This subject is often brought up when waiting for a late stage or after events, yet no one has really fought for this (at least not that I know of). I for one feel very strongly that if we were allowed at least one day to check the notes, it would make the sport a lot safer. I don't belive we should make our own notes as there are too many new co-drivers and drivers and this could get us into a lot of trouble, but we should be allowed to drive the stages on the day before in regular road cars, at posted speeds.
This would also make rallying a bit more fair for those that are new to the sport and go to an event for a first time. Drivers who do a rally for the 20th time have a huge advantage. I noticed that just doing events for the second time this year, I remembered a lot of the roads and specially tricky parts.
I also know that if we did recce in STPR, I wouldn't have crashed and burned my car, as I would defenitelly remember that turn
>How about recce in the morning before the start of each leg
>I'd be down for a long day of rally.
Many WRC events have been unable to do this, and their events tend to be more compact than ours. There are serious safety concerns associated with very long days of competition. The rest of the world no longers allows them.
>Hello? Morning recce anyone?
Many US organizers are strictly limited in the hours they are allowed to use the forest. This is largely why STPR's schedule is the way it is. Closing roads for any period is a difficult thing to do East of the Mississippi. Your mileage in Oregon may vary.
>Hey, we all have to abide by the laws of the road during a
A very naive outlook. It only takes one instance of bad behavior to put an end to a rally for good. The offender gets his ticket, and the organizers are invited to leave. Frankly, you (the community of competitors) can't be trusted to behave. Ever wonder why Ohio, which once had an entire performance rally series, has no rallies today? Those who don't deal with the issues of road permission and community relations think this is easy. They are wrong.
I like recce. It will not happen on a series wide basis in the US in the forseeable future. Period. Arguing that it should'nt be a problem is unrealistic. The issues may differ from region to region, but there are always issues.
Problems are for one..
SCCA (aka organizers) would need more manpower.
These are all volunteers and can't or will not take time off work to assist us.
It will involve more cost for teams because of the extra time involved. Same here as well.. time off work.
Aggrevation of the public by having us all passing through roads that are not normally used on a regular basis.
As Piotr pointed out, we don't have the structure like the FIA.
This means that Driver and Navigator would have to go through schooling before they get into a car. Also, we would not have anyone start their "Career" in G/N or A, Open, G5 or PGT. Requirements would call for every new driver and co to compete in the low-end HP classes first for a while.
Yes, I'd like one or two events run with recce and notes, but I think we have a lot of work to do yet.
Personally I think we don't have the time/money for Recce, but Piotr brings up intersting point. One mistake with the notes can cost you a $30,000 car, or worse. How many days at work can you take off before you lose $30k? At some point we will start to want to better protect our investment, and then the cost spiral will go one more loop higher. Of course we could listen to JVL and buy cheaper cars.........
Allowing the competitors do a recce in regular cars would not really make things more expensive. First, we can do it on the morning of the rally like WRC - which means no more days to take off work. And as far as behavior on the stages - I think if we stress it enough and make one or two speed traps and stiff penalties (like exclusion from the rally), we can keeps things under control. As far as the roads, I don't think we need extra permits as these are public roads. Anyway, I spoke to a few fast guys from Europe both in Poland and Ireland and when I tell them we do "blind" rallies here, they laugh and think we're a bunch of wackos or just have really big balls.
I really think we should think about this and make it happen at least in the pro events. It will make the sport safer and it would give the driver and co-driver more seat time with each other. Someone mentioned on SS that we pay a $1000 for only an hour or two of competivie rallying. For most of us, myself included, this is the only time I get to drive a rally car. Furthermore, I learned that with cars like the GN I had or any lower HP car, you really need to keep your momentum going if you want to be fast (Mark Utech told me this at LSPR last year). And the faster you are in a corner the more risk you take. If you know the turns, especially tricky combinations, you can have a better line, slow down where you have to and be safer.
