Co-Driver's Introduction

Navigating U.S. Stage Rallyes

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  • A new FAQ partially based on this presentation is available HERE (under construction).

Obvious Disclaimer

This is my interpretation of rules and procedures, and may not be based on the most up-to-date information; please refer to the Rally America Website for the most current rules and bulletins.

NOTE: the most up-to-date (and prettier) version of this presentation can be found at

A new FAQ partially based on this presentation is available HERE (under construction).

Co-Driver's Job:

Know WHERE to go WHEN


Scrutineering & other prep

  • Bring lights, helmets, firesuits
  • Make sure your computer works on the transit to tech; use that transit as an odo check
  • Learn the location of your triangles, first aid kit, shovel, etc.
  • Make sure your navigator lights work, and you have pens, watches, flashlights, barf bag
  • Make sure you have water, snacks, warm clothes, poncho in case of an "off"
  • Determine at which service you will need to re-fuel and when you need to attach the rally lights (keep in mind delays, offs, etc.)
  • Determine "who will do what" when you have to change a tire on a stage - and practice it

Route Book (Part 1 of 6)

Route Book (Part 2 of 6)

  • What's in the routebook
    • Line #
    • Overall (keep in mind this becomes off)
    • Interval (distance from previous line)
    • Diagram [Tulips] (never perfect depiction)
    • Instruction (look for cautions here!)
    • Decreasing Mileage (to the finish)
Route Book picture

Route Book (Part 3 of 6)

  • What's NOT in the routebook
    • ALL curves
    • ALL crests
    • ALL dangers
Stage Notes picture

Route Book (Part 4 of 6)

Route Book (Part 5 of 6)

Route Book (Part 5 of 6)

Your Rally Computer

Your Scorecard

Timing/Controls: PARC

Parc Expose / Parc Ferme

  • Arrive 5-10 minutes early (before it closes)
  • Check the notice board again
  • Check for changes in start order
  • Write down your start time in the route book
  • Make sure factor is set
  • Compare your watch(es) with everyone else's
  • Don't miss the driver's meeting
  • Check the notice board again

Timing/Controls: START

Rally Start (an MTC)

  • Know your start time
  • Know the 2 or 3 cars in front of you (and the one behind you) - get in line
  • Arrive in the minute before your start time (they may wave you in earlier)
  • Typically zero your odo here (check your book)
  • Get a score card
  • Leave when they say it's OK to leave
  • Write down the ACTUAL start time in the route book

Timing/Controls: TRANSIT

TRANSIT (1 of 2)

  • Obey SPEED LIMITS / observe Quiet Zones
  • When to arrive at ATC? Calculate as (YOUR MTC OUT or FTC TIME) plus (TRANSIT TIME on SCORECARD) BEWARE: this varies in the Pacific NW
  • Example:
    OUT TIME FROM MTC:  10:59:00 
    +TRANSIT TIME (10 mins):  00:10:00 
    EQUALS:  11:09:00 

Timing/Controls: TRANSIT

TRANSIT (2 of 2)

Timing/Controls: ATC

ATC (Arrival Time Control)

  • Stay behind the GATE SIGN until a few beats AFTER your minute rolls around
  • Pull up to the CLOCK sign
  • Hand your card to timing crew
  • When you get the card back:
    • Check that they wrote the time you needed
    • Don't let driver pull forward until you've checked
    • On many rallies zero your odo here (or at SSS; check your book)
  • Is the stage start a traffic jam? You must walk up and hand the card to the timing crew still during your minute
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: SSS

SSS (Special Stage Start)

  • Pull up when prior car leaves
  • Hand your card to timing crew
  • On many rallies zero your odo here (or at ATC; check your book)
  • When you get the card back:
    • Write down the start time in your route book
    • Check belts, helmets, intercom, loose items
    • If you have time, review the stage with your driver:
      • difficult instructions
      • cautions
      • stage length, surface transitions, etc.
    • Leave when start crew counts you down to ZERO [or when official timing clock reaches ZERO of your minute (if using TAG Heuer clocks)]

Timing/Controls: STAGE-1

IN THE STAGE (safety)

Timing/Controls: STAGE-2

IN THE STAGE (normal)

  • Zero incremental odo every instruction
  • Possibly: Count down each instruction
    • SWEEP LEFT in 40
    • SWEEP LEFT in 20
    • SWEEP LEFT in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. 1
  • The faster you are going, the earlier you need to be calling instructions
  • Don't get worked up if mileages and tulips don't match exactly (wheelspin, braking, badly-drawn tulips, etc.)

Timing/Controls: STAGE-3

IN THE STAGE (problems)

Timing/Controls: FF

FF (Flying Finish)

  • Keep going at the YELLOW sign
  • Tell driver when you pass the RED FINISH FLAG sign
  • If you have time, write down the time in your route book as you cross the line
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: FTC

FTC (Finish Time Control)

  • Hand your card to timing crew
  • When you get the card back:
    • Compare the the time you wrote as you crossed the line with the time from the card - OK if within seconds
    • Don't let driver pull forward until you've checked
    • Write down the finish time from the card in your route book
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: MTC IN

MTC IN (Main Time Control IN)

  • Used to check into a service, or to re-seed, or similar
  • When to arrive? same calculation as ATC but you can arrive early (before your minute)
  • Confirm that timing crew wrote the correct time on your card
  • You may get a new scorecard with your OUT TIME --OR-- you will have to check the notice board for a new start list for new OUT TIME
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: MTC OUT

MTC OUT (Main Time Control OUT)

  • OUT TIME is on scorecard or on new start list
  • Make sure you get a new scorecard from MTC crew if one was not given to you when you checked into the MTC IN
  • Wait behind the gate sign until the minute before your OUT time
  • When to arrive? In the minute before your OUT time; they may wave you in early
  • When to leave? When your OUT time arrives; they may let you leave early
Gate Sign

Timing/Controls: RGC

RGC IN or OUT (Regrouping Control)

Timing/Controls: OBS

"O" Control (Observation Control)

Unplaced Controls

When an ATC or FTC is missing:

  • Only happens when there is a problem; see Rulebook 7.4.A.3
  • Typically add 3 minutes for each control that is missing (ATC and/or FTC)
  • If the ATC is missing, then you must transit the stage, and calculate the time "to transit" using the BOGEY time in the route book
  • Caution: some routebooks have two times listed, ask which one to use (Bogey Time vs. Emergency Time)

Racing Is Done

But the Rally isn't over:

Additional Sources

Where to find information:

Good Websites

The End

Thanks to the following: