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What's the facination with tarmac?
Is it just 'the grass is always greener'? (Don't you guys know those places where they are predominately tarmav EVERYBODY drivers and speccies alike LUST FOR GRAVEL????)

Be honest, I am when I say I think its cause soooooo many of todays 'buy a Subu-bitchie or Evo-buru" types which seem to fill the fields toady can't drive worth beans on gravel and you think you'd be better on tarmac.
Frankly the idea sends serious shiver up my spine to imagine the current field we have on moderate fast tarmac.

The consequence of errors isd always worse because even the pokiest slow POS 1600 P car CAN (eventually) go fast.



John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat
 

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The Scorpion King
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While I am not chomping at the bit to run one, I think the main reason why people are interested in them is that most people consider a truly great rally driver to be a master of ALL surfaces. For us amateurs, and those that fancy themselves to be budding professionals, the only way to build the skills necessary is to actually run some events.

--
John

edit for spelling.
 

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While I don't drive yet, I think I can explain the craze by pointing out that most car enthusiasts like to drive fast on canyon roads... and wouldn't it be even nicer to be able to drive as fast as you like on closed canyon roads?
 

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A real Tarmac event would raise expenses considerably. Afterall, you would need different suspension, tires, spares, etc. You would be cornering a lot faster and crashing harder. From an organizer's perspective, it would be quite a nightmare. Whereas THE AUTHORITIES can be persuaded to close dirt roads, it may be a bit different with paved roads.
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: what he said

Thanks John,
for proof, see:
www.randyzimmer.com/video/rny04/ss7.mov
and
www.randyzimmer.com/video/rny04/ss8.mov
ss8 was twistier than ss7 so my meager 160hp was less of a hinderance and I finished equal 3rd on that one.
I add that statement to stop the arguement that - if I think its boring, I may just be slow - before it starts.
Be sure to check the MPH readings and see if you want to send out crews with only a short verbal session beforehand.
rz
 

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Here's something I don't understand - in your day-to-day, walking around, working, interacting with your fellow North Americans - do any of you actually call it 'Tarmac'. Or do you call it asphalt, black top, pavement. :p (we need a roll eyes icon)

Robin
 

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Dirt surfer
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Tarmac craziness

Running at speed on tarmac is the real deal. So little margin of error. You bobble, you go off. Probably go off Very Very Hard and start collecting Large Immovable Objects...

Recent Rally New York had a couple of tarmac stages. They were insanely fast, with many huge roadside boulders to make you pay full attention to your lines. Trees. Stumps. Slippy sand and gravel scattered on turns where you needed big-time grip. Blind dropoffs into lakes. Scary scary. On the recce, my codriver asked, "why are you so quiet all of a sudden...?"

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) we had engine failure just before the tarmac stages. One friend who ran them told me, "we were going a buck forty in a 20-year-old piece of crap! I can't imagine what the Evos or WRXes were doing."

One car had a huge off and more or less folded itself in two around a tree. Crew was exceedingly lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries. Several others had harrowing close calls.

Tarmac may be cool, but takes a serious learning curve. Gimme snow and ice and big poofy snowbanks any day.

Ciao for now,
Dave G
www.lastditchracing.net
Maine

(We're shopping tarmac tires nonetheless)
 

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1973 WRC POR
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>What's the facination with tarmac?

>Frankly the idea sends serious shivers up my spine to imagine
>the current field we have on moderate fast tarmac.
>
>The consequence of errors is always worse because even the
>pokiest slow POS 1600 P car CAN (eventually) go fast.

John:

I usually find myself in general agreement with what you and Randy post. In this case, you both seem to be strongly opposed to a tarmac rally. I can understand your concerns regarding such an event, if not organized properly. However, I cannot agree that we should dismiss tarmac rallies so easily.

There are very few people on this forum who have actually participated in a true tarmac rally. It would be interesting to hear from someone like Dave Kean on the subject.

Personally, I have competed on the Circuit of Donegal Rally in Ireland and the Nutcracker Rally in Wales. Both events had an incredible variety of tarmac roads and could be considered as classic examples of what a tarmac rally is all about.

I can say that I did not consider these events to be dangerous. Certainly no more so that driving a gravel mountain stage with nothing but air along one side of the road. The driver just has to adapt to the conditions at hand and drive accordingly.

We currently have to two legitimate tarmac rallies in Canada. The Targa Newfoundland (which uses closed public roads) and the Rallye Sanair (which uses the race track complexes at Sanair). There are a lot of very, very inexperienced drivers who compete on the Targa Newfoundland and the safety record for this event has been excellent. The Rallye Sanair attracts much more experienced drivers and once again the safety record is excellent. I would recommend either event to someone who is interested in participating in a tarmac rally.

I am not a tarmac rally proponent. I would much rather compete on a gravel rally. And I would certainly rather spectate on a gravel rally. I spent three days in 1983 spectating at the Manx Rally and I found the event only marginally interesting (even with drivers such a Toivonen, Vatanen, Blomqvist, etc.).

However, I can see no reason for not having a well organized tarmac rally in the USA.

Doug Woods
 

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Tarmac: Learn by doing

Scary talk from my post above notwithstanding, I'd sign up for a good tarmac rally in a minute. How else to learn than by actually doing it?

Missed Sanair this year due to focus on Rally NY. Targa is a huge investment of time (nearly 2 weeks including travel) and mega $$$. Though when my partner John C came back from there in 2002, he raved about Targa for weeks. Still raves about it, in fact.

:9

Cheers,

Dave G
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: Doug!

No offence taken, This thing's spred over 3 or 4 posts so its hard to keep up with.
I don't think we are as far apart as it sounds, I say, why take resources (organizers) to make a boring, dangerous, forest pavement rally when there are road races and hill climbs and solo events and everything else already.
You say that Sanair - on a circuit, and Taga NF - with tire restrictions and min stage time rules are OK. They are, and that's why.
These other Bozos want a sanctioned run down their favorite street with NO restrictions, no barriers and no experience and I'm not inclined to lose the sport for that for...
"I spent three days in 1983 spectating at the Manx Rally and I found the event only marginally interesting (even with drivers such a Toivonen, Vatanen, Blomqvist, etc.)."
I did it, I do it, under the right circumstances, I'd do it again. I'm actually pretty good at it, but I prefer gravel. And Gummy's right, to do pavement right, you need a whole different car. 4wd is too heavy, the gears are too short, the skidplates too heavy, the brakes too small, even the cage design should be different. Did you know automatic and manual drag cars have different cage designs? So, to sum up, Sanair, Targa, One Lap = OK. Silverstate and the other wacko deals, its up to you. There's always street luge.
rz
 

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RE: Doug!

I think some of us would just like a little variety.

There was a short tarmac stage on Doo **** last year and it was a lot of fun.

Glenn
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: paved roads

What started this was a request for a complete tarmac rally.
That said,
Variety is OK.
But now let's say you have a rally with some tarmac stages...
Take your rally car and run a solo event. (If you didn't roll it over and get laughed out of there.) Now add up what it would take to make your car a killer solo car including the time to switch it. Now, if your rally allows you time to switch from gravel to pavement, figure somebody's gonna do as much as they can in the time given to make the switch.
"But I'm not that interested in winning, I just want a little variety and have fun."
Someone will - and should!
rz
 

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OK, everybody that wants to see a tarmac rally needs to put on some tarmac tires and go out and run enough track day drivers' schools to make the 'A' list. Don't worry, they'll let you run, you all have equal restraints for drive and codriver; your cars are all safely prepared.

Then come back and we'll have this discussion.

To fuel the fire, the first race I ever crewed was The Longest Day of Nelson's Ledges. The team was running a golf prepared by none other than Guy Light. Still using the rally suspension!

JBLewis
 

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RE: Doug!

The main reason for wanting to put on a tarmac event is "because the roads are there". There are many out there who have actually competed on tarmac events and want to do so again without incurring the costs of travelling to lands afar to do so. There are those that want to try a tarmac event for the first, safely and under closed conditions, rather than "canyon racing" and Ole and I would like to accommodate them too. If the events are successful, we will continue to put them on. If not, we'll re-think. I think the interest is there by having queries from afar as the east coast.
 

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In response to JB's post, this is something else which I have in mind for the future. If the interest is there, it can be a relatively cheap day out but with a great informative and beneficial experience to boot. More to follow later.
 

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Very interesting thread.

From my perspective I see tarmac as a whole different type of racing. The lines are different. You maintain momentum differently. Braking is significantly different. The very use of the friction abilities of the tires are different. Temperatures matter more. Brakes fade earlier. Lots different.

The only reason I have sympathy for tarmac is that I think if rally drivers are going to claim to have the best car control of anyone, they should be able to walk the walk even within the friction circle. But I agree with Randy (and you guys know that he's driven CAN-AM cars, right?) that most of the field is an accident waiting to happen when they're on the surface for the first time, with an ill-suited car. Some of the wildest offs we've seen have been on tarmac (and besides RallyNY and Defi, already mentioned, think of the Charlevoix ones alone: the Talon into the power pole that took out the electricity in Malbaie, Kammer's 510 cartwheeling into the bloody ocean, the refrigerator, Frank bleeding Sprongl ending up in someone's driveway, etc). Kammer's crash was thanks to an oscillation that would naver have happened on gravel and I suspect caught him entirely unawares.

So I'm speaking from cross-benches, really. I think we should learn tarmac if we're going to call ourselves rally drivers. But I think we've got a lot of lead-footed novices with too little respect for the surface. I do track days and went on One Lap to improve my own knowledge of tarmac. I hope to be ready for the next tarmac stages at Defi and Pacific Forest. But I know that there's much to learn.

Two additional notes:

1. Gravel suspension is I think the number one reason that tarmac is spooky in a rally car. I've driven lots of track cars that are perfectly predictable at breakaway, but they have twice the spring rate and one tenth the ride height of my Evo. So be especially aware when you're on a gravel rally with a couple of tarmac stages - that's the worst. Except for....

