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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all - well my car is finally done and I am about to enter my first stage rally - Rocky Mountain next week.

My question is - since it is my, and my co-drivers, first rally is it worth buying and using the Jemba notes, or should I just use the supplied Route book?

My thought is that we will have so much to learn that it might be best to worry about having fun and finishing, as opposed to going fast'er'. (read drive safe to finish my first event)

Thoughts?
:)
 

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If you decide to use notes, remember that you're both new to this, and the next call could always be wrong. In other words, don't rely on the calls being correct. My first (and only) time co-driving with Jemba notes, after 10 years of co-driving and driving stage events, I nevertheless got lost a few times and had to tell Scott just to drive what he saw.

I would say, initially, save the money and put it towards doing more events, and getting more seat time. If there was no charge, or if the money doesn't bother you, I'd say take them and use them to start learning how to recognize different grades of corners. Just don't commit 100% to that Cr into L6 that was really the last crest before the Cr into R2>!!!DropL
 

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Mine and my co-driver's first rally (and the majority of subsequent rallies) were on course notes. I had previously co-driven a fair bit using route book.

I've found it to be a steep learning curve. I sometimes believe that the route book is faster (for me). The accuracy of my co-driver's calls have been very good. We wrestle a bit over the pace of delivery. There's a tendency, I think, to put this all down to the co-driver, but I hear myself making the impatient "next...next!" mistake - asking for too much information - not because I need it, but because I'm worrying about getting caught-out. This self-assessment comes to me thanks to a discussion I had with a top-level North American co-driver.

Recently, we really started to gel with the pace, and for the first time I started trusting the calls back-to-back in a nearly-committed rhythm - "four right into five left 200 five right-over crest five left - oh shit! three right over crest!" Goodbye 5" birch, a-pillar, windshield, DS fender, neck muscles, pride - and first car, hello reality. There's no question that co-driving notes requires a high level of concentration, but looking back, I regard the 'off' we had as primarily my fault (when I say fault - I only mean that I'm the one who most needs to learn from it - not the time-wasting assignation-type of fault).

I'm responding to your query not because I have a nice little answer, just because I was in the same boat you are in right now. Given our experience so far, it's funny that my co-driver prefers notes and I don't really have a preference (so far).

As a driver, I don't think it matters which you choose - you need to finish - finishing gets you maximum mileage for your buck and your time at one of very few opportunities (events) that occur throughout the year. I'd use it to get a feel for what the car is going to do and not worry about which route instructions you'll use.

Robin
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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Warren,
In my limited experience, I think that notes are the way to go. I have not done jemba notes before, but I have now done two pace note events. The job for your co-driver will be EASIER with jemba notes or pacce notes IMHO if he doesn't have to learn then unlearn a tulip style book.
Remember that the rest of the WCRC events are likely going to be Jemba or pace notes ...
 

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50 L3/CR 70 Yump 200
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There is good reason (I believe) that SCCA does not allow seed 8 (first timers) to run Stage notes- there are too many other things you (driver and Codriver) need to learn.

#1. Is learning to read the road .... notes HELP with this, but do not make up for it.

#2. Consider all that the Codriver has to learn (hopefully you've done a school and a TSD so he/she has got an idea how everything breaks down).
btw- does he/she get car sick? with A LOT more to read w/stage notes a codriver has little time to keep reference of the horizon.


#3. What is your goal with this (your first ) event?
If it is to have fun, finish, gain useful knowledge for the next rally, the DO NOT run notes.

and #4. If you do have fun (umm if the codriver does too) then you'll be back to anouther rally and will have the chance to run notes then- and there is no hurry, because the learning curve for notes is long.

Now take a few of those bucks you've saved and buy your codriver, the crew, and the rally organizers a couple of beers.

Just my .02, I could be wrong- would not be the first time.
Heck, I don't even have any points yet this year.

Jeff Secor codriver car #83, gr. N Cel-Cool Subaru WRX
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the response.


