Ah, stopping short. Credited to Seinfeld, it is the abuse of physics in the name of romantic interest. Taking advantage of Newton’s First Law (the principal that objects in motion will stay in motion, unless disrupted by an external force), stopping short is a stealth move involving a quick stop in order to (purposely) make contact with another person (all under the illusion of accident, with hints of fate and even, as seen on ‘Seinfeld’, selfless heroism). A move which the rally world was fortunate enough to watch in action, when a group of World Rally Championship drivers and co-drivers went on a tour of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The Harbour Bridge Climb was a simple enough trip, a chance for the rally personalities to try something out of the ordinary while doing their duties as global ambassadors, as photographers captured it all to be spun into some positive public relations. Pretty standard (without underestimating the genuine cool factor, of course). However, after the group had been there and done that, something highly unexpected occurred.
While ascending the bridge, Qatar M-Sport’s Ilka “Major” Minor (AUT), who was co-driving for Evgeny Novikov (RUS), had played caboose to the train of WRC figures. So, upon descent, it was Minor who led the way, with Volkswagen’s Jerry Matt Latvala (FIN) immediately behind her. And, when we say “immediately”, we mean it. Now, at this point, it may be helpful to highlight two elements at work (here): 1) that the stereotypically built Nordic driver is significantly taller than the petite Austrian, and 2) that the Jer-Bear seems to have a tendency to be intensely focused on things not always directly around him (okay, he comes off as the tiniest tad oblivious, which only adds to his awkward charm). Now, to make an already long story a bit shorter, we may never know if Minor knew what she was doing beforehand, but it does seem quite apparent that she (certainly) knew what she was doing as it was happening. So, what, exactly, happened?
Ilka stopped short. That is what happened. And, the photographic encapsulation of this moment, posted to her Facebook page, serves as empirical evidence that Major Minor is one classy broad. Oh, and, did we mention that she (a woman whose pace note-turning and tire-changing fingers are always prettily polished) was wearing hot pink trainers? She was. Because, she is all girl, packing one heck of a punch of girl power.
And, even if all of this was (completely) innocent, it happened, it was memorable, it made people giggle, and Major Minor’s ‘awesome’ status stands.
(For more giggles, we recommend looking at the distances – and objects – between Minor and Novikov. The boy, who has stated that his favorite non-rally sport is sex, just had a lot to learn. Imagining that the Austrian was making his life a little difficult was a definite perk of the pairing. A duo Cookies & Gold Stars misses seeing in the WRC on a regular basis dearly, both together and separately.)