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NickD
NickD UltimaDork
8/27/20 7:46 a.m.

A year or so ago someone tried to hold one in our area but no one turned up and the guy got all ticked off and made a nasty post on Facebook. The problem was, it said right in the instructions that they would be traversing non-paved roads and that immediately made all the autocross people not want to go because they didn't want to beat their cars up, and the guy never consulted with the rallycross guys, who were interested, and scheduled it on the same weekend as one of their events.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
8/27/20 7:54 a.m.

I did TSD rallies back in the late 70s, early 80s. The club had a rule that the winner of each rally had to organize it the next year. My navigator (my cousin) was pretty good and we won every rally one year, so we had to set the routes the next year.  I would deliberately set a check point on a road facing the oncoming rally traffic, but it would always be beyond an intersection that required competitors to turn. Good rallyists followed the instructions and now knew where a checkpoint was located. Poor rallyists panicked and assumed they were somehow going the wrong direction when they saw the checkpoint.

As a driver I always enjoyed the fun any time my navigator said "Oh-oh", just floor it and catch up until he told me to slow down.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
8/27/20 8:06 a.m.

In reply to adam525i (Forum Supporter) :

When I lived in Toronto (1980-83) the Maple Leaf Rally Club ran a Wednesday night beginners series. We'd start from a restaurant in Woodbridge and head north for about 100 miles of driving, largely after dark, and then beer and trophies afterwards at the restaurant. It was good fun and attendance was pretty decent every week.

 

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/27/20 8:19 a.m.

I was down for the Michigan one till i saw 14 hours.  We'd have to start and finish by Branch  so it's more like 19 hours.  

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
8/27/20 8:31 a.m.

In reply to Patrick (Forum Supporter) :

30 years ago I'd have loved to give the POR event a go, not so much now........but I do still have a bin full of driving lamps......and a $1000 former Challenge Miata........but my former navigator is on the other side of the border and is almost my age, too, so it will remain a daydream.

aw614
aw614 Reader
8/27/20 8:36 a.m.
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) said:

I hope these catch on here.

Loren from FAST tried to organize a few TSD rallies a few years back, the interest wasn't there, but it looked like fun especially with the sight seeing involved in the rural areas north of Tampa

iceracer
iceracer MegaDork
8/27/20 10:07 a.m.

If we ran any dirt roads we had to make sure there was ground clearance for the Healeys.(sp)

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
8/27/20 11:01 a.m.

Niiiice! I'm definitely up for it.  I don't have a car suitable for the MI so I just posted a WTB for it. Whoever comes up with the successful lead gets to choose the livery :) I hope to see some of you all out there.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
8/27/20 11:42 a.m.
ddavidv said:

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

Yeah, that's why I stopped.  Running in the unequipped class meant running last, meaning the guys up front thinking they were Bjorn Waldegard were hauling ass on the fun roads and making it up by stopping somewhere.  Then we got to enjoy the people jumping in front of the car and screaming at us to slow down (I'm going 20, lady, how slow should I be going?) or shooting rifles over us as we went by or stuff like that.

jdogg
jdogg Reader
8/27/20 12:01 p.m.

Does SCCA not care about the South? There's entire highly active car scenes here and I guess no one cares.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/27/20 12:21 p.m.

Our club, Brandywine Motorsport Club, has been organizing road rallies in the DE / SEPA / NEMD area since the early '50s.  We typically run 2-4 events every year.  With COVID, we have so far only run 1 road rally this year.  Our new rally chair hasn't managed to put any more together yet, but I'm hoping she'll get another one together before the year is out.

We used offer TSD and what we called Tour rallies (same route, just no time / speed component).  The TSD participation fell way off and our last few have not included that element.  However, we almost always offer a class similar to what they're calling GTA, with trivia questions from all along the route.

 

Vajingo
Vajingo New Reader
8/27/20 12:33 p.m.

How does one go about organizing one of these (without SCCA sponsorship)?

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/27/20 12:38 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 shouldn't tell you that.  You usually don't know exact mileage to the control point, and you definitely don't know target time.

You are given average speed (Commence Average Speed or CAS in the instructions) - or a series of different average speeds - to maintain over a given leg of the rally.  Doing so perfectly yields a perfect score of zero.  You are penalized 1 point for every 1/100th of a minute you are early or late to the given checkpoint.

