The 2000 Chevrolet Astro van isn't exactly the first car that comes to mind when I think of things I'd love to take rallying, yet that's what Team O'Neil Rally School decided to take on their test stages at the New Hampshire-based rally school. It has permanent all-wheel-drive, so that makes it basically a Subaru WRX, right?
"While you may choose to have a van in your life for dozens of different reasons, we're here today to answer the most important question of all: Will it rally?" explains host Wyatt Knox.
The van seems to be a little rusty around the edges but otherwise, it's in fantastic shape. Plus, it gets mad sideways on the snow. Its low-tech all-wheel-drive system really is a lot like those found on older Subarus that are constant sights at any rally in North America. The extra weight on top makes it handle a bit more like a truck, but is this a bad thing? Clearly not.
Out on the test stage, he keeps it in second gear to keep the transmission from hunting for gears. Knox was a little hindered by the all-terrain tires on the icier parts. He has to flick it around to get around tighter turns and limit how sideways it gets just because of the van's sheet size. Get too sideways, and it becomes wider than the road itself.
It's surprisingly easy to shift the van's weight around! It isn't the fastest thing to drive around the snowy stage, but Knox says that he wasn't hurting for power or torque, either.
Clearly, what we need is a rad van class in rallying—that's what I want to watch more of.