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I drive the car.
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Notes on notes

Obviously we will drive to whatever level of route instructions we are given at an event.

Jemba 10-10ths.
Old school route book 6/10ths.
But something in-between? Maybe 8-10ths?

I say the route book can and should evolve.

It would/could even be a better way to bridge the gap to Jemba notes.

Charles
Viva le MR2 #295!!!

Charles
Viva le MR2 #295!!!
 

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Faster Mabricator
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RE: Notes on Routebooks: How to include more instructions clearly

Of course the amount of instructions and information provided in a routebook vary by event. Compete in enough rallies and you'll see both ends of the spectrum. Pacific Forest Rally offers about as much information as can be digested from a tulip-style routebook as possible. Codrivers are kept pretty busy. Beyond that, too much info in a tulip format is undesirable.
Routebooks are distance oriented and the codriver must be checking the odo and at times figuring distances to the next instruction. Too much info and they won't be able to digest it.
Stage and pacenotes are linked instructions and referring to the odo and calculating distances is not required. More information can be included.

Regarding improving routebooks and adding more instructions, here is a suggestion to organizers, rallymasters and routebook authors I'd like to see implemeted more often (actually only seen once or twice but its a tremendous feature):

Draw your tulip diagrams in 2 distinctly different line thicknesses to represent scale. In a tight & twisty situation, use a thick line for the road to represent the scale of being closer to the tulip diagram. In a more gradual type of instruction, use a thin line to represent a scale of being further away. Kinda picture it in your head as seeing the tulip from a set height above the road.
With 2 distinct scales offered, its easier to visualize the perceived instruction in regards to the degree of the curves and the length of the curves.

For those who have offered or writen a routebook without providing a decreasing distance to the end of the stage, please include it next time. Really makes a difference when teams are making decisions to pass or let someone pass them, run on a flat, or have a mechanical or safety issue that may not need attention to the end of a stage. Sometimes, routebooks have included the decreasing distance to the next arrival time control. Please avoid that, it is not information that we need during the stage, include it with the transit.

Page numbering should include each page cover to cover 1 - ?. Many times I've seen extra pages, usually something like a service area map, included without a page #. How are we supposed to tell if we have them all. Other times, the numbering system will start over again, like having each stage having its own sequence, or the glossary, schedules, important contacts pages using alpha or roman numerals. Just give us cover to cover increasing numbers.

Perhaps some of the sanctioning bodies should organize a class on how to write improved routebooks, sometime say before the PerceNeige routebook is written, eh, ACP? Orbit-launching jumps are not crests.
 

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straight at T
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RE: Notes on Routebooks: How to include more instructions clearly

>Of course the amount of instructions and information
>provided in a routebook vary by event. Compete in enough
>rallies and you'll see both ends of the spectrum. Pacific
>Forest Rally offers about as much information as can be
>digested from a tulip-style routebook as possible. Codrivers
>are kept pretty busy. Beyond that, too much info in a tulip
>format is undesirable.
> Routebooks are distance oriented and the codriver must be
>checking the odo and at times figuring distances to the next
>instruction. Too much info and they won't be able to digest
>it.

One of the problems that a routemaster has when writing a routebook is: Which corners/instructions do I include? You cannot put all the corners in a routebook, for practical reasons as well as the reason above. If you have a sequence of readable, closely spaced, medium corners, do you put all of them in? do you put none of them in? or do you put one or two in and hope that the codrivers manage to guess which one you meant. I've seen all of the above, and. IMO, the last is the most difficult to deal with as a codriver.

> Stage and pacenotes are linked instructions and referring
>to the odo and calculating distances is not required. More
>information can be included.
>
>Regarding improving routebooks, here is a suggestion to
>organizers, rallymasters and routebook authors I'd like to
>see implemeted more often:
>
> Draw your tulip diagrams in 2 distinctly different line
>thicknesses to represent scale. In a tight & twisty
>situation, use a thick line for the road to represent the
>scale of being closer to the tulip diagram. In a more
>gradual type of instruction, use a thin line to represent a
>scale of being further away. Kinda picture it in your head
>as seeing the tulip from a set height above the road.
> With 2 distinct scales offered, its easier to visualize the
>perceived instruction in regards to the degree of the curves
>and the length of the curves.

