I had planned to
Crow about other things this bi-month, but it seems my Regulations
insights of two issues ago had “wetted the appetite, but not gone into
the cooking” so said Philip Young. I was ever hopeful that the MSA might
have resolved many ambiguities in the 2009 Blue Book (BB), but the minor
(rallying) revisions in the autumn edition of motorsports now!
are about all you will see. So permit me add a few more paragraph
ingredients to a recipe which should be stirred gently.
H47: is a bit odd
covering wrong direction at controls, visiting controls twice and the
use of private roads in the same paragraph. To be sure competitors are
hit with WD penalties it is worth clarifying in H84(c) that a wrong
direction is not complying with the route card just in case
someone argues that the circular herringbone handed out didn’t
specifically define how you should approach a control.
deals with due time at a regularity control, with penalties at a rate of
one second per second early/late. But look closely, these penalties may
be increased if so deemed in the Supplementary Regulations (SRs), but
for lateness they may not be reduced. So, those generous
regularity schemes, which only penalise you 10 seconds per minute for
lateness beyond the first minute and with a maximum (lateness) penalty
of 10 minutes, are not MSA legal. Nor is the practice of dropping your
worst regularity penalty if it was for being late, but early is okay!
personally define controls as manned and checks as unmanned – the BB
(Terminology section) says checks may be manned too. The BB has many
places where it uses the catch-all: control or check; but there are also
specific references to unmanned checks and manned controls. For route
verification, I think in terms of Passage Controls (manned), Passage
Checks (code boards) and Route Checks (some other kind of static
information to be recorded). If you take the BB literally then all
unmanned checks must be car-facing code boards, which means they
can’t be tucked behind cones like they were on the recent Lombard Rally
Selectifs. Oh yes, there is also no such section as a Selectif according
to the BB.
points come from this paragraph. Most organisers chose to convert a TC
to a PC (often with a code board) if a marshal doesn’t turn up –
sensible, but not legal. H59 says: all performances at that [due to
be manned] point will be ignored in compiling results.
don’t exist. The word “secret” is not mentioned once in the BB (Note:
you can download a PDF version of the BB from the MSA website and do a
search rather than read the book from cover to cover). Furthermore:
All performances will also be ignored if a control or check is not sited
at the location specified in Official documents; so, officially, you
have to distribute a document specifying where secret checks are located
– um, which rather defeats the point of having them in the first place.
Maps. H45 only
allows competitors to add certain highlightings (like grid lines) and
organisers’ information to their maps. There is no provision for
checking compliance and you have to jump to H84(q) to see the exclusion
penalty. Special stagers are not so favoured (H155) since a highlighted
grid line could lead to exclusion; and officials can be appointed to
search competitors (H144) for naughty pace notes – males have to check
males, females have to check females (spoilsports). Interestingly this
is the only gender specific subject in the BB.
110 I aired thoughts about the dilemma of synchronising your
regularity control arrival time with the marshal’s button press.
Actually this was rather academic since H54 says [timing]
will be at the moment of the car entering the Time
Since a control is deemed to extend for 50m around the actual point
at which Officials are making their records, unless clearly visible
signs are displayed to define a different area, by default you could
deviate by a significant three seconds from entering the area to
stopping at the marshal. This is a rare example of a clarification
required by organisers rather than the BB.
C51 and Chart 52
imply that competition licences are required for Clubman road rallies –
not so. Drop down to the minor footnote (4), which states that only club
membership cards are required if the event is solely for members of the
Finally, what do
you call the second member of the crew on an HRCR Clubmans event? You
can’t use the terminology – Navigator – because this applies to
Rallies held entirely on the public highway. I shall put forward the
term I’ve used before – Polygator – as an alternative.