Maximum Late Penalty

The first rules of rally are: stay on the road, stay on route and stay on time. We will trust driver common sense and basic skills to keep the car on the road. There are many Rally Master’s notes on the subject of how to stay on route and this alone is a big enough challenge to beginning rallyists. However, you should be aware that you must also pay some attention to being on time.

One concept that frequently trips up new competitors is that of being “maximum late”. Unless stated otherwise, the maximum lateness for a competitor is 30 minutes. If you run more than 30 minutes later than your predicted time, you become “invisible” to the checkpoints and your interval score from the previous checkpoint is not valid. You will be given the “max late” penalty for that particular checkpoint. If you continue on the route and remain more than 30 minutes late, you will be scored as max late at all subsequent checkpoints. The max late penalty is specified by the rally series. For TAC Ralliettes, it is 5 and for Ontario Road Rally Cup events it is 15.

To fully understand the max late concept, you will need to put on the hat of the Rally Master for a moment. When a rally is laid out, the rally master establishes the time that the fictitious Car 0 travels through each point. A checkpoint opens 15 minutes before Car 0 is due and physically closes 45 minutes after the last car is due. Then the checkpoint crew will pack up and move to a new location. Because checkpoint crews are precious volunteers, they must be deployed effectively. To accomplish this, each rally car is given a 45 minute window to pass through any given point of the rally. This window begins 15 minutes before you are due and ends 30 minutes after you are due.

If the crew has left the checkpoint, you are clearly late and probably worried that you are not on the correct route because you are not finding any checkpoints. However, if you have an early car number and are just a bit more than 30 minutes late, you will still find the checkpoints and go through the normal procedure. While the checkpoint crew will acknowledge you and give you a sticker, the reality is that you are invisible to them. At the end of the rally, you will be scored maximum late for that checkpoint.

Car 0’s time is provided for each end of section and for each checkpoint. At each checkpoint, you should add your car number and 30 to Car 0’s time to confirm that you are still running within your rally window. If you have fallen into the maximum late time frame, do not speed along the route to try and regain your position within the window! Determine how late you are from either the End Of Section (EOS) description or the latest checkpoint sticker. Then look at the EOS map and skip far enough ahead to safely rejoin the rally within your time window. If you miss a checkpoint or two, you will be penalized but this penalty is certain to be less than being scored as max late for the balance of the rally. Your objective needs to be to get back on the route, on time and then try to run at the correct speed to get a low score at all of the remaining checkpoints.

| Back To Rally Master's Index |

Last Updated: 2001-10-21
Copyright © 2001 Gail L. Walker, reproduction forbidden without written authorization.