This is fine in theory, but very difficult to do in practice. If you need to tulip something tight, but complex, you might need to use a thinner line to be able to show the detail that you want. It is easier to use the notes field for indicating things like long corners.

> For those who have offered or writen a routebook without
>providing a decreasing distance to the end of the stage,
>please include it next time.

What, you can't calculate it on the fly in your head? ;-) Actually, I agree with this.

Adrian
 

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Faster Mabricator
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RE: Notes on Routebooks: How to include more instructions clearly

>This is fine in theory, but very difficult to do in
>practice.

I've seen it done well. Credit goes to Mark Williams.

>What, you can't calculate it on the fly in your head? ;-)

That fly in my head is no calculator. Last I checked, all it does is buzz around. Pretty annoying having him in there, actually :p
 

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RE: Notes on Routebooks: How to include more instructions clearly

Please remember that the route book is not the "be all, end all" of the route. It is only intended as a GUIDE.
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Boring, lame, drivers keep alert, codrivers are ballast routebooks

>Please remember that the route book is not the "be all, end
>all" of the route. It is only intended as a GUIDE.

The purpose of post was to discuss what they may be lacking.
Faced with being forced to codrive with only a routebook because that is all the organizer is offering, I am unsatisfied with calling an instruction once every 3 miles or 5K at a junction. Rally is a team sport. By not providing at least something for me to do, I'd rather stay home than risk my life just watching scenery wiz by. I'm not asking for every curve or crest, especially in ClubRally which we are talking about here, but some routebooks are really lacking. Organizers, splurge a little on that paper and printing costs, you will be rewarded in the long run.
Those organizers who don't provide more will lose entries to those that are providing stage notes, recce or a indepth routebook.
 

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RE: (not) Boring, (not) lame, codrivers are composed routebooks

The first year that GCFR ran, the routebook was jam-packed with instructions. While I appreciated the effort that went into the book, and the apparent purpose behind it, as an ex-codriver now beginner driver, I hated it. (tell us how you really feel...).

My beginner co-driver started off on notes and hates route books at the best of times (he's fantastic with notes and manages just fine with a standard route book)- in this case he was overwhelmed. It led to a situation where we were both starting to lose our composure - it's a good thing the car broke after SS1.

My opinion is: leave it be. It's either a blind rally or a notes rally.

Robin
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: routebooks

I don't mind well done, excellent route books. Unfortunately, I can't remember ever seeing one. I've seen individual stages done well but to have a complete rally done consistantly is a tough chore.
When a routebook works for me, instructions that indicate a deviation from the road's current nature. ex: after 2 miles of 5s and 6s a 4 could kill you - that's important! But in a section of 3s and 4s, a 4 won't need noting. Its all about flow and changeups. After notes, unmarked crests will always scare me but if deceptive crests (bad treeline or ?) have a tulip, that'd help a lot.
The problem is consistancy and some books are written by multiple parties or not updated over years. Trusting a book because 3 stages are done well and then going to a road that is done by someone else can cause a huge problem for us.
This is a tough problem to cure consistantly and for every rally and will never happen overnight. If organizers really try to do the right thing, it can happen but may be close to as much work as Jemba notes are.
rz
 

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RE: routebooks

Right, and that's the thing I'd like to see more detail of.

I don't care if there is a series of fast corners, but I do care about the 2 hairpins that are close together, or the 3 water bars.

My comment about route books in the other thread came from experiencing the Rim 2003 routebook (remember not many people get to see these in a rally where notes are available) and the Doo **** 3/4 routebook and the PFR routebook.

The Rim routebook contained some things we needed to know, but the mileages where way off, water bars were missing, and some very tight corners were missing. We almost decided to just use it for transits...

Doo **** 3/4 (a club event) had a great routebook and it had a nice frequency of instructions. It didn't have every single corner, but it had everything you needed to slow down for. I gather this is typical for a NW club event. It was easy to tell we were still on stage by the instructions, and while I drove the fast sections like you would a blind rally, it was good as a safety net to tell you, ok, very tight hairpin coming up.

PFR had sort of "stage notes light": tight left, medium right, fast left. They had every single corner, pretty much. After a few mediums that turned out to be a bit slower, we reset ourselves to drive it more like a blind rally. I liked it but unlike the Jemba notes where you have some confidence in the system used, I found myself driving much slower.

