Driving School: The Scandinavian Flick in 5 Steps (w/video)
Whether you think the Scandinavian flick might be something Norwegians do when they have a stuffy nose or you've been dying to know how to perform the slick rally move since you first saw Colin McRae slide across your television screen, you're in luck. We're sitting shotgun with Tim O'Neil, owner of a rich rally history and founder of Team O'Neil Rally School in Dalton, New Hampshire, to find out what the trick is all about.
But first, if you've never seen a Scandinavian flick (also commonly called a Pendulum Turn) in action, take a quick peek at the video below, where Team O'Neil instructor Kevin Hans enlists the help of a 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR to demonstrate exactly why the move is so pivotal (no pun) to going quickly on loose surfaces. As you'll see, Kevin makes it look easy -- and according to headmaster Tim O'Neil, the Scandinavian flick isn't that hard at all. Just do the following in about a second and a half: "Lift, turn the opposite way 90 degrees, brake, turn back, release the brake, blip the throttle, countersteer, shift down, and accelerate." And he's leaving out the clutchwork.
But before you throw your hands in the air and say "yeah, right," let's try to get the process down in slow motion. Oh, and before we attempt to delineate each step in a more easily replicable manner, we must first drop the disclaimer: Don't try this on public roads!
1. Get going 30 to 40 mph on a loose surface, and position the car on the inside of the upcoming turn (this should be nicely counterintuitive for anyone who has done road racing).
2. At the right moment (this is something you'll have to learn with experience, so stock up on some fenders and get a bag of tree potting soil while you're out), abruptly lift off the gas pedal and push in the clutch, while turning the wheel about 90 degrees away from the corner entry. The car will begin to turn (and slide) toward the outside of the turn.
3. Brake as necessary to make the car rotate (the proper amount will become obvious in practice, believe it or not) -- you want the wheels facing the wrong way before it's time to enter that corner.
4. Quickly turn the wheel back toward the corner entry, while getting off the brakes and blipping the throttle.
5. Countersteer as necessary, downshift and hit the gas!
Throughout the process, it's sometimes tempting to let go of the steering wheel and let it spin freely back into position. This is in fact a rookie move -- if you're doing it right, you shouldn't have to take your hands off the steering wheel at all! Good luck and for heaven's sake, keep it off the road!