Codemasters has revealed the results of their study into how a professional co-driver influences driver confidence and overall speed. The DiRT Rally 2.0 team conducted an experiment earlier this month with the only variable being the co-driver, all in order to discover the exact impact a trained navigator has on overall stage time.
Each co-driver was given one chance to guide Codemasters’ rally driver Jon Armstrong through a single stage at the London Rally School. Experienced co-driver Noel O’Sullivan helped Jon hit a time of 2 minutes 32 seconds. Novice Chris Codey assisted Jon to complete the same stage in 9 minutes 44 seconds – one of the slowest times seen at the Bicester-based track.
Jon Armstrong said of the experiment: ‘it was extraordinarily difficult trying to string a few corners together with Chris as my co-pilot. He couldn’t tell his left from his right, and kept his eyes closed for the vast majority of the run. The closest instruction he gave was “watch out, there are bends”… Not ideal. It would have been easier if I’d have used Google Maps. At least Google Maps doesn’t scream.’
Dr Jasmine Masters, lead researcher on the study, concluded: ‘with a staggering time difference of 7 minutes 12 seconds – the equivalent of taking 284% longer – the importance of a capable co-driver cannot be understated. Heck, even a coherent co-driver helps. It’s a good job that Codemasters used a number of world class co-drivers to create the pace-notes and co-driver calls for DiRT Rally 2.0 – if we’d have left it to Chris, then in my professional opinion, we’d have been screwed.’
DiRT Rally 2.0, including official licensed content of the FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy, launched on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including Xbox One X and Windows PC (DVD and via Steam) on Tuesday 26th February 2019.