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Discussion Starter #1
Important Competition Bulletin Regarding the new Stage Notes
was just posted on SCCA.org
[a href="http://www.scca.org/news/tech/prorally/PRCB042302-stagenotesmarks-all.pdf"]http://www.scca.org/news/tech/prorally/PRCB042302-stagenotesmarks-all.pdf[/a]

George Plsek
PRB
Competitor Liason
 

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I presume the excluded "Round 6" is Pikes Peak, and that Stage Notes will be available for all remaining ProRallies.

Unless my presumption is incorrect, no answer required.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pikes Peak will be run with PaceNotes for the SCCA Pro Rally Group.
SCCA Pro Rally Teams will be able to recce the mountain in non competition vehicles during the regular public hours. Which means
alot of of regular traffic will be on the road including RV's and such.

-george plsek
 

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Thanks George.
So rule addition #5 means that the "transpose" must be marked at all the occuring "like" notes following the change made by the competitor? Why? If it is not done what is the penalty? I'm curious, this rule doesn't make sense. Is there an example of what the rule makers think might happen if this rule is not in place?
Thanks again
 

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I am pretty sure the reason for the allowance of the number inversion is for driver/co-driver communication comfort. However if they did not require it for everything you could theroetically change the numbers to mean which gear to take it in and that would be more akin to Pace Notes.

Basically if you feel a slight turn should be a 1 rather than a 6 then it is reasonable that you should feel that way for the entire race and there is no other allowable reason to change the number.

Disclaimer: just a personal interpretation nothing more.

Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
 
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FYI only: my letter to PRB re: Notes

Dear PRB,

I'm writing about my recent experiences with Stage Notes at Oregon Trail. We really enjoyed using them, but there are some things that could be improved. Here's a list of suggestions for improvement:

Print them on very, very light colored paper. Some people have red map lights and couldn't read the printing on the green paper. Dark colors also make it difficult to highlight, and underlining already has significance so it can't be used as a substitute for highlighting.

Print an O.K. sign on the back of the stage note books. (You might consider a red cross too, but that may be prohibitive in cost.) Most co-drivers batten down the route book when they pick up the stage notes so there's less stuff floating around the cabin, but if they've got to jump out for a tire change or something, it would be great to have a convenient OK sign already available while reaching for the triangle and lug wrench.

The right-most column showing the instruction numbers from the route book should be bigger. This relates to the same reading problem as before. Make the font the same size as the instructions themselves. While people shouldn't need to rely on these numbers, using the numbers helps competitors get back on track should they get lost in the notes. Since many people are just now learning to use stage notes, it's important we help them as much as possible so they can develop their skills more quickly. Let's face it--if you get lost on the first page of 14, you're probably lost for the duration unless you have instruction numbers and numbered course arrows available.

Allow us to enter some "administrative stuff" in the stage notes. One example: since we can't write in the books, it becomes more difficult to locate broken cars on the stage. This was a big problem at Cherokee Trails--we knew cars were off, but not sure which numbers or where. Let us scribble in "248" near mileage 4.54 so we can report to the FTC workers.

Administrative stuff, continued: Many codrivers make notes in the route book as to their start time, end time, stage desired ATC arrival time, and even miles to service. At Oregon we had to jump back and forth between the route book (where you could make calculations) and the stage notes (where you couldn't write.)

Here's an easy solution that won't open the flood gates: at the beginning and end of each stage in the notes, include a quarter page box labeled "For Competitor Use" where codrivers can do this sort of housekeeping. By restricting the space allowed you're minimizing the dreaded risk of pace notes, while making it easier for codrivers to do their work.

I made this request at Oregon Trail, and I make it again: please allow us to transfer tulip diagrams from the route book to the stage notes. This will make it easier for competitors to get back on track if they get lost: all they need to do is look for obvious tulips like intersections. If you're worried about people adding their own pace notes (admit it, I know you are!) allow people only to draw tulips, and (obviously) only tulips from the route book. When we get to rallies that don't number their course arrows--or worse, don't use arrows at all--this will become especially important to help our members get up to speed. You can encourage O-controls for stage note checks (similar to Prescott's route book check last year) if you really want to police it.

There were a few compound instructions where one couldn't tell if they were one big instruction or two complex instructions separated by space. I guess what I'm asking is that the spacing be increased between complex instructions like "R3<Xlg/cr into L3>2-" so it's clearly "R3<Xlg/cr into L3>2-". NOTE TO WEB READERS: the blank spaces in the original letter are automatically trimmed out by the discussion board software


I've heard the manufacturer teams want us to change the stage note format to something they've used before. While they are members like the rest of us and should thus have their inputs heard, I urge you not to make any more changes only for them or based solely on their wishes. Those drivers and codrivers are experienced professionals, even more capable of learning new things than your average rallyist. Just look at the results from last year to see how well they adapted to blind rallies. I'm confident they can adapt with equal facility to the new style of navigation aids known as stage notes.

To summarize these requests:

Print the notes on white light colored paper only.

Use a larger font size for the routebook instruction number.

