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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First and foremost, both driver and codriver must understand each instruction and relavance of linked instructions. A codriver with gobs of note experience precisely calling instructions is only as good as the driver's ability to digest and comprehend them. I admit to having done my fair share of swapping drivers (call me what you will)and can say it doesn't take long for any experienced codriver to determine how much understanding of the notes generally speaking a driver new to them has. (i.e. calling several instructions that should be driven flat out but the driver is braking not because of lack of trust, but because they did not understand that there was no reason to lift.
Example: Sandhills Rally in SC has a very soft sandy road surface and carrying all the speed where you can avoids the car from bogging in the sand. At one point in the notes there is:

R6/300 1050 soft

(read right 6 over 300 1050 soft for you driver types)

and in those conditions meaning a flat right super-extra long into a mega long soft straightaway. The R6 was blind following a much twistier section. For the codrivers who called it 'flat' or timed the call of the instruction correctly, riding with drivers who comprehended that fact, they were flying. Those who weren't or perhaps lifted when the heard 'over' expecting a crest were bogging along a lengthy straight losing lots of time.
I know there are drivers who do not know what a 'late' curve is. Find out. Study the glossary of terms and refresh before an event.
The drivers who can best mentally digest the linked information contained in the notes and then let it all hang out based on that info, will have an advantage. Notes are not just a codriver thing.

Second, there is a lot more useful information in the stagenote booklets than the stagenotes themselves. Most importantly of these is the 'Introduction Page'. Many codrivers just ignore its existance as the page it is written on appears part of the glossary or advertisements. Yet, quite a bit of info exists here.

The Introduction usually includes:
1)the dates the notes were written (good to know how many days in advance it was prior to the event to know how weather conditions or grading may have changed them since they were written)

2)the weather conditions when the notes were made and perhaps the forecast between when they were prepared and the event date
(useful to know in regards to slippy, slippy maybe?, standing water)

3)general stageroad types (fast/twisty, hilly/flat, wide/narrow)

4)road surface descriptions (sandy, dirt, hardpacked gravel, loose gravel, clay, asphalt,..)

5)road conditions (embedded rocks, washouts, charactistics of snow plowing...)

6)If road maintenance was planned between when the notes were written and the event date

7) Number of repeated stages, stages to be run in reverse direction, in&out stages and repeated segments of stages (Nice to know to note junctions entered from new direction on loose road surface where the junction may be rough crossing the ruts from the earlier stage.)

8) Unusual start, finish or shutdown areas worth noting.

9) New terms or single-event-only terms for the glossary. Also, new uses of common descriptions (i.e. usually off camber curves are described simply as 'off camber', however, 'very offcamber' was appropriate because following a rapid sucession of lesser off camber curves was a grand-daddy off camber curve).

10)Lastly, the stagenote authors are listed. If you do enough events and pay very close attention to this, you may be able to pick up styles and tendancies of the individual authors in terms of the notes that are slightly subjective (i.e. one author may include a curve as off camber when another doesn't feel it warrants to include off-camber).

Its worth the time before the event for the codriver to review the Introduction page. All kinds of tidbits to help you go faster, make the correct tire selections, understand the notes and know what to expect are all here.


Once you are confident with stagenotes, begin editing it for speed, As mentioned above in the case of the R6 followed by a long straight with no hazards or cautions, a savy codriver may edit the note as a flat right instead of a R6 (right 6). Flat can also be added to blind crests followed by long straights with no hazards or cautions.
While I'm not handing out all my secrets, you get the idea. Don't go making wild assumptions while editing, but understand that a machine is pretty much writing the notes subjectively to describe mostly curves and crest and from this info you can deciede how fast to drive the road. Nuf said.

While hopefully most codrivers are adding pertinent infomation to their notes for repeated stages, extreme codrivers can learn to read and modify notes backasswards (reverse order for opposite direction of travel of a stageroad run in both directions). While other codrivers are chit-chatting at stage turn-arounds, you can be adding some info you picked up coming 'in' direction of an 'in & out' stage or during service for a stage run later in the opposite direction from what you've run earlier.
In the yesteryears of tulip rallies, the best codrivers were able to write reverse direction pacenotes on the first direction pass of a stage, maybe losing a little time to others teams by not calling the tulips; but then stomp everyone else's stagetime when ran in the reverse direction with the reverse-written pace notes. Of course a steady hand in writing them is needed. Practice.

Enough for tonight from me.
Anyone else have tips or hints on stage or pacenotes to share?
 

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thanks for sharing some of your secrets.

this is part of the problem here. co drivers have been viewed as ballast for so long that there really isnt a good way for new codrivers to learn anything except by diving in w/a driver that knows not to trust them and drive accordingly or to start out w/a new driver and go from there.

some of these tips can be applied to the tulip route books too i bet.
 

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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It boils down to that the driver has to listen and the co has to be sensible enough to know what a driver can take in.
Yes, great info. We need more communitation like this so drivers understand what their co's are trying to accomplish and co's understanding the drivers.

