1 2 3
Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/26/20 12:10 p.m.
feature_image

Finding an automotive-based activity that keeps everyone–participants, spectators and workers–socially distant can sometimes be tricky. That's why the SCCA will is reviving one of its oldest activities, RoadRally. The best part? Virtually any street-legal car can participate, and all rallies will be done on public roads. As part of the program revitalization, three different rallies are going to be being offered: Touring Rallies, Course Rallies and GTA Rallies. (No, not that sort of GTA.)

Touring Rallies follow the traditional Time-Speed-Distance formula in which competitors are tasked with arriving at each checkpoint at a precise time.

Course Rallies are similar to Touring Rallies, but add specific rules that must be followed along the course.

GTA (Game, Tour and Adventure) Rallies do without average speeds or checkpoint timing, but require answers to specific questions about items along the route.

To also better ensure distancing for all parties involved, the SCCA has developed an app that handles both timing and scoring, thus allowing "organizers to host events with fewer volunteers and with greater accuracy, among other benefits."

To learn more about RoadRally, as well as upcoming events near you, visit the SCCA's website or read the full press release below:

What’s the perfect activity for 2020?

It has to be contained and socially distant. It should limit exposure to others. It’s the 21st century, so the latest in technology should always be involved. And lots of people are searching for a new activity, so it should be something scalable to advanced users, yet a simple enough concept for beginners.

Hello to our old friend, the RoadRally. SCCA’s oldest activity is making a comeback, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to give it a shot in 2020, all across the country.

SCCA RoadRally is run in literally any street legal car, on public roads, where competitors are given a set of directions (sometimes many, sometimes few) and sent on their way to a checkpoint.

Touring Rallies are RoadRally events where the emphasis is on staying on time and arriving at each checkpoint at precisely the correct time. These are also known as Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) events and they use easy to follow route instructions to guide contestants along roads that are fun to drive. In addition to instructions which include average speeds, sometimes the mileage is given for each route instruction which makes the course even easier to follow.

Course Rallies also have TSD elements, but offer the additional challenge of specific rules for following the course. The General Instructions for a Course Rally describe those rules and contestants are tested on their ability to follow those rules, observe signs and landmarks, and to follow specific directions. This is typically more advanced – but you don’t have to be a superstar to participate.

GTA Rallies, named for their "Game, Tour and Adventure" elements, are like Course Rallies, but without average speeds and checkpoint timing. Scoring is typically based on your ability to correctly answer questions about things that you see along the rally route.

But what’s this about technology? Don’t we have workers along the way that record times and keep track of the checkpoints?

Thanks to a series of apps developed by Rich Bireta and the RoadRally team, even this is unnecessary. Using available technologies like cell phones and gps, Bireta has developed an app that allows organizers to host events with fewer volunteers and with greater accuracy, among other benefits.

For competitors, the app times the contestant at each checkpoint, calculates the score (early or late), and displays the score on the contestant’s cellphone screen instantly – making the event more fun from start to finish.

So where can I RoadRally? Lots of places! The calendar for currently available events remaining in 2020 is below. More information on the app and how it can help both competitors and event organizers, will be hitting your mailbox soon in the September issue of SportsCar Magazine. 

Tour Rally Events

September 4: Los Angeles, CA; First Friday Nighter Rally; a rookie-friendly two-hour, 60-mile Friday night tour rally. More info at smscc.org.

September 12: Gaylord, MI; Press On Regardless Rally;One of the oldest and most famous rallies in America. A 14-hour Tour Rally on 400 miles of mostly unpaved roads through the Michigan backwoods. Speeds are brisk and you’ll need a car with some ground clearance. More information at http://drscca.org/rally/press-on-regardless

September 12: Los Angeles, CA; Not My Fault Rally; A four-hour Divisional Tour rally through the scenic canyon roads north of Los Angeles. Very rookie friendly. More info at smscc.org

September 13: Hackettstown, NJ; Second Hand Roads Rally; A 65-mile, three-hour Novice orientated Tour rally. No unpaved roads. More info at www.mcnj.org.

September 26: San Diego, CA; It’s a Pie Run! Rally; A Tour rally using Monte Carlo checkpoints. You’ll be given the precise time that you should arrive at each checkpoint. Your goal is to cross the checkpoint line at exactly that time. Very rookie friendly. More info from Ric Senior, ricsenior@gmail.com.

GTA Rally Events

August 29: Cincinnati, OH; Got You Covered Rally; A four-hour, 80-mile GTA rally with questions to answer about things you’ll see (or maybe won’t see) along the course. The rally will feature visits to several covered bridges and multiple barn quilts. More info at cincyscca.motorsportreg.com.