Allow us to write in car numbers of disabled vehicles in the stage notes, along with other adminstrative stuff.

Give us a 1/4 page box at the beginning and end of each stage in the stage notes for us to write administrivia like arrival times, stage times, etc.

Allow us to transfer tulip diagrams from the route book to the stage notes.

Increase the spacing between unrelated complex instructions.

Listen to the manufacturers, but do what is best for the members too.



In closing, thanks for bringing stage notes to the U.S. Now that we know how they are numbered, how they work, and the language of the notation, I think we can all go faster and safer down those wonderful dirt roads. These minor tweaks will make them even safer for our competitors to use and I encourage you to authorize them before the next ProRally.

Sincerely,

John Dillon
ClubRally Steward
 

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RE: FYI only: my letter to PRB re: Notes

John, actually you can write the info on the car down as the memo allows notes to be in the book after you run the stage. Look at the details section at number 4.

The thing I was wondering is are you alowed to put tulips in or information from the route book?

Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
 
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RE: FYI only: my letter to PRB re: Notes

>John, actually you can write the info on the car down as the
>memo allows notes to be in the book after you run the stage.
> Look at the details section at number 4.

Thanks for the clever interpretation of section 4. This will help a lot. I'll adjust my introductory remarks accordingly.

>The thing I was wondering is are you alowed to put tulips in
>or information from the route book?

We were told "no." Maybe the notes-preparers might add a few key ones into the books. It will really help in those rallies where the course arrows aren't numbered, or don't exist.

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John Dillon John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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RE: FYI only: my letter to PRB re: Notes

in the route book.

I'm not a navvie (I'd be horrible!), but IMHO adding tulips to the stage notes seems pretty meaningless. Once you get comfortable with the notes, it's just as easy to sync up on a 2L as a picture of a 2L, ya know? It seems to me that when you get lost with the route book, you don't go scanning the road and book for a tulip that matches a corner, you look at the overall mileage on the odo and sync up from there. It should be just as easy in the notes at some point. If there were a few more tidbits such as "bridge" or "culvert" (I assume waterbars will be mentioned at Rim) in the notes, it would be even that much easier.

I kinda like the "competitor use area" idea. Just enough room to scratch out some calculations and record your times would be way cool.

-Doug

Edit: As for the #4 and notes in the book, the way I read it, you can only do that on stages that are run twice. If you can make notes as you run the stage, then if they check your book after the stage, how are they going to tell if you made the notes before or during? That one seems like it could be a can of worms.
 
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RE: FYI only: my letter to PRB re: Notes

My comments in-line below:

>... Once you get
>comfortable with the notes, it's just as easy to sync up on
>a 2L as a picture of a 2L, ya know? It seems to me that when
>you get lost with the route book, you don't go scanning the
>road and book for a tulip that matches a corner, you look at
>the overall mileage on the odo and sync up from there. It
>should be just as easy in the notes at some point. If there
>were a few more tidbits such as "bridge" or "culvert" (I
>assume waterbars will be mentioned at Rim) in the notes, it
>would be even that much easier.

Transferring of tulips would only be useful for glaringly obvious features like T intersections or water crossings. The stage notes had several cases where a bunch of L4's or R3 were strung together or near each other; if lost, it could be difficult to identify which one, but a R3 at a T would be real obvious. I realize that it's only a crutch, but we're all learning this together. If they get lost early in the stage, they're more likely to stay lost a long time, thus not getting a chance to sync back up and learn more of the notes. And yes, syncing up the mileage helps too, but if there's any drift at all in your odo, you still may not select the correct R3 until too late. (You know the one: "R3" followed by "!!! L1> down n.c." !)


>Edit: As for the #4 and notes in the book, the way I read
>it, you can only do that on stages that are run twice.


I just had this same thought, and passed it along to my fellow stewards. I'd be hard pressed to see a case where writing down a car number would be problematic on a one-time-only stage, but you and I are in agreement that it's how the rule is written.


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John Dillon John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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RE: FYI only: my letter to PRB re: Notes

Does anyone know the logic behind not allowing standard route book information to be added into the stage notes book? What's the deal here, you can have the chocolate bar or the gum but not both, yes mom. We can switch back and forth between the two but not combine the two ourselves?? Someone know the answer? Can we see an example of what the fear is all about?:+
 
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RE: FYI only: my letter to PRB re: Notes

> Does anyone know the logic behind not allowing standard
>route book information to be added into the stage notes
>book?

I'm pretty sure it's a fear of stage notes turning into pace notes. It's a natural and understandable concern, but if the rule written properly it shouldn't be a problem. Maybe allow a little extra space in the right column where you can transfer the route book info so that's the only place you can write.

This whole deal is a still incredibly new and getting sorted out. I'm glad we're moving forward with stage notes, but I recognize there are some teething pains we're going to experience. I remain optimistic that the PRB is going to get it all straightened out in a reasonable way in the near future. I'll continue to offer my suggestions and encourage others to do the same. Keep up the good work, folks.

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John Dillon John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 
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