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August 25, 2020

Social and Distant: RoadRally Is The Answer to the 2020 Blues

Social and Distant: RoadRally Is The Answer to the 2020 Blues

What’s the perfect activity for 2020?

It has to be contained and socially distant. It should limit exposure to others. It’s the 21st century, so the latest in technology should always be involved. And lots of people are searching for a new activity, so it should be something scalable to advanced users, yet a simple enough concept for beginners.

Hello to our old friend, the RoadRally. SCCA’s oldest activity is making a comeback, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to give it a shot in 2020, all across the country.

SCCA RoadRally is run in literally any street legal car, on public roads, where competitors are given a set of directions (sometimes many, sometimes few) and sent on their way to a checkpoint.

Touring Rallies are RoadRally events where the emphasis is on staying on time and arriving at each checkpoint at precisely the correct time. These are also known as Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) events and they use easy to follow route instructions to guide contestants along roads that are fun to drive. In addition to instructions which include average speeds, sometimes the mileage is given for each route instruction which makes the course even easier to follow.

Course Rallies also have TSD elements, but offer the additional challenge of specific rules for following the course. The General Instructions for a Course Rally describe those rules and contestants are tested on their ability to follow those rules, observe signs and landmarks, and to follow specific directions. This is typically more advanced – but you don’t have to be a superstar to participate.

GTA Rallies, named for their “Game, Tour and Adventure” elements, are like Course Rallies, but without average speeds and checkpoint timing. Scoring is typically based on your ability to correctly answer questions about things that you see along the rally route.

But what’s this about technology? Don’t we have workers along the way that record times and keep track of the checkpoints?

Thanks to a series of apps developed by Rich Bireta and the RoadRally team, even this is unnecessary. Using available technologies like cell phones and gps, Bireta has developed an app that allows organizers to host events with fewer volunteers and with greater accuracy, among other benefits.

For competitors, the app times the contestant at each checkpoint, calculates the score (early or late), and displays the score on the contestant’s cellphone screen instantly – making the event more fun from start to finish.

So where can I RoadRally? Lots of places! The calendar for currently available events remaining in 2020 is below. More information on the app and how it can help both competitors and event organizers, will be hitting your mailbox soon in the September issue of SportsCar Magazine. 

Tour Rally Events

September 4: Los Angeles, CA; First Friday Nighter Rally; a rookie-friendly two-hour, 60-mile Friday night tour rally. More info at smscc.org.

September 12: Gaylord, MI; Press On Regardless Rally;One of the oldest and most famous rallies in America. A 14-hour Tour Rally on 400 miles of mostly unpaved roads through the Michigan backwoods. Speeds are brisk and you’ll need a car with some ground clearance. More information at http://drscca.org/rally/press-on-regardless

September 12: Los Angeles, CA; Not My Fault Rally; A four-hour Divisional Tour rally through the scenic canyon roads north of Los Angeles. Very rookie friendly. More info at smscc.org

September 13: Hackettstown, NJ; Second Hand Roads Rally; A 65-mile, three-hour Novice orientated Tour rally. No unpaved roads. More info at www.mcnj.org.

September 26: San Diego, CA; It’s a Pie Run! Rally; A Tour rally using Monte Carlo checkpoints. You’ll be given the precise time that you should arrive at each checkpoint. Your goal is to cross the checkpoint line at exactly that time. Very rookie friendly. More info from Ric Senior, ricsenior@gmail.com.

GTA Rally Events

August 29: Cincinnati, OH; Got You Covered Rally; A four-hour, 80-mile GTA rally with questions to answer about things you’ll see (or maybe won’t see) along the course. The rally will feature visits to several covered bridges and multiple barn quilts. More info at cincyscca.motorsportreg.com.

September 12: Southington, CN; Hurdle 2020 Rally; A scavenger hunt GTA rally with the emphasis on adventure where teams will plot their own route. An all-day event, contestants get a map of Connecticut and a list of 16 questions. You’ll spend some time locating question locations, then drive to the locations, find the answers, and return to the finish. Scoring is based on number of correct answers and fewest miles traveled. More info at msreg.com/hurdle2020.

Course Rally Events

August 30: Evansville, IN; Apolitical Rally; A three-hour, 90-mile course rally on great driving roads in the Henderson, Kentucky area. All road are paved. More info at https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/rally-5-evansville-indiana-area-scca-southern-126264.

Additional information about the RoadRally program including a complete calendar and program rules can be found on the program webpage here.

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