Little scenario..
Co> left 5 tightens to 3... left 5 tightens to 3...!
LEFT 5 TIGHTENS TO 3!!!
After going straight into the embankment the driver and co get out.
Driver> this isn't a 5..!?
Co> I told you... TIGHTENS TO 3!
Driver> Oh... (silence)

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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Faster Mabricator
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3,611 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another tip

>Little scenario..
>Co> left 5 tightens to 3... left 5 tightens to 3...!
>LEFT 5 TIGHTENS TO 3!!!

>Co> I told you... TIGHTENS TO 3!

Actually, the 'correct' way to read opening and tightening curves is without saying the word "to". It sounds exactly like the word "two", which is already used for right 2 and left 2 which are tight curves.

Its better to say left 5 tightens 3...
 

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RE: Another tip

when you are using stage notes how much do you refer to the computer compared to when you used the tulip route book?

are you more concerned w/overall mileage than the incremental stuff?

does the incremental even matter when using notes?
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RE: Another tip

>when you are using stage notes how much do you refer to the
>computer compared to when you used the tulip route book?

The odo is used much less (hardly) compared to a tulip book. The odo is used if the codriver gets lost in the notes to find where they are in the notes, an experienced codriver may countdown distances to a tricky or blind instruction following a long straight, and to determine the remaining distance to the end of a stage if a mechanical issue, puntured tire or determinaton if taking a risk of passing a slower car or deciding weather to pull over to allow someone else to pass if almost at the finish.

>are you more concerned w/overall mileage than the
>incremental stuff?

Overall only unless a codriver wants to zero the incremental at the beginning of a really long straight to countdown distances to the following tricky or blind instruction (i.e. that tricky blind left junction at Baie).

>does the incremental even matter when using notes?

As above.
 

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RE: Another tip

well notes sound easier from the codriver point of view.

is it easy to get lost in the notes?
 

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RE: Another tip

My co driver always counts down all distances, we use the terms "and" and also "into" depending on the distance between corners. "Into" is used when basically noted in the notes but it is usually a sequence where the wheel is never straight between corners. I like the fillers of distance nad the and because the info stream is steady I hate it when things get quiet.
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
RE: Another tip

>My co driver always counts down all distances,

Using notes?

>we use the
>terms "and" and also "into" depending on the distance
>between corners.

"And" is not a Jemba stagenote term.
But, I'll include it in my pacenotes if the driver prefers.
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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RE: Another tip

>when you are using stage notes how much do you refer to the
>computer compared to when you used the tulip route book?
>
>are you more concerned w/overall mileage than the
>incremental stuff?
>
>does the incremental even matter when using notes?

The codrivers who have called notes for me use the odo only on transits. They look up from the book to confirm that their calls jibe with what's ahead of us. Those times we've gotten lost from the notes I've shared what I'm seeing (when the codriver is OK with that) to help get us back in sync. I've done that a few times with apparent success in the past couple seasons. Once we're on the notes again, I shut up - again.

I'm curious. How many of you codrivers rely on senses other than sight to know the team is in sync with the stage notes? Is that an instinctive thing or done intentionally to reduce the amount of looking out the windscreen? Does your familiarity with the driver play into relying on senses other than visual? How often do you look up from the notes on a typical stage?

Halley ...
ProRally #86
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RE: Another tip

>How many of you codrivers rely on senses other
>than sight to know the team is in sync with the stage notes?
> Is that an instinctive thing or done intentionally to
>reduce the amount of looking out the windscreen?

Codrivers use The Force.

G forces that is. Can feel them with their whole body to know which curve or crest they are in.

>Does your
>familiarity with the driver play into relying on senses
>other than visual?

Not for me. Don't know how it would be different.

> How often do you look up from the notes
>on a typical stage?

Just depends on if there is any scenery.
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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RE: Another tip

>> How often do you look up from the notes
>>on a typical stage?
>
>Just depends on if there is any scenery.

So you'd rather the driver mention flashing females, unavoidable moons and the like, or not? ;-)

Halley ...
ProRally #86
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
RE: Another perspective (set of eyes)

>So you'd rather the driver mention flashing females,
>unavoidable moons and the like, or not? ;-)

Well that depends on if I am taking a nap or not.

Kidding around aside, when not having to be looking at the stagenotes, it is advantageous for the codriver to be watching the road ahead: watching for triangles and disabled cars, hazards not mentioned in the notes (i.e. BIG loose rock kicked out onto racing line), .......and since the codriver is sitting on the opposite side of the car, can verbally offer a different view to the driver in advance of the driver seeing it himself (i.e. codriver sitting on right side of car can see around left hand curves in advance of driver and warn of hazards (to slow down) or when the curve opens (to speed up). Or a tall codriver seeing better over a crest than a shorted seated driver.

