2011 Le Jog Rally- One Of Europe’s Toughest Rallies

In a little more than a week, one of Europe’s toughest’s rally, Le Jog, will be underway.  The 17th running of Le Jog will take place from December 10 to 13, 2011.  The Le Jog starts at Land’s End in England and ends 1,552 miles later at John O’Groats in Scotland.  A brochure providing an overview of Le Jog can be seen by clicking on the following file:


The Le Jog rally, which is limited to cars built before 1984, is run like the traditional British road rally using map coordinates.  About two weeks before the event starts, the organizers of Le Jog send out the map coodinates of the rally locations.  This will provide the competitors sufficient time to prepare their maps for the 2011 Le Jog.  For example, the map coordinates for the 2011 Le Jog rally are shown in the file below:

LJ11 General Schedule

As can be seen in the above schedule, a typical map coordinate in Le Jog would be 203/3442 2498.  The first three digits are the map number, digits 4 through 7 show the horizontal coordinate, while digits 8 to 11 present the vertical coordinate.  The organizers of Le Jog provide their competitors with the option of purchasing a map book with the route locations pre-plotted.

For typical North American rally participants this method of presenting the rally route is unknown.  In order to provide a general outline of this method, I have included some examples that I have taken from the book “Rally Navigation” by Martin Holmes which was first published in 1975.

In the example below the upper portion presents the rally coordinates and timing information for a portion of a rally.

The left column identifies the location name and type.  The 4th and 5th columns are the map coordinates.The 6th column presents the direction that the competitors must approach the controls from while the 7th column shows the direction that the competitors must leave the control.  The right hand column presents the required rally timing, in this case timed to the minute.

The lower part of the image below shows a plot of the indicated instructions. In the example shown, the navigator has plotted the route by marking a pencil line on the left side of the route that must be followed.  It is interesting to look at the route indicated from the Selective 1 Start to Selective 1 Finish, which must be traversed in 22 minutes.  Note that the competitors must leave the Selective 1 Start by heading in a northwest direction.  The fastest route to Passage Control 4 woud be to turn left at the first road to the south, however the instructions say that Passage Control 4 must be approached from the northwest, therefore the competitors must not turn south at the first road, but continue further west to turn left on a road that has not be shown due to cropping of the map image, to ensure that Passage Control 4 is approached from the correct direction.

Sample of a Plot of a British Rally

A plotting aid known as a romer is very important to plotting the rally coordinates.  An example of using a romer is presented in the image below.  The romer is shown to be indicating the coordinate position 26705140.  The first four digits are the horizontal (east/west)coordinates, while the second four digits represent the vertical (north/south) coordinates.

Example of the Use of a Romer

Another example of a plot for a rally is shown below.  The hatching on the map shows an area that is to be avoided during this rally.

Plot for a British Rally

I hope to get some direct information from a Le Jog competitor following the rally and some pictures that illustrate the challenges of this tough rally which has developed an impressive reputation.  I have looked at this year’s entry list and I don’t see any North American entries.  That is too bad.  I have been advised that the Le Jog rally is one of those rallies that should be on everyone’s bucket list.  The journey from Land’s End to John O’ Groats is the longest drive that you can take in Great Britain.  The Le Jog has been described to me to be the equivalent to the old Shell 4000 rally.  That would be a high standard to meet.  The Le Jog rally sure sounds interesting and I think that my bucket list just might have grown by one.  Perhaps someday someone will need a navigator.

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9 Responses to 2011 Le Jog Rally- One Of Europe’s Toughest Rallies

  1. elementguy says:

    This certainly on my bucket list. I have put on British plot style rallies the last two years so I was glad to see this article as it has given me a few new ideas. I would love to see an event like this here in the USA. The various “tests” are also something that the old shell 4000 and even some US rallies had that would make US rallies more interesting. I suppose insurance would be an issue though.

    • I understand that many of the “tests” are on private property. This approach could also be used here in the USA. In fact, in the northeast USA we frequently hold rallycross events (for the sake of my point, I’ll call them “tests”) on private property using the insurance that is provided by the major road rally organization, the Sports Car Club of America.
      I think that it would be interesting to include several “rallycross” runs embedded within a road rally. So if you equate “rallycross” with “tests”, then you can combine the timing and course following requirements of a road rally with the driving challenges and adrenaline factor of a rallycross to create an event that would interesting, challenging, and could possibly attract wider participation.

      I like the idea that you have put on “British plot style rallies”. Events like that would be challenging and would better prepare US participants to take part in overseas rallies.


      • Clarence Westberg says:

        I think SCCA should explore the Road Rally/Rally-cross scenario further. In my area we have a real problem finding a place ‘test’ could be held.

      • Hi Clarence,
        One of my “night” jobs is serving on the Rally Board for the New England Region (NER) of the SCCA. We have been making strides in the Road Rally/Rallycross cross. We now commonly schedule our road rallies and rallycross events on the same weekend (Rally on Saturday & Rallycross on Sunday) at the same place. This has resulted in a cross over of the competitors between the events, which benefits both programs. We will do more of this in 2012.

        The next step, which we have talked about before, both briefly at the NER Rally Board and privately, is the “test” concept that I outlined in the earlier comment. This change in thinking will take some time, but it is a worthy thing to do. I hope that we can do it as a demonstration test at one of our NER events in 2012. Eventually, we would not want to do it at all of our rallies, but only at a select one or two. Any support/advice that you and others can provide would be appreciated.


  2. Walt Kammer says:

    I presume you know that Ohio’s Eric Jones (who sadly passed away a few years ago, much younger than expected) and Harry Ward had run that event several times using Eric’s MG, and sometimes renting a rally car while there. I am sure Harry could provide you some information should you desire it.

    • Hi Walt,
      I have been told before that a few Americans have competed in this event, but I was not aware of the names of those competitors. Thank you for providing a name for future reference.


  3. elementguy says:

    Here is a link to this years P&B event. It’s been evolving for the last two year to fit our maps in WI. http://marchmuddywaters.blogspot.com/

    • Your March Muddy Waters rally format has given me some ideas for a rally that I am a co-rallymaster with Hal Denham called the Mass Challenge. Thanks for providing the link.


      • elementguy says:

        I enjoy seeing what other people are doing around the world. We should all try to make our ideas available in order to promote new ideas outside the same old concepts SCCA has promoted for too many years.

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