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Road books are for transits.
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Hello,
without going into the recce discussion, I was wondering why RA event organizers (with the exception of a couple ones) consider stage schedules and stage maps as "classified" or "secret" information even for competitors that have entered a Rally, while USRC events make their stage schedule and maps available (sometimes weeks) in advance on their webpages for public knowledge?

Thanks always to ALL North American organizers and sanctioning bodies for the hard work they put into their events.

Alex Gelsomino
www.alexgelsomino.com
 

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Loose nut behind the wheel
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Post removed as I didn't want to get into a debate.
 

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>Please don't argue the validity of their reasons here.

Mark, sorry, but I think this is a fair question to any organizer, about any event; the counter argument would be that the competitors pay a boatload of money to participate in the events, put in countless hours of unrewarded time and thousands of $$ to prepare their cars and themsleves, and so should have some input into the matter. The answer may be the same, but asking the question is quite acceptable.

And logically, in light of the advent of stage notes, the reasoning that you stated seems less compelling that it would have been in the past. I think it would be more constructive to all concerned to openly discuss this. (OBTW, I truly don't hold any favored position either way on this particular matter.)

Regards,
Mark B.
 

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I agree with Alex. Having stage maps available makes planning movement schedules easier, and allows teams to create custom maps with all the important information on one page.

If you want to prevent people from recceing in the 90 days prior to an event, how about a $10,000 fine and a year-long suspension from competition? Make a penalty with sufficient teeth, and people won't risk it. (To be fair, I think this is a bit of a strawman anyway - other than the odd local boy, no one in the US has the time or resources or inclination to run illegal recce.)

I think rallying in the US has made significant advancements in the last 10 years, but in organizer documentation, we are years behind. This is an issue in which NASA enjoys a massive competitive advantage.

- Christian

Bjorn Christian Edstrom
www.christianedstrom.com
 

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NASA Rally Sport grassroots!!!
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Organizing [a href="http://sandblastrally.com"]Sandblast Rally[/a], I have similar concerns about the maps getting out early. However, I wasn't worried about the competitors, since every entrant gets stage notes. I was thinking about nosey spectators getting where they're not supposed to be.

I was considering that instead of posting Rally Guide 2, I'd just post a notice that RG2 was available, and could be emailed upon request.

Certainly the solution under ideal conditions is simple. It's the intersection of real life and compromises that makes it difficult.

Cheers,
Anders
 

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Road books are for transits.
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Discussion Starter #6
>If you want to prevent people from recceing in the 90 days
>prior to an event, how about a $10,000 fine and a year-long
>suspension from competition? Make a penalty with sufficient
>teeth, and people won't risk it. >- Christian
>
>Bjorn Christian Edstrom
>www.christianedstrom.com

There you go. Do something like that and I assure you that you will not see a single competitor abusing the system or attempting to run illegal recce. As far as keeping this info away from the spectators (if you really want to), forward those details only to competitors that have paid the entry fee.

Alex Gelsomino
www.alexgelsomino.com
 

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I guess every rally is different, but many are moving to one service area per day.

With one service area what type of movement plan does one need.

Sno*Drift Friday: be in downtown Lewiston, MI

Sno*Drift Saturday: Be at the Atlanta High School Just south and West of downtown Atlanta.

Saturday Night Drive to awards in Hillman, MI


I just don't understand why competitors and crews need all the details, the competitors follow a book, and the crew trys to stay warm.

This is not meant to be sarcastic, I truely do not understand how all the route detail is important logistical information, other than for a competitive advantage.

(I would be happy, as would any organizer, to publish maps and routes to the service areas.)

Please outline how, other than for a competitive advantage, it is important for the crews to have detailed maps of the stages prior to arriving at the event.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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Mä meen vittu sinne!
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One benefit is so that the service crew can have contingency plans for each stage in case of a problem. We got lost in the Ozarks and didn't get back to Salem until almost 6 am last year due to lack of local maps and inability to turn around last year when our car went off and was disabled. All we had was a route book, generously given to us by one of the officials.
 

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I totally agree that MORE information is better.
For example:

http://rallymexico.com

I can already tell you where the BFGoodrige trucks will be setup at the PolyForum. They are probably dropping spectator guides *cough out of C-130 Transport planes as we speak...

I would rather have a few people take advantage of released information - then have thousands of workers, spectators, and competitors not know exactly where to go.

- Kris
"Rally with the people!"
http://rallynotes.com
 

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Alex at Seed 9 we have stage maps and intend to include them for competitors and crews. As for the schedule , well I confess with our event being a sprint and Co 1 there was no schedule other than a start time.We were started as more of a reeeeeally fast rally-x on stage roads
This year with it being Co2 we aim to do this , of course this is our first year doing transits and MTC so it may be more of a guide then a schedule. Also our service and spectator area are one in the same. One spot for service keeps it simple for all of us.If there is any sense of us guarding the info it's to keep the wanna be kids off the roads but as mentioned for paid entrants and workers they are availible
I think you have valid comments and we will add them to the list of things to improve our event and make it more user friendly.

Tom Grossmann , SEED 9 Rally
 

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Why do we want this info ahead of time?

How about so that we can know stages numbers and distances between services to plan tires?

Or to see on a map which stages or parts of stages will be run twice (or backwards), again to plan tires?

Or so that co-drivers/managers/team principles can have a better idea of 'where we are' before getting the route books (when things already start to get hectic and/or have time constraints)?

How about to get an idea of distances between hotel/tech/service/registration etc etc so that we can plan a movement schedule accurately?

In any case, these are just a few of a plethora of reasons as to why teams would want AS MUCH INFO as possible, as early as possible. Just makes planning easier and makes for less questions at the event.

This info doesn't have to be available on the web site ... just send it to competitors via email as previously mentioned. Last min info sucks ... especially if you leave more than a day or two before the event to get there on time.

My two cents.

- Nathalie
 

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>This is not meant to be sarcastic, I truely do not understand
>how all the route detail is important logistical information,
>other than for a competitive advantage.

1) Plan for contingencies if the car brakes down (technicians). Service roadbooks (when provided) rarely, if ever, give instructions on how to get to the start or finish of stages. Even if one can divine that from the service roadbook, having a map allows the technicians to take the route path to the stage.

2) Plan for contingencies if the car brakes down (crew).
The maps provided in roadbooks are typically photocopied b&w notebook paper and nearly impossible to read. Given the stage details, we can make detailed maps of the area on-line and print out. If we have a problem that renders us uncompetitive, but still able to drive, this allows us a way to verify whether there is a quicker way back to the service area.

3) Route verification. It allows the co-drivers to verify whether similar or the same stages are being run as last year, which allows for better planning of fuel consumption and tire choice.

By the way, what do you mean "other than for a competitive advantage"? Giving co-drivers the same information they get at other world-class events allows the co-drivers to provide a competitive advantage to their team. That's the whole point of competing, is it not?

- Christian

Bjorn Christian Edstrom
www.christianedstrom.com
 
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>Hello,
>without going into the recce discussion, I was wondering why
>RA event organizers (with the exception of a couple ones)
>consider stage schedules and stage maps as "classified" or
>"secret" information even for competitors that have entered a
>Rally, while USRC events make their stage schedule and maps
>available (sometimes weeks) in advance on their webpages for
>public knowledge?
>
>Thanks always to ALL North American organizers and sanctioning
>bodies for the hard work they put into their events.
>
>Alex Gelsomino
>www.alexgelsomino.com

Alex,

At the risk of this being misunderstood as "bashing" somebody, I have to say this and the answer to your question is obvious as I think yours is only a rhetorical question:

The reason for our publishing the Course Maps and detailed Itinerary weeks and months in advance of the event and not keeping the rally route secret is that United States Rally Championship events and most Eastern States Rally Championship events have reconnaissance like most of the rallying world does.

If you do not allow reconnaissance and adhere to "blind" rallying, then you cannot publish the details of the rally route in advance of the event.

I also want to say that reconnaissance is still thought to be in some circles, incorrectly in my opinion and experience, either more dangerous than blind rallying (our experience tells us the opposite is the case) or impossibly complicated and bothersome for both competitors and organizers.

At Rally New York events, we have been doing full reconnaissance for several years now. In our experience, reconnaissance makes for safer events. In all these years, we have never had any problems or complaints from land owners, residents or the police. This is mostly because when you spread the field of 60 cars over the course and do not insist on recce in a procession, the unmarked recce cars are hardly noticeable. Yes, recce adds another day to our schedule both for the competitors and the organizers. On the other hand, recce is always optional and some teams may not be able to do recce of part or all of the course for one reason or another. That happens at every pacenoted event I have ever been to, here or abroad.

