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Discussion Starter #1
i would like to use this thread to discuss how we COULD do a series of one day rally schools in each region/division. please dont simply tell me it cant be done. lets try to figure out how it CAN be done.

i would like to see one in the early spring and one in the late summer in each region/division. so at least six nation wide each year. two in each division would be awesome. that would mean 16 schools a year. maybe one of these would have to be attended before you are allowed to enter a performance rally.

in no way do i want to steal business away from the existing schools. but not everyone can afford the fees associated w/those programs let alone the time off in addition to what is needed to go rallying.

these schools could be used to get the new drivers/codrivers some seat time before a rally in a low pressure highly supervised environment. it would also be open to experienced drivers/codrivers to also get some seat time and to shakedown cars and brush up the skills and get rid of some of the "bad habits."


the challenges are:

who would the instructors be? current veteran drivers?

who would teach the teachers?

do you pay them? if so how much? maybe they could get credit towards entry in a future performance rally?

when do you have it? the week of a rally at the same time as the practice stage?

where do you have it? on forest roads? at a "ranch."

how much should it cost? i would like to see it at about half the cost of a current rally entry fee.
 

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Ski Sawmill was an excellent school and had all your questions figured out.
There are "textbooks" out there that participants were given.
If you can get one, most of the details will be spelled out in it.
rz
 

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Discussion Starter #3
what was the reason the ski sawmill school was discontiued?
 

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RE: Ski Sawmill as model for national program

Ski Sawmill rally school was held at base lodge of a ski area in PA. School was discontinued because the base lodge burnt down.

Many Sawmill school grads are now top runners in the Northeast. We would do well to NOT forget the instructional groundwork the Sawmill school laid out.

Maybe someone out there who worked with or for the Sawmill school could chime in and help RA put together a national program.


Dave G


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

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CR>R5 into L3- 100 Finish
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>I would like to use this thread to discuss how we COULD do a
>series of one day rally schools in each region/division.
>please dont simply tell me it cant be done. Lets try to
>figure out how it CAN be done.
>
>The challenges are:
>
>Who would the instructors be? current veteran drivers?
>
>Who would teach the teachers?
>
>Do you pay them? if so how much? maybe they could get
>credit towards entry in a future performance rally?
>
>When do you have it? the week of a rally at the same time
>as the practice stage?
>
>Where do you have it? on forest roads? at a "ranch."
>
>How much should it cost? i would like to see it at about
>half the cost of a current rally entry fee.

NO,.. THIS IS POSSIBLE.
It can be done and with probably less expense than you think.

1. Yes,.. veteran drivers and co-drivers. Experience is everything.

2. Not necessary if experienced D/Co's are involved.

3. Fee's could be reasonable as to cover the instructors time and expenses.

4. That is a possibility, but also on off weekends.

5. Pretty much anywhere, local race track etc. It's not a competition, so it should be possible.

6. As I said earlier, fee's could be reasonable.

Tim O'Neil (I have attended myself) does an excellent job for both driver and co-driver. There are other schools out there as well that do a good job too. Maybe if all could come up with a training curriculum to standardize procedures.
Well, this is just my humble opinion.

Whiplash RallyeSport
 

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">Who would teach the teachers?
>
2. Not necessary if experienced D/Co's are involved."

I am a firm believer that experienced people are invaluable but need to be taught how to teach. Then they become remarkable teachers.

They dont need to learn how to drive, but how to break down the elements of what they know and do automatically, how to convey that, how to structure the hands on and discussions, how to observe what the student is doing and provide useful feedback, when to be quiet. Some people have all or some of this as a gift. Anyone can learn it.
 

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While my experience in a rally car is mainly at schools and in rally-X at this point, I taught other technical subjects in the past where I was considered an subject expert and was responsible for developing and delivering my own lesson plans. Here is my take on your points.

>
>the challenges are:
>
>who would the instructors be? current veteran drivers?

Yes, veteran drivers and codrivers. Also those currently teaching in the few schools we have.

