Co-Driver's Introduction

Navigating U.S. Stage Rallies

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Obvious Disclaimer

This is my interpretation of rules and procedures, and may not be based on the most up-to-date information; please refer to the Rally America Website for the most current rules and bulletins.

Co-Driver's Job:

Know WHERE to go WHEN


Scrutineering & other prep

  • Bring lights, helmets, firesuits
  • Make sure your computer works on the transit to tech; use that transit as an odo check
  • Learn the location of your triangles, first aid kit, shovel, etc.
  • Make sure your navigator lights work, and you have pens, watches, flashlights, barf bag
  • Make sure you have water, snacks, warm clothes, poncho in case of an "off"
  • Determine at which service you will need to re-fuel and when you need to attach the rally lights (keep in mind delays, offs, etc.)
  • Determine "who will do what" when you have to change a tire on a stage - and practice it

Route Book (Part 1 of 6)

Route Book (Part 2 of 6)

  • What's in the routebook
    • Line #
    • Overall (keep in mind this becomes off)
    • Interval (distance from previous line)
    • Diagram [Tulips] (never perfect depiction)
    • Instruction (look for cautions here!)
    • Decreasing Mileage (to the finish)
Route Book picture

Route Book (Part 3 of 6)

  • What's NOT in the routebook
    • ALL curves
    • ALL crests
    • ALL dangers
Stage Notes picture

Route Book (Part 4 of 6)

Route Book (Part 5 of 6)

Route Book (Part 5 of 6)

Your Rally Computer

Your Scorecard

Timing/Controls: PARC

Parc Expose / Parc Ferme

  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early (before it closes)
  • Check the notice board again
  • Check for changes in start order
  • Write down your start time in the route book
  • Make sure factor is set
  • Compare your watch(es) with everyone else's
  • Don't miss the driver's meeting
  • Check the notice board again

Timing/Controls: START

Rally Start (an MTC)

  • Know your start time
  • Know the 2 or 3 cars in front of you (and the one behind you) - get in line
  • Arrive in the minute before your start time (they may wave you in earlier)
  • Typically zero your odo here (check your book)
  • Get a score card
  • Leave when they say it's OK to leave
  • Write down the ACTUAL start time in the route book

Timing/Controls: TRANSIT

TRANSIT (1 of 2)

  • Obey SPEED LIMITS / observe Quiet Zones
  • When to arrive at ATC? Calculate as (YOUR MTC OUT or FTC TIME) plus (TRANSIT TIME on SCORECARD) BEWARE: this varies in the Pacific NW
  • Example:
    OUT TIME FROM MTC:  10:59:00 
    +TRANSIT TIME (10 mins):  00:10:00 
    EQUALS:  11:09:00 

Timing/Controls: TRANSIT

TRANSIT (2 of 2)

Timing/Controls: ATC

ATC (Arrival Time Control)

  • Stay behind the GATE SIGN until a few beats AFTER your minute rolls around
  • Pull up to the CLOCK sign
  • Hand your card to timing crew
  • When you get the card back:
    • Check that they wrote the time you needed
    • Don't let driver pull forward until you've checked
    • On many rallies zero your odo here (or at SSS; check your book)
  • Is the stage start a traffic jam? You must walk up and hand the card to the timing crew still during your minute
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: SSS

SSS (Special Stage Start)

  • Pull up when prior car leaves
  • Hand your card to timing crew
  • On many rallies zero your odo here (or at ATC; check your book)
  • When you get the card back:
    • Write down the start time in your route book
    • Check belts, helmets, intercom, loose items
    • If you have time, review the stage with your driver:
      • difficult instructions
      • cautions
      • stage length, surface transitions, etc.
    • Leave when start crew counts you down to ZERO [or when official timing clock reaches ZERO of your minute (if using TAG Heuer clocks)]

Timing/Controls: STAGE-1

IN THE STAGE (safety)

Timing/Controls: STAGE-2

IN THE STAGE (normal)

  • Zero incremental odo every instruction
  • Possibly: Count down each instruction
    • SWEEP LEFT in 40
    • SWEEP LEFT in 20
    • SWEEP LEFT in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. 1
  • The faster you are going, the earlier you need to be calling instructions
  • Don't get worked up if mileages and tulips don't match exactly (wheelspin, braking, badly-drawn tulips, etc.)

Timing/Controls: STAGE-3

IN THE STAGE (problems)

Timing/Controls: FF

FF (Flying Finish)

  • Keep going at the YELLOW sign
  • Tell driver when you pass the RED FINISH FLAG sign
  • If you have time, write down the time in your route book as you cross the line
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: FTC

FTC (Finish Time Control)

  • Hand your card to timing crew
  • When you get the card back:
    • Compare the the time you wrote as you crossed the line with the time from the card - OK if within seconds
    • Don't let driver pull forward until you've checked
    • Write down the finish time from the card in your route book
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: MTC IN

MTC IN (Main Time Control IN)

  • Used to check into a service, or to re-seed, or similar
  • When to arrive? same calculation as ATC but you can arrive early (before your minute)
  • Confirm that timing crew wrote the correct time on your card
  • You may get a new scorecard with your OUT TIME --OR-- you will have to check the notice board for a new start list for new OUT TIME
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: MTC OUT

MTC OUT (Main Time Control OUT)

  • OUT TIME is on scorecard or on new start list
  • Make sure you get a new scorecard from MTC crew if one was not given to you when you checked into the MTC IN
  • Wait behind the gate sign until the minute before your OUT time
  • When to arrive? In the minute before your OUT time; they may wave you in early
  • When to leave? When your OUT time arrives; they may let you leave early
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: RGC

RGC IN or OUT (Regrouping Control)

Timing/Controls: OBS

"O" Control (Observation Control)

Unplaced Controls

When an ATC or FTC is missing:

  • Only happens when there is a problem; see Rulebook 7.4.A.3
  • Typically add 3 minutes for each control that is missing (ATC and/or FTC)
  • If the ATC is missing, then you must transit the stage, and calculate the time "to transit" using the BOGEY time in the route book
  • Caution: some routebooks have two times listed, ask which one to use (Bogey Time vs. Emergency Time)

Racing Is Done

But the Rally isn't over:

Additional Sources

Where to find information:

Good Websites

The End

Thanks to the following: