Start Location Activities

The start of a rally can seem a bit bewildering for newcomers to the sport. Everyone seems to be casually sitting around chatting with nothing much happening. All of a sudden the first car is away and you discover that you and your driver are not quite ready to compete. The following suggestions should get you organized and ready to win!

  1. Make sure that your driver has filled the gas tank and cleaned the windows and the lights.
  2. Set up and test all of your navigating equipment in the car. Ready your rally lapboard, put your pencils or markers in a handy position, test the navigator's light, and make sure there are no loose objects to roll around and distract you.
  3. Fill in the entry form, pay your fee and sign the waiver. Make sure that your driver does not wander off before he/she signs the waiver as well! You will usually be asked to show a valid licence for the driver plus proof on insurance for the car. Car numbers are usually assigned in the order that entries are received. There are many divergent opinions about what is the best start position. Some drivers prefer to go late in the pack so that they can see wheel ruts to indicate where other rally traffic has turned. Personally, I prefer to be in the first few cars. If we get confused by an instruction, there will be more cars following who can provide that vital clue about where to turn. There will also be more traffic if we have car trouble and need assistance. You and your driver will have to decide which is best for you.
  4. Set your watches to the correct rally time. You need exact synchronization if you are going to "zero" checkpoints. Having all of your digital watches and car clocks set to rally time will provide a back-up if one stops during the event.
  5. Check for posted notices regarding the instructions. Most rally masters will post general instructions and a list of shortforms for the rally. These tend to be repetitve rally to rally and will probably be part of the instruction book. READ THEM THOROUGHLY TOP TO BOTTOM. Rally masters have also been known to hide important bits of information in these instructions (ie; do the sections in alphabetical not numerical order).
  6. Check for posted route corrections. These are last minute changes that you will need to write down and then make these changes to the instructions during the rally.
  7. Don't drink coffee. Go to the bathroom before you leave!
  8. Relax. Meet a team competing in a higher class. Listen to their rally tips. At the finish, they will also be able to explain any sections that gave you trouble during the event.

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Last Updated: 2001-04-25
Copyright © 2001 Gail L. Walker, reproduction forbidden without written authorization.