Some people have asked me about the timing method used for the upcoming Baden Classic Rally which I will be taking part in Germany later this month. I think that the best way to explain it is to present a timing sheet that each team will have. The image below shows the timing sheet:
Sample Baden Classic Timing Sheet
In the actual sheets that each team will be given, under the “Fahrzeiten” column the “xx Min” will be replaced by a duration in minutes & seconds to each of the “B-ZK” controls. While all teams will be given the same durations to each control, each team will be given a start time that is one minute apart from the other teams. The term “Lichtschranke” refers to a control where the passage time (to the 1/100 of a second) for each car will be measured by a light beam timing unit. The rally cars do not stop at these controls and you can not stop near the control. This type of timing system is commonly referred to as the “Monte Carlo” type timing system.
On the far right of the “Fahrzeiten” column is the time to the next “ZK” control. The teams can check into these controls anytime on their minute. The method is much like the time method used at the end of transit sections in stage rallies. For example, if a team has a duration of 36 minutes to reach the next “ZK” control, then they can check into that next “ZK” control anytime from 36:00 to 36:59, i.e. anytime after 36 minutes and yet before 37 minutes. The team’s start of the next leg is 2 minutes after the check in time. In this example, the start time for the next leg would be 38 minutes (36 + 2) after the start of the previous leg.
Also note on the timing sheet, the “SK” controls which have no times assigned to them. These are specific rally signs that are placed along the route of the rally. The value that you see on each “SK” sign must be entered in the corresponding yellow box on the right hand side of the timing sheet. These signs are on short stakes along the side of the road. The face of the sign is about 12 inches square. On the sign could be a number like “66” or a letter like “H”. Missing seeing the value and therefore not recording the value on the sheet will evoke a timing penalty of 15 seconds for each sign missed. These signs are not particularly hidden, but they are not prominently displayed either. You must always be on the look out for them as they are easy to miss. The teams have to make sure that either the driver or the navigator have their eyes on the roadside at all times when on the lookout for these signs. The timing sheet shows, for example, that there will be two “SK” signs between “B-ZK1” and “B-ZK2”.
In general, that is how the timing for the Baden Classic will work. Some of the legs will be special tests where the required average speed will be difficult for us to achieve in a bone stock 55 year old car.