RoadRally, One of the Oldest SCCA Activities, Will Be Revived for 2020

By Colin Wood
Aug 27, 2020 | SCCA, Road Rally

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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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 GRM+ Memberand 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) GRM+ Memberand 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) GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
8/26/20 3:59 p.m.

Our local Rally club ( 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 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.

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