There was a stage in 100AW on the first day that was super fast and just had the best rythom ever. A 5 went into another 5 and roads were super wide. All of the sudden a right 3 off camber uphill very narrow. I still don't know how we got thru it with no harm, but we were at full lock, full throttle, fully sideways and praying. And the note wasn't in the tullips.
As organizers, together with the local Sheriff,
we have very good experience with it.
We have not had a single complaint from residents
or from the police about reconnaisance.
Look up the conditions under which the reconnaissance
is conducted in the Supplemental Regulations
on our website at www.RallyNewYork.com.
The majority of competitors like reconnaissance
and now, after trying it, require it. It makes
the rally safer.
I believe that the old ways along the lines
"never in the United Sates...." are caused more
by inertia than anything else.
Let it be known that if you are doing registration
and scrutineering on Friday, starting Friday morning,
you can just as well do reconnaissance the same
day with minimum additional expense both for
competitors and for organizers.
Chairman & Clerk of the Course
Rally New York, April 16-17, 2004
Rally New York USA, November 5-6, 2004
A prepared notes mistake causing one a large cost is far, far less likely than a driver error causing the same amount of damage. And, the likelihood of a notes mistake made by an experienced 3rd party is far less than by a team with limited recce experience. Even the most experienced WRC teams have notes problems!
Let's keep this in perspective: this side benefit of saying that recce is better than prepped notes beacuse of a potential crash factor is pretty darned marginal. To reduce wrecks, work on your driving!
The morning recce works very well. Mountain Trials in BC did this (or rather a combination).
I believe the roads were open during it. No EMTs. You had to be on the lookout for traffic, another encouragement to drive sensibly.
You could run a two pass recce on the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, or a one pass recce on Saturday morning (if you couldn't make Friday). Some of the stages were reused in the rally, so the recce does NOT have to take as long as the entire event.
Certainly one wrong note can cost you big time, but without notes the people at the front have to push very hard driving blind, and you can just as easily make a mistake.
With stage notes, they don't describe course conditions (slippery bit, narrow, etc) so from my point of view pace notes are much better for me than stage notes.
WCRA had volunteers collecting recce cards at the start and ends of the stages. The only issues we had were dust, and a few people stopping on the stages (which doesn't help those behind them because you lose the pace...)
I don't know if they had any road closure issues, but the number of volunteers required was a lot less than you need to run a stage. You could probably do it with 2-4 people per stage (1-2 at each end).
It doesn't really space people out because some people slow down or stop to fix their notes. Pat's advice was to keep moving at a fairly constant (but obviously not too fast) speed.
If you'd like to try pace notes and recce, Pacific Forest Rally in BC will be using them this year. Great roads too! It appears to be following a slightly different format, recce on one day, and then a FULL day of rallying the next day. (8:30A-8:30P for car 0). http://www.pacificforestrally.com/archives/2004/2004PFRsups2.pdf
Typically there will be a speed trap or two on the stages during recce. I don't see speeding as a big issue if the penalty is made severe enough.
I *MUCH* prefer this format over stage notes. I understand how the Jemba notes are made, but there is certainly something different when you call it out yourself to be written down and then have to drive it. It is a new discipline to learn for the team: how to communicate during the recce.
It also keeps the co-driver busy before the event! (re-writing the notes)
So while a lot of the Americans (except Rally NY) are whining about how hard it is and bring up all of the issues, the Canadians are just doing it!
Time to do the recce has always been impractical for the events that have had recce. (The TN events) I don't see this changing, so would not endorse it for this reason. And I like to minimize the road time on my rally car, and spend any extra pre-event time resting, as that helps me perform better.
Doing recce would mean renting or bringing along another car; the service truck is waaaay to big. So, either way, one has more expense. In small event with a single common service area, my son and I ususally do not have crew, and doing recce becomes even more impossible. Logistically, recce is tough on a small team.
Having said all this against, it's my opinion (borne out by no factual data whatsoever!) that recce is a bigger safety improvement than stage notes. But I think most of those who will strongly endorse recce are those who grew up in rallying being used to it, and miss it as part of the standard rally procedure that they are used to. It does not mean that no recce is bad.
