Scandinavian flick

The tightest corners and hairpins usually require the use of a handbrake turn, but the flick can be used in conjunction with, or without the handbrake. The name arose from the Finnish and Swedish rally racers of the 1960s who widely used it with great success. To perform the Scandinavian flick, you need to have an understanding of grip and weight transfers, and have a low friction surface to practice on – wet grass and gravel are ideal. It can be performed in both front, rear and four wheel drive cars but it’s important that the car doesn’t suffer from serious understeer – if it does you’ll find it difficult to turn in on slippery surfaces at speed.

Performing the technique

The stages of the flick are outlined below.

Scandinavian flick stages
Figure 1: Stages of a Scandinavian flick

1. Set yourself up for the corner slightly to the outside of center. You don’t want to take the racing line here as you need to have room on the outside of the corner. Get all of your braking out of the way in a straight line and ease off the brakes when your cornering speed is reached. 2. Turn briefly towards the outside of the corner, using trail braking if necessary (feathering the brake into the corner) to reduce any understeer you might experiecne. You don’t want to take a lot of time over this motion, just enough to create a weight transfer to the inside wheels. 3. Almost immediately turn in sharply in the correct direction of the corner. When done properly, the reverse in weight transfer to the outside wheels should unsettle the rear of the car enough to break traction. 4. The back of the car will start to come round – this tightens the radius of the turn and thus allows quite tight corners to be taken at speed. Counter steer if necessary to keep the car heading in the desired direction. Once you’re past the apex of the corner, gradually reduce the amount of steering lock. Once you have completed the corner, apply progressive throttle to accelerate out of the corner.

Counter steering
Figure 2: Counter steering

Note that experienced rally driver may do may of these stages simultaneously while using techniques such as left foot braking. A video from the incredible Colin McRae which demonstrates the Scandinavian flick: