New winter rally series

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Dave_G
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2011 Winter Challenge Rally

Post by Dave_G » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:44 pm

Just a reminder that the registration deadline for the annual Vermont Winter Challenge Rally is approaching, Feb. 9. Of all the winter rallies, IMHO this one is the best, the biggest, the longest, the hardest, and the mostest funest, and it's right in our back yard! I wish I could make it. If I could, I wouldn't be driving all the way out to Bancroft, Ontario (to the Maple Leaf Winter Rally) the weekend before to do the same thing. :P

New this year: they have a web page (finally)!: http://www.winterchallengerally.com/

Of particular note are a couple of John Buffum's comments in the News section:
In the past I have made the event too difficult for an all-night winter rally! It would have been fine as a sunday afternoon rally of 100 miles, but at night everything is just so much more difficult. I've tried to keep that in mind as I laid out this year's event.
and:
We will divide the event into three sections: The first will be a typical TSD, however I guarantee that it will be easier to follow; that is not to say that it won't have some areas that require thinking, just that you won't get lost and wander (or speed) around. The second section will be a map exercise; however you'll be happy to know that I have updated the map from 1967 to 2005! The third section will be tulip diagrams with mileages to most instructions; it will be brisk thruout, with a couple of faster areas.(since there is only one event, I need to make the TSD section easier for non-rallyists and make the brisk section somewhat slower for non racers).
Good news, I think! It'll still be just as fun, and at the same time not as potentially frustrating. (It's still not a rally for novices, however.)

Now get out there and have fun! :rally:
Dave GuertinImage
'90 Miata (summer fun)
'91 BMW 325iX (winter fun) oo=[][]=oo
'04 Mazda 6s wagon (family fun)

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skivittlerjimb
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Re: New winter rally series

Post by skivittlerjimb » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:19 pm

Bob K. will and I will there in his Subaru. Sad to leave the Suzuki at home this time but I think she's done her duty with two Winter Challenge Rallies under her belt. Don't see too many other 7-passenger vehicles out there trying to average 44 mph down a snowy, rutted VT dirt road. :drive1:

Hopefully co-driver sickness won't be a feature of this year's event, either. I'm back to the pencil and calculator and map this year. Looking forward to the challenge and to the fun. \:D/
-Jim B.
'92 GVR4 280/1000

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Mike Kamm
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Re: New winter rally series

Post by Mike Kamm » Sat Jan 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Steve Clare and I are signed up for what will be our fifth go at our favorite event. My '89 4WD Sentra will once again be our vehicle of choice.
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Dave_G
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Rallye des Neiges

Post by Dave_G » Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:46 pm

Have fun at the Winter Challenge Rally, you guys!

Since Neil and I can't make it, we're compensating by doing three other rallies in the new WINTR series. First was the Long Way Home Rally last weekend. #2 was the Rallye des Neiges last night in the Eastern Townships of Québec.

In a nutshell, it was a great night: 170 miles of brisk driving on twisty, snowpacked roads, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Here's a Google map of the route: (Part 1)(Part 2)

This was our first Canadian rally, and there were several things that took some getting used to. First, instead of classes for equipped (rally computers), stock (no computers), and novice, the classes are "expert" and "novice." Since we're not novices, we must be experts. :P That meant we were competing against teams with rally computers, but it also meant we got to use the crude on-board computer in the BMW, which displays average speed. It took halfway through the rally before I figured out the best way to use it, but once I did, it was a huge help for keeping on time.

Another big change for us was not getting the route instructions until we were driving away at the start. Over the years Neil and I have developed a routine that's based on two sets of instructions that we get an hour ahead of time. That meant that we had to devise a new technique. We planned it out at dinner before the start, but it took us a while to get the hang of it, and we never really got comfortable with our timing until almost halfway through the rally.

The scoring at Canadian rallies is very different. Instead of being timed to 1/100 of a minute, each leg is timed either to the minute or to 1/10 of a minute, with one point given per minute early or late. This means that scores are very low, and the winner is usually the team that scores the most zeroes. In last night's rally, the winning team zeroed every leg for a total score of 0. In contrast, Neil and I blew one leg where we missed a turn and arrived at the checkpoint 10 minutes late, giving us a score of 10 for that leg (no time allowances in Québec rallies). We finished with a score of 18.5, good for 11th overall. Other than the one blown leg, we zeroed almost the whole second half of the rally, with most of point accruing early on when we still were trying to figure out our timing. Next time (and there definitely will be a next time!) I expect we'll do better.

Anyway, the rally itself was great fun to drive, and once we got into our rhythm we both enjoyed ourselves immensely. The roads were all snowpacked, fast, and tricky -- in other words, FUN! :3gears:

Next up: the all-night Maple Leaf Winter Rally in Ontario.
Dave GuertinImage
'90 Miata (summer fun)
'91 BMW 325iX (winter fun) oo=[][]=oo
'04 Mazda 6s wagon (family fun)

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Dave_G
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Re: New winter rally series

Post by Dave_G » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:39 pm

Mike Kamm wrote:Planning to come to the Hill and Dale tsd with MoHud next month?
I just learned that this is the same date as the Frost Heaves Rally around central NH: http://www.ner.org/rally/rdral/event/%5 ... ost-heaves

The FHR used to be later, but they've moved it earlier this year to make it more of a winter rally. Neil and I have done it the past few years and have enjoyed it a lot. Too bad they're on the same date. There aren't that many rallies in the northeast, and it's unfortunate to have a scheduling conflict.
Dave GuertinImage
'90 Miata (summer fun)
'91 BMW 325iX (winter fun) oo=[][]=oo
'04 Mazda 6s wagon (family fun)

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Mike Kamm
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Re: New winter rally series

Post by Mike Kamm » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:02 pm

Dave_G wrote:
Mike Kamm wrote:Planning to come to the Hill and Dale tsd with MoHud next month?
I just learned that this is the same date as the Frost Heaves Rally around central NH: http://www.ner.org/rally/rdral/event/%5 ... ost-heaves

The FHR used to be later, but they've moved it earlier this year to make it more of a winter rally. Neil and I have done it the past few years and have enjoyed it a lot. Too bad they're on the same date. There aren't that many rallies in the northeast, and it's unfortunate to have a scheduling conflict.
Thanks for pointing that out Dave. I've read on the MoHud Forums that the rallymaster of the Hill and Dale [Jim Bishop] has been seroiusly injured and is in the hospital. Although nothing official has been announced, I'd think that MoHud H&D rally is in jeopardy at this point. So it might work out that the early FHR date is a good thing after all. We certainly wish Jim a speedy and complete recovery!

BTW, thanks for your great write up of your experience in the Rallye des Neiges last night! That's some great feedback.

Mike
2013 Honda Fit EV
'97 Geo Metro

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