2. ....events that insist on having gravel stages with a tarmac mile or two in the middle. Organizers appear not to be buyers of rally tires. Yes, they break away predictably on tarmac. But they wear away instantly too. Just a waste of tires.

ACP
Flirting with the laws of physics.
 

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400 flat to crest
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Discussion Starter #17
Exactly on the money Comerade Zimmer!!

Randy is right including is suggestion that there are venues for those who feel the need for 'never having to think of grip' (of course until it HAS gone and you're sliding along.)
And Doug, he's right about Sanair and not just Targa Newfieland, but all the Targa type events, they're fine but they're not generally FLAT OUT type things AND the sheer cost makes them the sorta event which attracts shall we say, er um ....more affluent and or er um....more senior um er participants.

And as we have seen from Tasmania and New Zeeland, the driving skills are not absolutlely in proportion to the bank accounts, eh? (but isn't that nearly aleays the case?)
Sorry those kinds of events just don't interest me.

(But add SNOW!!! Like the Thunderbird and its a whole different kettle of fishies FUN! FUN!!!! FUN!!!! everey KM!!! A thousand smooochies to all involved who have the brains and sense to keep organising THE No.1 funnest event in the Continent!)



John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat
 

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400 flat to crest
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Discussion Starter #18
>Here's something I don't understand - in your
>day-to-day, walking around, working, interacting with your
>fellow North Americans - do any of you actually call it
>'Tarmac'. Or do you call it asphalt, black top, pavement.
>:p (we need a roll eyes icon)
>
>Robin
Teee Heeee!!! I actually tried explaining to my wife whose English is very much heavily Hong Kong English influenced why ****** Americanos call the black stuff 'tarmac' in rally context.
I said because they are influenced by all the 'Engleski' books and magazines they voraciously eat up.

Me, in Johntalk it's usually 'asfalto' accent on falt.

Why do people say in imitation somebody "went off..."
and not crashed!!!???
Because in this discussion , it'll be CRASH!!!!!





John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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1973 WRC POR
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>Two additional notes:
>
>1. Gravel suspension is I think the number one reason that
>tarmac is spooky in a rally car. I've driven lots of track
>cars that are perfectly predictable at breakaway, but they
>have twice the spring rate and one tenth the ride height of
>my Evo. So be especially aware when you're on a gravel rally
>with a couple of tarmac stages - that's the worst. Except
>for....
>
>2. ....events that insist on having gravel stages with a
>tarmac mile or two in the middle. Organizers appear not to
>be buyers of rally tires. Yes, they break away predictably
>on tarmac. But they wear away instantly too. Just a waste of
>tires.

Andrew:

I think that you have really hit the nail on the head with these two issues. I was going to post something similar but you have phrased it much better than I could.

In general, I do not think that we should mix gravel and tarmac stages on the same event in North American rallies, mainly for the issues you have raised above. In addition, as Randy has pointed out, we do not want to increase the costs to competitors by essentially requiring them to contemplate two suspensions set-ups or special tires/rims for the sake of one or two stages.

However, stand-alone tarmac rallies are another animal and should be an available option for those who want to expand their driving experience.

As pointed out, Targa Newfoundland is a big time and money commitment. However, for anyone in eastern Canda or the northeastern USA, Rallye Sanair is an incredibly cost effective way of discovering what tarmac rallying is all about. Also, I have not seen so many smiles on the faces of both competitors and spectators at a rally for a long time. Perhaps, you should consider it for next year.

Doug Woods
 

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many tarmac rallies have small or short gravel sections in them

in other words, you use the tarmac tires on the dirt, and you have to be careful or else you rip em to shreds. But really, its the same either way IMHO. I don't have a problem with it, because everyone is in the same boat. It's like when you drive a snow event with one stage that is gravely. Just deal with it.

I've done about 1500km of stage on tarmac and I can tell you, that it is way way way more hardcore in terms of 'freak out' if you try to go fast. It is actually, in my opinion, boatloads more "manly" than the gravel. We won some stages in the 206 Cup rounds on tarmac, and also in Belgium. Those were 'trying' to go fast stages. In the WRC events we just set some ok times (not going fast, but not too slow either - I was in my 'make the last day puhleeze mode').

I would love to see a tarmac round of the cdn or us championship.

You do have to set up the cars differently, you do have to drive differently, and you do break more stuff, and contrary to popular belief, tarmac rallies can be VERY hard on the car !

And, for most people with 'sub-standard' 4 wheel drive cars, you will get your clock cleaned by the good 2wd cars...

I would like to do it because it is different, but really, the main reason, because it is way more crazier (if you have the right road, something for example really bumpy and narrow). Some people actually hate the stuff, and I know a lot of tarmac drivers that think gravel rallying is for wimps.

But a 'proper' tarmac event. Doing the stages with gravel setup is... not exactly what I am talking about.
 
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