The weather forecaster helped Ott Tyanak win the rally world championshipFebruary 1, 2020
The rally team is not just about crew and mechanics. The success of Ott Tyanak and Martin Järveoy in the WRC championship in 2019 was greatly contributed by weather forecaster Hannes Tonisson, a senior fellow at the Institute of Ecology at the University of Tallinn and a great rally enthusiast.
Factory teams usually use detailed weather forecasts, but Hannes went further: his specialization is to predict what impact the weather conditions have on the pavement of a special stage, whether it be asphalt, gravel, mud, or ice.
As a result of his research on extreme weather events, Tonisson developed special software that allows, based on initial data in the form of a weather forecast and a detailed map of the area, to predict, for example, how quickly the road dries after rain, the probability of puddles and their depth. Forecasts of air temperature and humidity help optimize the engine cooling system. If ice forms on the special stage, the specialist can predict where and how much this will happen, thereby determining whether to use winter tires or if the crew will only lose time.
“Racers do not need to know what the weather will be like. They are only interested in the conditions on the highway, ”Tonisson Science Business quotes. – I always come to the rally many days before the start, in order to be able to drive through all the special stages and have a good idea of how the road looks and how it will change.
One of the most important questions in a rally is which tires to use. Soft tires are better in the rain, but wear out quickly on dry conditions, while on hard tires the car starts to slide along the wet track. But in the end, it all comes down to how quickly the rider himself is ready to drive through the special stage. The more information he has at his disposal, the fewer surprises he encounters during the rally, and the more confidently he pilots. A self-confident pilot can ride much, much faster. ”
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