Dust. Clouds of dust thrown into the air behind the speeding rally car. We can’t imagine most gravel rallies without it. It makes for amazing photos or, as you can see at the end of this paragraph, for cool videos. But what does the dust mean for the team? What are its effect on machinery? And how do the crews cope with driving through dust clouds at full speed? We went to ask the team and here are their answers!

1.    Wind is your friend

The biggest problem with dust? You can’t see through it. If you’re driving through a cloud of dust, it’s like the thickest fog you’ve ever seen. That’s why you hope for the wind. Wind will blow away the dust thrown into the air by the car driving before you. If there’s no wind, it’s hard luck if you don’t drive first or at least don’t have big enough gap behind the previous car.

Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen, ŠKODA FABIA R5, ŠKODA Motorsport. Rally Argentina 2018

2.    Dust is the worst co-driver

If there’s anything you really don’t want in your car, it’s dust. It makes it hard to see, it makes it hard to breathe and, which is especially bad for co-drivers, it makes it hard to speak. That’s why rally cars get additional seals around the doors before driving in an dusty environment. You want to keep dust out, at all costs!

Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, Marmaris Rally Turkey 2018

3.    FABIA R5 really is a dust monster

We also asked what the car needs to handle rallying on dust. Some special filters to prevent it from getting into the engine? A modified air intake to help engine find clean air? Special covers for electronics, so the dust doesn’t come in? Well, none of that. The FABIA R5 is designed from the ground up to handle everything you throw at it. The dust, the mud, the snow, the water… you name it. So, all you need to do when you’re running a rally in, say, Argentina or Spain, is to change the air filters more often – usually twice a day instead of just once.

Jan Kopecký / Pavel Dresler, FABIA R5, RallyRACC Catalunya 2018

We also asked what the car needs to handle rallying on dust. Some special filters to prevent it from getting into the engine? A modified air intake to help engine find clean air? Special covers for electronics, so the dust doesn’t come in? Well, none of that. The FABIA R5 is designed from the ground up to handle everything you throw at it. The dust, the mud, the snow, the water… you name it. So, all you need to do when you’re running a rally in, say, Argentina or Spain, is to change the air filters more often – usually twice a day instead of just once.
 
And it also likes to leave the competitors in the dust.

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