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Check out Colorado Cog on the rally-america website. Rallies need more corners. I was surprised to see the average speeds from some stages from Maine too. What is up with this? Are organizers using freeways just to get in enough stage miles to be called "Pro?" Personally, I'd rather stick to the twisty stages. I wonder what it would be like to crash at 120 MPH.
Dave
'02 WRX
 

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Yeah, maybe instead of adding restrictors to the cars to slow them down, the PRB should make the organizers slow the roads down!!

I was shocked to read that many people were over 100mph, on long pieces of the stages... scary.... I guess at Cog, the challenge is nerves, not skills....
 

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I am willing to bet that there is not much choice; either use the roads that are there, or don't have a rally. In the NE, chicanes have beenused to break up high speed sections. I believe this is also used in the UK and/or Ireland; those from there area can comment.

Also, there's a lot more "wild abandon" out there in US raly driving compared to what there used to be.

Mark B.
 

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Chicanes are (were at least) used in British Columbia, too. Great idea. I'm not opposed to the occasional long straight, but averages well above legal freeway speeds is a potential disaster.

Jon
 

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What do they make the chicanes out of? I saw some hay bales used on the practice stage at STPR; they got trashed fairly quickly. That just left hay all over the road (which I ended up cleaning after the runs). Anything stouter then that would be a hazard.
James Blumenfeld
 

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What I find scary and sad is that this rally was too fast as a club rally and yet it easily became a prorally.



WHY?


We alreday have plenty of TOO FAST prorally roads. Why did the PRB and the SCCA allow a rally with roads that are clearly too fast into the series.

Why bother with all the restrictors and restrictions on the cars, when the powers that be don't care about the road character?

What happened to the pre-check and safety steward approvals?


Am I being too critical? Maybe, but it does not seem like we are taking care of ourselves...

Mike
 

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Yeah they used plastic pylons (like road construction thingies) and had marshall there writing down car numbers that hit them, at +30s per tag.

Rocky was also pretty much a freeway... 6-6-5-6-6-5-5-5-6-5-5-6-etc...
http://www.ckrally.com/video/rocky2004-ss7.wmv

Fastforward past all the ridiculously slow driving to 4:55 and see the chicane :)
 

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Hi all,

I usually lurk but don't post anything but this topic hits a nerve with me. I think all this complaining about the speed of the roads and cars is ridiculous. I could see complaining if there were lots of high speed crashes happening at every rally like when group b had all their crashes in the 80's. If you are so afraid of the speeds then what are you doing in a rally car? If you don't feel comfortable at 100 mph then slow down because if you aren't comfortable at those speeds you probably aren't fast enough to win anyway. I'm not tring to insult anyone but racing is dangerious, always has been always will be. There's nothing wrong with trying to improve saftey as long as the racing doesn't suffer from it. Instead of trying to slow the cars and roads down why not try to improve the drivers and the saftey standards for the cars? The fact that anyone can get a license to rally without any formal training is a bigger problem in my mind than the speed of the roads. I worked at the Russell Racing school for 2 years and saw many people who graduated the school that I wouldn't trust with my rally car and they had spent three days learning to race. The lack of training shows all the way up the ladder to the pro rally ranks. I was shocked and dissapointed at how bad most of the drivers are in the USA when I went to watch rim this year and also at laughlin last year. It's almost as if they were so afraid of crashing they didn't want to try and go fast. I've come to belive that there are between 5 and 10 truly good rally drivers in the states. The fact that I was able to finish 19th out of 50 drivers on my 3 miles of gorman (2003)with a motor that sucked up 4 quarts of oil in 3 miles on top of a blown turbo 1 hour of sleep, my intercomm going out and the worst driving I've done in my life, says something about the level of competition. With all the problems I had and my crappy driving I should have been 45th or worse. Granted it was a club rally but come on that's pathetic. The point I'm trying to make is if you want to know if it's too fast ask the fast guys. I bet you'll never hear Rhys, Leon, or Patrick complain about the speeds. Anyways hope I didn't offend anyone but that's my opinion.

Christopher Hill
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>on rally-america one of the notes said that one of the cars
>noted reaching speeds of 110mph. man that is fast.

