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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got this random idea at work today (yes, it's that boring and mindless) that I believe would barely compromise learning to read the roads or costs while still giving the driver and co-driver the rhythmn of real stage notes used in the National events so that the transition is smoother.

A beginner stage note system could be used that's created by the organizers. The idea would be to have the consistancy and rhythmn of stage notes but with the vagueness of the route book, so every corner would be marked, but anything from a 5-6 would just be "easy" a 3-4 "medium" a 2ish (or maybe even 1+) "hard" and then 1 "hairpin". This way, almost anyone with a basic understanding of notes (which would definitely be the organizers) can make them since most people can distinguish between a "medium" corner and a "hard" corner or an "easy" corner and a medium corner, etc. This also makes the driver have to read the road more while still driving to what the co-driver is telling him.

There's probably some logical flaw in it that I didn't see or someone already has brought it up, but that's why I posted, to find out :)

See you in Maine!
Alex
 

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Good idea to try to innovate something new, Alex - no problem there.

The strength of your idea is that it would get novices up to speed (so to speak) without barraging them with information and, importantly, requiring them to keep a little margin in hand given the range within each type of instruction.

The challenge would be that you'd need to reverse-engineer these from good stage notes, because despite the fact that I respect and support almost all the organizers I know, I don't think that many of them are able to write reliable notes. Only leading- and mid-level competitors, or professional note-makers, are really qualified, and even some of them aren't. If you doubt this I can show you a handful of organizer-prepared route books that have really terrifying mis-descriptions of corners and jumps.

The problem is this: it takes experience and judgement to drive a corner at 30mph when it seems not too bad, but nonetheless look at it and see that it's at the end of a section where the cars will be going perhaps 90mph, and that the corner tightens just a little around a blind inside bank or that the treeline is a little deceptive or that the road widens a little which might cause someone to think that the radius is a little less etc. etc. Any of those things can make an "easy" corner into a "medium tightens, deceptive" and I think the only way to know what they look like from a high-powered car driven in anger is to drive them in anger with a high-powered car.

But, gotta start somewhere, right? Right. It seems to me that the place to start is actually with Jemba safety notes, even at the Club level. You might not be able to distinguish a 5- from a 4+, or even a 5 from a 4 right away, but you'll start to pick up on it if you hear it enough. And while you're learning and driving with your eyes too, you'll come up to a corner one day and think "that looks like about a 5 to me" and your codriver will call a 4 and you'll frown but slow down a little more and - hey - it was a little deceptive and the 4 caught that in a way that your eyes, expecting a 5, didn't! You're on your way to learning how it works.

The key for this to work is that the notes must be flawless, and that even novices - maybe not absolute first-timers but people who are looking to progress - use them. So I say Jemba in the Club rallies!!!

(Note to Pete and Arne: promotional royalties can be sent to the address below).

ACP
www.musketeerracing.com
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting. While I would like to run JEMBA Stage Notes at this point as I feel I'm ready for them (I've been able to tell the difference between a 5 and a 4 since I was 12 :) Damn Rally Experience videos...) but I also know many people who hate them because it's too much when you're not used to it. The gap from route book to stage notes is just too huge IMO.

While the organizers may not be that skilled at making them, they DO make the route books. The route books have differentiation between easy, medium, hard, and hairpin corners with small notes. Basically, my idea is to make that route book contain every single corner, but then convert it to written form.

While the route book is driven with the driver's eyes, and stage notes are driven with the driver's ear, this will make the driver use both equally (ideally, if it works to how I would hope).

Thanks,
Alex

BTW, are you coming to Maine? I haven't seen you in ages!
 

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RE: Idea for ClubRally

>While the organizers may not be that skilled at making them,
>they DO make the route books. The route books have
>differentiation between easy, medium, hard, and hairpin
>corners with small notes. Basically, my idea is to make that
>route book contain every single corner, but then convert it
>to written form.

Alex,

Perhaps there's a compromise here in your idea. Organizers will continue to prepare route books with Tulip diagrams for their events, and I think they should. But I also understand the uniformity problem and that considerably more detail should be included by a number of them.

How about if the Jemba terminology were adopted as the Uniform Standard for route book Tulip notations. This in conjunction with more DETAILED route book preparation. (Not every single dog leg in the road, but all corners, intersections, forks, hazards, etc.) This might create a reasonably simple progression from Tulip, to Jemba, to Pacenotes.

Rich Smith

Vive le "Pro-le-Ralliat"
 

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RE: noting tulips

Alex,
Mr. Swann gave the tulips at Baie numeric descriptions!
I asked how he did that and he said, "I just guess."
It caused a few "Oh Momma" moments and a laugh or two when a corner was called a "4 maybe" but it actually seemed to work.
I think you're right that an organizer could give his tulips one of three designations pretty reliably and that'd be better than just a scribble on a page.
Now all we need to do is to get the organizers to include that missing 2L tulip between the noted 4 and 6. Those are the ones that are evil.
rz
edit: make second last sentence's meaning more clear.
 

