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ROAD RALLY eNews • Summer 2020 • Edition II
Your Road Rally Roundup of News, Views, and How-Tos
San Diego SCCA’s Road to a Road Rally
It Was a Pie Run!
by Ric Senior (& Crew), San Diego Region
On September 26th, 2020, the San Diego Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) hosted its first Road Rally in decades. “It’s a Pie Run!” used a Monte Carlo format covering nearly 80 miles, with two 15-minute stops en route, taking approximately 2.5 hours. It indeed ended at a pie shop, because who doesn’t like pie?

Why did we decide to do this, and how did we do it? Well, it wasn’t a response to COVID and had been in the works for some time, but it worked out even better and at the right time as a result.

Like many regions, we had been heading toward the inevitable and now the actual loss of our primary autocross site. Our site was twenty-five glorious acres of open parking that has hosted many memorable National Events and typically 15 or more regional autocrosses, novice driver schools, and Street Survival events annually. With our alternate site being smaller, further away, and less available, we wanted more “fun with cars” for our members.

In late 2019, we set a goal to host a road rally and a track day in 2020. We were starting from scratch for both. One Board member took the lead for each event to develop a team and gain the knowledge and resources to move us forward. We turned first to the SCCA website for information and contacts for both programs. After that, our first big leap forward was the SCCA National Convention. Three of our Board members attended, and we picked sessions that focused on road rally, track days, and everything registration and administration, even all that fun talk about waivers! Hearing first-hand how others succeeded, and what worked and what didn’t, was invaluable.

2020 started as usual with our autocross schedule, and then...COVID hit. The stadium turned into a COVID test site before being demolished. Our alternate site became and remained a COVID test site to this day. Between health order changes, state, city and local permitting requirements, and the test-site operations, we will not run an autocross for the rest of 2020. 

Time to get road rally started! Early in the year, we were admittedly a bit skeptical about pulling it off and how much of a success it would be. We started looking at the Richta GPS Checkpoints App we learned about at the convention: tag some checkpoints, no need to staff them, everything is run off a phone with GPS. Easy peasy, right? We reached out to Rich Bireta anyway, the App developer, to learn more and work with him in setting up events. Rich set up a test event for us, and we laid out a simple route using flying starts and a handful of checkpoints. It took all of half an hour for a few of our Board members to drive the route as their first-ever “road rally.” We all came away excited and energized! It was challenging, fun, and we were out with our friends and cars, even if socially distanced, with no end-of-drive gathering. The good news was the App worked as advertised, and no one got (very) lost! Testing was a success, and we found this to be an excellent process to learn about road rally and the App before hosting an event.
Time to make this into an event! With COVID, we wanted to be as contact-free as possible, even the day of the event. We challenged ourselves to use this as a springboard to make our Region’s event registration and coordination better than before. We were already using MotorsportReg (MSR) for online registration. We had been monitoring Speed Waivers and decided now was the time to jump on board for our road rally. While it took some manual intervention to reconcile between MSR and Speed Waivers, we could complete all of our registration and check-in tasks before the actual event. 

We realized we needed a way to get people familiar with road rally and run the event's driver meetings. We revamped our website and expanded it to include road rally before we’d had an event. We advertised that and drew people in to get their attention and generate interest. We expanded our Google Meet footprint, currently used for online Region Board meetings, to a Google Gsuite account. This gave us access to Meet, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Drive to share in the development of event supplementals (supps), route instructions, COVID guidelines, etc. We also developed the capability to host Webinars using OBS and YouTube Live to stream events, including our Road Rally novice meeting and pre-event driver meeting. We are fortunate to have some tech-savvy folks to set this up, but now have all of the tools available for anything we do. Participants could also go back and watch at any time they wanted as a refresher, or if they could not attend. 
We opened up event registration on MSR in July and reached out to our Divisional Road Rally Stewards, Larry Scholnick and Jeanne English. Nothing like adding and advertising an event to create a deadline and make it happen! The event was live on MSR, and entries were coming in faster than we expected. We set what we thought was a relatively low turnout for the first event at 50 cars, only to learn later that’s not a small rally. We were inundated with entries and had inquiries from out-of-state rallyists looking for co-drives, and we drew entries from the local membership and surrounding Regions. We had to close registration early as the waitlist was getting so long. It looks like road rally is really a thing, and our events will be growing!