Now that I've driven stage notes, I really do prefer them even as a novice. But for your first event, maybe not, too much to cope with.

I liked the effort the PFR organizers went to, but the accuracy is a concern.

The "NWR" style routebooks that have a good frequency of stuff you need to know, but not every corner, and it really does feel right.

Route books like Rim 03 are clearly inadequate to safely compete. I think the SCCA should try and come up with some minimum standards here. I mentioned this issue in my CER for the event.

It would be great to post a sample of this stuff online --- the differences are quite noticable.

Glenn
 

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RE: (not) Boring, (not) lame, codrivers are composed routebooks

>My opinion is: leave it be. It's either a blind rally or a
>notes rally.

Agreed - the route book at Perce-Neige 2003 drove me insane. It was filled with easy lefts and rights that were indistinguishable from all the other unmarked easy lefts and rights. Neither my driver or myself could tell which corner the route book meant. With instructions every 200 metres or so, it was very difficult to tell exactly how far it was until the next instruction.

To paraphrase what Randy said, blind rally route books should include corners/crests/etc. that are out of character or deceptive, not corners that are common throughout the rally. The semi-stage-note route books cause more problems than they solve, at least for me.
 

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Faster Mabricator
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Concerns about Perce Neige routebook

>Agreed - the route book at Perce-Neige 2003 drove me insane.

Alan,
The following is a email I sent to Terry Epp last night.

"If no recce or stage notes are to be offered at
PerceNeige in 2004, has there been any mandates to the
rally organizing committee to improve their routebook?

My concern is largely that the past routebook author
does not distingish between a crest and a monster !!
or !!! jump. In the past 3 years we've seen Nichols
land his VW way off the road, Nichols endo the Lachute
Subaru, Sprongls damage their car missing the landing
on a major 'holy sheep dodo' jump, McGeer DNF after
losing oil from a major jump and ACP and others break
last year because of a monster jump that shared the
same instruction tulip as many other crest's
instructions.

Thanks in advance for you concern,
Dave Shindle"

I will post here what the basic answer is when I receive a reply.
 

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RE: routebooks

>Right, and that's the thing I'd like to see more detail of.
>
>I don't care if there is a series of fast corners, but I do
>care about the 2 hairpins that are close together, or the 3
>water bars.
>
>My comment about route books in the other thread came from
>experiencing the Rim 2003 routebook (remember not many
>people get to see these in a rally where notes are
>available) and the Doo **** 3/4 routebook and the PFR
>routebook.
>
>The Rim routebook contained some things we needed to know,
>but the mileages where way off, water bars were missing, and
>some very tight corners were missing. We almost decided to
>just use it for transits...
>
>Doo **** 3/4 (a club event) had a great routebook and it had
>a nice frequency of instructions. It didn't have every
>single corner, but it had everything you needed to slow down
>for. I gather this is typical for a NW club event. It was
>easy to tell we were still on stage by the instructions, and
>while I drove the fast sections like you would a blind
>rally, it was good as a safety net to tell you, ok, very
>tight hairpin coming up.
>
>PFR had sort of "stage notes light": tight left, medium
>right, fast left. They had every single corner, pretty much.
>After a few mediums that turned out to be a bit slower, we
>reset ourselves to drive it more like a blind rally. I liked
>it but unlike the Jemba notes where you have some confidence
>in the system used, I found myself driving much slower.
>
>Now that I've driven stage notes, I really do prefer them
>even as a novice. But for your first event, maybe not, too
>much to cope with.
>
>I liked the effort the PFR organizers went to, but the
>accuracy is a concern.
>
>The "NWR" style routebooks that have a good frequency of
>stuff you need to know, but not every corner, and it really
>does feel right.
>
>Route books like Rim 03 are clearly inadequate to safely
>compete. I think the SCCA should try and come up with some
>minimum standards here. I mentioned this issue in my CER for
>the event.
>
>It would be great to post a sample of this stuff online ---
>the differences are quite noticable.
>
>Glenn

I agree that the NW route book is as good as it gets Nationally before you go to some kind of note system. Every gotcha is there as the guys that check the final route have driven for years in rally's.

