At the highest levels of motorsport, nothing is left to chance in order to achieve the best possible result. In rallying, parts of a rally course can change due to weather and human factors, to the point that some can become impassable. Unique to rallying but now copied by other forms of motorsport is the concept of the recce. Here, a driver and his navigator use a car to verify the accuracy of the pace notes that are critical in rallying. The top teams maintain a fleet of these recce cars and these vehicles go with the team, even in international events. In Ford’s case, the fleet consists of Volvo S60R AWD sedans.
Stock, the S60R has a 2.4 liter 5-cylinder turbo engine. Output is 300 horsepower. The drivetrain consists of a Haldex AWD system and a 6-speed manual transmission. Uprated suspension was developed with consultation from Ohlins, and brakes are Brembo 4-pots. FIA regulations impose speed limits during recces of rally stages, so M-Sport’s choice of these Volvos was inspired. They have the necessary underpinnings to tackle the stages while providing the crew with a comfortable ride.
Except for a higher ride height, gravel tires and mudguards, these recce cars appear stock because FIA regulations also prohibit team markings or other signage on the car. So, a lot of recce cars are just plain white with tinted glass. Close inspection will reveal that there are hood pins, sump and undertray guards, with the interior having racing seats, a race steering wheel, 2-way communications and a full rollcage. In the case of the Volvos, dual spare tires can be found in the trunk. Since only two recces per event are permitted nowadays, teams have taken to installing cameras on the recce cars to record the stage for later playback and review.Inspiration for this post found here.
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