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

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.

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Comments
View comments on the GRM forums
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.

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. 

adam525i (Forum Supporter)
adam525i (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/28/20 8:48 a.m.

For anyone wanting a bit more info on how these run or what to expect if you sign up here are a couple of helpful links from our club

Basics of Road Rally

Sample instructions

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/13/20 3:08 p.m.

On an ENTIRELY related note, is there anyone able trailer a car with a split control arm from Gaylord to the Lansing area..? I’m hoping to borrow BIL’s truck and rent a u-haul car hauler but in case there’s a hiccup I’m trying to get this done tomorrow 

We were SOOOO close to finishing

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
9/13/20 3:19 p.m.

Spend $150—ish on AAA Premium package. It will tow you 200 miles. There might be a 3 day waiting period from purchase date. 

Can the car stay where it's at until next weekend?  Do you have another way to get just yourself home tonight and leave the car? 

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/13/20 3:25 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) :

I thought you had to sign up for their insurance to get the tow package - no? 

And no, I need to get it ASAP. It’s at a shop that I don’t plan on using to fix it. 

 

Here are are some pics from the event

That’s my dark blue Saab second in line there

 

I also have some video that includes a sickening crunch

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
9/13/20 3:37 p.m.

Can the car sit at the shop, even if just a couple of days? 

No insurance required too. 

Id at least call AAA and get some details... (866) 685-5222

There might be just an upcharge like $50 to use right away.  That's still then a bargain. 

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/13/20 6:17 p.m.

I have a bunch of personal items in there. I could probably string the shop along for the duration but I don’t want to leave it all. And  loaner stuff from another drivers who was helping out

John Welsh (Moderate Supporter)
John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) Mod Squad
9/13/20 6:36 p.m.

Hertz, Enterprise, and Penske Truck all have locations near the Gaylord Airport. Uhaul is there too. Generally where M32 meets I-75. 

That will mean you have to wait until morning. Is the Saab drivable at all? 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
9/13/20 6:39 p.m.

Why do I get a Spiezny vibe from the DSM...

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/14/20 8:36 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh (Moderate Supporter) :

Control arm split right at this weld, if not elsewhere too. I think I might have driven it hard, although our score didn’t seem to indicate that! :) The wheel was freely moving back and forward in the wheel well.

 

I found a rental trailer with a winch for $50 in town and BIL has loaned me his truck. I’m not sure a wheel dolly would go up the ramp unless it’s super smooth but I’ll get one anyway for $40 from Lowe’s just in case.

Alternatively we’ll see what they charge to fix it (based on free visual inspection) and if the delta is worth our time then I’ll come up and get it after it’s fixed. Still doesn’t help MUCH with the stuff in the back but if they fix it I’ll have time to replace the stuff. If I have to be the one to fix it I’ll need the tools right away.

 

 

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
9/14/20 9:08 a.m.

In reply to P3PPY :

Once you get the car home you need to start a new topic on here and tell us all about your first foray into TSD rallying. I'm interested in hearing all about it because having the POR as your first event really is "jumping into the deep end of the pool".

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/14/20 11:07 a.m.

In reply to DeadSkunk (Warren) :

Oh yeah?? Ha it was crazy at times. Logging roads in rain soaked mud, powersliding around blind corners, clipping tree branches around mud holes—- that stuff’s not par for the course???

Jay_W
Jay_W SuperDork
9/14/20 1:07 p.m.

My ol' Paw is pretty good at this sorta thing, scca class B national champ in.. what... '75 I think? He still does a regional or two every now and again. Me, I don't seem to have the patience and the in-head math skills. Kinda more like Heinrich Block, who, comin to the USA and running a "rally" here for the first time and knowing full well what "rally" means in Europe, pulled into the first time control, like an hour early and the officials said no no no you have to go this set speed and not flat out etc etc etc, said "VYE do you DO zees?!?"

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/14/20 1:43 p.m.

In reply to Jay_W :

Hilarious!

Yeah so I’ll do a write up later but let’s just say in the driving rain there wasn’t much let off in the parts where it mattered — the corners. And then when it got bad enough even the straights were too much for the CAST for me. I have brand new rubber on the car too— decently well rated General Altimax, too, but they were no match for the “road” conditions

I guess the lesson here is that any auto sport can be made more fun and challenging by driving on tires ill suited for the occasion

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/14/20 3:04 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

Why do I get a Spiezny vibe from the DSM...

because him and Pitor were there!

 

I had never done a TSD before and really enjoyed myself on this, (we were in the orange/red stickered fiesta ST) It was certainly a challenge and some areas on the 2nd to last section of the night were a blast! Had we made some better calculations I could have really picked up my speed on those sections, lots of tight twisty areas and the fiesta really turns in nicely, I was pleasantly surprised. 

there have been some rallies where I had 45mph avg because of the conditions so it was weird to try and go that speed without the sweet or roads actually shutdown but it was a nice piece of Michigan rally history that has been long overdue for me. 

I would have liked more rain though, I really like it sloppy though but we had just enough to keep the dust down and keep the fun up!

 

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/15/20 6:48 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) :

Was that yours with the TIRERACK sticker?

Normally, driving in rain is the suck but this was my first time driving with a light bar and MAN that made it just fine. I don’t remember - did you have rally lights?

and yes, sliding was amazing. I have ALWAYS wanted to drive like that. ALWAYS

 

EDIT: NM that was a red Focus

fidelity101 (Forum Supporter)
fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/16/20 3:04 p.m.

It was not my car but my friends car I was driving (he was co-driver) we had the big tirerack banner on the windshield, no rally lights. 

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
9/16/20 6:35 p.m.

In reply to fidelity101 (Forum Supporter) :

Oh then I guess we chatted at the stop after guy hit the tree. 

Howdy!

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