How To Rally

part 1

Editor's Commentt: Beginning in the April,1981 Gazette, Jim Duea, arguably the most successful TSD (Time Speed and Distance) rallyist in Oklahoma Region history, penned a series of "How To Rally" articles.  They will be presented to preserve the art of Time Speed and Distance rallying.

This will be a regular section of the Gazette that will be devoted to helping the new rallyist get started in rallying. During the next several months I will publish an easy lo follow step by step process for learning to follow a Tour RalIy course and provide some helpful tips for staying on time. But first some basics.

What is a road rally ?

A road rally is an automotive contest in which competing crews (consisting of a driver and a navigator) leave individually from a starting point and, following written instructions, drive over public roads to "the finish". Rallying has been described as a drive in the country to grandma's house, only you don't know where she lives, and you don't know how to get there, but you have to arrive exactly on time” It is a fascinating, demanding competitive game of navigational and driving skill. RalIying appeals to people of all ages and professions. If a person likes a drive in the country on a Sunday afternoon and likes to participate in competitive games of skill, then he or she will enjoy rallying.

 The Lingo

As in many spots, rallying has its own lingo. To help you get started on your rally career. I'll define a few basic terms here. For instance, you would  expect that an instruction saying LEFT would be a turn to the left at the next possible intersection, and you would be pretty much correct.. However, SCCA has added the requirement that the turn must be from 10 degrees to 179 degrees. From the definition of LEFT you would expect that the instruction RIGHT wound be the same except hat it is a turn in the other direction, and you would be correct again.

To fill the gap directly ahead, there is the instruction STRAIGHT, which, you guessed it, is to proceed within plus or minus 10 degrees of directly ahead. In a tour rally you may also be given instructions tike BEAR RIGHT (Turn  to the right from 10 to 80 degrees) or ACUTE RIGHT (Turn to the right" from 100 to 179 degrees ) to further define which road you should Turn on. There are some other terms peculiar to rallying; those will be covered later.

 Time Speed Distance Rallies

In this type of event, the crew must follow a prescribed course, and must also attempt to drive at exactly the prescribed speeds. The rallymaster first lays out the course, writes the instructions and selects C0NTR0L (checkpoint) Iocations along the way. Then he carefully measures the route and assigns average speeds to different portions of the course. Since he has measured the distance from one C0NTR0L to the next and has selected the speeds to be used, he can calculate the exact time it should take the contestant to travel from one control to the next. When contestants compete, their first goal is to properly follow the route. (It doesn't help to be running at the correct speed on the wrong road ! ) Their second goal is to try and run at exactly the assigned speeds. In effect, you are trying to be "on time all the time" because you never know when you will encounter a control. You may come over a hill or around a bend and see a control ahead. 0nce you are in sight, you must continue running at approximately the assigned speed and enter the control.

 Timing and Scoring

As the contestants cross the control Iine, the checkpoint crew will record their precise arrival time. Their error is based on the difference between the calculated arrival time when they actually crossed the line. The perfect score is 0. Penalties are usually 1 point for each hundredth of a minute late or early The checkpoint crew also assigns the contestant a new starting time to begin the next leg, So you get a fresh start at each control. That way, if you get a penalty on one leg,  You cannot compensate for it on the next leg.


to be continued. . . next month.


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