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ROAD RALLY eNews — December 2017 Edition
Your Road Rally Roundup of News, Views, and How-Tos 
Words from the Wheel with Howard Duncan
As we move solidly into the holiday season, I have asked your intrepid editor if I could drop in to do this column to end the year. Not only will this give an opportunity for Jamie Mullin to take a break from this task at a time when things are very busy here at SCCA's World Headquarters, it gives me a chance to take note of not only the end of the year but the end of an era for the SCCA RoadRally program. When the calendar flips over to January, Rich Bireta will no longer be the Chairman of the RoadRally Board (RRB) after many, many years at the helm.
What I would like to do in this space is to eloquently express my appreciation for all he has done for the Club and RoadRally during his years on the RRB. However, what you will see in this space will fall far short of what I would like to articulate, as I do not believe I have the skills to accomplish this goal adequately. Put simply, Rich has meant more to the Club and the sport than the words and phrases available to me can describe.
If my aging memory serves me, Rich came on to the RRB at the beginning of 2012 and then moved into the Chairman's position a year later. While to some this may appear that he was only on the board for six years, yet serving on an SCCA program Board can be a bit like measuring time in dog years; it can be a LONG time. I do not say this to discourage those currently serving on the RRB or those that might be thinking of throwing their hat into the ring to serve, but in Rich's case — that time has been spent in changing the mindset and direction of the sport, which is not an easy task.

Rich's calm demeanor and logical approach to things, along with his persistence, was just what was needed to navigate this period of change from an almost singular focus on the National program to one which has a primary focus on Regional program development, while at the same time sustaining the National program. Despite the RoadRally community not being particularly large, there are disparate and passionate opinions about, well, most everything. Rich's unique capabilities to navigate through these cross-currents and reach the point where the sport has greater potential than it has had in perhaps decades is nothing short of astounding.
With Rich being a Kansas Region member and living relatively close to the National Office, I have had the distinct pleasure of having had several brainstorming lunches with him that were learning opportunities for me. He could distill complicated situations down to their key elements which were very helpful for me and other staff members in better understanding the feelings of the community. I cannot express how useful and enjoyable those lunches were.

I am so thankful Rich has been here for the last six years and that he has agreed to attend the National Convention in January to assist with a smooth RRB transition. Most importantly, so those in attendance can express their gratitude for what he has accomplished and meant to the program, as well as wishing him the best in the next phase of his "Rally Life" where he can see the fruits of his labor.
In closing, and on behalf of the Rally/Solo staff, I want to wish the entire RoadRally Community a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, as well as reminding you that the National Office will be closed for the Holidays from December 25 through January 1.
Happy Holidays!!
Howard Duncan
SCCA Senior Director, Rally/Solo
SCCA Convention Registration
The South Point Casino and Convention Hall will again be the site of the January 18-20th, 2018 SCCA Convention. Yup! That's Las Vegas! Click the photo above to head to the Registration link; rates go up December 27th. Be sure to check the many tracks of sessions – RoadRally, Social Media, and running events. Come Join Us!
American Adventure Road Rally
by Jeremiah and Kim Jackson
It is an American tradition to hit the road and explore. Unfortunately, we often miss the simple enjoyment and wonder that is the journey. With today’s technology, it is easy to follow the GPS to get to our destination as efficiently as possible, without regard to what we might miss along the way. The America Adventure by Amsoil is a scavenger hunt/adventure rally that is all about the journey, finding and experiencing things that you might not ever go and see on your own. It was commonplace to find yourself on a single lane road looking for a small sign denoting that you found Oprah’s first church, all to get points.

The “America Adventure” is not your typical road rally. Not only do you have to solve clues and drive to destinations, but there are also challenges along the way such as: completing a ropes course in an underground cave, racing your fellow competitors in a kayak, and a side-by-side ½ mile zip line. Got the need for speed? How about autocross, kart racing, and drag racing? The “Adventure” was certainly present in this rally.

The 2017 America Adventure was a four-day all-inclusive rally from Indianapolis, Indiana, to New Orleans, Louisiana. Everything is handled for you so that you can concentrate on the fun. We started on the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was a highlight to drive my car on the track and get to stand/kiss the Brickyard at the start/finish line. From there it was all about the clues. Your phone becomes your guide as the clues lead you to the next destination.