However, judging from spectator photos, seeing the top of my helmet rather than my face compared to other codrivers, I'm reading from my notes more often than most other codrivers.
 

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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RE: Another tip

>>Little scenario..
>>Co> left 5 tightens to 3... left 5 tightens to 3...!
>>LEFT 5 TIGHTENS TO 3!!!
>
>>Co> I told you... TIGHTENS TO 3!
>
>Actually, the 'correct' way to read opening and tightening
>curves is without saying the word "to". It sounds exactly
>like the word "two", which is already used for right 2 and
>left 2 which are tight curves.
>
>Its better to say left 5 tightens 3...

So.. you're saying that I was at fault? x(
The fact is that he wasn't listening.

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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Dirt surfer
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feeling The Force on stage...

How many of you codrivers rely on senses other
>than sight to know the team is in sync with the stage notes?
> Is that an instinctive thing or done intentionally to
>reduce the amount of looking out the windscreen? Does your
>familiarity with the driver play into relying on senses
>other than visual? How often do you look up from the notes
>on a typical stage?

Working together on stage--calling notes, listening to driver's reactions, watching the road, checking gauges, calling turns far enough ahead for driver to react yet not so far ahead you have to repeat yourself--is kind of like playing music together. Timing is everything, hard to say what's exactly right, but when it's right it's awesome.

Familiarity with your driving partner's tone of voice tells me a lot. Driver may be screaming (not good). Driver may be helping you adjust timing of your delivery (better). Driver may be simply listening, driving like a bat outa hell, not saying much, but staying on the road somehow anyway (best).

Driver's communication with codriver is crucial--especially when one of them is reading an important book while you're going 80 mph down some little forest road. You need to LISTEN TO EACH OTHER.

"Umm, alreadydidit,what's next?" prolly means you are a little behind.

"Yup, we're in it. What's next?" prolly means you are OK, esp if turns are long.

A sudden "Faaaaaak!!! Whass's THISS??!!" prolly means you are going into the ditch, soon.

I try to be very conscious of my own tone of voice, to give warning on key calls. For instance, I'll do the usual highlighting of busy combinations in the stage notes, but if there's a surprise in that combination, I'll highlight that note a different color. Then I'm less likely to miss a "gotcha" in the midst of a flurry of calls and can give it proper emphasis.

I spend roughly half of my time nose-in-the-book, alternating with looking up to see how far to next bend (helps tremendously with timing of note delivery). Presciently calling landmarks coming up is a key way to retain driver confidence. Having landmarks noted is a big benefit of recce. More time in the book on busy sections, more looking at the road on open stretches.

While reading, I feel how the car is moving...smooth transitions are good, while choppy steering input means "look up now and see what's happening." If the car goes light and quiet all of a sudden and you haven't called "Big Jmp" lately, always always look up...

Pay attention to driver's reactions to your calls. If he's lifting after you say "tightens" and stomping on the gas when you call "opens," this is generally a good sign. If reactions don't match what you call, find out why driver's not listening...and FIX IT.

When me nose is in the book, I also listen for changes in sound--like from normal clatter of stones underneath to foliage whacking sides of car (generally not good). If you look up and see trees going by windsheld sideways, employ that standard time-tested codriver survival tactic--look back down freakin quick!!


Dave G
Co-Pilote
Last Ditch Racing



"...Embrace loose gravel, beware big trees..."
 

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Faster Mabricator
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3,611 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
RE: Another tip

>So.. you're saying that I was at fault?

No.
Just drop saying the word 'to' when calling opening and tightening curves because the 'to' sounds exactly like the 'two' which represents a sharp curve and it not really necessary anyway.
At first I did the same thing as what you are saying. It took Arne Johanson (Mr Jemba and Mr Coralba) to teach me the correct way.

Say, right five tightens three.
Not, right five tightens to three.
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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RE: feeling The Force on stage...

Dave G/Co-Pilote/Last Ditch Racing said:

>Timing is everything,

Hallelujah ...

>If you look up and see trees going by windsheld sideways, employ
>that standard time-tested codriver survival tactic--look
>back down freakin quick!!

You mean like the windscreen show I shared with John Dillon when we last did the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood - http://www.realautosport.com/images/Movie.wmv

I don't know what JD was doing while I was grabbing hands full of steering, but he sure was quiet ...

The file, BTW, is a 15Mb Windows Media File made in MS Movie Maker, something I've only recently started messing with so I'm keen to hear any expert's opinions of my handiwork or tips to make it better (like how the frip do you save in MPEG format?) ...

Halley ...
ProRally #86
http://www.realautosport.com
 

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RE: feeling The Force on stage...

>If the car goes
>light and quiet all of a sudden and you haven't called "Big
>Jmp" lately, always always look up...
>
Don't know if I agree with that technically. You're better off in a accident if you're relaxed (don't know what's going to happen) as opposed to stiff (see it coming, know it's inveitable). x( But I'd probably look up also :+

So why aren't my smilies working????
 
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