I think overall, we should bow to the organizers in deciding this, as they are the ones who will really have to bear the brunt of the burden.
Definitely the confidence comes from driving on the notes and realizing they are correct. Driving the road would be somewhat ok, but you'd need to drive it 10-20 times to get it burned into your memory to make enough of a real difference.
I forgot to say from my POV the benefit is safety, not speed. I do not feel the same about organiser/stage notes because I didn't make them. Once the notes line up, it is very easy to detect and makes the entire process pretty natural and comfortable. Just because you have notes doesn't mean you're going to take the first blind crest in 4th sideways because you know there is a right there.
It is a gradual process of trusting your notes more and more. Out of that last event I have ONE stage I would drive fully committed on the notes. The quality was NOT there on the other stages we made notes on.
The quality of your notes will increase with each event and use of the stages. It would be a big mistake to do one recce pass (two was good) and then try to drive fully committed (beyond what you'd do driving blind) on the notes. It is a very gradual process.
Pat had a pretty good Powerpoint put together; I don't know if he'd be willing to share it with the audience here but I found it very helpful for how I viewed the note taking and using process.
I'm lucky enough to live in Colorado and drive in a hill climb series where we are able to recce and make our own notes. In the last two years there has not been one bad off by a rally car. One minor one that didn't cause any damage and once the car was out of the ditch you couldn't tell. After driving with your own made notes, I will say that it is safer without a doubt. My favorite argument against notes is the one, "Well back in the 70's we didn't have any notes and really rallying is all about driving the road blind." I've honestly heard that a few times. They also didn't beleive in anything other than a main hoop for the cage back then. Instead of wasting each Seed 8s time repeating how all the controls work for three hours or explaining that a sign with a Stop sign means to stop, do a class that combines that with how to use and make your own notes. The nice thing about notes is that if the driver and codriver make them together they can be very personalized. If you're ready the prepared notes from the SCCA and driving blind, there isn't as much trust in the codriver, other than to be in the right spot.
> i do believe that recce, if used, should be pro/national/or whatever you want to call it only. new teams just dont have enough experience in the car to learn how to make notes.
Your assumption is wrong. my co-driver and I are novices (4 or 5 events?) and had no problem with making or using notes.
In fact I'd suggest the opposite, that the newer teams stand more to benefit because it forces you to work on your in car communication, your discipline and approach to the whole event.
My concern would be the front runners pushing too hard without sufficient stage time on their notes to be 100% sure about them. I pretty much drive at blind-speed+2% until I was sure the notes were good at speed.
TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE ON THIS FORUM ACCUSING SOME OF HAVING 'INERTIA', BEING WHINERS, AND SO FORTH:
I AM NOT WHINING NOR IS ANYONE ELSE. THIS IS DISCUSSION OF A POINT AND TRYING TO MAKE A CASE. EVEYONE ELSE ON THIS FORUM HAS AN OPINION THAT IS JUST AS VALUABLE AS EVERYONE ELSE'S, YOURS INCLUDED.
IF YOU WANT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN, THEN ADVOCATE IT. BUT DON'T EXPECT TO GET YOUR WAY BY NAME CALLING A WHOLE BUNCH OF FOLKS WHO CARE ABOUT THE SPORT, AND WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN IT FOR YEARS AND YREARS.
1) RECCE IS TIME CONSUMING AND EXPENSIVE, AND IT A VERY REAL FINANACIAL BURDEN ON SOME. SOME FOLKS HAVE LIMITED VACATION TIME FROM REGULAR JOBS, WHO HAVE FAMILIES WHO NEED SOME OF THAT TIME, WHO DO NOT LIVE RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO RALLIES AND HAVE TO TOW 8-12 HOURS. THE TIME FOR RECCE ACTIVITES IS NOT FREE.
2) LIKING AN EVENT TO BE RUN IN A CERTAIN FORMAT THAT DOES NOT HAVE RECCE IS ALSO AN OK POSITION.