This was a different experience from the TSD rallies that I usually go on but certainly no less competitive. Do you team up? Or do you go at it alone? Each has their advantages. Ultimately, it requires a little bit of both to win. The AA is run by USAC Racing and their experience and connections hosting racing events shows. While there were no wild parties, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have fun at night.
One of the highlights was breakfast at the Loveless Cafe, at the terminus of the Natchez Trace. If you ever have the opportunity to eat here, do it. Bon Appetit rates them a 14 out of 10. The Trace is a historic north/south trail used during the War of 1812 by Andrew Jackson. It became our guide for the next couple of days. The clues led us to Elvis’ birthplace, a small batch Tennessee whiskey distillery, memorials, waterfalls, small towns, big cities, and everything in between.

Ultimately, the adventure finished in New Orleans where we had two hours to solve as many clues as possible in the French Quarter. It was critical to be mindful of the clock because every minute we were late to the finish line would cost us a hard-earned point.

I highly recommend the America Adventure. It will remind you why you love going just off the beaten path, but what I will always remember will be the people and their cars. People like: Bob and Diane from TeamLimo; Gene and Edith in their 1980 official Indy 500 truck; Ben and Shannon, who unfortunately had their Hellcat ruined by valet on the way to the event; Gary and Jean-Ann, the coolest couple I’ve ever met; or Jason and Sarah from Autointerests.com who provided the grand prize, VIP passes to Car Fest 2018. I could go on and on; everyone was so much fun to be around. Teams consisted of couples, parent/child, siblings, friends, and co-workers. The hardest part about going home was not waking up to share the day with our newfound friends. 
Jeremiah and Kim Jackson
Overall Winners 2017 America Adventure

Team Jackson also sent us this link for a movie of their adventures along the trail! Click here to view
SCCA Hall of Fame Inductees are Announced
Ceremony in Vegas Jan 20, 2018
You just may know the name Janet Guthrie from your youth? Click here to learn the names of the other seven Inductees into the SCCA Hall of Fame!
National Events Committee Report
by Mike Thompson, NEC Chairman
The 2017 National RoadRally Championship series is winding down with one event, The Blacke , yet to be run and the 2108 RRR updates are awaiting BOD approval. It is "slow down" time for the NEC, at least for a while. The 2108 schedule is filling out well with kickoff events being Desert Sands National Course Rally and Foothills Tour National Tour Rally on March 3 an d 4 in Tucson, AZ. What an excuse to get away from the miserable weather.
As you know, if you’ve been paying attention as I’m sure all of you have been, there are some changes to the Championship Class structure for 2018. While Class E remains unchanged, Class L and Class S have seen significant changes.  
I’ll start with Class L. As in the past there is no limit on mileage measuring equipment. However, that mileage information, whether it comes from some sort of external device or the vehicle’s OBD port, must be MANUALLY entered into whatever calculating
equipment/app you are using. Now the good news. If you don't want to bother with all that calculation stuff,   you can use any calculating device/app you choose as long as mileage information is GPS derived. The choice is yours. More accuracy or less workload.
December 3, 2017, 12:18 CDT.
Mike Thompson
NEC Chair
December 2017 by Rich Bireta , Chairman  
The State of the Sport
The end of the calendar year 2017 marks the end of my second three-year term on the SCCA RoadRally Board and the end of my term as its Chair. The SCCA Operations Manual limits Competition Board members to two consecutive terms, so it's time for me to step down from the RRB. I think it is fitting to share my thoughts and observations on our sport as I leave.

Growing the Sport
Focusing on growing our sport has been and should remain the highest priority for the RRB.  The formula for achieving this growth has three prongs:  making it easy, making it visible, and making it happen.

The largest inhibitor in establishing a new rally program is identifying an individual or group of individuals who are willing to invest the time and energy into putting on events that will draw new entrants. The RRB can remove inhibitors and provide training and guidance, but without these "feet on the street" we won't see Regions establishing new rally programs.

Part of making our sport more visible is the more flexible formats that the RRB will entertain for Regions wishing to organize the US Road Rally Challenge. The RRB dropped the requirement for a traditional triple-National Rally weekend to encourage destination events which emphasize the local scenery, roads and attractions and to attract new competitors. The 2017 USRRC was a great example of the type of event envisioned. Congratulations and thanks are due to Cheryl Babbe for undertaking this effort.

We have the support of the SCCA Board of Directors. We have lowered the barriers to entry for new programs. We have experienced organizers willing to provide advice and guidance. We just need the local talent to make the events happen.