This is nothing unusual. Over all speeds should not exceed 70 MPH, but stage speeds are a different story.
Paul and I had topped 105 MPH at SnoDrift and there were drivers faster than us on snow and ice.

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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yeah he said he hit 127 on RA site.

thats very fast.
 

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>if there were lots of high speed crashes happening at every
>rally like when group b had all their crashes in the 80's.


Where have you been since spriing of 2002? Have you been paying attention?

Those who can not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Your point about driver qualifications is valid, and will be addressed.
 

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>There's nothing wrong with trying
>to improve saftey as long as the racing doesn't suffer from
>it.

First off, I might have gone to COG this year if I had time and a car that was driveable, because it is a very well organized rally, and I am sure the organizers, like any others, are using the best roads that they can. However, many of the stages are the most uninteresting roads I have ever driven in a rally car, save transits. They do, however, require a great deal of concentration because of the speeds (i.e bad aero + loose gravel = "interesting", even though you are driving in a STRAIGHT LINE). I would argue that any rally where these types of speeds can be attained is not fun to drive, and not fun to spectate. The corner at COG last year where there were more spectators than anywhere else was the slowest corner in the whole rally. You also seem to be overlooking the fact that most rally tires are not designed to take that kind of sustained speed. Lastly, I think that the only reason that there were not more serious injuries or fatalities at COG last year is because there aren't any trees. You might want to check the results of the Lovell/Freeman accident if you think that improving car safety is going to do squat in cases where there are obstacles to hit, as that was a very well prepared car, and it had an excellent driver too (though I definately won't argue that the standard regarding either training or driving in the US is not especially high).

--
John
 

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There were no time penalties for hitting the chicanes in the practice stage. On a real timed stage, penalties are highly effective. Sorry you had to do the clean up, but better than after the hay was processed through a horse....:)

Mark B.
 

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Four tree two remember Andrew
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> What do they make the chicanes out of? I saw some hay
>bales used on the practice stage at STPR; they got trashed
>fairly quickly. That just left hay all over the road (which
>I ended up cleaning after the runs). Anything stouter then
>that would be a hazard.
>James Blumenfeld

Jim:

Were they the rectangular small bales, or the large round bales?

The large round ones were used during Rally GB if you watch the coverage carefully. Hitting one of these 1000+ pound behemouths carries its own penalty, let alone adding 30 seconds. They cost about $20.00. Available locally in most rally country in the US.

Wilson
 

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Hi Mike,

You gotta ask: Without restrictors, would the averages be 90 mph or more? I am no restrictor fan (for reasons of cost on smaller competitors) but I gotta look at things as logically as my wee brain will allow.

Also, I don't know about the roads themselves. 80 mph at COG maybe safer than a 70 mph stage avaerage at STPR, which has been a typical winner's average speed in dry conditions at STPR since the early 80's. I can't say much more worthwhile without knowing the road conditions:
- Are these fast stages wide open, 2+ lanes wide with no rocks or trees? If so, then I don't see a big obvious problem.
- Some roads like 100 Acre Wood can be fast and have a 'mostly consitent' nature that will lull drivers into a false sense of security at a given speed; when that 'mostly consistent' road has a quirky turn, that situation can be much more dangerous than high speed alone. (I am convinced that is the root cause of the bad accident at 100 Acre Wood 2 years back.)

SO, let's figure out the road situation to get a persective of how good or bad 80 mph average really is.

Anyone who was there care to comment?

Mark B.
 

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Improve driver safety? - Lovell accident of course...best prepared rally car safety wise there is...

I personally know Leon gets a little edgy with the fast stuff (and close trees at STPR)

However, looking at the Maine results...I would say the average speeds were actually higher...Abbot Brooke's average speed was 80mph, a lot of the average speeds were in the 70's (like Cog). However, I remember quite a lot of corners, trees, ditches, rocks, streams at Maine. Cog doesn't seem to have any of that.

Oh, and Maine's speeds were even faster than STPR...I found that a little ironic.

Driver training should be addressed...

High speed stuff doesn't really bother me...but I have to say, Sawmill was a tad boring (w/ G2 cars running 3 minutes flat for a 4.1 mile stage...) and I *did* really enjoy Rim...However, I thought Maine was quite exhilerating...

Thanks,
Alex
 
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