>#3. What is your goal with this (your first ) event?
>If it is to have fun, finish, gain useful knowledge for the
>next rally, the DO NOT run notes.
>Jeff Secor codriver car #83, gr. N Cel-Cool Subaru WRX


My goal is to have fun, and finish (period) - I just want to enjoy the drive and keep it all together for the next one.

Thanks
 

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If you are just lookig to have fun anyway and you know you are not looking to set the world on fire just start learnng the notes. So what, you will run 2 events without and just when you are starting to want some speed you have to run 2 more events with notes still going slow to now get use to them. Dosen't make any sense to me if I were to sart over no way I would mess with route books. Here is the perspective from the other side of the car to. While you are learning to drive and handle th car in a route book situation your codriver is learning almost 0 then after a few events when you are ready to go you hand him this complicated stage note book and then he has to struggle to keep up reading it at the pace that you are now capabl of drivinvg after you have had practce. Fun? From experiance it's no fun at all to come across something in the middle of an event at night that has no note and is a lot trikier than the noted stuff but just didn't seem it at he 25 MPH pace it was made at or a corner that had a bump in it so the 3 ends up looking like a 6 when they write it down.
 

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I respectfully disagree with the whole 'newbess should stay away from organizer notes' argument.

The MAIN THING you EVER need to learn in rally is SELF CONTROL. Doesn't matter if you have a route book or not. It seems to me that you already have a game plan of not doing anything silly.

I also think, even if it is 'just for fun', that you will have 'way more fun' if you use the notes, and that you will 'not have any fun' when you have your first encounter with a 2nd gear corner that is not in the book (and there are a few). if, like you were saying, the $$ is not a big deal, why not go for it.

The only issue really is that you cant say you have done the 'manly northamerican-style blind rallies' and 'I did it the same way bobby did it'.

I also disagree with the whole 'newbees shouldn't do this' stuff. If there was any meat to that, you wouldn't let them start with a 400hp all wheel drive monster if they wanted to. Plus, to everyone everywhere else in the world, newbees start with what we are using (i.e. someone else's notes) !! that is 'beginner' style (to learn what a 4R is, etc. etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks All.

Good points from all sides - since it is now into my next Visa billing period (hehe) I might just get the notes - I don't know - I'll decide when I get there I guess.

Thanks for your help.:)
 

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Pat R is so right. Forget trying to learn rally in the "manly N American way." Start building the proper skill-sets from the get-go. There's a bunch of good reasons rally people everywhere else in the world go with notes.

Notes or routebook, a driver still has to read the road and not ask the car to do things it won't do (or he can't make it do) given what's coming up.

Notes or routebook, a co-driver still has to read the road, read the book, keep track of where you are on the stage, and not miss stuff the driver needs to hear about in time to react to the "gotchas."

Stage notes do not change any of this. They just help drivers and co-drivers do their jobs better.

One big thing a co-driver new to notes needs to beware of is what's coming up after page breaks or even at line breaks...many a car has gone off because the codriver read only one line at a time (see post above). Mark up the note book, highlight big speed changes (like L6 to R4, R5>3, etc) and tricky combos (usually underlined in Jemba notes). Also highlight turns after crests, off-cambers, cautions, etc. Especially beware of nasty surprises coming right after page breaks.

Main thing a driver new to notes needs to beware of is simple, time-tested advice we learned from Tim O'Neil..."if you find yourself not listening to your co-driver, find out why and fix it!" If you find the calls coming too fast or too slow, say so and help your codriver adjust the pace of delivery.

Delivering and reacting to notes at speed on stage is like playing jazz: there's no "proper" way to work out the timing except to jam together (aka, race) and find out what sounds and feels right.

When a stage is going well on notes, there's nothing like it...driver and co-driver keep each other focused, the calls fit the road and the conditions and the pace. Before you know it you're going like hell with great confidence and a better margin of error. Nice!

Cheers, see ya at Rocky...in the line at registration waiting to buy stage notes, I hope.

