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There was a discussion about faster cars, and what makes a rally fast.

In general terms, what average speeds should rally be limited to (if any)?

Should there be a max average stage speed as in Canada? (If so what speed?)

Or should there be a max average speed for a rally?

Or some combination of stage speed/rally speed?

Curious to see what the populous thinks.

Thanks,
Mike
 

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I don't see why there can't be events and stages of widely varying speeds. If you can have the Rapidan Rally with an average speed of 30, why not allow a wide open event with average speeds of 70? It's kind of fun to break 100 on dirt every now and then.

From a safety standpoint, the speed just has to be appropriate to the road. A narrow cartpath with trees a foot off the road on either side isn't appropriate for 80 mph. But a smooth, two lane graded dirt road in the desert can safely support 120+.
 

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That would depend on driver skills: When is fast too fast? When one crashes-if we can back up just a few feet and slow down a wee bit I think we'll be okay, oh and could you get out and find the right front wheel assembly, that would be most helpful-thank you...:) :)
 

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Speed is a number; fast is a concept. They are not necessarily related.

The rulebook used to include an absolute limitation of 70 mph stage average...any car beats 70, the stage was dropped, IIRC.

Bruce
 

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>From a safety standpoint, the speed just has to be
>appropriate to the road. A narrow cartpath with trees a foot
>off the road on either side isn't appropriate for 80 mph.
>But a smooth, two lane graded dirt road in the desert can
>safely support 120+.

----- The safety of it is the responsibility of the driver. Are you unsure of you, your car, or the road? Don't hold your right foot down to the floor. We here in the Northwest can be reasonably well assured of having a routebook that will tell us of those things that we need to know to not get too lost, and not too seriously hurt, provided that the dumb driver actually slows for that triple caution that just damned near deposited Ray and I into a gravel pit at 80+. I was doing 100+ on the goatpath this last weekend that had trees brushing my sides every time the car came back to meet mother earth. This is how I put a minute on the other two wheel drive guys on the 27 miler. I just do poorly on the tight twisty stuff. Do we need REQUIREMENTS regarding maximum speeds in rally? Hell No!! Is there a demonstrated safety reason for it? I think not. We are involved in a dangerous sport. Want to be safe? GO SQUASH CONES OR SIT IN FRONT OF THE TV. I like the high speed stuff just fine the way it is, thank you; and we had a scream of a good time this last weekend for the Dryad Weekend. Thanks for the roads Rick. I would like even faster, more open mainline roads to play on. Regards, JohnLane.
 

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With good instructions, I think no limit is absolutely needed. In thinking back on all the tragic incidents we have had, I can't think of one where the speed of the roads was the primary cause. In the cases I can recall, the primary causes have been very bad luck, 2 cage problems, and drivers going to fast for conditions or the road.

In recent years, the most unsafe I have felt was flying over big yumps at Sno*Drift as some pretty good speed, with landings on icy surfaces; a bit sideways and we would have been off into the trees. The appropriate solution, however, is not to change the roads but to give the co-driver (me in that case) an ignition kill switch.

Having said that, it is part of the laws of physics that if you double speed, you quadruple the energy to be dissipated to deccelerate to zero. So, slower roads ARE inherently safer. But how to find the roads with slower speeds at all is the problem. So practically, at least at STPR, Maine, and CT, we can't do much to change the situation.

If one were to impose speed limits, I think it is important to start on the Club Rallys where there are less experienced drivers.

One more thought: We have a lot of things in our favor compared to a lot of track racing venues. I think our limited number or tragedies is due to the speeds that we do run, and the type of racing that we do.
- If you race on a track (except short ovals), you reach higher speeds, and have MUCH more energy to dissipate in a wreck.
- If you spin on a track and go off on the grass, you hit the wall or barrier with almost the same speed as you lift the track, as grass presents presents a coefficient of friction to racing slicks that is similar to greased doggie doo. If you slide on a dirt road, you can lose a lot of speed before reaching that tree.
- Add the fact the trees are whizzing by at 80+ mph, and I think we all slow down a bit.

A long answer.....

Mark B.
 

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We are going too fast now. This much speed increases the cost of any accident.

BAN NOTES, and BAN MAPS. The occasional RECCE rally is okay for fun, but the Grassroots that Performance Rally was built on was BLIND rallies. I say run blind. The speeds will go back down to a sane level. If you have a big off without notes, then you were driving TOO fast and have no-one to blame but yourself.
 

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It sounds to me like someone is trying to fashion a rule that is in search of a problem to solve. It is all about personal responsibility. You don't like the way your driver drives? Get out and walk to the end of the stage and don't ride with that driver again. Don't like how fast things are in a stage? Don't go so fast. Please don't take the fast roads away from me that I like so well just 'cause you are squeamish about going fast. Nobody is putting a gun to your head to force you to race. Racing is about going fast. I like to go fast in the woods. I have never had worse then a minor flesh wound (but your arm's off!!---Monty Python) in my years rallying, and I have wadded up my car at some prety good speeds a few times. We have good safety equipment, and maintain it as such. I lift where I feel it fits to conditions. We don't finish first if we don't finish. How about allowing studded tires for winter rallies, like in the rest of the world? All my love, JohnLane.
 

