>Can someone explain the logic why seed 8 drivers are not
>allowed to use stage notes? (SCCA 2.2 A.1)
Actually, there are many of us who don't believe that Stage Notes should be used by anyone below a Seed 5. Reasons are as follows, new drivers need to learn to drive the car on the roads, read the roads, learn the rules and safety possibilities, etc. Stage Notes put a very high burden on the driver and co-driver to communicate accurately and for the co-driver to not get lost in the notes and the driver to translate the verbal to what he or she is seeing.
Even the most experienced co-driver gets lost in notes at one time or another and the experienced driver know that and doesn't drive 10 10ths. Would you want to hear a 5R and then come into a 1L? And would you know what to do in that situation? Don't think so.
Just like a baby learns to roll over then crawl then walk then run, ralliests have the same learning needs. Would a F1 team let you drive their car, I think not, therefore, you shouldn't be driving a WRC car or using Stage Notes until you have shown the skills needed to move up to that type of car and notes.
>>Can someone explain the logic why seed 8 drivers are not
>>allowed to use stage notes? (SCCA 2.2 A.1)
>Even the most experienced co-driver gets lost in notes at
>one time or another and the experienced driver know that and
>doesn't drive 10 10ths. Would you want to hear a 5R and
>then come into a 1L? And would you know what to do in that
>situation? Don't think so.
I think the way the rules are written are the way they should be.
With only 3 rallies under my belts and using stage notes at LSPR. I had no problem with them. I also have co-driven with and without pace notes.
I do belive that reading the road is very important. I still think taking information away from the driver is a bad thing.
If you have a experianced Co-driver I belive that pacenotes are a great thing.
Of course the next two rallies i plan on attending will be route book only events.
"Just keep 3 of the 4 wheels on the road!"
Like almost everything in life, one size doesnt fit all despite some people trying to make it so.
My codriver and I ran RNY with the stage notes with no problem. We also took advantage of the reccie opportunity and used both the route book and stage notes at that time and decided at the end ofthe day to go with the notes. It was our first rally as driver and codriver. Yes, she got lost a couple times and I sight drove until she caught up but she was always there when I needed the info the most. I found it most useful to have the detailed notes information coming to me in addition to what I saw. I was deliberately not running as fast as I or the car could go to keep me out of potential trouble and to try to keep from breaking something if I didnt guess right on everything related to car prep. I dont think the notes made us faster but it did help us be safer.
We both have some experience prior to this, I have been to O'Neils multiple times and driven a couple seasons of rally-x, she and I have driven most of MFR at legal speeds using the offcial route book a few weeks after the event, we ran a TSD once together, and we are both licensed rally workers so are familiar with most of the working of the events.
We both plan to run more NASA events and will again use stage notes when offered. We both prefer them at this point. Is it the right thing for other novices? I cant say. I will say that if we were true novices to the whole thing, the notes would have been overwhelming.
While I agree with much of what Dave wrote, I think the rule needs to have some exceptions and I don't think Seed necessarily indicates how well you can work with notes.
I am a fairly experienced co-driver and I tend to work with a bunch of different drivers (7 in 2003, 8 in 2004). I am very comfortable with notes and I have co-driven for some fast drivers.
However, working with as many different drivers as I do, I also ride with slower drivers. Some of these drivers are unknown quantities behind the wheel as far as I am concerned and, occasionally, they are Seed 8. In those instances, I would really, really like to have Stage Notes for my own sanity. I might not tell the driver everything that is in the notes (particularly if the driver does not seem to be taking all of the information in), but I want to know what is coming up so I can be prepared.
Also, personally, notes help me stay focused. With a route book, I am frequently presented with a "next instruction - more than a mile" and that kind of stuff screws up my concentration.
I guess I have one other point: whether a crew can handle Stages Notes really has less to do with the driver's Seed and a bunch more to do with the co-driver's ability. Determining whether a crew can use Stage Notes based on the driver's experience seems a little goofy to me. (Yeah, I know, we don't have a good way to determine the co-driver's ability when deciding whether to give them Stage Notes at registration.)
Thanks for the input to everyone!
I agree that notes can be overwhelming to a new team. For that fact i have obtained notes from past events and worked with my co-driver in understanding terms/symbols to prepare us as much as possible.
My feeling is that my co-driver should tell me when he gets lost in the notes, no problem - it happens and then you deal with it. But having the notes could save a driver from mis-reading the road and ending up off in the pasture.
It wont stop us from having fun though will it!
<Actually, there are many of us who don't believe that Stage Notes <should be used by anyone below a Seed 5. Reasons are as follows, new <drivers need to learn to drive the car on the roads, read the roads, <learn the rules and safety possibilities, etc. Stage Notes put a <very high burden on the driver and co-driver to communicate <accurately and for the co-driver to not get lost in the notes and <the driver to translate the verbal to what he or she is seeing.