The Incoming Road Rally Board and New Chair
I am personally very pleased with our incoming member and new Chair. The RRB is a collection of solid citizens, experienced, enthusiastic and committed to the sport. Collectively they work very well together, and no one has a personal agenda that they place above the common interests.
Serving as RRB Chair has been a rewarding hobby for six years.  I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to everyone I have worked with in this position. In no particular order, I would like to thank:

The SCCA Topeka staff in the form of Howard Duncan , Deena Rowland and Jamie Mullin from whom we have received great guidance and support.
Jeanne English has been the RRB’s secretary during most of my term on the RRB, serving ably in this capacity even after her term on the RRB had expired.
Cheryl Babbe has been the sparkplug be hind the Road Rally eNews . The fact that this newsletter is entering its six-consecutive year is a testament to her dedication. Please continue to support her efforts by contributing articles and publicizing this newsletter at rally events you attend.
And so,
I usually end these columns by saying that I am always willing to take your questions and comments on these or other matters relating to our sport. Being that this is my last column, I will not do that, but I do trust that you'll give the incoming RoadRally Board and new Chair your continued feedback and support. 
See you on the roads…
SCCA Northern New Jersey Region's
Toys for Tots Road Rally
Northern New Jersey Region's USMC Toys for Tots 2017 Teddy Bear Road Rally
By Peter Schneider

December 3, 2017, marked the twenty-seventh annual "Toys for Tots" Teddy Bear Road Rally , hosted by Northern New Jersey Region of the SCCA and Motorsport Club of North Jersey. This year’s sponsor and the sponsor for the past five years was Subaru 46 of Budd Lake, New Jersey.

Thirty-three teams competed in this year ’s event, and only one team ran the rally "clean" and did not fall for any of the three route following traps.

The NNJR/MCNJ "Toys for Tots " Teddy Bear Rally is the longest running charity rally associated with SCCA and the longest contiguous event hosted by Northern New Jersey Region SCCA.  Since 1990 we have collected over 3,400 toys and hope to continue the event for many years to come.

This event is a very simple road rally using the back roads of Morris, Warren and Hunterdon Counties. The event started at SUBARU 46 in Budd Lake and ended about 57 miles later at the Long Valley Brew Pub in the center of Long Valley, NJ.

The rally is open to the general public and requires only a car or light truck with a working odometer and a pen/pencil to compete. The event is not a Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) rally, but a mileage-based lightly trapped "gimmick." The entry fee, per car, is a brand new Teddy Bear or new toy, worth at least $30.00 retail which is donated to the USMC Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

Toys for Tots began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks, and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children. The idea came from Bill's wife, Diane. In the fall of 1947, Diane crafted a homemade doll and asked Bill to deliver the doll to an organization, which would give it to a needy child at Christmas. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one. He did. The 1947 pilot project was so successful that the Marine Corps adopted Toys for Tots in 1948 and expanded it into a nationwide campaign.

Since 2016, the Region has been posting event notifications on Facebook and targeting individuals in the New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania area with low-cost ads, in addition to email blasts on Constant Contact, we have been able to maintain a steady list of entries for our events.
Since incepti on, the Toys for Tots rally has used ‘Photo Clues’ (a format borrowe d from the Metro Porsche - Snowflake Rally   which has been run for the past 63 years) to provide contestants a little extra challenge. These Photo Clues can be compared to ‘Lettered Route Instructions' used on SCCA National Course events. The Photos of signs/scenes along the rally route at times are hard to spot (but not impossible) or are taken of easy to see common everyday signs that have slight variations due to weathering or defects. All of these features must be taken into account when correctly executing a Photo Clue instruction. In addition to the Photo Clues, the rally has also used standard route following traps based on "onto," the spelling of street signs, forced turns and reversed numbered route instructions. All route ‘traps’ are self-correcting, with the difference in the official on-course vs. off-course mileage helping separate the scores.

This year event had only fo ur legs, an odometer leg and three legs that contained simple route following traps.

Click here to read about the 2018 Toys for Tots traps and an explanation of those two photos above! It is a great read and you'll want to learn of these "twists" — maybe for your next rally or perhaps so you don't fall for them out on the backroads of America?
Upcoming Road Rally Events for YOU!
The Blacke Rallye

Road Rally w/ SCCA - Milwaukee Region on Saturday, December 9, 2017 at Best Western Arrowhead Lodge, Black River Falls, WI - SCCA Milwaukee Region Presents The Blacke Rallye Saturday, December 9, 2017 Contact Chairperson Jim Jurgenson...

Read more
Post Your Upcoming Rally HERE?
You bet! We welcome you to Come Join Us! RReNews is not an SCCA Publication, yet produced in association with the Sports Car Club of America by road rally enthusiasts.

