I'm not a fan of nose-to-tail drives. They're just not my thing. I'd rather have a destination and drive semi-independently.
That said, it would be fun to put some sort of competition. I'm thinking of a TSD-type rally, updated. For you whippersnappers, TSD stands for time-speed-distance.
The traditional TSD rally was labor intensive, with a lot of check points which requires a lot of personnel, and since people really don't want to man a desk when they can be driving, I've come up with an idea that I think would work to reduce the manpower (OK, personpower).
A rally means reaching a point at a specified time, not early or late. There are time penalties for arriving late, and bigger penalties for arriving early. What I'm thinking is that a route could be planned with the distance between checkpoints being a strict basic distance, and time between checkpoints would be based on the shortest time possible at the posted speed limit. Of course, that doesn't account for stop signs, anti-destination league drivers, etc, so some, um, catching uip might be required to stay on schedule.
Departures would be say two minutes apart so you shouldn't be up against someone else's tailpipe too soon. We wouldn't have manned (personned) checkpoint, but rather a landmark that has to be photographed and emailed in, and the email of course has a timestamp.
That takes care of being late. We can't punish people for being early, however, to prevent people from arriving early at a checkpoint and leaving early to "bank" time, their leaving a checkpoint would be verified by sending in another photo no earlier than their scheduled departure time.
No, wait they could take a photo and send it at their departure time even though they're already underway. Can we rely on the honor system, or does someone know how we can solve this problem. We would want every leg to be an independent challenge.
There would be no route provided. Rather, the rallymaster would determine the quickest route possible and the time required for each leg. Then the checkpoints would be provided to each car say, one hour before before staged departure time. The team would bring whatever map they can get their hands on and from that figure out the best route.
The variables presented by this of course include map reading skills--did I mention that any kind of navigation system would be prohibited, and really, we'd have to trust people's honor for this. It would also mean that the shortest route might include some (small) town that might present an obstacle and might be better if a bypass might be preferable. Of course, c'mon, if an Interstate might be available, the superslab would be off limits.
The rally would wind up at a preplanned destination that everyone would know in advance, and an awards dinner of some sort would be held...complete with trophies as small as possible An entry fee would cover the cost.
Speaking as an officer of the Club, who enjoys spirited driving, and has taken my car to Track Night in America at Pocono, I am doubtful that 3/5 of the officers would sign off on this as a Club sanctioned event.
1, We are a driving Club. We operate at speeds on public roads that are responsible, not reckless. Timing people from any point A to any point B, encourages reckless behavior, that, as a Club would never be sanctioned.
2. In order to do time trials would require a track. We have at least one member who tracks her car, but I doubt there are any others.
3. Many of the members either love their cars and never let them see rain, or daily drive them, and would only abuse them slightly.
4. The demographic of our Club skews older, and as such, would unlikely be interested in a timed event.
5. Our drives allow people to drive at their level of comfort, which creates gaps, so we are not often a parade of slow moving cars, but instead, a vibrant animal that undulates as various people blast around tuns, or not. We gather at the end of the street, and begin again.
Several years ago, the Club ran a rally-style event, organized and led by Ron Gabel. It was not a serious rally, as in a TSD event, but rather a less formal event that provided lots of fun (and cursing 😬). We were given turn-by-turn driving directions, but the location of the finish wasn't disclosed. You either found it by staying on the route, or you didn't. Ron's phone number was on the direction sheets, in case a bail-out was needed by any team. There was a total time limit, after which the teams were penalized, but no penalty for arriving early at the end. To add interest (and fun), Ron issued a set of questions to be answered by each team, asking about things that could be observed along each leg of the route (like, how many stars on the barn?). The number of correct answers contributed to a team's overall score. I had previously participated in his rallies with a different organization, so I knew what I was getting into. I did it, anyway! (Did I mention that it was fun?)
Unfortunately, not many members were enthused about that type of event, and it was poorly attended. Maybe we have a differently-minded membership today, but I wouldn't be too optimistic about that.
Silver 2011 NC PRHT Grand Touring (actually Janice's car)
@livetodrive Actually, I did join a club drive and I thought the speeds driven were well in excess of what I considered safe, particularly over blind rises and around curves. There was a need to keep up or get left behind. I was thinking that people in houses we were passing might call the police.
What I was suggesting was NOT a speed event, however. Each leg would be based on the route determined by the rallymaster to be the shortest/quickest based on the distance and posted speed limits.
Traditionally in this type of event you're penalized on arriving too early, and you can't stop moving once you're in sight of the checkpoint when is manned with judges and equipped with an airhose to provide time to the second. That takes entirely too much staff for a small event, which is why thought up the cellphone picture.
My thought was to allow people to drive at their own pace but still provide an element of challenge. You know your membership better than I and recognize that this type of event would be unpopular. So sorry, I didn't mean to offend.
Don't apologize. The whole purpose of this section of our website is to solicit ideas. You offend nobody. You suggest a very different type of event. I did reread it several more times, and it does seem like something that there may be an interest in.