With all due respect to all those who hold this view,
this is a mistake that has been perpetuated by SCCA for
much too long. This mistake has been caused by decades of blind
rallying in US and lack of experience with stage notes and
pace notes. As somebody complained on this forum: "For a long
time, I thought that rallying meant going down a gravel road
you have never seen before. Now they want reconnaissance." Well,
how about reconnaissance on tarmac? Let me tell you: In Italy,
reconnaissance can be a spectator event.
Somebody else asked on this forum not a long time ago:
"Why would an insurance company feel better if we do not know
how the next turn looks?"
In the same vein, reconnaissance and pace notes, or at least
stage notes, even though they should be used with reconnaissance,
any kind of familiarization with stages over and above
sparse "blind" US route book will make rallying safer,
regardless of the seed of the driver.
More than thirty years ago in Europe, I got my novice license
and a route book and they sent me to make pace notes for my
first regional event. There was nothing unusual about it and
everybody did it or at least tried. Because of various
limitations, some people made pace notes only for a part of
the route and some people did not manage to make pace
notes at all and the same happens today.
We have a very good experience with reconnaissance in
connection with Rally New York. We have received no serious
complaints either from competitors or from residents.
On the contrary, overwhelming majority of competitors favors
reconnaissance. Two weeks ago on Rally New York USA, every
single team requested stage notes (we have no information
on how many teams used only route book on stages). Over 90
percent of teams signed up for reconnaissance. It appears that
only those teams that could arrive only Friday night for the
Saturday event did not do reconnaissance.
Before somebody flames me by saying that in hallowed Finland
pace notes are not allowed on lower level events, please
recognize that Finland is a special case: Any driver worth his
salt knows the stages by heart. And, they practise the stages.
Either legally, simply because there is a rally in Finland
52 weekends a year and these stages are used over and over again.
(This, by the way, is no different from "blind" US rallying if
you ran enough stages for many many years and you cannot help
yourself but to know them by heart.) Or, the drivers practise
the stages regardless.
Any weekend or evening drive down "KaxiOikeaHyppeNaljeVasemtie" will reveal a remarkable number of young males driving hatchbacks wearing pulled down baseball caps (usually with a Exide logo) and dark sunglasses.
When I lived in SoCal, I used to ride my motorbike on Del Sur from May 8 until February 1... I doubt other locals are any different.
While I personally dislike running off of a route book at this point (and, uh, I am co-driver, so what do I know about driving), I think the ability to read the road is probably a good skill for drivers to learn before they become dependent on getting accurate notes.
I co-drove my First-Ever Rally at Tall Pines this weekend, and had an absolute blast with the notes.
We debated about whether or not to buy them, as it was my first time in a rally car, and my driver's third event, with 2 DNFs previously. We decided to get them, and leave the option open to not use them.
It took me a while through the first couple of stages to get the hang of calling the notes around the right time, and timing the straightaways. Sure, I got lost a couple of times, but by about stage 5 or 6, I was getting it down, looking up less, and looking ahead more.
Before getting this opportunity, my "master rally plan" had been to continue practicing at rally-Xes while building up a car, and getting started as a driver. Co-driving would be a good reason to get an intercom & fire suit, and find out if I really enjoyed rallying before spending a mint on car prep, etc.
Coming away from it, I would be very happy to co-drive for quite a few years before trying my hand in the left seat. I had a great time, felt like a pro as I kept with the notes as bounced over rocks, had an exhaust leak fog our windows up, and after crossing the A10 finish line, I shook my driver's hand with a sense of real accomplishment.
When choosing rallies to enter in the future, my decision will definitely be based on which have provided notes.
Giving notes to rookies is a good thing in my mind: Getting used to notes while we're still "taking it slow", is definitely preferable to trying to add it to the mix when we're actually trying to beat people.
I will say, though, that the notion of writing my own notes from scratch is quite intimidating to me. I would not want to do so for a couple more rallies at least. The first recce that I do, I would definitely like to have someone else's notes as a starting-point, or perhaps a "bare bones" outline with just L&Rs & straight lengths, the #s, and hazards, let me worry about adding +/-, lg, cr, up, down, landmarks, etc.
Recently ran my first events in left seat -- NASA Rally NY and RNY USA. We used Jemba notes on the recce, and the combo was awesome. My codriver was brand-new, and recce helped him relate the language of notes to what was actually on the road. In the rally, he adjusted really well to increased speeds. In the spring event, we were moving steadily up thru the field until the dang engine seized. In the fall rally we were ecstatic to finish well up in the field without any major "moments" on an exceedingly rough course studded with nasty gotchas.
Granted, I've codriven a couple seasons of CARS events where recce is pretty standard procedure, so I'm familiar with the difference of how the road looks on recce in the F250 at 25-30 mph vs hurtling down the same road at 60-75 in the RS. Even so, I remain a firm believer in both sides of the car being given as much info as they can handle.