We should probably develop a course! Other than the idea of ending up at the pie shop, we didn’t have an actual route or instructions. We went with scenic mountain and backcountry roads to get there and wrote some generic route instructions. They were a bit boring and looked like a map route list.
Enter Jim Crittenden, the SCCA RoadRally Board Chair, that Rich Bireta had put us in contact with to assist with our first rally. Jim took our route instructions and made them more interesting and challenging by removing street names and replacing them with street signs, call boxes, mile markers, and other visual cues along the way. He made them safe by ensuring each checkpoint was located in an area with space to pull over and wait near the checkpoint. Our boring route instructions now looked like this!
We kept in constant contact with our SCCA Divisional RoadRally Steward, Larry Scholnick, informing him of our progress. His feedback, help, and willingness to answer all of our questions and teach us how to run a successful road rally was vital. When we felt the course was ready (we had probably gone over it nearly a dozen times mapping it out), Larry and Jeanne drove the course, completing the safety run and providing corrections. On the day of the event, they both came down to help make sure the event started smoothly. 

The event date was closing rapidly. Our “It’s a Pie Run” was the first road rally for 86% of contestants, and 98% had competed in less than five road rallies. We had to ensure that each of the drivers had a navigator and completed their online waivers. We did this through a series of e-mail reminders and set up a Road Rally Novice (basically everyone!) Meeting webinar a week ahead of the event. We prepared a slide presentation for all the basics - what a TSD rally is, how starts, restarts and checkpoints work, example instructions and how to read them, how the Richta GPS Checkpoints App works and where to download it. Leaving the Novice webinar, our goal was to ensure they were registered with a navigator, waivers were completed, and they knew how to how to download the Richta GPS Checkpoints App and log into our event to ensure it was operating. Teams completing these steps then received their car number, route instructions, and an invitation to the Driver Meeting. The Driver Meeting was another webinar the night before the event. We answered questions as a follow-up to the Novice meeting, and we went over the event start and how the day should go.
On the day of the event, cars arrived on a “just-in-time” basis, no more than 15 minutes before their start time. Everyone had tested their App and was ready; we just verified that they had triggered a restart we had set prior to the departure point and that they had a GPS signal. The contestants were fired up with that first-time novice feeling and everyone on a level playing field. Not one car had an issue, and before we knew it, 50 minutes had passed, and everyone had departed on one-minute intervals. We were happy and relieved it was working so far, yet this felt strange, as the event was now “out of our control” with the rally on autopilot until the finish. We streamed the Richta Rally Master App and kept tabs on cars and scores in real-time. We greeted them as they drove into the finish location where the pie was waiting. Across 26 timed checkpoints, our expert entrant achieved a score of 44, and our best first-time entrant scored 51. The energy was back, the competition was fierce, and everyone walked away with smiles. 

After the event, we surveyed our contestants through MSR. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Contestants were gracious in working with us on technical webinar glitches, a checkpoint or two that was perhaps a bit off, and a handful of to be expected minor glitches. The most common feedback was, “When is the next event, and how can I help you organize it?” We love to hear those words because to make this a long-term success, we need a committee and help, and we’re on our way.

What did we learn about hosting a first road rally? 
  • Start planning early, commit to dates and deadlines
  • You’ll spend far more time organizing and running the event before it happens, not the day of the road rally
  • Course mapping is quite a bit of work if you’ve never done it before
  • Support your event lead, ask what help they need, not if they need any
  •  Enlist the help of your Divisional RoadRally Steward
  • Ask the SCCA RoadRally Chair for advice
  • Innovate, take advantage of technology, be persistent 
  • Enjoy the pie!
We reached out to RM Senior while watching the "live" feed of the rally from the cabin on the 26th! A friend had sent it for me to follow. Don'tcha just love modern technology?

