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  Home > Specials > Rally glossary > Rally Glossary G
Rally Glossary G
Gearbox allows engine to provide power to wheels without need to turn at same speed as wheels do. Gearboxes of modern rally cars are complicated devices, as is evident from the picture on right.

(Driving) gloves
As with shoes, drivers use special gloves for both fire protection but also to help with their grip from the steering wheel.

Gravel crew
Each manufacturer team is entitled to have so-called gravel inspection car, one per car entered and each tyre manufacturer two. Purpose of these cars is to go through the stage at least one hour before the proper rally crews and make any necessary amendments to the notes. Gravel cars are driven by experienced rally drivers, often close friends of the driver they do gravel notes for. Amendment: gravel crews were banned in 2004.

The total amount of traction that car has, to be used to change direction and speed. Grip is dependent on various factors like road surface, weather conditions, suspension setup, aerodynamic downforce, speed and tyres. When grip is lost, car begins to slide. Controlled slide is advantageous in certain situations like when negotiating a tight hairpin but in general drivers try to make car slide as little as possible.

Ground effect
By taking ground into consideration when designing aerodynamics of a competition vehicle it is possible to achieve extra downforce. This relies on creating lower air pressure underneath the car, effecting a downward push from higher pressure above the car. The most common method of lowering air pressure beneath the car is use of spoilers and skirts to create an isolated pocket of air and to extract that via narrow slot at high speed so that Bernoulli's principle kicks in. It is much more difficult to get ground effect to work in rally cars than in circuit racers due to uneven surface of the natural roads. In practice it has ever worked on tarmac and poorly, if at all even then.

In modern rallying, there are two important groups. First is Group N, which contains all cars that in effect are close to production cars. These cars can be modified only very little (like removing rear seats). Group A contains all purpose-built rally cars. Even cars constructed under World Rally Car -rules are classified as Group A -cars, contrary to the common belief. In the 1980's FIA also had famous Group B, which was in effect for prototype cars. That was cancelled after series of fatalitites at the end of 1986.

Cars in a group are further divided into classes. For further information, see car classifications.

Gurney flap (or lip)
Aerodynamic device that originates from aeronautical research, mainly by McDonnell-Douglas in mid-1970's and first used in DC-10 passenger jet. In its simplest form Gurney flap is a vertical lip fixed at the trailing-edge of a wing (see picture right). On aeroplanes, drag is not much different but lift can increase even as much as 20%. In racing vehicles figures are somewhat lower and lip generates downforce instead of a lift.

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Gearbox, this one from Subaru Impreza WRC2004 Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
Driving gloves
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Driving gloves Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
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Gurney flap (marked with arrow) Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window