Erik's learning curve on recce soared upward because he had real notes in front of him to annotate while I called out landmarks, braking points, etc. We removed some confusing notes where the road was visible thru series of easy bends, concentrating on stuff we really needed to know, like that L3>/Cr lurking after a fast section.
Recce on good consistent stage notes is the quickest way to learn for both drivers and navvies. The NASA organizers seem to be able to handle the costs of commissioning Jemba notes while keeping entry fees reasonable. This seems like a win-win for all involved.
My dad and I go through the stages in the Colin McRae games and write down the notes. Then we turn the co-driver sound all the way down and play with me driving and him reading. It's lots of fun and maybe gives us a bit of practice at reading/listening to the notes.
Tall pines is a difficult event to learn stage notes on because there are lots of corners and jumps which make getting lost very easy. We ran them at maine summer 2 years ago in the club event and it only took 1 stage to get the hang of it. The maine stages offer long straigh sections and tight complex note sections as well. I did get off in the notes a couple of times, but I figure I made over 600 calls that day and only screwed up about 3 or 4 with a few getting off in the notes. So not bad.
>Recce on good consistent stage notes is the quickest way to
>learn for both drivers and navvies. The NASA organizers seem
>to be able to handle the costs of commissioning Jemba notes
>while keeping entry fees reasonable. This seems like a
>win-win for all involved.
I have to agree with part of this a disagree with part. The 'agree' part is how the NASA events manage to keep entry fees lower while still having notes. Some trick!
The part I disagree with above is the 'quickest way to learn for both drivers and navvies.' What does it mean about a driver learning? Learning to interpret notes and run on them? I have to say that is not my interpretation of driver learning at all. 'Driver learning' IMO is knowing when to yank the handbrake FAST when in trouble, like PatR on that slippery downhill left filmed in STPR. It's knowing how to 'un-countersteer' at the last moement when the car is way into oversteer and the tail end is about to graze a bank on the outside. It's developing judgement of when to press and when not. Recce and stage notes have nothing to do with these.
Not trying to be mean spirited, but being able to drive notes well is not my interpretation of a good overall driving skillset.
I'm definitely NOT saying that notes in any way substitute for driving skill, experience, and judgement. But learning notes adds to developing skills in all of the above.
The more a driver knows about what's flying up the road at him/her, the better he can concentrate on the skills of driving that you mention. You still have to read the road, if only to make sure you agree where your navvie IS in the notes. If the driver knows that there's a gotcha at the end of a long fast section, he can better judge braking and preparing for a big Scandahoovian flique, etc
And to have faith that your navvie is right-on when you are hurtling up to a blind crest and he says, "L5/Cr keep L 250"and you pitch the car sideways and don't lift and come drifting as fast as you dare to go and miss a bad rock on the outside and find that you can keep going even faster....now, that's priceless experience.
These are only a few benefits of notes. Call it "informed faith" as a team running notes, vs running on pure blind faith in the same situations using the tulip routebook.
>notes adds to developing skills in all of the above.
>The more a driver knows about what's flying up the road at
>him/her, the better he can concentrate on the skills of
>driving that you mention. You still have to read the road,
>if only to make sure you agree where your navvie IS in the
>notes. If the driver knows that there's a gotcha at the end
>of a long fast section, he can better judge braking and
>preparing for a big Scandahoovian flique, etc
>And to have faith that your navvie is right-on when you are
>hurtling up to a blind crest and he says, "L5/Cr keep L
>250"and you pitch the car sideways and don't lift and come
>drifting as fast as you dare to go and miss a bad rock on
>the outside and find that you can keep going even
>faster....now, that's priceless experience.
I'm not trying to be overly negative, but I am not in agreement with what is said above in regards to learning to drive well and the use of notes. Reading the road is LOT more than making sure that the navvie is no in the notes. It's seeing nuances in the camber, road surface mix, moisture content, that log sticking out of the inside of the corner that is not in the notes.
I see lot mentioned about 'going even faster'. THAT is what stage notes is about, not better driving. You may go faster and finish higher, and as a result, think you are a better driver, but the skill level of the driver does not have to go up one iota to use the info of "L5/Cr keep L 250" to stand on the gas. I guess my whole point here, for what little it is worth, is that good driving skiils have nothing to do with notes, or routebooks, for that matter. I just bothers me that folks will be led to believe that notes somehow make a driver better; I can't see the connection. Having a 'priceless experience' or an adrenalin rush also have nothing to do with driving skills, IMO.
>Call it "informed
>faith" as a team running notes, vs running on pure blind
>faith in the same situations using the tulip routebook.
Nobody drove on blind faith on routebooks, at least not for long. That is a fallacy in your thinking about routebooks.
Regards, and with due respect for your opinions,