Finally, as for spectators, we want them to find out where the rally and the stages take place and WE WANT THEM TO GO to designated spectator areas. This concept is quite simple: We need the spectators in large numbers in order to generate interest by the media. That is the only way to generate interest by sponsors and make it possible for prospective sponsors to justify their expenditure of sponsorship money, as the entry fees no longer cover the full cost of the events. And,

I submit to you that generating spectator, media and sponsor interest is the greatest challenge that is in front of us for the next several years given the history of low recognition of rallying among the general population in the US (while rallying grew into a major spectator motorsport in the rest of the world and while our local NASCAR fans are ready to and have embraced us as long as we are willing to market our events to them). This simple and obvious fact may be recognized more outside the rallying than within. I can tell you that we now have contracts proposed to us by prospective sponsors in which the sponsors REQUIRE that we spend a certain amount of money on PROMOTING THE EVENT with the specific goal of generating larger numbers of spectators. One thing is certain: You do not fulfill these goals and requirements by keeping the rally route and the special stages secret from spectators - on the contrary, you need to promote the rally route, special stages and designated spectator areas weeks and months before the event.

In connection with our WRC efforts, I am convinced that if we would get the necessary funding that goes into millions (which we are seeking both from the private and government sources) and the FIA would award the event to us, without generating a large number of spectators the event would become a one-time deal and a failure without any future.

Ivan Orisek
Rally New York, Ltd.
 

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>One benefit is so that the service crew can have contingency
>plans for each stage in case of a problem. We got lost in the
>Ozarks and didn't get back to Salem until almost 6 am last
>year due to lack of local maps and inability to turn around
>last year when our car went off and was disabled. All we had
>was a route book, generously given to us by one of the
>officials.


I recognize bad maps as a problem for most events (been just as lost as you at many).

Sno*Drift publishes a detailed map of the entire route, and provides copies in the service pack, about 99% of intersections have street signs so it would be hard to get lost.

I am speaking for only one event, and as only one member of a group of organizers for that event, but my reasons for not wanting to pre-publish are similar to Ojibwe and primarily related to the safety and security of the roads. We have already had complaints in 2006 about the 2006 event, we do not need to invite trouble.
 

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>Why do we want this info ahead of time?
>
>How about so that we can know stages numbers and distances
>between services to plan tires?
>

This is easily published either in a leg schedule or even a details schedule without stage names.


>Or to see on a map which stages or parts of stages will be run
>twice (or backwards), again to plan tires?

this could be identified in a schedule.

>
>Or so that co-drivers/managers/team principles can have a
>better idea of 'where we are' before getting the route books
>(when things already start to get hectic and/or have time
>constraints)?


I think this is simpley a call for better maps at events, as stated above I too have been to many events with impossible to follow maps.

If you have a good map, finding the route to retrieve the car should be a 2 minute exercise.


>
>How about to get an idea of distances between
>hotel/tech/service/registration etc etc so that we can plan a
>movement schedule accurately?


Agreed this info should be published online weeks in advance. I'll see that we do this for Sno*Drift asap and in the future.

>>This info doesn't have to be available on the web site ...
>just send it to competitors via email as previously mentioned.
> Last min info sucks ... especially if you leave more than a
>day or two before the event to get there on time.
>
>
Also working on this, if I know only competitors can get it, I'd be more comfortable with it, what I don't like is just one or two people asking for it, and not everyone getting it, so to keep 5% happy, 100% have to recieve it (which is more work for us, but maybe reasonable).


>- Nathalie
 

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Road books are for transits.
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Discussion Starter #16
>I just don't understand why competitors and crews need all the
>details, the competitors follow a book, and the crew trys to
>stay warm.
>Thanks,
>Mike

Mike,
this is quite a surprising statement from somebody with your experience in Rally..and let me say a bit offensive towards all the competitors and especially technicians that put loads of work into the sport..
As far as the reasons you were asking, other fellow codrivers have given you enought in the following posts. I don't need to add.
Best Regards,

Alex Gelsomino
www.alexgelsomino.com
 

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>
>>This is not meant to be sarcastic, I truely do not
>understand
>>how all the route detail is important logistical
>information,
>>other than for a competitive advantage.
>
>1) Plan for contingencies if the car brakes down
>(technicians). Service roadbooks (when provided) rarely, if
>ever, give instructions on how to get to the start or finish
>of stages. Even if one can divine that from the service
>roadbook, having a map allows the technicians to take the
>route path to the stage.


Agreed, see above, better maps are required at the events. Sno*Drift has good maps - either free in the Spec Guide or buy a county map for a dollar.