I sent Ric a note teasing him if he were writing his wrap-up article while watching the live feed. We truly appreciate his time to put this together and work with to share their path back to rallying. Should you wish a copy of their process to share with fellow rallyists, click the graphic above for this article in pdf-format!

After October 8th, we'll learn the date of their next rally adventure.Congrats from the RReNews on a well done event!
The Rallymaster wrote the rally route went up Mmount Palomar then down to Santa Ysabel. This photo is from the San Diego Facebook page at the top of Palomar.
News Has Reached our Shores - John Sears 1947-2020
We lost a dear friend and dedicated rallyist with the passing of John Sears. He will leave a void in all of our lives.

John was born on July 27, 1943, in Brooklyn, New York. His father had served as a Captain in the U.S. Navy during World War II and then became a civilian contractor for the Navy, traveling to many places worldwide. As a result, John grew up and attended American schools in Rabat, Morocco, Tripoli, Libya, and Wiesbaden, Germany. His family then moved to the Escondido, California area, where John became involved in rallying in the mid-1960s. He soon became one of the best rallyists in the country. John earned a degree in Computer Science after attending several colleges. After John’s parents passed away, he lived in several places around the country before moving to Tucson in the mid-1990s, residing in housing provided by Dave and Lois Jameson, who were fellow rallyists and loyal friends. Over the years, many rallyists and friends came to his aid at various times. After going on dialysis, he lived in several apartments in the Tucson area. For the past several years his friend Lucia, an employee at his dialysis facility, was a great help in caring for John. 

John passed away on September 30, 2020.
Besides rallying, John's other passion was opera, for which he had an incredible knowledge. He had most operas memorized to the last detail.

John overcame many obstacles in his life, including kidney failure in 2012, which resulted in dialysis for his remaining years. But despite this and limited resources, he managed to attend every rally that he could and was Rallymaster for countless events with the SCCA Arizona Border Region and others. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, he wrote a couple of rallies, one of which was called Cabriolet Sauvignon. John loved puns, which were usually scattered throughout the rallies he wrote.

While living in California and running many rallies, John also wrote rallies for the Do-It-Yourself Rally Club, which had a membership of one – John!

Sometime in the late 1970s, before I had met John, a group of us were discussing the Generals for an upcoming rally in California. John's name came up, and I innocently asked, "Who is John Sears"? One of the other people said, "Let me put it this way: if you come to an intersection and the instruction says "Right," and you see John go left, go left!."

John's memory and passion for rallying were incredible. A few years ago, while hospitalized with a fractured ankle, he wrote four trap rallies from memory — flat on his back, with no computer or maps. When he got out, we checked them out, and they were 95% correct.

The Sports Car Club of America awarded John a Certificate of Lifetime Achievement for his long-time contribution to the sport of rallying. I delivered the framed certificate to him the day before he passed. He was honored to receive it, and he displayed it by his bedside so he could see it. He was one-of-a-kind who will be remembered for years to come, especially when we competitors who rallied with him gather at future events.
Karl Broberg
Friend, fellow rallyist,
and a part of John's extended rally family
Press on Regardless "in the history books" for 2020
Thank you to everyone involved in POR 2020, you helped make the 72nd consecutive POR a great event! Without the workers, the rally just couldn’t happen. The following folks contributed to the success:
  • Mary Shiloff – Registration, Speedwaiver, and promoting POR with emails to potential competitors that had registered in MotorSportReg for other events
  • Tom Woodside – Safety Steward, pre-check, and course opening
  • Peg Woodside - pre-check and course opening
  • John Fishbeck – scoring and pre-check; Laurie Fishbeck – pre-check
  • Larry Navarre – Promoting the event using Facebook
  • Mark Vojtisek - Promoting the event using Facebook, working the visible controls, and helping sweep monitor the competitors so we didn’t lose anyone in the woods
  • George Smith – working visible controls David Stone – final mileage, sweep, and trophies
  • Bruce Beauvais – sweep
  • Mitch Fisher – course opening
  • Andrew Layton – promoting POR with his book and Facebook posts.