>
>who would teach the teachers?
>

To shortcut the process I would suggest a short course from teaching consultants on the elements of teaching, followed by development, modification or re-use of any existing materials. Someone said Ski Sawmill had a circiculum. Maybe that could be found.

>do you pay them? if so how much? maybe they could get
>credit towards entry in a future performance rally?
>

I think covering their expenses is the least one could do.

>when do you have it? the week of a rally at the same time
>as the practice stage?
>

There is a need for some reflection time after complex subject instruction before it can be most effectively used. For some people over night is enough. For some a week or more. I would say within 2 weeks of an event but not the day before - maybe the weekend before.

>where do you have it? on forest roads? at a "ranch."
>

For an initial school I would vote for an open space and traffic cones. An advanced school might use a practice stage.


>how much should it cost? i would like to see it at about
>half the cost of a current rally entry fee.

Cost should be the bottom up cost to fund the school expenses. You will want a decent instructor/student ratio - like 1/1 or 1/2 and the class size should be limited to half a dozen or so to keep seat time high and waiting low. The one Rally-X I hosted had about $600 in land use (rental) and insurance (SCCA) per day. Add to that the cost of 3 instructors' expenses and I would guess a 2 day would cost in the neighborhood $300 per student for 6 students. I would guess the existing rally schools could be much more precise about such costs. As this would probably cut into their income stream, they might be rightfully hesitant to share too much info.
 

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This is the 2 day school I took in the spring :

http://www.members.shaw.ca/jdascollas/school.html

It was one day of class room and one day of driving techniques - in a large - open gravel parking lot.

I think that it was the main reason I have finished all of the rallies I entered this season (my first season). I only had one incedent where I need sweep to pull me out - and I then continued (stuck in the mud in the ditch at a "wet" event).

This school also counts as a regional event - towards gaining your National Licence - in Canada.

Jorge Dascollas is a great teacher - get him to come and do all you schools, or at least get his input.
 

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I've thought about renting KRC and doing something in Cendiv here. They've got a great facility, and Houghton seems to be about midway between MPL and Detroit, so it would cover a lot of people.

Finding instructors is a different issue. There are plenty of guys who can drive, but I dunno if they can teach (an entirely different skill). Best option would be to fly Timo out, but I don't think he's up for it. Actually the best option is for newbies to fly out to Timo's. It seems expensive, but it's an investment that will save you money in the long run.

If there is interest, I'd pursue it further. Ideal time would be about two weeks before a rally. That way there is time for the info to sink in, but it's still fresh.