The route instructions may include occasional Official Mileage points so that you can keep track of your speedo / odo error relative to the control car, but they should never give you enough information to be able to calculate exactly what the target time is.  Some rallymasters don't quite get this so sometimes it can become an exercise in math, which kind of misses the point.  This is especially true with self-serve checkpoints where you have to mark down your time at a particular landmark.

Back in the heyday, there were dedicated rally computers and hyperaccurate odos to keep you on track, and these typically put you in an Equipped class.  I prefer to run SOP class, where you only have a watch and your car's speedo / odo to work with.  Running SOP, DW and I have managed to score as low as 90 points (0.9 minutes, or about 54 seconds) off of target time over a 2-1/2 hour, 75 mile rally route.

 

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/27/20 12:48 p.m.
jdogg said:

Does SCCA not care about the South? There's entire highly active car scenes here and I guess no one cares.

With the SCCA it's up to the local regions. If you want road rallies then get with your SCCA region and organize some.

mgb65
mgb65 New Reader
8/27/20 12:55 p.m.

I remember doing a road rally in western NC back in the 80's with my ex wife and my 65 MGB.  Still have the MG, but not that wife.  It was just a blast, and this was before GPS or Google Maps.  As I remember we had a map that was handed to us, our road atlas that most of us had in the cars, in case we got lost.  We also used something I picked up while in the Marine Corps, I can't remember the name of it, but it had a roller you would trace on the map, and then figure out distances.

I would love to see this come back, especially during winter in Florida.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/27/20 12:57 p.m.

In reply to Vajingo :

You make up a route - typically over fun-to-drive or scenic back roads.  Then you drive it a bunch of times to get a good sense of the average speeds you can maintain over different portions of the route, and you make note of those along with the exact mileage of each section.  Doing the math should allow you to calculate the target times for each segment.

Then you write a set of route instructions  that includes average speeds (CAS) for each section, indicated by landmarks.  For novices, you can give every turn by street / road name, to make navigation easier on them.  Then they only have to concentrate on maintaining accurate speed.  As noted, you typically do not include enough mileage information to allow the teams to do the math that accurately, to stop them from sandbagging.  Each turn or segment is given an instruction number, to be followed in order.

Often, though, the turn-by-turn route instruction are not complete, or require you to observe things along the way, or solve puzzles to determine the correct course.  Instead of saying "Turn left on Millpond Road", for instance, you might say "Turn left after horse" if there is a sign with a picture of a horse on it shortly before the intended turn.

There may also be General Instructions that override or modify the specific route instructions.  For instance, we ran a rally called "Bridges Over The Brandywine".  GI #1 was "If you see a bridge over the Brandywine River, cross it."  Doing so might require making a turn that was not specifically mentioned in the route instructions.  Forgetting about the GIs would mean you'd miss that turn and be off course.

If you want to start out more easily, you can skip the TSD component and just put together a GTA rally.  Typically with those, you ask a series of questions that can only be answered by successfully running the route.  You might ask "How many mailboxes between Instructions #12 and #13?" or "When was X Business founded?" or whatever other trivia the teams can observe by following the correct route.  Sometimes those trivia questions can get pretty difficult to answer.  One of our older rallymasters is deaf as a post, but his eyes are sharp as a hawk's.  He'll put questions in that can be answered only if you have really good powers of observation.

It really is a lot of fun.

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/27/20 1:06 p.m.

There are also a bunch of helpers you can add like transit legs where a fixed time is given for that section.  Say your route has to run along a major road for a short distance, or it includes a traffic light - something where speed and elapsed time are out of the driver's control.  The instructions would allow a fixed time, of say 5 minutes, for this section.  That eliminates the traffic light cycle or potential right-of-way delays from the equation.  You run that instruction in however long it takes to do safely, and then you stop and wait at the end of the leg until your timer hits 5:00 exactly before continuing on.  That standardizes it for every car.

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/27/20 1:35 p.m.

Our old local club would never go more than a certain number of miles--I forget if it was 10 or whatever--without a clue or something. So if you found yourself on the same road for 20 miles without any seeing anything on the sheet, you likely missed something and were lost.

Also, the CAS never exceeded the posted speed limit. Once you factor in turns and lights and stop signs, it was usually plenty quick. 

They also didn't use unpaved roads. In fact, in their world unpaved roads didn't exist. So if the instructions said to turn right at the fourth cross-street and that fourth street was dirt, you kept going to the next paved road. And if you had to cross a few other dirt roads to get there, then it got confusing. 

Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but the standard was/is to send out cars at one-minute intervals. Several years ago, we got all goofed up on time, but eventually came up on the car just ahead of us--and we knew they were good drivers. We were on a long, straight road and could spot them way out, so we simply paced ourselves exactly one minute back.

Got to the checkpoint, and we were totally off time. What happened? The people ahead of us had also gotten lost. Later they told us that they saw us back there and knew what we were doing. Valiant effort, they said. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/27/20 1:37 p.m.

In reply to Duke :

Yes to transit legs. Definitely part of the rally experience. 

We've had a few transits that included time for lunch, so instead of 5 or 10 minutes they gave you enough time to grab a sammich. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/27/20 1:42 p.m.

In reply to mgb65 :

Was it an opisometer? My dad had one of those. Heck, he might still have it 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/27/20 1:44 p.m.

One more thing: Duke mentioned that it's fun. And it is. It's problem-solving, teamwork and car stuff, all rolled up together. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/27/20 2:02 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

Our old local club would never go more than a certain number of miles--I forget if it was 10 or whatever--without a clue or something. So if you found yourself on the same road for 20 miles without any seeing anything on the sheet, you likely missed something and were lost.

Also, the CAS never exceeded the posted speed limit. Once you factor in turns and lights and stop signs, it was usually plenty quick. 

They also didn't use unpaved roads. In fact, in their world unpaved roads didn't exist. So if the instructions said to turn right at the fourth cross-street and that fourth street was dirt, you kept going to the next paved road. And if you had to cross a few other dirt roads to get there, then it got confusing. 

Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but the standard was/is to send out cars at one-minute intervals. Several years ago, we got all goofed up on time, but eventually came up on the car just ahead of us--and we knew they were good drivers. We were on a long, straight road and could spot them way out, so we simply paced ourselves exactly one minute back.

Got to the checkpoint, and we were totally off time. What happened? The people ahead of us had also gotten lost. Later they told us that they saw us back there and knew what we were doing. Valiant effort, they said. 

Yes, all of these things.  We pretend that dirt roads, private roads, and dead-end roads don't even exist.

Another fun one is when "straight" is defined as "as straight as possible."

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/27/20 2:34 p.m.

And I don't know why the club was against dirt roads, but that was their rule. I believe they also ignored private roads and dead ends. So, yeah, if the instructions said to make the fifth left but on the way there you passed three or four dirt roads and a dead end, now it became tricky. 

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
8/27/20 4:33 p.m.

Similar experience to David - my wife and I ran an SCCA Divisional rally SOP out of Tucson back in the 70s.  One leg ran past a checkpoint into an undeveloped subdivision with only the one exit and became a complex maze.  After getting hopelessly lost I thought "the car behind me is XXXX, a former national champion.  We'll let him go by and follow him in to the checkpoint and be within a minute, which will be great"  So I stopped, he drove up and rolled down his window, and said "Do you have any idea where in the Hell we are?"  So much for gamesmanship.

No TSD in this part of the country (except for one annual event in Glenwood Springs), so haven't run one in almost 30 years.

Lugnut
Lugnut Dork
8/27/20 11:02 p.m.

We go up to Madison to play in their SCCA road rallies and Chicago PCA does 5 a year. I put on one of those 5 every year for the club - my event this year is this Sunday. I have some good roads and fun tricks and traps and this is the club's first rallye with the Richta GPS app. It's awesome. I don't have to worry about getting checkpoint workers and I can put them in all kinds of devious places. 
 

I often put out traps for pauses, observes or turns with misspellings, unlabeled landmarks (landmarks must be identified by a sign, so, for example, if there isn't a sign that identifies a bridge and there's a lettered route instruction like increase CAST by 4 at bridge, that's not executable and you'll come in too early to the next CP), sign reading in part (so left on Smith isn't executable on Smithsonian Ave, but is executable on John Smith Rd). I also have straight as possible navigation, roads that don't exist both for counting or land marking. Lots of fun!

My goal is never to get a team lost, but to present them with opportunities to make choices that, if they choose wrong, will make them come in early or late to the next CP. I want them to see a puzzle and either feel like, "nice! We figured that one out!" Or nervous because they aren't sure what they did is right. But still confident that they'll reach the end even if it's with a not so great score. 

Mrs Lugnut doesn't really care about autocross or track or concours that much, so this is the only car event we compete in together. I love games and puzzles and I really love rallye. I wish there were more events. 

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