When it comes to Classic Car Rallies just the appreciation of great cars, local food and wine and camraderie of others is enough. However, the competition element of Regularity Motorsport can further deepen your enjoyment of this enjoyable past time.
Veteran of overseas European Classic Car Rallies and Director of the Targa Florio Australian Tribute, Andrew Lawson explains a little more about the timing equipment required for these great events.
Timing Equipment, Practice
Its up to each team to work out how hard you want to compete in the Targa Florio Australian Tribute. This article has been written to explain some of the choices and to highlight the Zero device as a unit that in our experience provides a tool which we hope will improve teams ability and enjoyment as they get closer and closer to the nominated PC times.
As ever practice makes a big difference – there is no substitute from having experienced driving and practicing the same routine as you drive through the PC trials.
Below is a summary of the timing equipment that can help you become more skilled and accurate:
If you want to get more accurate there are a wide range of equipment that have been created to help you.
These include ‘rally’ style odometer (Zero, Terratrip, Monit etc.) which are mounted in the car. This can also be achieved with an App such as ‘Rallytripmeter’. There are a number available.
Time Controls are simple. Check your clock, be on time, and add the time allowed to your time out and make sure you arrive at the destination on time! As long as there are no issues with the car and you follow the route you should not loose time making these within the allotted minute.
Regularity Stages and Average Speed tests are a little more involved. It’s a team effort and you need to work together. For our first go at the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio events we used an Ipad’ Regularity Test App. called Chronomaster.eu (Lite is free, Klassik costs $99 but will allow you to enter the entire rally before you start the event where as the lite version requires you to enter the tests in groups).
The following are some of the equipment available.
On the navigation side we have used terratrip that accurately provides distance and time information. These combine well with the roadbook as they allow you to have accurate distance calculation between each direction or feature highlighted in the roadbook. They also provide accurate average speed feedback for the PM trials where you are set an average speed to maintain typically run over 5 – 10 km’s.
Competition – tools that help :
Generally, after you have completed a number of these rally’s and your competitive nature takes over there is no end of preparations you can take and equipment you can add to the car to give you the best chance.
To make the timing even more accurate hand-held triggers, countdown audio and very accurate equipment all enable the competitors to be very accurate.
Examples of the top end equipment include the Zero, Digitec Ecco, Bora and Bora S systems that have been developed in Italy for these races.
ZERO – V5.2
Having watched and spoken to a wide range of teams that compete in the European events there is wide range of equipment and techniques used to be as accurate as possible. In deciding on a system our main criteria were:
- East of use
- They include a handheld trigger
- They have a simple menu system
- They are easy to set up and use in the event.
- Cost, systems can cost from $750 – $2,500
The Zero units ticked all the boxes, they come programmed in Italian or English, have a simple menu system and have been developed for the European regularity events.
The units are provided with the following:
- Zero Unit
- Robust case
- Dash mount, including a trigger mount
- Charge cable
The only thing we needed to add was a set of headphones.
The unit has a training and event modes.
For the event the rally time is accurately recorded and the PC’s. PM are added together with transit stages.
Typically there are between 3 and 6 PC’s run concurrently (you are asked in the setup whether they are concurrent (linked)or not).
There are 4 different events
CO: time control (the time allocated for the car to start the race),
PC Precision trial, measured between 2 tubes on the road, cars are given an exact time to complete each PC.
The key to success in PC trials is hitting the exact time over each line.
A big help is establishing a consistent time and technique for the last 10 metre zone.
These stages are all about hitting the exact time for each trial.
- There are more than 70 of these on the rally and they are timed within 1/100 of a second.
- This is where the regularity rally is won and lost.
- The key is to accurately drive these short sections, between 40 and 400 meters long in exactly the correct time.
- Typically you are required to travel approx. 10-30km/h.
- There are typically 2 – 4 of these in a row and they are positioned in car parks, ovals and where roads can be closed to ensure public traffic do not drive through them and affect the timing.
Generally, there will be marshals to direct you into the time trials.
The penalty for not being exactly on time is 1 point per 1/100th of a second
PF Phantom Trial (a time set for travelling between sets of PC’s
CC Time control – accurate to the 1/100 of a second.
You can then add the entire event into the ZERO and you are ready to go. An added feature to the Zero’s is that if one of the other competitors has loaded to event in a ZERO the units can be connected by a cable and share the event data.
We have purchased a ZERO and will make sure we have them at training.
A training guide was prepared for the first training – if you would like a copy of it or any further information on the ZERO devices or training please contact Linda on firstname.lastname@example.org
Teams spend weekends and spare time training to time the last 10 meters into controls to get as close to exact as possible. To win one of these events competitors must accurately complete 70 – 120 PC’s with the minimum time losses. The winners typically do this with only a few seconds lost over the entire event.
Feedback from experts is that they use a foot on the brake and a foot on the accelerator to get the time as close as possible. Winning these events takes practice to be as consistent as you can be over the line. A lot of practice and repetitively mastering the PC stages is key to winning the event.