by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Blind Deer Rallysport

A driver and co-driver have to be in tune with one another at all times in a stage rally event. After all, while the driver is the one controlling the car as it whips through the woods, around mountains, through wind and rain and even over snow and ice, it’s the co-driver’s calm and accurate delivery of notes that helps get the duo to the finish line, and brings the best crews onto the podium.

We’ve decided to put these partnerships to the test in a lower-intensity situation. Stay tuned as the top drivers and co-drivers of the Rally America National Championship see just how much they know about their partners in the car! First up are Blind Deer Rallysport’s Jimmy Pelizzari and Kate Stevens:

Part 1: Open Response

How to read: Each person’s own answers are in italics, and the other person’s guesses are directly below in regular script.

What’s your driver’s favorite pump-up song before a rally?

Jimmy: Immigrant Song, Friends, Celebration Day. The first three songs on Led Zeppelin III.

Either the theme song from the Magnificent Seven or Led Zeppelin—Immigrant Song. Right!

Kate: I don’t really have one, but if I did it would be something like Flogging Molly or Rancid. Maybe Rage Against the Machine. I’m more of a calm down before the rally person.

Don’t know…

What’s their favorite pre-event meal?

Jimmy: Two eggs and toast.

It depends on where we are. Pasties for LSPR. BBQ in Ohio or Missouri. Brats or burgers...

Kate: It really depends. Chinese food in Houghton or Pasties. Chicken fried steak at SnoDrift. BBQ.

Banana and oatmeal?

Who’s their favorite rallying figure of all time?

Jimmy: Ari Vatanen.

Any Finnish driver with a name that’s fun to say. Hanninen, Latvala, etc. Half credit.

Kate: Probably John Buffum because I got to briefly meet him, even if he wouldn’t give me his T shirt.

Michele Mouton?

What’s their favorite stage on the Rally America calendar?

Jimmy: Teepee Tower or Irish Ridge.

I think Jimmy loves the stage along the lake (Lakeshore?) at Sno*Drift but I honestly don't know his favorite. He drives really well on Irish Ridge at SOFR. Right!

Kate: Teepee Tower probably. Or Bonfire Alley.

Don’t know…

If they could own any other rally car in the world, which would it be?

Jimmy: Peugeot 205 T16.

A Lancia Stratos?

Kate: Probably the MK2.

Don’t know…

Part 2: Either/Or

Who calls the shots between the two of you during a race weekend?

Jimmy: Mostly Kate.

Kate: I think really Jimmy does until we’re actually on stage.

Which one of you fell in love with rallying first?

Jimmy: Me.

Kate: Jimmy. Right!

If you two swapped seats, who would adapt better to the other’s job?

Jimmy: She’d probably be pretty good behind the wheel. I’d be a terrible co-driver as I get motion sickness if I’m not driving.

Kate: I would adapt way better.  Jimmy would be sick, and organization is not one of his strong points… Right!

Who enjoys doing recce more before an event?

Jimmy: Me, I just have to drive around and talk.

Kate: Jimmy, but I do like editing and highlighting the notes afterwords a lot. Right!

Who celebrates more after the finish of an event?

Jimmy: Me, I haven’t been dosed with Dramamine.

Kate: Jimmy. Right!