The regularity rallies are a sport that is attracting more and more fans in our country. We have created a small guide for those who are thinking of starting this type of event, where fun and competitiveness are present at a relatively affordable cost.
Starting with what is a regular rally, these events take place, for the most part, on a road open to traffic. Its structure is similar to that of a sprint rally although the way competitors rank and compete is substantially different. In regularity rallies, whoever is the fastest does not win, the one who is more regular and who reaches the end with the fewest penalty points wins. But then, how do you define who is the most regular? Basically, the best competitor that manages to get from point A to point B in an ideal time is classified, defined by the speed specified by the organization of said rally. It seems easy, however, during this route the organization will introduce intermediate timing points where each competitor will have to pass with an ideal time, defined by their departure time for the section.
Let's see the image below:
A given competitor is given a starting time of 10:05:00, which he must respect. The setting of the timer you take on board is important and must always be confirmed with the organization to avoid advances or delays. In the road-book that the co-driver will carry, the speed at which this section must be completed will come. Normally, this speed is never higher than 50 km/h in order to comply with the limits established by law. The same road-book will also indicate all the necessary changes of trajectory to fulfill the defined section.
In this example, we will focus on rallies with secret split timing points, marked in red. Being secret (only the organization will know what these same points are), the competitor will have to pass point 1 at 10:06:30. If you pass a second before or after this time, you will be penalized with one point (each second of advance or delay is worth one point).
As the team does not have access to information about the location of these points, the co-pilot will have to combine in the best possible way all the information (speed, ideal time and distance covered) at his disposal. It is up to him/her to calculate and communicate with the pilot the advance or delay so that the latter can compensate and adjust the speed as close to the ideal as possible.
As you may have already noticed, covering this section in 6 minutes (start: 10:05:00, finish: 10:11:00), does not mean that the competitor has not penalized some points during it. The important thing is to be as regular as possible during the course, compensating for any delay (crossings, tight curves at low speed,...) or any excess.
Passing to the more technical part, let's now see what we need to be able to participate in this type of rally:
As in any motor sport, having a vehicle is absolutely essential. The question is which one to use: which is the best? What kind of preparation does a car need to be able to enter these races?
Now, this modality is more focused on old cars, usually over 25 or 30 years old, however, nowadays it is possible to participate in them with newer vehicles. Having a super powerful car is no sign of success. cars with modest horsepower are more than capable of emerging victorious from a regular rally. It is enough for the pilot to feel at ease in it and to know its tricks well.
The co-pilot is also a key element in these events. He will be responsible for transmitting all the necessary information to the pilot about all the events described in the road-book, as well as their progress, delays, departure times, etc. Ideally, looking for a person who does not get seasick will be more advisable, as the co-pilot will have to consult all the information he has at his disposal several times, taking his eyes off the road for such a task.
The information devices and accessories that must be taken to a regular rally are very important for the trio to achieve the desired result.
Among them are:
- distance meters
Distance meters, commonly called tripmeters, are devices that reliably indicate the distance traveled by a vehicle. The level of detail is such that they are able to measure displacement in decameters, a unit that a normal car odometer makes impossible to consult. The odometer can also be used, although it lacks for two essential reasons: the first for its poor measurement and accuracy, as explained, the other for being positioned in front of the driver, which can be a distraction and sometimes dangerous element in rallies with frequent changes of direction. The tripmeters are mounted on the copilot's side, connected by a probe to the gearbox or, in some cases, to a non-drive wheel.
An essential item to track times and coordinate the information provided by the tripmeter.
A simple but very important accessory for making accounts and crossing out already completed vignettes in the road-book in order to avoid confusion or loss.
- light (for night rallies)
4) Finding the ideal proof
In our country it is possible to find evidence of regularity frequently. There is also a championship organized by the FPAK with races distributed throughout the country, all following an identical standard in terms of distance, duration and eligibility. (+info: https://www.fpak.pt/calendario-pvt?term_node_tid_depth=382)
There are other equally interesting races in Spain. A very popular one is the Iberian Classic Raid, which takes place entirely on land for 8 days. This year the match will take place in Barcelona on the 17th of October and the final is scheduled for the 24th of the same month in Lisbon (+info: http://www.spainclassicraid.com/en/ )