oldSTAGER No.113
December 2008/January 2009

 

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Regulations Revisited

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.
 

H84(h/j): This 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!
 

Controls/Checks: I 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.
 

H59: Interesting 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.
 

Secret Checks 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.
 

In oldSTAGER 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 Control area. 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 organising club.
 

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.