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Video: Rally Ready at Team O'Neil

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is rally driving as fun as it looks? Can a Porsche 944 make a good platform for a rally car? I recently visited Team O'Neil Rally School in New Hampshire with amateur rally driver Charlie Tameris to answer both questions, and in short, the answer is an emphatic "yes" to both.

Rally has become more popular in recent years thanks to increased coverage of the sport, no doubt helped by the Gymkhana YouTube videos starring DC Shoes co-founder Ken Block and his involvement in rally series including Rally America and World Rally Championship (WRC). (Fun fact: Ken Block trains at Team O'Neil, so I knew we'd come to the right place.)

When it comes to Porsches and rally, historically the 911 has been the go-to platform — 911s have been involved with the sport ever since Vic Elford won a rallycross in 1967 with one. But now prices of the rear-engined flagship are skyrocketing, so when a coworker showed me a picture of Charlie Tameris in his 1987 944 sliding past on a gravel road, it caught my eye. This was a Porsche rally car built and maintained by an enthusiast on a tight budget — Charlie says less than $5,000 has gone into the car since he bought it in 2012, including the purchase price.

Charlie and I connected and secured a few days at Team O'Neil Rally School in New Hampshire with his 944 in tow. Watch the video below to see him and his 944 in action and find out what rally driving and Team O'Neil are all about. In coming weeks, keep an eye out for more content about Charlie and his 944 and loose-terrain driving tips courtesy Team O'Neil.

Photo by Damon Lowney

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