>
>2) Plan for contingencies if the car brakes down (crew).
>The maps provided in roadbooks are typically photocopied b&w
>notebook paper and nearly impossible to read. Given the stage
>details, we can make detailed maps of the area on-line and
>print out. If we have a problem that renders us
>uncompetitive, but still able to drive, this allows us a way
>to verify whether there is a quicker way back to the service
>area.

Agreed, but once the car is done, with a good map it will only take a minute or two to figure out the plan of action, so no need to plan for every possibility, you just need the right tools to ensure you have the right info if you need it -- better maps at the event are needed for competitors and crews.

>
>3) Route verification. It allows the co-drivers to verify
>whether similar or the same stages are being run as last year,
>which allows for better planning of fuel consumption and tire
>choice.

This is the reason stage notes were brought here, to equilize the past and future. Is it an unfair advantage for a team with history to compete with a new team? Stage notes were sold to us to level the playing field between those with lots of experience on the same roads and those with none. I'll side with the level the playing field theory, it is unfair for those who have been to the event many many times to have all the details becuase it gives them a much better perspective than a new team. There is no way to eliminate the inherent advantage of experience and specific experience but we can at least provide the same amount of information accross the board, even if that means keeping some info "secret" until the week of the event.


>
>By the way, what do you mean "other than for a competitive
>advantage"? Giving co-drivers the same information they get
>at other world-class events allows the co-drivers to provide a
>competitive advantage to their team. That's the whole point
>of competing, is it not?


See above, it is a competitive advantage to the more professional teams, who have more infrastucture, to have more information. You have more time to utilize it, and more resources to exploit it.

If everyone shows up and knows nothing about the roads their is no, or at least less competitive advantage.


>- Christian
>
>Bjorn Christian Edstrom
>www.christianedstrom.com
 

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>>I just don't understand why competitors and crews need all
>the
>>details, the competitors follow a book, and the crew trys to
>>stay warm.
>>Thanks,
>>Mike
>
>Mike,
>this is quite a surprising statement from somebody with your
>experience in Rally..and let me say a bit offensive towards
>all the competitors and especially technicians that put loads
>of work into the sport..
>As far as the reasons you were asking, other fellow codrivers
>have given you enought in the following posts. I don't need to
>add.
>Best Regards,
>
>Alex Gelsomino
>www.alexgelsomino.com

We have in the past encountered serious problems with certain "professional" teams tearing around the roads in the weeks prior to the event. Until the "professionals" learn that it's more than just a word, the route will remain as secret as any route where all the roads date back to the 70s can be. Read the supps. ALL the information anyone needs to "plan" for the event is in there. It takes but ten minutes at registration to mark up the excellent county maps that are available. With 30 hours to kill between registration and tech, you've got plenty of time to do it. By the way, I believe RA will post the stage maps next week.

No more red herrings, please.
 

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With regard to the spectator areas.

I completely agree that if you plan to have spectaor areas the details about when, where, and how, should be publised in advance and double checked for accuracy. As stated elsewhere this info does tend to get overlooked, or slapped together quickly, it is an area for improvement.

Despite our detailed map we have published directions that said left instead of right in the past, we'll keep trying to get it right in the future.
 

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>>I just don't understand why competitors and crews need all
>the
>>details, the competitors follow a book, and the crew trys to
>>stay warm.
>>Thanks,
>>Mike
>
>Mike,
>this is quite a surprising statement from somebody with your
>experience in Rally..and let me say a bit offensive towards
>all the competitors and especially technicians that put loads
>of work into the sport..


I of course meant no offense.

To further explain, with leg milages split between stage and transit, you should have enough information to plan for fuel and tires. If needed we could note repeated stages, so that you could get a better view of road condition. We could even include descriptions of road surface to further help you plan.

I have agreed above that better maps at the event should be a requirement, but I have yet to be given a reason why you need maps or even details about exactly which stages are to be run and in what order prior to arriving at the event.

Please remember that organizers have to balance the safety and security and continued access to the roads along with meeting the competitors needs. -- Only Mark Utecht as a competitor, with his organizer hat on, has recognized this as a critical issue.

This has been a good discussion, there have been several things noted that could be pre-published:

- maps of service, hotels, tech, etc
- inclusion of notes of repeated stages
- description of expected road conditions
- better/more accurate and timely maps for spectator areas
- better maps at events, so that finding a broken car is easy (note that you still need to check with the organizers to get access to repeated stages -- a consistent problem)

These things and a few additional ideas are well founded, and they allow the event to maintain the security of the roads.

From what I have read we can easily meet the teams needs without publishing a fully detailed schedule or a fully detailed route map prior to the event.

Again great discussion,
Mike
 
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