I'd also like to see a comprehensive codriver school. One that teaches notes and other advanced skills. With Petenotes codrivers have become so important, and it only makes sense to invest in their training as well. The old adage used to be a codriver can't win the rally for you, but he can lose it. That's no longer true. A good codriver will make you faster. It's a skill, and like any skill it can be improved with practice and training.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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I don't know if the rally school necessarily needs to include any driving to start with. The Canadians have or atleast had a system where you get credit toward a license attending one of their schools for drivers and co-drivers that is purely class room taught. They use it as a starting point like going from spectator to beginning the process. It?s just basic information that everyone needs to know like the pre club licensing spiel only takes maybe 6 hours and costs <$50. I don?t remember exactly what it involved but I got a booklet and did learn quite a bit of useful stuff. With the booklet and a course outline any higher level driver or co-driver can teach it. I see this as cheep enough and accessible enough so it?s required. The next step I see is more what has been talked about here a rally cross type thing set up as guided practice. Make this so it is pretty basic so almost any higher level driver can teach it. Next, instruction at rally crosses for drivers and road rallies for co-drivers, where they simply ride with you and give you pointers at a rally cross and they can talk to you about what you are doing. From then on I don?t see any set path, the best would be to go to a full out rally school, keep doing rally cross with an instructor and get more practice and higher level teaching or just move on to rally sprints and club rally. For so long everyone has been concerned with creating barriers to entry. Quite honestly I think ignorance is a far greater barrier to entry and detriment to progress than a reasonable school or training system ever could be. I have seen a lot of people who would like to do rally but don?t know where to start and assume that it is very hard and expensive. Also I have seen quite a few people get started all wrong and it ends up being far more expensive than this process would be. Two things that need to be judiciously guarded against are $$ and time. The dollars thing is obvious the schools need to be reasonably priced within a reasonable distance. I really can?t see a rally cross school costing more than 150-$200. However, instructors should be reasonably compensated for their efforts because it ensures that they will be available in the future and consistently. There are plenty of people around that qualify to instruct these events. A few of them show up at rally crosses and lots more would like to but don?t because they have other demands on their time and money and just can?t justify it. But a little bit of compensation $ and the fact that they would be contributing would be enough to sway the balance considerably. The second thing, with time, is the schools and so on don?t take much time but waiting between them could. For example if there is a basic school and their isn?t another rally cross school for 4 months then not another rally cross or road race for a month or more. You just ate up half a year to not get very far in the rally world. Something like requiring that it all be doable in a region, in a quarter. A lot of this stuff is already done in a very informal fashion. We all learned what we needed somehow and that somehow for most people I would guess was a combination of getting to know the right people thus getting access to information and opportunities and trial and error. The trial and error is bad for obvious reasons but also a lot of people see our sport as very inaccessible because of the know the right people aspect and it is a very real barrier. This system would go a long way toward eliminating that. If someone want?s instruction at a rally cross or road rally that person has access to emails and phone numbers of people who could instruct them and what the deal is, like you pay entry plus a $50 fee. Conversely the person being asked can see OK you have been through this and this course and were deemed competent so I know you have a basic understanding and I can feel safe and you are at a level where it?s appropriate for me to be teaching you. I don?t see this system as competitive with what a school like Tim?s is doing. He is very capable of teaching higher level driving so if students come in with a better understanding of the basics both benefit because he can teach more and they can learn more. Here in the NE it works out perfectly because Tim Hosts Rally X?s and could do all of the above right at his school including providing himself and or his instructors for tutoring at rally crosses. But obviously other regions don?t have that privilege, don?t let that be a deterrent, something is better than nothing, getting the basics is better than nothing just don?t try and teach more than that. Then the trip to Tim?s can give max benefit.
 

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Hmmm, you are right. I have been on the negative side of this in thinking this would be hard, but I am wrong there.
>
>the challenges are:
>
>who would the instructors be? current veteran drivers?
Absolutely. An approval program is needed to qualify these folks.

>who would teach the teachers?
Good question; I would start with someone who is a recognized teacher and have them teach a handful of instructors, who in turn would be the ones who would approve the other instructors. Approve instructors for RWD, AWD, or FWD only, or any combination of these drive configs that they are qualified for. And figure out the factors to be emphasized: safety I presume!
>
>do you pay them? if so how much? maybe they could get
>credit towards entry in a future performance rally?
Pay expenxses and a VERY nominal fee. Consider making the fees very nominal, like $25 per student; otherwise there is the temptation for those who are only in it for the $$ (and may not be good teachers) to become rooted in these positions. Make sure there are several instructors per area; different people interact well or poorly with others (this issue is common in flight instructions), so a choice is important. Leave the highly paid positions for the professional schools. Faclities rent and insurance need to be covered from the student fees. Yes, you need insurance.
>
>when do you have it? the week of a rally at the same time
>as the practice stage?
Preferrably make this standalone. Being part of a rally can take the focus away from learning.
>
>where do you have it? on forest roads? at a "ranch."
Preferrably not on forest roads, at least not for speed; getting permission may be impossible in some places. One area of importance IMO is some places where the road is a bit rough, off-camber, rutted and so on. These areas are where the 'advanced' topics take place, where you can get a bit fast, a bit off-line, and yet safely teach recovery techniques. IMO, that's one of the best things to teach anyhow. A flat lot does not have all these factors. A place like the Orange rallycross venue in VA is ideal, for basic training. I would personally envision taking students out in the forests separately on a ride not at speed, not to teach technique, but to say 'OK, what is going to happen on this curve, with that camber change' or 'that roughness' or 'that loose gravel' or 'that rock laying on the road'. I would also say 'You just broke down here; where are you going to place your triangles?' And so on.

