|12 Car Navigational Rallies|
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12-Car Navigational Rallies And How To Do Them
The main difference between a 12-Car Navigational Rally and a Navigational Scatter is that a 12-Car is a fixed route event, i.e. you are told which route to follow. You also have a time schedule to keep to (or near to). All crews take the same route. The objective is to drive that route whilst staying within your time schedule.
There are a few rules that must be applied when you 12-Car Rallies:
All road events must comply with the very stringent regulations set down by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) in the MSA British Motor Sports Yearbook (a.k.a. "the blue book"). However, if entry is restricted to twelve cars, the regulations governing the event are less strict than those for normal navigational rallies.
Format of the Event
The event organiser has chosen a route (typically between 75 and 85 miles), which he has divided up into Sections. (typically there are 5 or 6 sections). You drive each Section in turn and are given a time allowance for each one. Cars start the first section at 1 minute intervals - the start times for subsequent Sections depend on how far behind the crew is. The start and finish of each Section is marked with a Time Control (TC). Before the start of the event you will be given a set of sealed envelopes (one for each Section). These envelopes normally contain :
Because the clues you get in envelopes on 12-cars are similar to those found on Navigational Scatters we have written a single guide to navigation to cover both. There is, however, one thing that only apply to 12-car rallies:
Because the navigation defines a fixed route you must solve the clue and plot the route it gives on your map. You must then drive this route in the time allowed.
How do they know you've driven the right route?Shortly before the event starts a marshal will place "codeboards" along the route. A codeboard is a 6-inch square (roughly) of white board with a letter painted on it. The board will be mounted on a short post facing you on the nearside (left) verge. The codeboards will be placed in fairly obvious locations so you should see them as you drive past. You are not told how many codeboards there are where they are - it is up to you to notice them. As you drive the route you pass the codeboards in sequence. Write them down in the space provided on your timesheet as you go. Drivers should call out codeboards - the navigator might miss them if he/she is looking at the map. At the end of each Section the marshal will sign the next codeboard box so you can't go back for ones you missed.
There will be enough codeboards for the marshals to tell whether you've driven the correct route or not, but not so many that you can just follow them to show you the route. (The marhsals might even put extra codeboards off the correct route to confuse you). On average, you might pass a codeboard every 3-6 miles, but it could be more, or less.
The time allowed for each Section includes the time taken to plot the route (i.e. solve the clue) as well as to drive it. The time allowed for a Section is a nominal 30mph average speed. This might sound easy, but bear in mind that if it is a 10 mile Section (20 minutes) and it takes you 5 minutes to plot the route, you only have 15 minutes left to drive it - so now the driving average is 40mph, not 30.
Your timesheet will show you your start time and the time you're due at each TC (your "due time"). These times are unique to you since cars start at 1 minute intervals. Your due time is the earliest time at which you can book into each TC. You can, however, book in up to 30 minutes later ("maximum lateness"). Your timesheet will also show how late you can book into each TC. If you arrive early at a TC you may wait for the appropriate time.
The objective is to drive each Section in exactly the time allowed. This means that if you start a Section 3 minutes after your due time, you want to finish it 3 minutes after your due time (i.e. with 3 minutes "lateness"). If you finish the Section sooner than that, you may wait for the right time. Note that you may be penalized for making up time (i.e. arriving between your due time and the "lateness" that you had at the end of the previous TC).
Usually the only circumstance in which you might want to book in early is if you started that Section very near to your maximum lateness but completed it quickly - you might choose to book in early so that you don't start the next Section so close to your maximum lateness.
You are marked on the number of minutes early or late at which you finish each Section.
You wil find, particularly on your first 12-Car, that most Sections will take longer than the time allowed; i.e. your "lateness" will build up as you fall behind schedule. This is not a major problem until you start getting close to the maximum lateness (normally 30 minutes). If you arrive at a TC later than your maximum lateness (known as OTL - Outside Total Lateness), you may not book into that TC. This means you get no time for the Section you've just finished. If that happens, head straight to the next TC that you can get to within your time window (usually the next TC, unless you're
If a crew find themselves getting too close to maximum lateness, the usual course of action is to "cut route" - i.e. take a short cut and missing out some of the route. The crew would do this to make sure they arrived at the next TC within their time window. By cutting out a loop of route they might miss one or two codeboards, but if they miss a TC, they'll loose an entire Section.
Times will be recorded to the preceeding minute, i.e. 21:13.59 is 21:13 and 21:14.00 is 21:14. The marshal's watch is deemed to be correct. It is your responsibility to make sure your watch reads the same as the marshal's.
Remember, timing starts when you arrive at the TC and open the envelope. Start driving as soon as you've got the route marked - don't wait for the Marshal to tell you to go.
ScoringScoring is by "fails" and "marks". You get fails for route errors and marks for timing penalties. Positions are decided by number of fails (winner has the least) and ties are broken by number of marks. So, it is more important to drive the right route than it is to get to the finish at your due time.
The marking scheme for a 12-car rally is normally like this: (although the final decision lies with whoever is setting that particular event)