Timing Sheet Used in the Baden Classic Rally

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.

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7 Responses to Timing Sheet Used in the Baden Classic Rally

  1. elementguy says:

    Very interesting. Do you have examples of what the instructions look like? When scoring to the 1/100 of a second zero’s must be pretty rare, what’s a typical score for a top team?

    • In our class, the winners in 2010 had a score of just over 9 seconds for 15 controls. The top teams are very good right at the timing line. Their largest score was about 2.20 seconds. You are right, there are very few zeroes.

      Other “Monte Carlo” scoring events like the Mille Miglia don’t use the times, but use points assigned to the positions compared to the other cars. The team that does the best at a control (regardless of the actual error) gets so many points and the team that finished second best gets so many points etc. This has the advantage of spreading the team’s scores out, especially in a large field of competitive teams. It also keeps the competition for the top spots going further into the event, almost to the last control. As a top team could have a great time on the last control, but still finish fourth on that control, thereby allowing another team to move up significantly.

      I will post a sample of the route instructions very soon.

      Regards,
      Steve

      • elementguy says:

        I would like to try assigning points based by position some time. Problem here is you typically want people to score themselves and you can’t do that with that system.

      • I look forward to the very near future when rally timing and scoring catches up with the electronic equipment and software that is or can be made available. People are working on this and I expect great things soon. This would be the single biggest improvement to TSD rallying since mechanical clocks were replaced by electronic clocks.

        Steve

  2. silverbaron says:

    Steve was diplomatic to state that either the driver or navigator should spot those obnoxious”SK” control signs at the side of the road. I’d argue that because the drivers (my) eyes are on the road all the time anyways, it is really my job to spot them (15 sec penalty is a lot!) Steve as navigator is busy looking at his road-book, stopwatches and calculations.

    • Well Harald, you’re supposed to be driving the car too, so we’re both busy. I think that you would agree that it is fairly tense trying not to miss these signs. As I recall, the signs were placed in areas with long grass or at the far end of a guide rail. Making sure that these signs are not missed keeps both the driver and the navigator on edge. It would be very time consuming to have to go back to check whether or not either the driver or the navigator thought that he saw a sign. It certainly adds another element to route following in a “Monte Carlo” type run.

      Steve

      • silverbaron says:

        Yes, I remember, last year they listed some that were nowhere to be found. I never checked if those placeholders in the timing sheet were just “blanks” listed by the organizers or maybe someone actually removed them?! They keep you (me) on the edge.

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