September 12: Southington, CN; Hurdle 2020 Rally; A scavenger hunt GTA rally with the emphasis on adventure where teams will plot their own route. An all-day event, contestants get a map of Connecticut and a list of 16 questions. You’ll spend some time locating question locations, then drive to the locations, find the answers, and return to the finish. Scoring is based on number of correct answers and fewest miles traveled. More info at msreg.com/hurdle2020.

Course Rally Events

August 30: Evansville, IN; Apolitical Rally; A three-hour, 90-mile course rally on great driving roads in the Henderson, Kentucky area. All road are paved. More info at https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/rally-5-evansville-indiana-area-scca-southern-126264.

Like what you're reading? We rely on your financial support. For as little as $3, you can support Grassroots Motorsports by becoming a Patron today. 

Become a Patron!

Read the rest of the story

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/26/20 12:14 p.m.

First rule of road rally: DO NOT GET LOST.

Once you're off-course, you're boned. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
8/26/20 12:31 p.m.

Love the idea. Hopefully they expand it to more locations 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
8/26/20 12:43 p.m.

My wife and I did one of these in my P71 about 20 years ago in Venice, FL.

The roads for a multi square mile residential development had been laid out years before, and then the development never happened. Navigation was extremely difficult. We didn't get totally lost, but we weren't real close to the target time.

Great fun, I would do it again.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
8/26/20 1:07 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

My parents live around that area, and yeah, there's a lot of pavement out that way that pretty much leads to nothing.

Kind of spooky, kind of cool. Must have made for a fun rally.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
8/26/20 2:35 p.m.

Man I really hope this gets active in my area, or at least closer. SWMBO and I really enjoyed the rally to the Mitty we did with GRM several years back and we've talked about doing more. In fact, I've bought stuff to upgrade the passenger seat controls in my Mustang so she can be comfortable enough to consider doing these. Better get on that.

The GTA rally sounds like a fun format. Kind of like bar trivia for cars.

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/26/20 2:46 p.m.

Ooh, this looks kinda fun. I'm in.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/26/20 2:58 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) :

We did one in another sorta unfinished Florida residential neighborhood called Rocket City. Go in, get lost, hopefully come out. We've run with a few clubs, but it's been a while. 

adam525i (Forum Supporter)
adam525i (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/26/20 3:59 p.m.

Our local Rally club (KWRC.on.ca) is very active in organizing these up here in Ontario, they run a beginner friendly series called SNATR (Saturday Night at the Rally) which sometimes coincide with regional or provincial events with extra legs added to them. This year these haven't happened yet (there are plans) with Covid restrictions. I did one the other year, it didn't go well and we missed the first checkpoint, it felt a bit like driving slowly over really great roads (CAS's have to be lower than the speed limits by a certain percentage for these events to take place on open public roads). I can understand the appeal though for navigators that are in to that sort of thing and the challenges it brings.

The Polar Bear Rally runs under the same rules but overnight, in late January using most of the roads from the Rally of the Tall Pines (Performance Rally) around Bancroft, ON. Those roads plus winter conditions means that keeping on time becomes a real challenge for the drivers and a taste of performance rallying, many teams have ended their nights stuck in ditches or snow banks, lots of fun! I ran as a navigator last year for the first time and am planning to drive this year provided the event can go ahead.

outasite
outasite HalfDork
8/26/20 4:24 p.m.

Did a few in New Jersey and Pennsylvania back in the 70s with my MGB. 

MrRobogoat (Forum Supporter)
MrRobogoat (Forum Supporter) New Reader
8/26/20 4:34 p.m.

I was just thinking about TSD rallies the other day and how the currently situation is really a great time for them to make a big comeback. It's a great way to get out of the house and go on a nice drive.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/26/20 5:06 p.m.

Revived?  the local regions run one or two a year.

barefootskater
barefootskater UltraDork
8/26/20 5:38 p.m.

Looks like I need to actually join SCCA and keep an eye out. This would be a hoot. 

Vajingo
Vajingo New Reader
8/26/20 6:39 p.m.

I've always wondered how these work out IRL. Let's say they tell you A to B should take 10:00. You bust ass and commit all sorts of automotive atrocities, and get close to the finish within 9:00, and then just lollygag your way to a perfect finish? What stops that from happening? (Besides the cops, and a sound mind)

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/26/20 6:49 p.m.
Vajingo said:

I've always wondered how these work out IRL. Let's say they tell you A to B should take 10:00. You bust ass and commit all sorts of automotive atrocities, and get close to the finish within 9:00, and then just lollygag your way to a perfect finish? What stops that from happening? (Besides the cops, and a sound mind)

This is what I am also wondering.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/26/20 6:55 p.m.
Vajingo said:

I've always wondered how these work out IRL. Let's say they tell you A to B should take 10:00. You bust ass and commit all sorts of automotive atrocities, and get close to the finish within 9:00, and then just lollygag your way to a perfect finish? What stops that from happening? (Besides the cops, and a sound mind)

They don't necessarily tell you where the time control is.  And it's been a while, but I recall something about not being allowed to stop/significantly slow in sight of a control.  So somewhere on one of the legs, you'll be trundling along at 29mph looking for the next instruction when you crest a hill and surprise! Time control!

