A rally is a competitive event in which contestants attempt to follow a specific course. Rallies are typically run on public, paved roads, and speed limits are always observed. The two major types of rallies are the Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally and the Gimmick Rally. Each require a driver and a navigator and both use a set of Route Instructions whereby cars must try to follow the proper path set by the Rallymaster. (Check out our more detailed information on “What Is A Rally“.)
In a TSD rally the “route following instructions” are usually fairly straightforward and cars are not expected to get off-route (read lost). The challenge comes in when each car is required to drive portions of the course at a precise average speed (as required in the instructions) and arrive at the finish, or intermediate checkpoint, at a precise time as points are deducted for arriving at checkpoints (the locations of which are not known in advance) early or late. This becomes even more difficult when during the course of the rally there may be 25 different speed change requirements. Add in other traffic to contend with, stop signs, construction etc. and the difficulty increases.
Rules and definitions for a TSD rally can be found online in AMR/RMR Challenge Series Rules and the PCA Parade Competition Rules (PCR’s). In recent years an optional TSD rally has been a part of our Fall Tour.
A Gimmick Rally (GR) on the other hand is so open ended in definition that some say there are no rules! A GR can be as challenging as the Rallymaster wants to make it. However, in the interest of having fun, most Gimmick Rallies tend to be more laid back and enjoyable. GRs use the same block of defining terms for course following as the TSD rallies. There are as many different types of GRs as there are cars participating, but most tend to be of the “observation” type. Drivers and navigators have to observe or count things, or answer questions and so forth regarding items seen along the rally route. The observation part may-or may not-be coupled with tricks in route following. The internet can be a source for finding about other kinds of gimmicks used.
Alpine Mountain Region typically holds two Gimmick or Fun Rallies each year. An attempt is made to make these rallies easy, fun and laid back. For the past several years these rallies have ended at one of the German restaurants in town for lunch and awards.
Typical cost: Normally $25-30
Special equipment needed: Clipboard, paper and pencil. A working odometer is usually required. Additionally, for a TSD rally a watch with a second-hand and a stopwatch should be available.
When you arrive: Check-in with the event chairperson and get the official time of day. Make sure you have the entire rally package handout.
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