A Driver Route Reminder Tool

This past week I got an email message from Dan Allven about his Volvo PV544 that we competed with in the 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  The photo below shows us on a road somewhere in the south of France during this car rally.

Dan Allven & I In The 2017 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

After that rally, Dan sold the Volvo PV544 to a fellow in Holland.  This past week Dan sent me a picture of the Volvo that had been sent to him by the current owner of the Volvo.  Obviously it appears that it is being used in a winter car rally.  What caught my eye was the Route Check driver’s reminder device being used by the rally crew.  This is the white device mounted in the center of the dash as shown in the photo below.

Note The Route Check Device On The Dash

This Route Check device is something that I was aware of, but had not seen being used before.  The device can convey two pieces of information and leave that information on display as a reminder to the driver.  Typically the white dial is used to list the odometer reading at the next point of action.  In the photo above the digital number at the bottom is “0” and the pointer on the white dial points to “2.0”.  That means that the next action location will be at odometer reading 2.0.  The upper reading on the Monit odometer says in the photo above reads 0.62, so they have 1.38 kilometers to travel before the next action location.

The red indicator on the Route Check device points to the left, which means that at the action location the correct route is a square left turn.  The red hand can be rotated as necessary to point in the desired direction.

I understand that some crews might use the number indicated by the white dial as the target average speed instead of using it to note the point of action.

These devices are available from Don Barrow in England.  The image below was taken from Don Barrow’s website.

Don Barrow’s Route Check

In the image above the next point of action is at distance 23.70 and at that location, the rally route requires a 45 degree right turn or a “kay right” to stay on course.

I am not fully convinced that these route check devices are a high priority in the a typical time-speed-distance rally car.  I prefer to remind the driver several times by voice as to when and what the next instruction is.  And almost always doing the mathematics for the driver by saying that it’s “200 meters to the right turn”, then “100 meters to the right turn” and so on.  I would rather have the driver be looking at the road and driving the car without glancing over at the route check device.  And managing the route check device is another piece of equipment that gets added to the navigator’s “to-do” list.  However I have also learned over the years, that whatever works best for the driver is usually what is best for the team.  All a navigator can provide is information, but the driver has to act on that information.  Rallies are scored on actions, not on information.

For more information about the route check device go to Don Barrow’s website at the following address:

www.donbarrow.co.uk

If you have any questions or comments about this post, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Team Phoenix Arises For 2018 Great Race

At last years’ 2017 Great Race, David Wells played a key part on our rally team.  David took the lead in building Harald von Langsdorff’s Mercedes-Benz 350SLC and then was a member of the service crew.  While he did a great job with the car, it is the ice-cold soaked towels that I’ll always remember getting when we arrived at the finish line at the end of the day.

This year David built his own car, a 1966 Volvo 122S, to compete in the 2018 Great Race.  He started last fall with a troubled restoration by a previous owner and trailer load of parts.  From those “ashes” Team Phoenix has arisen.  Last night David sent me their team publicity document.  David has teamed with Peter McGuire, the Officer of the (Stop) Watch, who will do the navigating and timing for Team Phoenix.

David has a long history of working on rally cars, including a Ferrari 308 African Safari car!  When David lived in Kenya he prepared Volvo cars for competition in the East Africa Safari Rally, so he knows his way around Volvos.  You can see some of his Volvo handy work on the page below with a photo of a rally Volvo 122 from 1970.

I wish David and Peter much success in the 2018 Great Race and I look forward to taking part in the Great Race with Harald von Langsdorff once again this year.  The route is shown on the image above.

If you have any questions about this post or the Great Race, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Additional Photos From The Day 1 Great American Mountain Rally Revival Recce

There are three additional photos that I want to share from the recce that Gary Hamilton & I did for Day 1 of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival.  We saw a number of interesting things during our recce and we did not stop to take pictures of them all or we would never have got anything done.  But I have included three additional photos in this post.

 

This Certainly Caught Our Eye

The above photo shows what I think is the front end of a 1953 or 1954 Chevy.  You don’t see cars parked like that very often.

What’s A New England Car Rally Without A Covered Bridge!

We will be passing through this covered bridge and there will be no “Pause 30” written into the General Requirements. (Only former Covered Bridge Rally competitors will understand that comment.)

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The Words On The Side Of The Barn Were Written Using License Plates!

At this time we are working through the notes that we made from the recce of Day 1 of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival and making plans to go back again.  The route will be interesting.

If you have any questions or comments about this post or the Great American Mountain Rally Revival, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net  For issues related directly to the rally contact the following address: GAMRR2018 at gmail dot com

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Report From The Day 1 Recce Of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival

This past Saturday and Sunday Gary Hamilton and I did a recce of Day 1 of the route of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival.  We traveled on some back roads through New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont to measure and document the rally route that we have developed.  The route that we have is a great route and we are still tweaking it to make it even better.

This Is What We Are Looking For!

Along some of the roads at higher elevations it was not unusual to see some recent snow.  Fortunately, the snow did not have much of an effect on our recce.

Many Of The Roads At Higher Elevations Had Snow Along Them

The scenery along the route was fine and we know that it will be great in October during the Great American Mountain Rally Revival with the beautiful New England fall leaf colors on display.

The Roadside Streams Had Lots Of Water Flow

The sign that we saw below did not match the surroundings.

Not Exactly Beach Conditions!

