Passengers: Testament of Faith

They’re not like us – well, not much like us anyway

Opel Manta 400 - image via showerks
Opel Manta 400 – image via showerks

Sean’s fine piece on Denis Jenkinson earlier this week prompted this clip of rally legend, Ari Vatanen giving his co-driver an education in belief during stage 4 of the 1983 Manx Rally. Vatanen gets his Opel Manta 400’s tail wagging alarmingly on the narrow Isle of Man lanes prompting the now immortal exclamation from normally unflappable co-driver, Terry Harryman. (About 2 mins in, if you don’t want to watch the whole thing)

If this clip demonstrates anything it is that rally drivers and indeed their co-drivers are not cut from the same cloth as the rest of us…

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. Content Provider.

2 thoughts on “Passengers: Testament of Faith”

  1. That’s hair raising. Am I mishearing a word that sound like “maybe” as in Fifty flat left maybe”. Was all that not a great testament to the Manta? I am afraid the Mantas I saw in real life never appealed to me (circa 1980 something). Now I see them in a different light.

  2. Except for the ‘My God’ bit, it’s hard to imagine the sound is in sync. Either that or his pace notes were crap. The ‘easy right’ that is mentioned didn’t seem to fit with the impossible sideways lurch that we see on the screen. Seeing this sort of things does make one question whether one has the faculties to be allowed on the road in charge of any vehicle faster than a supermarket trolley.

    And then ponder that Vatanen is on record as saying he never really felt confident in the Opel, so didn’t drive it as fast as he felt he should. Also that, though a Group B car, the Manta 400 hardly had the terrifying speed of the cars that followed.

    I didn’t mention rally co-drivers in my piece on Denis Jenkinson because, back then, they weren’t travelling at the speeds he and Moss were achieving. But, in many ways, he was the prototype of co-drivers to come.

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