Road rallies are scored based on how closely your times match the timing instructions provided by the rally master. Penalties are incurred for being too early and too late. It is possible, but very difficult, to run a perfect rally and score zero!

At each checkpoint, you will be given a sticker that records your time in (the time your car passed the checkpoint board), your time out (the time you are to leave that checkpoint) and the correct Elapsed Time (E.T.) from the previous checkpoint. To determine your score for a checkpoint, subtract your time out at the previous checkpoint from your time in at the current checkpoint, and compare your answer to the E.T. printed on the sticker. e.g. You arrived at checkpoint #2 at 3:28:30 and left checkpoint #1 at 3:12. The E.T. for checkpoint #2 is 15.2 minutes. You took 16.5 minutes, so your penalty is 1.3. To have "zeroed" the checkpoint, you should have arrived at 3:27:12.

You can not lower your score by driving faster and arriving at checkpoint #3 1.3 minutes early. Leave checkpoint #2 at the time assigned and drive at the correct speeds to reach checkpoint #3 on time. I don't recommend leaving a checkpoint early as you will sometimes find the next checkpoint is only 0.5 Km down the road!

Checkpoints are either scored "to the minute" or "to the second", and the rally master announces which are which at the beginning of the rally. If you are approaching a timed to the minute checkpoint and you think that you are on time, look at your watch (which you re-set to Official Time at the start) and cross the checkpoint board at the top of the minute; i.e. 2:10:01. If you are a little early (2:09:56), you will receive a full one minute penalty. Try not to be too late into the minute as your time out will be at the end of that same minute (2:11:00), and your driver will need time to go and get the sticker. If you are coming into a timed to the second checkpoint, you will be due within a 6 second window; i.e. between 4:34:18 and 4:34:23. If you are early, or late, your penalty is assessed in 1/10 of a minute increments. Your driver has a bit more time here as your time out will be the top of the next minute. In this example, your time out would be 4:36:00. Your time out is always at the top of the minute, and only one car leaves the checkpoint on any given minute.

For the purpose of your score, a checkpoint is open 15 minutes before you are due and it closes 30 minutes after you are due. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, your maximum score is 15; if you arrive more than 30 minutes late or miss the checkpoint entirely the maximum score is 20. If you have accumulated more that 30 minutes of late penalties (not counting missed checkpoints) you must skip ahead a section or two in order to get back into the timing window when the checkpoints are open for you. Otherwise, you will simply continue to receive maximum late penalties of 20 minutes for every subsequent checkpoint.

The penalties for maximum late and missed checkpoints are changing and may be different from one series to the next in the same jurisdiction. Check with the rally master at the start of the rally to understand the timing penalties for that event.

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Last Updated: 2001-04-18
Copyright © 2001 Gail L. Walker, reproduction forbidden without written authorization.