Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Becky dances on ice in preparation for rally season

Burton Pidsea rally driver Becky Kirvan continued her preparations for the 2011 season last weekend when she headed to Sweden to experience competition-speed driving on snow and ice for the first time at the Ice-Drive event.

The event was held on a frozen lake at Rörbäcksnäs just over the Norwegian border. The lake is frozen for around four months each year and the thick icy surface was a good test of rally driving technique.

2010 BTRDA Ladies Champion Kirvan had two days on the lake in a powerful four wheel drive Mitsubishi Evo rally car and she spent the time honing her driving skills in the extremely difficult conditions. Despite never having driven a four wheel drive vehicle before Kirvan quickly adapted to the both the car and the conditions.

"The ice was a great place to refine my driving technique as every input is massively exaggerated," said Kirvan. "You have to drive with a lot of control and anticipate precisely what the car is going to do, if you fail to do that then you are guaranteed to spin off the course."

"We were using Scandinavian winter road tyres on the car rather than studded rally tyres but even so, the grip was phenomenal considering we were basically driving on a giant ice rink! It was still extremely hard work keeping the car under control as we went quicker though."

With darkness falling at around 4pm each day, Kirvan also took the opportunity to practice some night driving as temperatures dropped to –17 degrees.

"It was a fantastic experience and a steep learning curve for me but I think it was very worthwhile and it has definitely helped me refine my rally driving skills which I can now transfer to driving my own Ford Fiesta ST this season."

Kirvan is hoping to secure support to enable her to compete in the British Rally Championship, starting with the Bulldog Rally in early April. To get involved with the Becky Kirvan Rallying team and to see the marketing opportunities available to team supporters please visit http://www.beckykirvan.co.uk/.