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RE: noting tulips

Hi,

I am a novice driver, and also have my (novice) co-driver translate the tulip book into numeric format, and call it as such. Not completely accurate since the tulip diagrams are not always accurate, and it can also sometimes be difficult to decide on a specific number for a given tulip. However, we feel that calling the route book this way, gets us used to the format and will ease the transition to Jemba stage notes. And since these "notes" are not completely accurate, it forces me to still drive only what I can see.

The big difficulty in the transition to stage notes will be the frequency of the calls. With tulips having calls e.g. every 2 miles vs. e.g. every 0.2 miles for stage notes, there will be 10 times as many calls when using stage notes.

Obviously, the transition to stage notes would be easier if the tulip route books were more detailed ... hint, hint. Another useful technique for drivers is to "call each corner to yourself" as you drive it .... hmmm, okay this looks kinda like a 4R etc.

HTH.
 

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straight at T
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RE: safety notes

One thing that you can do in your first event or two on safety notes is leave out some of the information. Don't try to call the plus/minus, and leave out the distances below 100. That's how Brad and I ran them at Cherokee in 2001 - we switched from the routebook to the notes for the second day and I just fed him the essential information. If the driver is still learning the notes, it is probably better not to overload them.

Also, when I run tulip routebooks I call the corners as easy/medium/hard so that there is a differentiation from the numeric notes. That way there is a smaller chance of the driver trusting the (guessed) numeric interpretation of the tulip and driving it accordingly (5R oops, that was a 3...).

Having made tulip routebooks, I can tell you that it is remarkably difficult to get the tulip to match the corner. I would think it just as hard for a routemaster to give it a numeric (or descriptive) severity. As a codriver, I hate it when the routemaster tries to provide that severity information in the text for every instruction - it almost certainly doesn't match what we think the severity should have been, and gets in the way of me writing what I'm going to call. The text is there for things that aren't in the tulip, or if there is something about the severity that needs to be mentioned.

Adrian
 

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RE: safety notes

Great ideas, you guys. I can think of a couple things to add.

Here in the PNW, we have really detailed route books. Sure, every corner isn't in there, but most of them are. The problem then becomes the size of the route book gets a little out of hand (literally!). For instance, the OTPR route book was about 130 pages long, not including all the maps and filler pages we put in. It was something like 20,000 pages all told when we got done copying and putting together, and we had to bind them with some pretty big combs. We were worried that the combs would be too big for the co-drivers to handle easily, but they had to be big to allow for easy page turning, etc.

An idea to correct this may be to split the days; you get two route books instead of one. :)

I like the idea of putting in the junctions, forks, hazards, and most of the corners, but this is something that our organizers for the most part do already. I can definitely think of some stages where a few of the corners should have been in there but weren't, and this may be the idea that gets 'em in there.

I think that most of our corners are between "immediate" and 5-tenths apart, we have very few sections of road where we drive for 2 miles with nothing for Mom to call. Again, this is from the PNW perspective, I haven't rallied much elsewhere besides here and Rim a few times, and Treeline once. But like with most anything humans do, there is room for improvement!

I haven't used the course notes yet; don't really think I'm going to anytime soon, what with the costs and the fact that I'm out there mostly for fun, less so for trophies and what not. :) It would be nice if there was a high degree of consistency across the board for route books; maybe this is one way to achieve that! :)

Thanks for getting this discussion started, Alex! :)

KT
 

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RE: speed notes

Are not the notes avaible in both numeric and discriptive forms still. The one time I used notes I used the discriptive ones at Oregon last year so:

100 med right 50 crest into haripin left tightens...
If it works for Jura Kankkunen it is likely fine for me.
Computers are ment to deal in numbers, humans in discriptions - such as UPC code's 1820825510 vs Nikon Camera. OK numarical notes are not that bad but still there is a point to think about.

I question calling these things safty notes, it is like calling 4wd safty drive - sure it is safer till it gets bad then it is worse. I think we can all agree that notes and 4wd make you faster, we can also all agree that going faster is not nessasarly safer when something goes wrong - like brake fade or a flat or a deer in the road, or miss hearing the instruciton.

Derek
 

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RE: safety notes

I know that this may not make me popular in the Northwest (despite being a BC boy at heart!) but I don't support highly-detailed route books.

As a route book comes closer to being like course notes it runs into two fundamental problems:

1. With course notes or pace notes, the absence of information is a form of information: that is, no information about a corner tells you that it isn't there. By contrast, with a route book the presumption is that only certain information - big corners usually - is included. No information for a certain distance between instructions just means you're own your own. But then when you collapse down those distances between instructions and get almost all of the corners in, you don't really know when you're driving with your eyes and when you can rely on what you're hearing. For those of us accustomed to pacenotes it's hard to use those detailed route books as we naturally start relying on the information to go faster (our competitors are too!) and then HOLY SH*T why wasn't that corner in the book?!

2. Pace notes or course notes are easy enough for the codriver because they are continuous - one note leads immediately to the next. Route books, by contrast, are not continuous - they refer back to the stage start and the previous instruction. I can't imagine how hard it is for the codriver to use such a detailed route book. Suffice it to say that two of the most experienced codrivers running at the front of the pack at PFR - and I'm talking decades of high-level ProRally experience each - were both extremely concerned with the difficulty of delivering the notes properly. Mine did very well for as long as we lasted, but WHOA there were a couple of corners not in the book.