The Rim routebook isn't as bad as you make it sound. Sure its not the most overinstructed book in the world, but generally you have a nice mountainside to look at that pretty much explains where the road is going to go and how tight the next corner is. Plus the speed of Rim overall is about 40% of most any other event. The course it just too tight to go much over 60mph. Anytime you get into third gear is memorable. That said, I drive harder at Rim than at any other event.

If the note generating process can be done for Clubrally at say $100 a car, I think this would be the way to go. I'm not sure that could be done though, Pete could tell us better. And how many budget minded Clubralliests even want to pay the extra $100?

I think though, that we need cost containment for entry fees at the Club and Pro level, and getting our volunteer organisers to provide more routebook either adds to their time or expense. Do you want this passed down to you the competitor? Thats what we're ultimately up against; how much can you expect from volunteer organisers? Make it too time consuming for them, and the'll eventually do something else.
 

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RE: Concerns about Perce Neige routebook

I first did PN in '89 or '90 as a co-driver. We took the stage road less travelled (an unmarked, unmanned, untaped Y in the stage) and came face to face with an oncoming car at speed. No wreck, but by the time we got it all sorted out we were max late.

Funny about last year's 'crest'. It's ironic that we damaged our car on said crest given that I specifically asked about the "jump", "yump" & "crest" notations at the drivers meeting...

Robin
 

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RE: routebooks

We could charge $100 for notes but both Ole and I think it would be wrong. We are both prepared to check the roads and notes as many times as it takes and NOT charge you guys for the work. We both live within 30 mins of all the roads we plan to use and we have access to all of them, as and when we please (except for the F--E word!)when no-one has access except emergency crews. I have pledged before that I will work to make club rallies affordable. Ole and I have a tremendous amount of enthusisam for these upcoming events and it will show when you see the finished product.
 

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Faster Mabricator
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3,611 Posts
Notes cost

>If the note generating process can be done for Clubrally at
>say $100 a car, I think this would be the way to go.

The major expenses to prepare notes for a ProRally and a ClubRally are identical. Why should less be charged at a ClubRally?

Notes were included in the entry fee for Sandblast, that is the way to go. If individual teams deciede to use them or not, that is their decision.
 

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Faster Mabricator
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RE: Concerns about Perce Neige routebook

I have learned from CARS that the PerceNeige routebook will be prepared by a different author/team in 2004.
 

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RE: routebooks

As with most things in life, compromise is the key. Having a route book that's overly busy is a massive pain, because of the odo being involved. For me, it's easier to co-drive on a stage with notes than the routebook.

Of course, if the book needs to be busy because of multiple crests, jumps, waterbars and such (Gorman, anyone???), then so be it. It's the co-driver's job to deal with it.

And as boring as it is, having long distances between instructions is completely justifiable if there's no real reason for anything to be there.
 

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Dirt surfer
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RE: Notes on notes

Please please please--the days of routebooks that have 9 instructions for a 12-mile stage are history, back there in the bad old days of racing clapped-out Renaults and Dodge Omni GLHs and other scary stuff.

Give rally crews good notes. Even the best are barely good enough at the speeds your basic PGT Subaru is easily capable of generating. Jemba is becoming the standard language in North America, why fight a good thing?

Dave S is right on when he says rally is a TEAM sport. If the copilote is reduced to baggage by a skimpy routebook, what good is that? Oh yeh, maybe then the pilote gets a bit of help to change a flat or hold the tow strap.

Randy Z is right on when he says routebooks #1 job is to tell you about the gotchas. After a series of wide-open R5s and L6s, you NEED to know when and where that devilish "R3- off camber downhill no cut" is lurking. (Of course on a blind rally, you'd probably get some warning from the forest of triangles in the road!) Running on notes, each crew gets fair warning.

So, here's a compromise solution to the routebook dilemma, plucked from several replies in this thread....provide Jemba notes as part of entry fee for Club events, with optional one-pass recce for crews to get the sense of the notes' character, distances, and pacing (and to add in or emphasize their own gotchas). Incorporate the Jemba notes into the routebooks that contain normal tulip notes for transits, service areas, etc.

For Pro events, give crews Jemba notes and mandatory one-pass recce....OR let crews write their own notes on a 3-pass recce as is often practised in Canada and elsewhere in the enlightened rally world.

Cheers, Dave G

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