Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
254 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following WRC this season, I've noticed a disturbing trend. The first stage of almost every rally has been canceled because of too many fans on the roads. Popularity is good to a point, but that must get frustrating to all (spectators, teams, and organizers). Have any stages in the U.S. been canceled for this reason?

It seems most WRC spectators don't seem to know where it's safe to watch. Standing on the edge of a cliff on the outside exit of a hairpin. Crazy. And they stick their hands out for the glory of touching a WRC car screaming by at 80 mph. THAT'S CRAZY! The best site I've found on the web about spectator safety was Oregon's: http://www.oregontrailrally.com/safety/BRC_safety.htm . Anyone considering spectating should check this out. All good advise, unless you think you're the luckiest man on the planet (the guy under Makkinen's roll).

And then there's those A**HOLES who through a rock through someones windshield. That is just plain stupid, and reckless. I hope those guys got severly punished (maybe stick 'em under Makkinen's car a few feet closer to the apex?) Has anything that crazy happened here in the U.S.?

Maybe it's a good thing ProRally isn't as popular as WRC. Or maybe U.S. fans are just plain smarter. I hope it's the latter. And I hope rally can continue to grow here without all the headaches WRC has to deal with.

Rally On,
Rick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
>It seems most WRC spectators don't seem to know where it's
>safe to watch. Standing on the edge of a cliff on the
>outside exit of a hairpin. Crazy. And they stick their
>hands out for the glory of touching a WRC car screaming by
>at 80 mph. THAT'S CRAZY!

IMHO, that's the point! They don't have the money or the talent to compete themselves, but they want to experience the thrill of the sport. Of course they know it's dangerous, that's why they do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
Rick,

Did you EVER have a chance to smell REAL rally? I think we are all ?crazy? and you should not feel ashamed to acknowledge that?that you are afraid to touch it.:9
Jerry

?Never drove rally car, never have money to buy one but loves the rally?

www.aafce.ca
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
426 Posts
At the Bighorn rally in Alberta last week, one of the stages was cancelled because of too many spectators. Kids running accross the road etc..... Good thing it was turned into a transit though, there was a huge washout that wasn't in the route book that would have taken out half the field if we came through there at speed...:eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
Every year we get more like the WRC, includig the fans. I've been in Rally since 89 and have worked many spectator points at various Rallys. For the most part the spectators are well behaved and do as they are told. The number of spectators are increaseing, they want more, and they want it easier. In the old days the only ones that spectated were those that truely loved the sport. You found your spot to watch, you got there early and invested the whole night waiting for the cars to go by. We seam to be getting more of the MTV extreme sports kind of people. Today the trend with spectators seams to be that they like to arrive at the last minute, walk down the hot stage, watch the top guys and walk out the hot stage. They then speed down the road, jeperdizing road use permission, to the next spot and repeat. Those of you that have been in a Rally car know that the driver is in less control than it appears. The last place you want to be is walking down the side of a hot stage.

If you are going to be spectaing the best thing you can do is plan ahead. You will not be able to see everything, pick your spots. Arrive early, and allow plenty of time to get to the next location. Listen to the Marshalls, they will tell you where you can and can not stand, when the cars will be coming and where they are coming from. There is nothing more frustrating than the spectator that pretends you don't exist as you are trying to give them helpful information.

I would have to say that the worst spectators I've seen are the DNF'd drivers and crews. Remember you are representing the Rally, if you walk down the middle of the road everyone else will think it is alright.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,368 Posts
>And then there's those A**HOLES who through a rock through
>someones windshield

Ever rallied in Ohio?

The locals don't bother with the rocks, they've got rifles!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
>Ever rallied in Ohio?
>
>The locals don't bother with the rocks, they've got rifles!

Which begs the question....... Can teams return fire?

-Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
If rally spectationg continues like it did at Cherokee trails no one will spectate. Thats spectating blew. I wish it was more like WRC here spectationg her really sucks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
>Or maybe U.S. fans are just plain smarter.

Um, having personally seen the mess at Brockway this past LSPR, I'm gonna have to go and say that's not the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
I am glad to see this discussion. This is example of rally learning process in North America. I have been watching rally since I was kid and I am still alive.

Knowing the American society soon this discussion could easily turn into discussion ?can we allow rally marshal carry the gun?? ?Are they allowed shot the spectators crossing the road??

I see already media picking the story ?dangerous sport - rally killed innocent spectator ??father of 6 did not return to home after leaving for rally events organized by CSSA in secluded area of bamboo bamboo forest? and so on?

I think the clubs should start to think more about how to send message to spectators. This responsibility should be passed on everyone involved in this sport. We should start educate first and rallying second.
And who belongs to the clubs? Yes, you drivers should be an example for all of us who love the sport the same way like you. There is more than steering the wheel in Rallying and cut the corners. This sport has momentum in this part of continent and please don?t waste this opportunities.


Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Yes the stage canceled at Big Horn because too many spectators. But get this. One of the cars did not realize it was stoped and went full speed for a few kilometers. I dont think anything bad happend, but still scarry. people had to make a mad dash off the road while they were looking for a good place to sit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
And get this, next week one of the best Subaru Canada driver makes a mistake (wrong turn) and goes straight into the spectators?
Important thing to remember? Everybody started being spectator first. Canceling the stage does not lay on spectators fault. This is an organizers fault.
We need more spectators to see this sport grow on this continent. Of course we may have difficulties to attract the volunteers, I wonder how many friends, co-workers, family members Rick277 encourage to participate in making sure that nobody is touching his car when he is rallying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
Yes you have a point. When you see a F1 race you dont see people finding a place to sit on the grass. Maybe the organizers should spend more time on making a kind of "agenda" for the spectators and find great places for them to sit, and make sure there is enough time to get there. Maybe even organizers can find better places to park for the spectators. Im not saying that oraganizers do a bad job, because they dont, just trying to think of ideas to get more people watching. Get a school bus, and people can buy tickets to go to 4 or 5 spectator areas, and if its all planned out first, it would make it allot safer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,627 Posts
We understand what you are saying. Us at Rim worked on the spectating problems for a whole year. We mapped out the areas where the spectators could get the most and be safe at Rim. Also we hired law enforcement to handle any unruly spectators that did not cooperate withe the spectator marshalls. Also you must get enough people to volunteer to manned the areas of the spectators. I got over 35 people to come and marshall the spectators areas and had a class with the spectator director on how to handle the fans.Also, we put in the official programs on what to expect and where to go and to be there way ahead of the start of the stage. The one point to get shuttles or a school bus is a great idea but insurance comes into play and it is alot of money to do that because if the shuttle or school bus has a accident then we have a problem. Believe me the insurance is sky high. And everybody has a lawyer in their pocket. So we came up with the law enforcement idea and that worked, but at a price as well but it did work. We still had some minor problems, but the spectators did comply to the marshalls and the volunteers did a great job in handling the crowd.
Lastly, do understand each rally has a budget and believe me each organizer bust their buns to raise the funds but can only get so much from sponsors. But after paying sanctioning fees and insurance it almost deplets the funds. So you put all your hopes in getting enough people to volunteer their time to help out on the event and there is never enough volunteers. It takes almost over 300 people to run a pro/club rally event and a big club rally - 65-80 and smaller event about 50. The organizers do try their best and their are improving on the spectator problems each year, but it takes man/womanpower to get it done.

Denise McMahon
Operations Co-Director/Co-Organizer
Rim Of The World Rally
www.rimoftheworldrally.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
239 Posts
RE: Crazy Spectators- STPR addendum

I spectated 3 stages at STPR, and the marshalling was as thorough as I've seen. Including a marshal asking a mr. M. Higgins to stand behind the yellow tape! Which I believe Mark did...

There were workers helping with parking, spectators appeared to listen well to the marshalls, (and there were a lot of them, workers and spectators) and when we got into the night stage to spectate, a marshall came directly to us, and very politely explained the rules of the road, so to speak.

We also had great vantage points too! It was a great job by everyone, and a very enjoyable weekend.

Russ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
Actually, as a competitor, worker, and organizer, I think I can say that to make this sport grow on this continent we need more workers, and better informed spectators.

We've always told people, the best way to spectate is to volunteer. And we've always told prospective spectators, if you are in the road, the drivers will not lift for you. In most cases, the competitors will speed up, and it's your responsibility to get it off the road and out of danger if you want to keep it. Fairly amusing to see a herd of spectators scatter to the woods when they hear and see me coming, because I'm usually near the end of the pack. :)

Another thing that will make this sport grow: less personal attacks on people on forums such as this! We're a family sport, remember? Quit squabbling, children. :)

And yes, the worst spectators are DNF'd drivers! And their families!

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
RE: Crazy Spectators- STPR addendum

I want to agree with Russ

The crowd control at the spectator point for the re-run stages of 3,5,8 was great!!! Probably the best I have ever seen at any rally. James, the head marshall, was extremely dedicated and level headed through-out.

And get this, a volunteer, was even on the road assisting people in parking some 2.5 miles away. There was a very large number of Control Volunteers, all of which were extremely well prepared and all had a cheery view of their task while "assisting people", not directing them.

Of the 800+ spectators at that stage, there was only one person that was "a crazy". And the really bad part is, that person was me. But being a person that is assigned to do the low and tight shots for Speed Channel has it advantages and disadvantages.

Great Job!

Jeff Burmeister
 

·
Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
Joined
·
2,953 Posts
RE: Crazy Spectators- STPR addendum

There were two kids behind a tree on the left and a house on the right with a stairway to the road.
One kid starts across the road to the stairs and the other goes the other way. The one kid stops in the road and continues to the house.
All pretty dark but just that braking cost a position in this tight rally. Thanks guys!
video:
http://www.randyzimmer.com/video/stpr/stpr02/stpr02-10runners.mov
and stills:
http://www.randyzimmer.com/video/stpr/stpr02/
0.jpg - 20.jpg
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top