>how much should it cost? i would like to see it at about
>half the cost of a current rally entry fee.
With rentals and rallycross level insurnace, I think you could do this. The later non-speed riade in the forest ride could be a road rally level of insurance.

OBTW, this does not change my supoprt for a 'conditional' or 'provisional' license.

Glad you brought this up! :)

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i spent nearly 10 years as a downhill skiing instructor and agree wholeheartedly that just because you are good at something does not mean you are qualified to teach others how to do it. that being said, it is is very easy to teach people how to teach.

we had monthly instruction clinics for the instructors to learn new skills. as well as some very intense training and certification programs put on by examiners from the Professional Ski Instructors of America. this had to be done since skiing is such a dangerous sport. i would even argue it is more dangerous than rally.

i was always taking clinics on racing and improving my technique all the time.

when we would have school groups come to the ski area they HAD to sucessfully complete a basic skills course before they were allowed onto the hill unsurpervised.

i couldnt imagine getting into a rally car w/out some sort of education. even a rallyx and a few conversations w/a veteran competitor is better than nothing.

i would love to see a rally clinic day twice a year (at the minimum)that is w/in six hours of every cometitor in america. for veterans and rookies alike. seat time. seat time. seat time.

i think we can do this. maybe not in 05 but definatley in 06. lets get the ball rolling so we can spend 05 on getting our instructors ready to teach.
 

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RE: rally school cirriculum

I found my Rally Right booklet and it is a great resource and must have taken years to get to the level it is. (my book says it was the 14th year)
The authors own the material and it isn't mine to post but it covers about everything.

Thursday night was the registration and tech.
Fri am started early with classroom, 9-11am.
11:00-1:30 separate co-driver class and driver on-course instruction
2:30-3:30 theory class for all
4:00-6:00 separate co-driver class and driver on-course instruction
6:30-8:30 seminars
8:30-9:15 lighting seminar and demo
9:30-11:00 night driving exercise teams come together for first time in car
Sat.
9:30-11:30 more separate co-driver class and driver on-course instruction
3:00-4:30 in-woods exercise
6pm driver meeting
7pm club rally start
10:30 finish

There were three "tracks" and three groups of drivers split into smaller groups ~50 cars total I think.
slalom
T-box
figure 8

Along with driving theory, seminars covered tech, car prep, towing, crewing, fire safety. wiring, belts helmets and suits among others including press releases and sponsorship!
The time not scheduled was filled with questions and contact with knowledgable folks, instructors, sweep, marshals, everybody.

With so much good, there must have been some bad.
I thought:

There could have been a higher speed exercise, like a 4th gear straight to a T or a single high speed turn reached at speed. The speed of the stages was a rude awakening after the slow exercises.

The navs spent two days in class but with the sparse tulip instructions of the club rally, were reduced to ballast.

Could have been longer! Having the rally at night after a second day of instruction was too soon for everything to settle in. Especially to have the "final exam" at night was tough. I'd been to a couple events already, but not with STPR stage speeds... at night!

These things aside, the school was excellent with concerned, helpful people all over the place. The staff was a who's who of NE rally and I'd like to thank them all for their time and help.

rz
 

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RE: rally school cirriculum

>Could have been longer! Having the rally at night after a
>second day of instruction was too soon for everything to
>settle in. Especially to have the "final exam" at night was
>tough. I'd been to a couple events already, but not with
>STPR stage speeds... at night!

>i would like to use this thread to discuss how we COULD do a series >of one day rally schools in each region/division.

For sure it should be a series of classes mixed in with experience at a lower level separate from club or pro rally. There are two reasons one is just information overload 48 hours of cramming isn?t the best way to learn by any stretch. As far as time commitment it?s easier to find time to go to 1 day here and their than 3-4 days lumped. However, especially for instructional situations with prepped cars, it makes a lot more sense towing ext. to have them together even for the, I can go spectate and take a class, factor. As long as the classes are not as long like max 6 hours. The other thing to consider is how do we want to get people to take the courses simply make them mandatory or what. I am thinking there should be some core requirements concerning safety and event operations and the basics of the two jobs. After that make it optional by allowing instructional courses to substitute for coefficients. Maybe something like completing a rally cross in the top X of your class with a tutor counts as a rally sprint or taking a class on car prep and safety counts for an event ext. Come up with some system that makes it so taking classes is encouraged as far as points and financially as well, thus recognizing that experience consists of both learning and practice. I would tend to shy away from all this instructor certification stuff ext. basically comes down to $$ the more training ext. involved the harder it?s gong to be to get instructors and the more they are going to have to be paid. Granted that is not enough of a reason but the real safety stuff should be tested and the other stuff should just be considered a start on the right road not a graduate capstone.
 

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RE: rally school cirriculum

>3:00-4:30 in-woods exercise
>6pm driver meeting
>7pm club rally start
>10:30 finish

And Sunday morning had a National licensing school/test.

I think this was the first time the school ran with the in-woods exercise (think low speed stages - not timed). In previous years, the in-woods exercise was the first leg of the ClubRally, so you got to do the stages in daylight first. There are pros and cons to both approaches.

>
>There were three "tracks" and three groups of drivers split
>into smaller groups ~50 cars total I think.

I think the school cars numbered about 25.

>With so much good, there must have been some bad.
>I thought:
>
>There could have been a higher speed exercise, like a 4th
>gear straight to a T or a single high speed turn reached at
>speed. The speed of the stages was a rude awakening after
>the slow exercises.

Agreed. It would probably have required a bigger venue, though.

>The navs spent two days in class but with the sparse tulip
>instructions of the club rally, were reduced to ballast.
>
>Could have been longer! Having the rally at night after a
>second day of instruction was too soon for everything to
>settle in. Especially to have the "final exam" at night was
>tough. I'd been to a couple events already, but not with
>STPR stage speeds... at night!

Yes, although there is a limit to how many days the organizers could ask the volunteer instructors to be there. As Randy said, the instructors were a who's who of eastern rallying (occasionally including Canadians).

Adrian
 

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RE: rally school cirriculum

>Thursday night was the registration and tech.
>Fri am started early with classroom, 9-11am.
>11:00-1:30 separate co-driver class and driver on-course
>instruction
>2:30-3:30 theory class for all
>4:00-6:00 separate co-driver class and driver on-course
>instruction
>6:30-8:30 seminars
>8:30-9:15 lighting seminar and demo
>9:30-11:00 night driving exercise teams come together for
>first time in car
>Sat.
>9:30-11:30 more separate co-driver class and driver
>on-course instruction
>3:00-4:30 in-woods exercise
>6pm driver meeting
>7pm club rally start
>10:30 finish


LOVE the schedule!!! I have only a couple of suggestions...

Class room time spent together on topic of "what to do in an accident". This seems to be the most important area in that many new teams don't "react" and spend alot of time thinking about what to do. With another Rally Car bearing down in a minute or so... QUICK and efficient Safety is paramount and should be drilled.

Maybe even have a "tipper car" that a crew straps into. The instructor pulls the lever and the car tips on it side (simulated or physically) and the crew personally runs through the process of getting out, setting triangles, etc.

As the Recovery Steward for Pro and Club Rallies here in the NW, I have requested to be at the Driver's Meetings now to REMIND the teams HOW to be extricated. What WE expect to get them out and what they might expect to happen when we get there. From a quick yank-n-spank to "bring out the Jaws!" extrication.

They need to know and prepare accordingly.

The FIRST "together" course training should be a TSD event. Get the Driver and Navvie Communicating and thinking. It keeps the speeds way down while making then THINK and WORK as a team. THAT'S the goal anyway.

The Second driving excercise should instroduce some speed but work very much like a TSD in the reading of pace notes and includes STRICT Transits and O-Condtrols. I think this is important for the Navvie and Driver to communicate at different "excitement" levels.

Then the Night excercise as described but on a Rally Cross or Rally Sprint course.

I like it. Moreover, I like the fact people are starting to take to the idea.

I still believe it offers the best future for our sport.

Best,

Scott -
 
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