Our goal is share news about our beloved sport of Road Rally across North America — be they sanctioned by the SCCA, PCA, BMW, or local marque clubs!

Please send us news of your upcoming event dates and promotional materials to list, so as to make fellow rallyists aware of your events. And post event — send your write-ups and photos to share news of the adventure!

You can send information to Cheryl Lynn by clicking here!
RoadRally Sessions at the National Convention
by Peter Schneider
The SCCA RoadRally group will be hosting two sessions during the upcoming SCCA National Convention hat may be of interest to you.

The first session, Regional RoadRally as a Social Activity , will focus on the steps needed to write a simple family friendly Social RoadRally. This session will cover the Soup to Nuts on setting up an event. It will include Sanction Applications, Insurance requirements, and how to design both a fun "question and answer" rally and a simple Time-Speed-Distance event. Sample Route Instruction will be reviewed, plus examples of some questions which can be used to test the team's observation skills of what they see along the route. In addition, we will go over the calculations needed for determining the official time to arrive at checkpoints on Time-Speed-Distance Rallies, and what free Apps are available for smartphones to conduct a Time-Speed-Distance rally. I will be presenting this session and it is scheduled for Friday at 10AM.

The second session, RoadRally Safety Steward Training , will train Region members to be RoadRally Safety Stewards . This session will be presented by Jeanne English and is scheduled for Friday at 4PM.

SCCA RoadRally is a great addition to your Region's calendar of events. It can be a wonderful social event for members and their spouses/family or it can be a more competitive event that attracts SCCA members from across the country. 

Peter Schneider – SCCA RoadRally Board
SCCA Matters —
Minutes, Planning Calendar, Championship Points
From the Home Office — Road Rally eNews
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
This year is quickly coming to it's close. And, what a year it has been. I have seen many changes in the local rally scene and I fear I will be having to travel outside to find TSD rallies. I have been reminded of the kindness and generosity of time and support by members of my Rally Clan. Through these pages of Road Rally eNews I have meet many fellow rallyists who have been supportive, offered constructive criticism, and occasionally an email with a "well done" or "don't give up" — they mean a lot! Taking on the USRRC was a quite the challenge, and I shall choose to believe those that took part have a wonderful memory in their Road Rally history book!

Rich Bireta has been a constant these past five years in providing copy, and not always needing a reminder, ha! Rich, take a due rest from the RRB Chair duties of the past years, yet keep finding time for your November Weekend of rally in Kansas. Hopefully you will get out to more road rallies as a competitor in these upcoming years! I'll be honest, I still would like to have Mrs. Bireta's story of the "pink flamingo" in RReNews! Just sayin'...

To all, enjoy these last few weeks of 2017. I know I'll be looking foward to time with family and friends, and even a little gathering of the Road Rally Clan to celebrate the holidays and the year that has been!

Safe travels, Cheryl Lynn
Get Ready to Bid on an Entry to the 2018 United States Road Rally Challenge set for the SCCA St Louis Region
Rallying to Preserve the Historic SCCA Rally Archives!
That's right! You will have the chance to bid on an entry into the 2018 USRRC in the January RReNews, and while we are working out those details it appears it may be done through eBay. All funds raised for this entry will be going to the IMRRC via the SCCA Foundation!! As you may recall, Jim Heine and Ron Ferris graciously gave Rallymaster Cheryl Lynn two free entries to "do what she wanted" — she is using them for her Historic SCCA Rally Archives fundraiser!

We also have an SCCA Road Rally Member who has agreed to match donations, up to $1000, made between the 1st and 31st of December 2017. So if you have been thinking about it — now is the time!

From Road Rally eNews support of the USRRC in Alaska
We give of our time, many of us do, to those activities we believe in and enjoy; some of us give of our dollars as well to preserve history for future generations. I very much want to thank those of you who c hoose to show your appreciation of my volunteer hours on RReNews these past five years by making a donation to the IMRRC, through the 501C3 SCCA Foundation as requested last month!

The 2017 United States Road Rally Challenge's restricted donation to the International Motor Racing Research Center means the funds must be utilized as requested, and the funds raised will go toward the preservation and digitization of the SCCA Rally Archives at the IMRRC.

We are working on the best means to raise funds, via bidding, for that entry to the 2018 USRRC in December! The fundraiser remains open until January 31st.

We'll see you down the road....Rallymaster Cheryl Lynn
Road Rally eNews is produced in association with the Sports Car Club of America