam powered vehicle was ineligible for the official competition. This event led directly to a period of city-to-city road races in France and other European countries, which introduced many of the features found in later rallies: individual start times with cars running against the clock rather than head to head; time controls at the entry and exit points of towns along the way; road books and route notes; and driving over long distances on ordinary, mainly gravel, roads, facing hazards such as dust, traffic, pedestrians and farm animals.
The first of these great races was the Paris–Bordeaux–Paris race of June 1895, won by Paul Koechlin in a Peugeot, despiting arriving 11 hours after Émile Levassor in a Panhard et Levassor. Levassor’s time for the 1,178 km (732 mi) course, running virtually without a break, was 48 hours and 48 minutes, an average speed of 24 km/h (15 mph). Just eight years later, in the Paris–Madrid race of May 1903, the Mors of Fernand Gabriel (fr), running over the same roads, took just under five and a quarter hours for the 550 km (340 mi) to Bordeaux, an average of 105 km/h (65.3 mph). Speeds had now far outstripped the safe limits of dusty highways thronged with spectators and open to other traffic, people and animals; there were numerous crashes, many injuries and eight deaths. The French government stopped the race and banned this style of event. From then on, racing in Europe (apart from Italy) would be on closed circuits, initially on long loops of public highway and then, in 1907, on the first purpose-built track, England’s Brooklands. Racing was going its own separate way.
One of the earliest of road races, the Tour de France of 1899, was to have a long history, running 18 times as a reliability trial between 1906 and 1937, before being revived in 1951 by the Automobile Club de Nice (fr).
Italy had been running road competitions since 1895, when a reliability trial was run from Turin to Asti and back. The country’s first true motor race was held in 1897 along the shore of Lake Maggiore, from Arona to Stresa and back. This led to a long tradition of road racing, including events like Sicily’s Targa Florio (from 1906) and Giro di Sicilia (Tour of Sicily, 1914), which went right round the island, both of which continued on and off until after World War II. The first Alpine event was held in 1898, the Austrian Touring Club’s three-day Automobile Run through South Tyrol, which included the infamous Stelvio Pass. +++++
Racing Wheel : Thrustmaster T500RS + Shift TH8R
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The W900 is a Kenworth Class 8 truck model, known for its long-nose style. Even as more aerodynamic models such as the T600 and succeeding versions have been introduced for fleet use, the stylish W900 remains in production due to its particular popularity with owner-operators. The W900 was a gradual introduction, retaining many features of its predecessors which also continued to be sold alongside it in the early 1960s.
The engine sizes for the W900 range from 9 liters to 16 liters, and it accommodates up to a 625-horsepower engine. The W900 has front axles from 12,000 to 22,000 lb ratings, and rear axles from 23,000-lb single to 58,000-lb tandems. The “W” stands for “Worthington”.
The W900 is still in production after over fifty years, although not much remains unaltered. The early 1960s W900 trucks are identifiable by their delicate external doorhandles, mounted just beneath the side windows. They also have larger ventilation windows in the doors and chromed grabhandles atop the radiator for tilting the hood. The W900’s doors are called “bulkhead style” doors and along with bigger front windows and a fibreglass roof panel this is what sets them apart from the earlier Kenworth conventionals. The lower mounted “paddle-style” door latches arrived in 1972. In 1973 the hood emblem was changed for a simplified model with three rather than four red stripes. In February 1982 the design was switched to rectangular headlamps, bringing with it a change in name from W900A (which had been introduced in 1967) to W900B. The W900B also sits higher on the chassis than does its predecessor; in Mexico Kenmex continued to produce the W900A equipped with rectangular headlamps. In October 1987 the new W900S model arrived – this has the same BBC (bumper-to-back-of-cab) as the W900B but a sloped hood (hence the “S”) for better visibility. This model is easily confused with the T800 but does not have that model’s set-back front axle.
The original truck had a split, flat pane windshield which is still available for certain versions, although since December 1994 the T600’s cab using a curved windscreen was added to the lineup. Originally it was only for the long Aerocab and also as an option on the daycab, and it only became available for the W900S in 2006. The flat windscreen is not available on the Aerocab or the extended daycab versions. Strangely, Kenworth offers the curved window either as a one-piece or as a two-piece with a divider in the middle. In March 1998 the very comfortable Studio Aerocab model was introduced.
In 1976 Kenworth introduced a more comfortable and taller cab for long journeys. Also, an even plusher version called the “V.I.T.” was introduced, ostensibly to celebrate the American Bicentennial. V.I.T. stood for “Very Important Trucker”, and most of these originally limited availabilities such as luxurious double beds and refrigerators entered the regular options list before long.
In October 1989 the W900L was introduced; as is implied by the name, this is an extra long version. The BBC of this model is 130 in (3.3 m) rather than the 120 in (3.0 m) of the rest of the W900 lineup. This long bonneted version was actually first introduced in July 1989 as an available option for a special edition commemorating a W900’s role in the James Bond movie Licence to Kill. This “Extended Hood” option was actually available for all W900B’s. The W900L went on to become one of Kenworth’s biggest sellers with owner-operators. +++++ Video Rating: / 5