Later this month Harald von Langsdorff and myself will be traveling to Germany to compete in the 2014 Baden Classic rally. As part of the material being made available to competitors, the organizers have released maps of some of the special tests that will be part of the rally.
Course For BZK 19 and BZK 20
The plan above shows a course defined by traffic cones that appears to be in a parking lot or some other open area. The same control point will be used for both BZK 19 and BZK 20. The overall course appears to be twice around a crooked course which has almost no straight sections. It should be noted that there is no stopping at these BZK controls, so when we go though control BZK 19, then we just keep going to get through the BZK 20 control. At each control an electronic timing light will be used which will time the cars to the 1/100 second.
Course For BZK 34
The course for BZK 34 is somewhat longer than the other courses. In the bottom right hand corner of the map it shows that the first time we come to the end of the parking lot row we turn to the right to then travel along the bottom row of the parking lot, then we return to the same point noted above where the second time we turn to the left to go through the timing light at BZK 34 and then exit the parking lot.
Course For BZK 37, BZK 38, and BZK 39
The course shown in the map above is located in a very nice parking lot in which we had a similar course laid out in the 2013 Baden Classic rally. There are many trees and curbs in this parking lot. Traveling down the rows is straight forward enough, but the short cross-overs between parking lot rows consist of widened sidewalks, which are just wide enough for a full size car are challenging. The timing light for the BZK 37 control is located in the central part of the course. The same timing light is used for both BZK 38 and BZK 39. After we go through the BZK 38 control we will turn left at the next cross-over to loop back around to run through BZK 39 then go straight to leave the parking lot and drive toward some distant BZK 40.
All of these sections at the 2014 Baden Classic will be challenging for Harald and I as we will be in a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S Cabriolet. This is a lovely car, but the target time for these sections will be the same for all cars in the event. Our class includes cars made up to 1965. Some specific cars entered in our class that we will be directly competing against include a MGA, a Porsche 356, a big Healey, and a Ford GT40 clone, which are all a little more nimble than our car. As a result of the expected brisk speeds in these sections, we cannot afford any mistakes in any of these sections, therefore I have to make sure that I give Harald the proper instructions. Stopping for course corrections would be devastating for our time at these controls. And because of the cumulative timing method used in the Baden Classic rally, if we lose 10 seconds at say BZK 37, then we could also be 10 seconds behind at BZK 38 and BZK 39. Note that we will be given target times for all controls. I am glad that we are given a chance to look at these courses before we have to run them.