Following the Course At The 2016 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

When we left Bad Homburg to start the 2016 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique we were following the route as outlined in road books that were prepared by Jens Gandrup of Denmark.  The Rallye Monte Carlo Historique provides a basic route outline to all competitors.  Some rally competitors will work with this information to develop their own supplemental information to assist them to follow the course.  Other competitors will elect to purchase road books that are prepared by others.  Dan Allven, owner/driver of the Fiat 2300S Abarth Coupe in which I was the navigator purchased road book services from Jens Gandrup.  These road books were very helpful.  Jens provided us with a set of books as shown in the photo below.


Road Book Package Provided By Jens Gandrup

The details of the route were presented in five road books.  These road books were supplemented by a separate book of pictures of some of the more tricky bits.  In addition, Jens provides a book of maps that provide a good visual presentation of the route.

The road books have two levels of detail depending upon the information needed by the crews.  When on a transit section the road books provide the information as shown on the sample page below.

Route Book Page Sample 1

Road Book Page Sample When In A Transit Section

When the crews are on a Regularity Stage, such as ZR 1 shown below, the information is in greater detail and numerous references are provided to a resolution of 1 metre.  This enhanced information about the Regularity Stage allowed me to update/correct the distance in my rally computer and to provide information to Dan about the character of the upcoming road features.

Route Book Page Sample 2

Road Book Sample Page From A Regularity Stage

These road books are supplemented by a book of photos.  These photos show some of the trickier parts of the route from a perspective of what the crews would see from inside the car.  Superimposed on these photos are lines that indicate the route to be followed as shown below.

Route Picture Book Sample

Road Book Supplemental Pictures Sample

Further to the above information Jens Gandrup also provides a book of maps that shows the route.  In the image below the transit route is shown highlighted in light blue.  The arrows indicate the direction of travel.  The routes of the Regularity Stages are shown in the purple color.  We found these maps to be very useful, particularly when we were forced to miss a Regularity Stage due to a mechanical problem and we needed to find a way to catch up with the rally so as not to be forced to withdraw because of exceeding maximum lateness.

Route Map Book Sample

Sample Of Map From Map Book

For more information about acquiring Jens Gandrup’s road books for next year’s Rallye Monte Carlo Historique go to Jen’s website at

During the pre-event discussions and emails with Dan Allven I found out that Dan had installed a Monit G100 rally odometer in his Fiat 2300S Abarth.  The Monit G100 can receive input from a GPS signal, a wheel sensor or both.  It can provide total and incremental distances, and current car speed along with maximum speed and a stop watch function. I wanted to use a rally computer that provided more timing functions than the Monit G100.  Dan said that I could use something else if I wanted.  The rules permit electronic rally computers, but they have to be removed from the car every night.  As a result I decided to bring along my Timewise 798A rally computer which I would mount on my rally board, so that it could easily be removed from the car every night.


Installing The Timewise 798A Rally Computer In The Fiat 2300S Abarth

In the short period of time that I had before I left for Europe I did some research into the wiring of the Monit wheel sensor.  Obviously we had no time to install another wheel sensor, so the only way that I could use the Timewise 798A was to find a way to be able to use it with the Monit wheel sensor.  I developed a plan to make the connection from the Timewise unit to the Monit unit, but I had to go into Boston to an electronic specialty shop to get the tiny electrical connectors that I thought I would need.

When I got an opportunity to install the Timewise in the BMW dealership showroom the connection between the Timewise and the Monit sensor worked out just as I had planned. However I did have trouble with the power supply to the Timewise.  Dan had said that he had installed a three-way outlet plug in the car as a power source, therefore I brought along an extension wire  to connect the Timewise to one of the three cigarette lighter outlets that were available. This turned out to be a source of trouble for me, but Dan Allven came to the rescue and suggested that I might have crossed the negative and positive wires in my power cable.  Dan was right, I made the correction, and then the installation was complete.  Dan did think that there were too many wires in the car that they were too long.  This was true but in order to allow for movement of the Timewise unit on the rally board and the lack of time to shorten the power cable especially, we had to live with what we had.  Dan referred to me as “Professor Wires” due to the amount of wiring in the car.


My “Office” During The 2016 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

My “office” during the rally is shown in the image above.  My rally board is sitting on the seat.  It has the Timewise unit mounted on it along with a navigation calculator, a small, simple four-function calculator, pencils, and an integral clipboard that holds the road book and map book in place.  On the dash, in front of Dan, is the driver’s display that provides timing and distance information to Dan.  The black box on the dash in front of me is the conversion/connection box between the Monit wheel sensor and the Timewise unit.

The grey box also in front of me is the Trippy unit that was installed in the car by the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique organizers.  This is a GPS driven unit that the organizers use to time the cars in multiple locations along the Regularity Stage.  The crews can not tell when or where the timing readings will be taken along the Regulatory Stage.  The organizers can also monitor the location and speed of all of the cars in the event.  Within the car, the unit does not provide any map assistance but it did provide current speed information as well as the event official time.

Using these sources of information about the route and the navigation equipment in the car we were able to follow the required route in a timely manner.  Come back again for more information on our progress from Bad Homburg to the finishing line in Monte Carlo.

If you have any questions about this posting, then you can leave a comment below this post or contact me privately at my email address:  shanna12 at comcast dot net

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4 Responses to Following the Course At The 2016 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique

  1. Nice post, answered several questions I had about this event. Big surprise was allowing computers. Do you know what software they (a-team) use to generate the route book instructions?

  2. Is there a computer the other competitors use since I suspect you had the only Timewise.

    • Hi Clarence,
      It is hard to generalize base on what I saw. I saw everything. Most of the cars had several instruments – a separate odometer and a separate clock, plus stopwatches. Some had electronic average speed tables. The most frequent odometers that I saw were Halda and VH Twin units. Some people pre-calculated the times to known reference points and counted down the time to these reference points. Many cars entered with many approaches.
      Steve McKelvie

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