I recently added a GaugePilot rally computer to my navigation toolbox and I used it for the Great American Mountain Rally Revival recce.  For the recce of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival recce it seemed appropriate to use a piece of equipment that provides the same type of information that would have been available in the 1950s and early 1960s.  While I could have used the Speedpilot display of the GaugePilot for the recce, I took advantage of the Twinmaster display that allowed me to easily track both the total and incremental distances.  I appreciate the support of GaugePilot for the Great American Mountain Rally Revival and hope to have further announcements about this relationship.

My Rally Board Recce Set Up

I also used a handheld GPS unit to log waypoint coordinates along the rally route so we can plot the final route of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival using Garmin Basecamp and Google Earth.  I also had a copy of part of the 1953 Mobilgas map of Southern New England which will be used by the rally participants to help them follow the route and not get lost.  All of the roads used by the Great American Mountain Rally Revival are on this map, but some of the current route numbers are different now than what they were in 1953.  But don’t worry, as we will advise the competitors of all of the numbering changes.

The recce of Day 1 of the Great American Mountain Rally Revival was a success.  Our initial rally route that we developed on paper maps, supplemented by computer mapping is good, but we did see some improvements that we want to and will make.

If you have any questions about this post or the Great American Mountain Rally Revival which will be held from October 11 to October 14, 2018, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

We are keeping a list of those who have expressed an interest in the rally and will be contacting those people directly with additional information about entering this car rally.  If you want to be on this list, then just let me know.

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Rupert Jones: A Motorsporting Clergyman

In a move that probably surprises no one who might read this webpage from time to time, I have added another book to my half vast library of car rally books.  This new addition is an autobiography by Rupert Jones, also known as a motorsporting clergyman.  It is a very interesting and amusing book about the many things that he did.

In his younger days he did a lot of motorcycling and was quite a good marksman with a rifle.  He also enjoyed the odd pint.

At university he began to get involved in motor sports when he eventually came to the attention of Marcus Chambers and Peter Riley.  His first major international rally was the Liege-Rome-Liege with Peter Riley in a Works Austin Healey.

One of the interesting things about Rupert Jones is that he co-drove  in an Austin Mini when they were first rallied.  Let me be clear, this was an Austin Mini – not a Mini Cooper.

Rupert Jones Was A Co-driver In An Original Austin Mini

I was informed earlier this year that it is thought that none of the original Works Mini rally cars now exist.   A vague rumor of perhaps one on an island somewhere.  Original Works Mini Cooper rally cars can be found, but not the few  standard Works Austin Mini rally cars.

Rupert Jones also rallied in the Works Austin Healey cars again with some respectable results.

Rupert Jones With John Gott In The Liege-Rome-Liege Rally

I am still working my way through this book, but it is a very enjoyable read. A story well told.

If you have any comments or questions about this book or Rupert Jones, then leave a comment below, or you can send me a private email message at the following address:  shanna12 at comcast dot net

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More About The 1948 Alpine Rally HRG Car

Recently I got some additional information about the HRG cars from Peter Davis of England.  He and his Dad owned the HRG car that had registration number JLA 13 which I had shown in a previous post.  This was one of the HRG cars that competed in the 1948 Alpine Rally.  This car is shown below competing in that rally.

HRG 1100 In The 1948 Alpine Rally (photo credit Motor Sport)

Peter sent some pictures of the car that he took outside “Rothampstead Manor” which is an experimental agricultural establishment in Harpenden, a town where he used to live (Roughly 24 miles north of London).

A More Modern Photo Of One Of The HRG Cars That Competed In The 1948 Alpine Rally

The picture below is a slightly different view of the same HRG car in front of the same building.

Another View Of the Same Car At The Same Place

The photo below shows three of the successful HRG cars taken at the 1948 Alpine Rally.  Note the HRG 1500 car in the middle of the photo.  It has registration number KHN 600.

Peter Davis also sent me the more recent photo below of the same HRG 1500 shown above.  That car, with the red axle,  was photographed at a Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb event in Worcestershire.

HRG With Registration Number KHN 600 At Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb

I want to thank Peter Davis for sending me these additional photos of some HRG cars and for putting these photos in a car rally context.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then you can leave a comment below, or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Team Silver Baron 2018 Great Race “Hero” Cards

The 2018 Great Race is coming up soon and once again I will be part of Team Silver Baron as we compete is this 9-day long car rally from Buffalo, NY to Halifax, NS.  As has been done on several other events that the Team Silver Baron has competed, team cards or “hero” cards have been prepared which describe the team and the car.  These are then displayed on the windshield during the nightly car stops/car shows and interested spectators can pick them up and read all about the car.  Harald von Langsdorff is the team owner and driver, while I am the navigator.

Front Side Of The Team Silver Baron “Hero” Card

Back Side Of The Team Silver Baron “Hero” Card

The information about the car is quite helpful.  The exhaust system on the Mercedes-Benz is not particularly quiet.  It sounds very much like an American V8 engine.  Several times during last year’s Great Race, Harald would get approached and be asked what engine was in the car as the traditional Mercedes-Benz external model emblem has been removed.  Harald would say:”It’s a 350″.  The inquirer would say something about the power of the engine and it would become clear that the inquirer was thinking  that the car was powered by a 350 cubic inch Chevrolet V8 engine.  Eventually it would get sorted out that the car model is a 350SLC  with a 3.5 liter Mercedes-Benz V8 engine, not the Chevrolet V8.

The first outing for this car in 2018 will be the Rally Round The Erie Canal rally on May 4-6 in Fairport, New York.  This is a Speed-Time rally with the Northeast Rally Club.Story

If you have any comments or questions about the post, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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