Dave G
Co-Pilote and Collector of Stage Note Books
lastditchracing.net



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

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Notes or not...

let me give you (yet another opinion). First let me explain my experience so you can take this with whatever you associate my thoughts to be worth :) I've run approx. 380 stage miles on route books and 120 stage miles on notes. My first rally was July '03, I've competed in 5 events so far (OTPR '03, WWPR '03, Mt Hood '03, Doo ***'s 04 (roll over on SS2 day 2), OTPR '04 [w/ notes]), with one roll over DNF and all the rest of the events finished.

I like rallying. I will go to events that are blind, with notes, whatever. I can tell you that two stages after running notes for the first time, I was sold forever, and I will always run notes whenever possible.

The first reason is I like rally because it's a lot more of a team sport than other racing, because of the addition of the navigator. Running blind rallies, I find that the co-driver doesn't have nearly as much to do and I feel like they contribute a lot less to the success or failure of the team when running notes.

The second reason is that I like to go fast, and it's much easier (when you trust your co-driver) to commit to corners with a high degree of confidence of knowing what is on the other side.

Now after reading all that you'd assume that I was suggesting you run notes. However that depends...

Jason (my current co-driver) is a very experienced co-driver. He's been rallying for 5 years and has run notes extensively. You mentioned that this is your first rally, but didn't mention your navigator's experience level. If he/she is also fairly new to the game, I would say don't run notes. The co-driver's job can be a little overwhelming, especially with limited experience.

The one instance in my first event with notes (OTPR '04) where the co-driver was off, he didn't know it (which is generally the case) and I didn't know it until I went over the crest to see that the L5 I was expecting was really a R3. Because it was night and my visibility was limited, I lifted over that crest, which I probably wouldn't have done during the day. That saved me from a big off.

So, in conclusion of my novela here, I'd say the SCCA's limit on new time drivers running notes is well thought out, and that even though you have the opportunity to run notes, you should use the first few rallies to learn how to read the road, and also to let your co-driver get used to the pace of a rally. Once he/she is getting bored with the route book, start in on notes.
 

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Although I made my post about this already, just to be fair (since I dont necessarily agree with all the points raised 'in favour' of notes, even though I support you choosing either way):

Doing it without notes is still cool, the point (and the question) was: should I do it with or without.

We all have done many blind rallies, and we all kept doing it ! So it isn't lame or anything, but given the choice, I'd choose the latter (notes), thats all.

Blind rallies have their benefits as well.
 

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and without a doubt, I prefer to use notes too.
.... but without them I have time to crawl in the back and make lunch.
hehe-
Missing you at STPR Pat, see ya at PPIHC?
 

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don't cut
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>
>Blind rallies have their benefits as well.

The biggest benefit I've found is being able to blind read roads at speed when the codriver gets lost, and the codriver WILL get lost at some point. Since most of us were weaned on blind rallies, we just cut back 5-10 percent, read the road, and wait for the navvie to catch up. If all you ever ran was notes, and you never learned to read roads at speed, you could be in a world of hurt when he drops the book.

I've also found that running one or two blind events a year is a good "tune up", as I get to concentrate more on my driving, what's going on, instead of being in 10/10ths killer attack mode.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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I'm suprised no one has mentioned this yet, and I didn't make it up, it was part of what I paid for when I went to rally school...
New drivers should have an experienced navigator and a new navigator should have an experienced driver. Two newbies in a car is not real smart, is what they were saying. After surviving a few years of this, I understand completely what they meant.
rz
edit to replace overused expression
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the imput - I went with the Jemba notes - and Finished!
It was a ton of fun - no offs - no dramas - just fun.
 

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umm, guys, when they say the run 'blind' in (in sweden, and in a whole bunch of other countries) - THAT IS WITH JEMBA NOTES (or equivalent) !

running with an American - style tulip/interval routebook at a top national championship level is not done, there at least. Maybe in other championships...
 
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