What is a RoadRally?
Events are held on open public roads and a score is awarded based on correct arrival time at checkpoints, with penalties for early or late arrival. Checkpoint locations may be known for instance in Monte Carlo rallies or unknown in TSD (time-speed-distance) rallies.
Although there are many types of events calling themselves road rallies, they all have a few things in common, a team consisting of a vehicle, a driver & navigator. You’ll be provided with the rules of the game, a start location and route instructions. The finish is typically a restaurant where the results are announced and trophies awarded.
This guide is primarily focused on Monte Carlo and Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) road rallies, a game of precise timekeeping and navigational course following, as offered by the South Jersey Region SCCA.
What you need
A street legal car, covered by an automobile insurance policy: Your car needs to be road legal and will have to pass a basic safety inspection which includes all working lights, windshield wipers, rear-view mirror, working brakes including a parking brake, seat belts for each occupant, a working horn and tires in road-worthy condition.
Two people: Each RoadRally team is required to have two people – a driver and a navigator. Anyone on the team planning on driving during the event must also have a valid drivers license. Teammates can be best friends, spouses, parent and son/daughter, co-workers or random people you met at other automobile events.
Some small stuff: When we say, “Small stuff” we mean something to write with (in order to do some math or make notes on the route instructions) some paper (to do math on) and some type of device which keeps time down to the second – usually a watch or smartphone. If the RoadRally is at night (most are not), you might also need a flashlight or a working map light in your car.
How to Participate
Register: Online registration for our events is available here: https://www.motorsportreg.com/orgs/scca/south-jersey/rally
Prepare your vehicle: Fill the car with gas and oil. Check the tires. Clean the windows and headlights. The vehicle must be street legal and insured. Expect some sort of tech inspection to verify this.
Gather your equipment: The navigator will need a clipboard, some writing utensils, a flashlight for reading inside the car at night, and a watch that tells time to the second.
Read the rules before the event. The general Instructions contain the basic rules by which the event will be conducted. .
Day of the event
Show Up: Once you know which event you’re going to attend – get your team together and get to the event. Attend the drivers meetings, get your car double-checked by the organizers to make sure it’s safe, go over the route instructions and try to shake off the nervous anticipation.
Helpful tip – As with asking questions when you’re looking for an event, SJR SCCA members are a helpful bunch once you get to the event as well. Tell someone this is your first time and chances are you’re going to get walked through any processes necessary for the event. As before, you’ll probably even make some new friends along the way.
Drive: This is the easy part – well, easy to do, tougher to be perfect at. Buckle up, wait for your team’s assigned start time and have fun. After all, that’s what this is all about.
Helpful tip – Since it’s probably your first time, you’re going to learn a lot about things you would do differently the next time so go into the event relaxed and with an open mind. Talk to your co-driver a lot, smile even more.
Checkpoints: As you drive the rally route, you’ll encounter checkpoints where the exact time that you pass the checkpoint sign will be automatically recorded. Each checkpoint marks the end of one timed section of the event – one leg.
Winning!: The team with the lowest score in each class wins, that’s right the lowest score! There are three classes, First Timers, Novices and Experts. After the event concludes we’ll meet at a location(typically a restaurant), announce the winners and present trophies.
Rules?! … yes rules and here they are! https://www.scca.com/pages/roadrally-rules
SCCA.com has lots of other great information about the RoadRally program. https://www.scca.com/pages/road-rally