It comes down to this: a really detailed route book hardly seems worthwhile because inevitably there will be some corners left out and even so it's hell on codrivers who are really trying to perform. Why not just put in the remaining corners, go away from the "one instruction per line" format that is the route book (and so shorten the book by like two-thirds), and make them into pace notes?

And then to ensure objectivity use Jemba, or to ensure subjectivity allow the competitors to write (or at least edit) the notes themselves with recce?

One last thing: all of the above may seem like whining, but having driven a 90hp Lada with route book and with pace notes, and then a 300hp Evo with route book and with pace notes, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that the importance of accuracy of instructions (and usefulness of the "no information" instruction) is exponentially related to horsepower, and also to competitiveness. In english, when I had the Lada as the 62nd car in a fully pacenoted event we could call the corners sort of when we first saw them. But with the Evo? On pacenoted events the moment you commit to one corner you already want to know about the next one - you _have_ to know about it because you're going like 50% faster at any given point, and you're swapping seconds on each stage for the win in the rally. The missing corner in the route book that with the Lada was a non-drifting non-event in the Evo is a sudden realisation that the road shifts and (as at PFR) is a sudden huge correction tail-hanging, risky, pulse-quickening, co-driver-puckering moment. No fun at all.

So I applaud the Nor'Westers for working so hard on the route books. That ethic is the right attitude. But now just go to the logical conclusion and make the notes continuous, because until they are continuous they are more difficult and riskier to use than good (bad) old "1 instruction per 3km" route books. At least then we know we're really on our own in the car.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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RE: safety notes

> ... Suffice it to
> say that two of the most experienced codrivers running at
> the front of the pack at PFR - and I'm talking decades of
> high-level ProRally experience each - were both extremely
> concerned with the difficulty of delivering the notes
> properly. ...

Reading the competitor comment forms after PFR, the route book comments from novice teams were mostly along the lines of "fantastic, consistent, accurate, could trust every corner..." The comments from the more experienced teams were mostly "inconsistent - please use Jemba instead" or "change easy to medium and medium to HARD!"

This was more or less what I expected before the event. Detailed books can get novice teams used to dealing with a lot of information, without the substantial added expense of Jemba.

Don't get me wrong - I like Jemba notes, and I think they're worth the money, but PFR was nowhere near having the up front money to have them made. As it was, the event lost close to $5K, and hoping to recover an additional $10K from the teams to cover notes just wasn't realistic.

It's all a matter of degrees. If you have a sparse routebook, the driver must read virtually everything from the road. If you have a detailed routebook, you can rely on a certain level of accuracy, and read the rest from what you see. If you have Jemba notes, you can rely on a much higher degree of consistency, and if you made your own pace notes, you have complete control. Of course, the expense rises with each format.

You should always gauge how close to the limit you attack each corner on the basis of how much confidence you have in the instruction you get. If you wrote the pace note yourself, and you're confident that the co-driver is on pace, then you can attack the corner with complete confidence and leave no margin for error. That will be the fastest way through. If you attack a detailed routebook corner in the same manner, you will go off.

Increased confidence costs money, and if Jemba or recce become standard, then the cost of getting started will increase.
 

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RE: safety notes

I agree with Paul on all counts. And Paul - don't get me wrong - I think you have a terrific event already and with those roads and the energy and attitude of your crew, I think you may soon have one of the very best events in Canada.

I just found it a challenge to be listening closely to my codriver, anticipating what was coming up, and then for there to be another corner between instructions. For me, if you're going to stay with a route book you guys might consider just trying to put all the corners in, or cutting back a little and only putting the medium and harder ones in. The hard part for the crews is having _almost_ all of them.

ACP
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RE: speed notes

>I question calling these things safty notes, it is like
>calling 4wd safty drive - sure it is safer till it gets bad
>then it is worse. I think we can all agree that notes and
>4wd make you faster, we can also all agree that going faster
>is not nessasarly safer when something goes wrong - like
>brake fade or a flat or a deer in the road, or miss hearing
>the instruciton.


They are called "Safety notes" to keep the lawyers happy. Call them Pace notes, and then somebody gets sued after a big accident and blames it on everyone involved within 3 generations of whomever generated the Pace notes.
 

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RE: speed notes

first re: safety vs pace notes ... the Jemba notes are descriptive stage notes as they do not factor in the 'pace' at whihc teh car is attacking the roads and are simply an imperical description of what the road is like ... calling them SAFETY notes is merely 'SPIN' designed to generate quicker acceptance of the notes ... noty that I don't think they are a good idea.

The Calgary based regional Route books are basically written such tat a corner is in the book if you can't clearly see the whole corner when approaching it ... so after a 'crest into easy right' there could be a '200 tight left' which is not noted, but plainly visable after clearing the crest. Again, easy, medium and tight are RAW references, so the open class cars have to be a bit more cautious ...

I haven't run teh jemba notes yet, but I would be really reluctant to attack the road with them the way I would with pace notes I've prepared ...
 
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