Check that you have all your time cards before leaving Signing On and that competitor number is recorded on each time card, if necessary write on your car number.
Don’t leave Signing On until you have checked the official notice board for any amendments or your start time.
Timecards should be attached to a clipboard where possible as it will be easier for the marshals to write on.
Check the time written on the time card agrees with the time you want and if there is a queue get out and walk to the Marshal. They should never leave the red board and walk down the queue at a delayed start, although the often do.
Write “Pins Out” in your roadbook just before the first control, in case you forgot to arm your fire extinguisher before the start of the event.
Write “Pins In” in your roadbook just after the last control, in case you forgot to disarm your fire extinguisher after the event is over. You don’t want to set if off by accident getting the car back on the trailer.
On the road sections some find it useful to have both the map and the road book open, especially if the car they are in does not have a tripmeter.
If doing a rally that allows a recce wear comfortable loose clothes so that you are only concentrating on the job in hand not how tight your jeans or shirt is. This is often over looked, wear jogging or tracksuit trousers rather than jeans.
On events that have a recce ensure you know the schedule and you are at the stage start for when the first stage to be recced is open and you are not having breakfast or still travelling. Plan the route according to opening times or order in which they have to be recced.
Carry food and drink in the car on the recce so you don’t need to stop for lunch and it keeps the sugar levels up.
When recceing or reviewing stages from a DVD make a note at the start of the notes as to what they were like and a possible landmark that will instantly be memorable to the driver so he remembers this stage over the others.
In your notes count down the distance to the finish at appropriate distances and junctions. It will help you advise the driver how far he’s got to drive on a puncture or change it or wake him up if he appears to be tiring.
When writing your notes or making notes on organisers notes make sure your handwriting is as neat possible, saves rewritting and makes it much easier for you to read in a moving car.
On organisers notes where they have written the next note at the bottom of the page highlight the next note if there is no reasonable distance after the last on the previous page. Makes life easier and may help you spot you’ve turned over two pages before it’s to late!
Turn every page in your notes at least once so they don’t stick together, some co-drivers like to fold over the corner of the pages, I prefer not to.
Use Post-It note page finders or similar and write the stage number on them at the start of each stage to instantly find the start of each stage with the minimum of fuss.
Use post it notes to stick to the inside of the windscreen so that the service crew know what time you are due out. Remember to write on the sticky side so it can be read from the outside.
Go and find the out control at the start and each time you visit service so you know where it is and can guide your driver there with no worries and if you can use every available minute in service, if required.
Wear two digital watches both set to rally time. They don’t have to be expensive rally watches and you don’t need, or should use the stop watch function. You should have two incase one fails and you only need to look at the time of day and seconds as you cross the line and confirm this is the same time written on the time card at the stop line.
On the last page of the notes for each stage write the first few Road Book tulips so you can tell the driver where he has to go next while you sort yourself out and put the helmets away and get the roadbook out.
If the Road Book does not have the stages on different colour paper I always run a Highlighter pen over each page that relates to the stages.
At the end of the road section at the arrival control for the stage I turn the Road Book to the start of the next road section before I put the book away.
The time cards are on a clipboard that during the stages is under my thighs between me and the seat. In the event of a roll it does not move but I know where it is.
Produce a simply schedule that all can follow for the pre-event activities e.g. Scrutineering and Signing On with locations and timing and then event schedule with timinings of stages and services. You will need to judge how much information to provide based on your knowledge of your team. Provide to much they won’t read it, provide to little and they will ask questions. Actually they will always ask questions so ensure you know the answer to the question before it’s asked.
Ensure that everyone has a map and a route to and from the accommodation and with Google Street view I look at the B&B/Hotel to ensure that it has enough parking and you recognise it when you first visit it.
If you have any more tips or hints feel free to drop me a line at rallymatcher @gmail.com