I have also been on rallies where the CAST instruction was ridiculously high.  Like 45mph average at night on a SE Ohio gravel road.  Yeah, the real intent is "who can go the fastest gets the lowest score".

iceracer
iceracer MegaDork
8/26/20 7:39 p.m.

My club AMEC, ran TSD rally,s back in the '60 an '70,s on the good supply of interesting roads in the southern Adirondacks

 Then they got distracted by ice racing.

Our last rally was in 2004 to celebrate our 50th anniversary   It was fun rally and asked questions about sights along the way.

iceracer
iceracer MegaDork
8/26/20 7:43 p.m.

Time to dig the Curta out.

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan UberDork
8/26/20 8:47 p.m.

Sat in the back seat for a ride along in one during college as an alternative to the bar scene.

I think these used to be the gateway drug to stage rally in the UK.

It even got to be a little too fast at one point. Mostly held at night too.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
8/26/20 8:57 p.m.

I hope these catch on here.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/26/20 9:15 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
Vajingo said:

I've always wondered how these work out IRL. Let's say they tell you A to B should take 10:00. You bust ass and commit all sorts of automotive atrocities, and get close to the finish within 9:00, and then just lollygag your way to a perfect finish? What stops that from happening? (Besides the cops, and a sound mind)

They don't necessarily tell you where the time control is.  And it's been a while, but I recall something about not being allowed to stop/significantly slow in sight of a control.  So somewhere on one of the legs, you'll be trundling along at 29mph looking for the next instruction when you crest a hill and surprise! Time control!

I have also been on rallies where the CAST instruction was ridiculously high.  Like 45mph average at night on a SE Ohio gravel road.  Yeah, the real intent is "who can go the fastest gets the lowest score".

Yep, that's how I have seen them done, too. Once you see the control station, it's too late. Now if you're lost, then your speed no longer matters. (Ask me how we learned that lesson.)

Rons
Rons Reader
8/27/20 12:03 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

One of your regular contributors - one Paul Eklund may be able to comment as he won the 2020 Thunderbird Rally.

edit: he in place of we

RichardSIA
RichardSIA Reader
8/27/20 1:45 a.m.

Did T&D's in the late 70's, even did a Puzzle Rally once.

They were great fun and EDUCATIONAL as Math! was required of the navigator. Now with GPS and "Phone a friend" if lost/confused I figured they were long dead.

Of course the most fun was always "Making up lost time", once bent two wire wheels when the TR3 went slightly airborne mid curve, East San Jose mountain roads.

Somehow doing these in the current crop of gumdrop cars and using "An app." just seems, ah, disconnected? 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/27/20 5:30 a.m.
David S. Wallens said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
Vajingo said:

I've always wondered how these work out IRL. Let's say they tell you A to B should take 10:00. You bust ass and commit all sorts of automotive atrocities, and get close to the finish within 9:00, and then just lollygag your way to a perfect finish? What stops that from happening? (Besides the cops, and a sound mind)

They don't necessarily tell you where the time control is.  And it's been a while, but I recall something about not being allowed to stop/significantly slow in sight of a control.  So somewhere on one of the legs, you'll be trundling along at 29mph looking for the next instruction when you crest a hill and surprise! Time control!

I have also been on rallies where the CAST instruction was ridiculously high.  Like 45mph average at night on a SE Ohio gravel road.  Yeah, the real intent is "who can go the fastest gets the lowest score".

Yep, that's how I have seen them done, too. Once you see the control station, it's too late. Now if you're lost, then your speed no longer matters. (Ask me how we learned that lesson.)

That's why you have a navigator who can do time based math with ridiculous skill, who will go into the notes and write out what second you should be passing each instruction....

 

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
8/27/20 6:12 a.m.

I used to LOVE doing TSD rallies. Our local region used to put on the Sunsetter Endurance Rally. Run mostly after dark, frequently in the rain, mostly on dirt roads.

They called the speeds 'brisk'. While technically under the speed limit, the 'average' speed would require some pretty creative driving to maintain. Make a mistake and YEE-HAW suddenly you had to do Dukes of Hazzard driving to make up the lost time.

Sometimes the roads were public roads that local residents viewed as private. That made for some good stories.

We never used rally computers. We'd just add 10% to the CAS number. After awhile you would get a feel for if you were running early or late. I got one third place and one first place in the unequipped category running the Sunsetter.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
fthBCUnwUBQaDasEOvXQjOPItUr4G63vyzlUYT5mkCooW49TEIphBj68myf3LU5W