I must have glossed over the part about not getting there early. This post will stay on and time will tell if there are people interested in this. If more than three or four people want to try it out, why not?
You do realize that you would be in charge of organizing this, so that it plays out like you envision.
Who knows? This might wind up super popular. Thanks for thinking outside the box.
Louie Draxler VP
Oh, by all means I'd set it up and run it, but I'd demand an appropriate title. I'm thinking:
Mostly Omnipotent Supreme Rallymaster.
To clarify, I didn't have in mind a "performance rally" of the WRC type. I'd loved to have some way of independently determining if someone came into a checkpoint too early, but we want to have as few people as possible to run it, so more get a chance to drive. I'd like there to be strategy required, so that a team could have its secret sauce.
We like to talk about the Miata as a throwback to the classic roadster. So let's do what we did back in the old days, with maps and watches. No navigation system, on board or on phone. Note: "spirited" driving might/would still be required because you do have to stop at stop signs and there are other variables
I've spent a lot of time on a race track (and unfortunately, off it as well), so I'm not impressed by street rocket drivers. This would be a drive in the country with a little something extra. One more thing, it would be complicated enough that it would require a driver and a navigator for any chance of "winning." It would encourage members to find help...and come up with an appropriate team name. The bottom line: Take it out and play with it.
My thought is what keeps me from speeding to somewhere near a checkpoint, but out of sight, then watching the clock?
@triviawayne Yes, I understand that. But at some point control anyone out on the road. I mean, yes, I participated in something like this, and if you did come in too hot, you would be seen by someone manning the clock. There would be a lot of creeping up to the air hose. We couldn't do that.
I think to a certain amount we'd have to trust members to behave responsibly. Remember too, most of the roads in PA don't have much in the way of passing zones, and if you are driving too fast, you're likely to come up behind another Miata. So that reduces the advantage of speeding.
Plus we have the same restrictions that apply when we drive on the public road when not in an event. Do I think people might drive a little more quickly than the average? Yeah, probably. I'll bet most members stretch the speed limit, well, almost all the time.
And once a team is out of sight, what's to prevent them from turning their nav system on? It's a club event. You're really going to cheat for a fun trophy? Yeah, I guess some people might.
This isn't completely thought out. I know there are ways to "trap" drivers. I'd be welcome to suggestions.
Actually I don't care about speeding, I do it all the time. I wouldn't have to if it wouldn't require proctologists to find the heads of PennDOT "engineers" and get speed limits set at more realistic numbers, and properly time traffic lights so we don't have to stop at every one on any given stretch of road.
I'm just figuring out the rules of the game I might play.
As far as our rides, I like them. I wish we would keep a tighter pack (nothing wrong with the 2-second rule), but it is what it is and I enjoy the drive.
I think something other than follow-the-leader drives could be very interesting, and I'd certainly be willing to give it a try.
My limited experience with TSD rallies back in the British Sports Car days tells me I have zero chance of winning (don't really care), but I fondly remember the fun of trying to make up time after becoming hopelessly lost. 🤣
2017 RF Club, 6MT, Arctic White
I have driven or navigated and organized and run several clue rallies. This is a type of rally where the rally master makes you look for something that you need to find to know where and when to make a turn. For instance L 1st Opp after a Rooster (Left 1st Opportunity after finding a Rooster, where the rooster could be an object or a painting). You would also have to answer questions along the way to prove you were on course. There is an official mileage for the rally. Any miles over or under that official length gets you a penalty point. We'd have a checkpoint at about the 5 mile point where we would record your mileage and calculate a correction factor for your odometer. Obviously you needed a functioning odometer that goes to the 10ths. Any missed questions gets you penalty points. On the rallies I ran, we also had an official, but unpublished, time for the rally. Being too soon earned you penalty points (to discourage speeding) and being too late also earned penalty points. Lowest score won the rally. It only took 2 people to run this type of rally. I have a complete set of rules and definitions that I sent out to participants ahead of time. I may still have the rally I ran that started in Quakertown and went through many of Bucks County's covered bridges.
This sounds almost identical to Ron Gabel's type of rally. We had fun on those 😀.
Silver 2011 NC PRHT Grand Touring (actually Janice's car)
I would also be interested. We participated in a rally quite a few years ago. It was a lot of fun.
2013 Copper Red GT
One thing I wanted to mention, as a sort of an addendum to @livetodrive ‘s post is how safely everyone in this club drives during the events. I have participated in WRX, 240SX, Jeep etc. drives and almost every time there was a close call and occasionally a trooper would join the pack, probably bc someone saw a bunch of cars driving recklessly and called. Some of them passed each other on double yellows, drag raced from lights, cut off aliens etc. Not all of them did these things, but some did.
That was one of the reasons I sold my 2019 WRX. Well actually, that and I bought it for the winter and we got no snow last year. 🙂
As for us, our cars are quite receptive to curvy roads of course, and are well suited for “spirited driving” and thats the most fun.
- Jordan White
2020 Mazda MX-5 Club & 2020 Toyota Prime PHEV