Yah, who's going to check that no additional notes are made by individule competitors to their route book?
A mock section to test the notes for the team is one thing but checking the notes on an actual stage is another.
I absolutely agree with having a practice session (the day before
the rally, on a "similar" road) on a closed section of
road with notes prepared "the same" as the notes supplied for
the actual course. Competitors should be allowed to run at
speed in rally cars . . . otherwise it is pretty dang hard
to get used to notes if you just run them "blind" :+
Like Bill said, try (at speed) to figure out what is a:
3R > / cr < 4R !! 20 use 1L / ][
I am thinking more along the lines of the press stage. Instead, it is now for everyone to use, and test the notes, as well as press. Never been out to a press stage, but it is already a closed section of road staffed and all...
I almost fell on the floor: I actually agree 100% with ole Trevor on something! I am not in any great favor for stage notes because:
1) Adds cost which is of limited benefit to most teams
2) Adds complexity which makes it harder to jump in the car first time as a navvie and do a good job with someone new
3) It IS going to cause more accidents. I have had the recent experience of co-driving with some younger drivers this year, and what I have noticed more than anything is that they are expecting a navvie to tell them the exact layout of the roads from the tulip routebook or notes. These fellows grew up watching rallies on Speedvision and the in-car reading of WRC stage notes is what is expected. With stage notes, there is going to be more expectation of the route being perfectly known ahead by the drivers. Thsu more aggressiveness and speed. One accident at CT was blamed by the driver on the co-driver losing his place in the recce notes; I am gonna have to convince this fellow that the last inputs to the car at any corner come from the driver's seat! Look for more of this.
Any Practice Stage, Press Stage or notecheck road poses additional staffing problems, as Bruce said. So there will be additional costs associated with that. Costs for the organizers, such as road use fees, probably will raise entry fees.
As an example, the road damage/repair costs for the Practice Stage at Cherokee will be high because multiple passes on an increasingly-familiar road lead to extreme corner cutting and resulting 7-10" ruts in the apexes. Speaking as a farmer & ex-soil conservation engineer, I know--and the Forest Service knows---that left unrepaired, ruts of this depth and width will wash out those corners in time. (The damage in this one stage was greater than anything else I saw on the route while riding in the "00" car.)
Practice or check-out stages mean added costs for the competitors--extra day(s) in a motel, meals, etc. which raise an entrant's per event cost. There's even added costs for the volunteer workers. (Hell, I spend as much now going to work a rally as I used to running one years ago. But does that stop me? Of course not, I'm hopelessly hooked.)
As some of you have already said, it's really a money issue. You know the old racing saying, "Speed costs money; how fast can you afford to go?" Looks like it now applies to rallying much more than in the past.
George the "on-a-mobile-chicane-budget" Gravelgeezer