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I'm with John on this one. That is why I race rally to go as fast as i possible within the limit of my car. If it get to fast for some driver, slow down or go play golf, for the co-driver get out of the car. But don't handicap us people who like to go really fast because some other are screared. If I crash and get hurt because of a fast stage, then maybe I should slow down and go learn how to drive fast.
Stephan
 

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Isn't it interesting how little time it takes for the thread to degenerate into each person's personal crusade. I think I know what you are asking, and the answer is more difficult than it appears on the surface. FIA tried to set a maximum speed on stages some years back. SCCA soon followed. The speed was 70 mph, though the actual number hardly matters. This "speed limit" was set, not to protect the cars and drivers, but to protect the spectators (although why the FIA thought a spectator hit at 70 mph would be any better off than a spectator hit at 75 mph is beyond me). This attempt didn't work. Within 2 years, technology had turned 60 mph stages into 70 mph stages, thus eliminating many stage roads. Then there were the rebel scoring chiefs (such as myself) who simply refused to change the offending stage times to 70 mph times (how silly it all was).

This is not about notes; the only objections to notes from anyone on this forum have had to do with cost, not speed. Nor was our sport "founded" on blind rallies. Notes have been around for over 50 years. Hell, I was using them in 1972! In the good old U S of A!

This is about how fast we can hit a tree before no amount of protection will help. It is a question, I believe, with no answer at present. I do know that I have run 30 mph stages that scared the bleep out of me. I also ran a 17.5 mile stage once in just over 8 minutes (and we were only 2nd quick!) and felt perfectly safe the whole time. It's all about context, and we are in no position to quantify context. I do know this - if J B comes back from a stage and tells me it is unsuitably fast, I will believe him.
 

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Sorry Trevor, but speaking as a driver (NOT as a PRB member), I never felt safer than with Al reading Stage Notes at STPR. Blind rallies are gone forever; Stage Notes are the future of ProRally! Once you've tried 'em (and trust your co-driver) I think you'll agree!

J.B. Niday
www.nidayrallysport.com
 

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--Trevor said--
>We are going too fast now. This much speed increases the
>cost of any accident.
>
>BAN NOTES, and BAN MAPS. The occasional RECCE rally is okay
>for fun, but the Grassroots that Performance Rally was built
>on was BLIND rallies. I say run blind. The speeds will go
>back down to a sane level. If you have a big off without
>notes, then you were driving TOO fast and have no-one to
>blame but yourself.
----And my flame for a response----
---Either way we have no one to blame but ourselves Trevor. You lift at 60 'cause that is what you are comfortable with. Good for you for knowing your limits. I like to go a lot faster. This is exactly why I am so fond of certain stages here in the Northwest. We do NOT need a rule forcing us into using chicanes or other stupid stuff to make what I consider a fun stage into something less then that.
JohnLane.
 

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>This is not about notes; the only objections to notes from
>anyone on this forum have had to do with cost, not speed.
>Nor was our sport "founded" on blind rallies. Notes have
>been around for over 50 years. Hell, I was using them in
>1972! In the good old U S of A!
>
For 50 years? Almost but not yet in rally. Yes or sport was "founded on blind rallies", how can you say it wasn't. Performance rally grew out of TSD. Did I miss something? Please explain.
If we are talking of safety in regards to speed then notes should be tossed as they are showing an increase of speed and therefore a reduction in safety as the crash that does take place will be at a higher speed-and a bad crash will happen it's just a matter of time. Actually speed doesn't kill stopping abruptly does therefore don't brake:)
 

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>the brockway mtn stage is too fast

I heard they are requiring you to have a pilot licence along with your ProRally license this year.

Um, Captain you are cleared for takeoff

Roger that Houston
 

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RE: 131.25 MPH AVERAGE!

Yep. One turn on the stage required a downshift to 4th. Car was geared for 150. If you haven't already guessed, the stage was in Nevada.
 

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Ah, now we get to the crux of the problem. Pat, Brockway is not too fast, but there is a place on the stage that may be too fast. A similar situation exists on the Black River stage at Sno*Drift. I believe the answer is to correct the situation, not drop an otherwise fine stage. This can be done with hay bale chicanes or other measures. Sometimes the solution is as simple as taking the long way around the previous intersection (Thunder Road). It is not that stages are too fast, but that there exist instances on some stages that need scrutiny because of the possibility of a major incident. I don't think the issue is so much driver judgement as it is the consequences of mechanical failure at that particular spot. Steering fails at jump on Brockway at 80 with big dropoffs and stone walls - major incident. Steering fails anywhere at RIM - DNF.
 

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>Speed is a number; fast is a concept. They are not
>necessarily related.
>
>The rulebook used to include an absolute limitation of 70
>mph stage average...any car beats 70, the stage was dropped,
>IIRC.
>
>Bruce

Just for reference, the Canadian rules limit stages to 120km/h average speed (approx 75 mph). Any cars that exceed that get the time for 120km/h. The stage can't be used in succeeding years unless changes have been made to reduce the average speed - adding chicanes or adding a twisty section to the stage both count. I'm not sure if these rules really address the concern though.

I agree that the limits should be subjective, based on the road and the proximity of things to hit at speed. Average stage speeds don't tell you much about the safety of a stage, but do give an indication of the amount of the stage spent at speeds that could severely challenge the safety equipment of the car. This could be used as an indicator of risk, requiring a review of the stage.

Adrian
 
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