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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I love motor sports! From go-karts to Formula One, it’s all very exciting. I NEED to be involved in car events and I have tried many types of competitions, from Formula Ford racing to autocross to rallies. It can be very expensive to run some of these events, so now, I concentrate on winning Monte Carlo Rallies. They are affordable, challenging and expose you to amazing scenery.

I’ve been running TSD sports car rallies since 1965. My first one was an SCCA National Championship Event in Houston, Texas when I was a senior in high school. It was a tremendously difficult event and we were lost most of the time. It hooked me on this form of motor sports, because it combined driving skill with navigational skill. In the Air Force, I ran Time Speed Distance Rallies in Oklahoma City, Oxford (England), and Denver.

After moving to Los Angeles, I discovered the “Into the Night” Rally Team and learned about Monte Carlo Rallies. These are much more fun! Gone, were the complicated math and the difficult rules. Instead, we had simple timing and maps to follow. That means you can drive whatever speed you’re comfortable with! The magnificent scenery of Southern California made this a prime hobby of sports car nuts like me, who love motor sports, but don’t really want to bang up their car on a race track.

The ITN Team is putting on a short event, perfect for first timers called, “Two Lane Blacktop”, on September 12. It will start in Santa Clarita and take us on a fascinating tour of great canyon roads and river valleys. We will cruise over mountains, through forests and see some very interesting historical sites.

The people who run these events are fun-loving characters. They help each other out and share a lot of information with newcomers to make the events more exciting. Many of them tell amazing stories of rallies from all over the United States. They bring out all kinds of cars, too.

Subaru’s are very popular and we see lots of Japanese cars including Honda’s (S2000), Toyota’s, Mitsubishi’s (Evo) and Nissan’s (350Z). We see teams in Jaguar’s, Mercedes’ and BMW’s. PT Cruisers have won events and so have teams in pickup’s and SUV’s. One time, a team ran in a Rolls Royce. One of our strongest teams runs in a Toyota Matrix. Another team runs a Cobra. Sometimes, we see some really fast Pro-rally cars, muscle cars and exotic sports cars compete, too. You see, the car is really not important, navigating and driving skill is!

You don’t need much equipment to compete. A good wristwatch will do for timing and a clipboard to hold maps. You want to be sure your tires are in good shape and that there is air in the spare. I usually check all the car’s fluids, too. I have to be more concerned about my own condition than the car’s. At 62, I try to do some exercise twice a week and eat right so that I have the stamina to run the longer events. My navigator is almost my age and he sometimes drives when I need a break.

A navigator who can read maps and help follow the course is very important for Monte Carlo Rallies. I have seen single drivers win events, but it is pretty difficult. You can bring a girlfriend, wife, son or daughter and have some bounding time and this can really add to the fun. The simple problem solving challenges of Monte Carlo Rallies can provide an excellent team building experience with whomever you run with.

I have always wondered how my car compares with other cars I could have bought. One of the most interesting things about Montes is while you are running on little used roads away from civilation, you can run a speeds that are a little faster then the normal urban commute. Other drivers are doing the same and it is surprising how quickly a Mini Cooper can disappear around a corner, or a Corvette can flash down a straight, or an Evo can eat up a curvy road. In these events you get a real perspective of the relative abilities of a wide variety of cars.

After you try one, you may come to love them as much as I do! Hope to see you on Saturday, September 12. Please write me if you have any questions.

Neckstrap

 

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...i've just spent all morning trying to learn about the monte carlo format and have come up empty...could you post a primer on monte carlo rallies and how they differ from typical TSD events?..
 

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Thought this was going to be about that James Taylor flick from the early 70's!





:huh:
 

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So you guys run on raods that are blocked from main traffic? With no worry about getting busted or is this like a gumball run. Go as fast as you want but pay the consequences of getting busted? Sounds like a lot of fun. I think towns should have one day a month where you can drive as fast as you want on designated roads. I would think it would keep speeders from speeding most of the other times. This way we can play and not worry about getting busted then obey the rest of the time knowing we can do something like this several times a year. I dont know of any local tracks where I live so I gotta play avoid the po-po game all the time.
 

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These aren't about speed, they are about hitting the right time. Nothing at all like the Gumball run. I have never done one but think I might join this one. Sound fun.

Doh. Just noticed it is on a Wednesday. Not sure that is going to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Murix,

It is on Saturday and I will be happy to answer any questions about it.

..m..

There will be a short class before the rally to explain it all. But, it's really pretty simple: You are given a set of maps and instructions. The instructions tell you where the checkpoints are on the maps and exactly what time to be there.

You drive to the checkpoint and find a timing car there with a hose stretched across the road. You drive across the hose on the exact second that you are supposed to be there (not early or late). Then, you stop at the timing car and they write your score on your timing card.

You proceed to each checkpoint, in order, and collect all your scores. The team that does this most accurately wins the trophy. There are three different classes and beginners have just as much chance of winning as us old timers.

You do not have to speed. You do not have to do any wild maneuvers. Just find the right place and be there on time, exactly on time. This is harder than it sounds and that's where the fun comes in. I practice by running over a broomstick many, many times. We usually hit most of the checkpoints on the zero. It's like golf, the lowest score wins.

The other things that make it fun are the interesting roads and scenery that the Rallymaster takes us through. Also the chance to see how your car compares to other cars. Some people like to go faster. Others like to take it real easy. Which group are you in?

There's more information and a video about how to run Monte's here: Welcome to ITN Rallye Club Home Page

Rallysnake
 

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This sounds like a great event but unfortunately stumbled onto this post. I'll have to keep checking the site to see when they have the shorter intro events like the one that's happening in a couple of days. Thanks for sharing this with us Paul.
 

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This does sound fun, what's the deal with the car classes? Is it run SORTA like a gumball or whatever, where we each leave the starting line 30 seconds appart, is it that formalized?
 
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