With 26 entrants the 2020 POR had the strongest field of competitors since before 2000. After all the dust (mud?) has settled and scores worked out, here are the trophy winners in the 2020 Press On Regardless® rally:

2020 Press On Regardless® 
Overall Winners:
  • Driver: Scott Harvey Jr. / Navigator: Rob Moran

Equipped Class:
  • 1st place: Driver: Scott Harvey Jr. / Navigator: Rob Moran

Limited Class:
  • 1st place: Driver: Satish Gopalkrishnan / Navigator: Savera D'Souza
  • 2nd place: Driver: Brian Line / Navigator: Kevin Line
  • 3rd place: Driver: Adam Spieszny / Navigator: Piotr Roszczenko

Stock class:
  • 1st place: Driver: Sawyer Stone / Navigator: Alison Lee
  • 2nd place: Driver: Ryan Vindua / Navigator: Tristan Koivisto
  • 3rd place: Driver: Bob Martin / Navigator: Jim Kloosterman

Novice Class:
  • 1st place: Driver: Andrew Bockheim / Navigator: Koressa Bochheim
  • 2nd place: Driver: Thomas Klonowski / Navigator: Cort Bouse
  • 3rd place: Driver: Ron Mallison / Navigator: Kris Bain

Vintage Class:
  • 1st place: Driver: Ted Rurup / Navigator: Darren Rurup

Vintage class was an interesting contest. Ted and Darren Rurup, in their ’79 Datsun 280ZX, and Chris and Art Kaser, in their ’72 Datsun 510, indicated interest in running in a vintage class. But because of disparities in equipment and navigation they agreed to be scored on basis of whom one the most legs instead of total score. And that turned out to make for a close contest indeed, with the lead swapping back and forth before the end, where Rurups took it by a single leg win!

Through the generosity of multiple anonymous donors who wanted to encourage participation in POR, and especially to encourage novices to give it a try, we had free shirts and prize money awards to grant in several categories. This is the first years we have had shirts since 2011.

We did a lot more advertising and promoting of POR this year. For all of you that were “new to POR” please let me know how you heard of POR so we can do an event better job next year.

This year was a first in many ways:
  1. The Covid-19 virus and the need to not have gatherings. I hope the zoom meetings helped. It seemed strange to not have the awards after the rally. I certainly missed meeting and talking to everyone.
  2. The Richta app certainly helped with timing and scoring. Yes, there was a bug that gave the max’s after mid-night, but that was quickly fixed. 
  3. Remote scoring. John Fishbeck did a great job providing scores and critiques during and after the rally.
  4. Cash prizes and free t-shirts.
  5. I switched from a Word document to the spreadsheet format for the routes. Hopefully, that made it much easier to read and identify CAST changes and pauses. 

I usually spend some time in late fall and during the winter developing the route and where the start and breaks will be. Early summer is spent checking out the roads to make sure they are still usable and trimming down the number of miles. I wish I could have recorded how nice many of the roads were in early summer. This year, there was lots of logging that took its toll on some of the roads, especially in the fifth section. I had to eliminate Lost Cabin (and infamous stage from earlier years). There becomes a point where I must stop changing the route. Logging started on Old Vanderbilt in late August. The road just kept getting worse, prompting me to reduce the CAST’s by as much as 6 MPH and make parts of is be a free zone. The rain and fog on the day of the rally contributed made to make it even worse.

I hope to see all of you next year at POR and encourage you to participate in the USRRC (United States Road Rally Challenge) hosted by Detroit Region this year. There will be three rallies in three days Nov 13-15. Two Tour rallies and I will be trying my hand in a Course (Trap) rally. 

Bruce Fisher
Oregon — CSCC Mtns to Sea Wrap-Up
Twenty-three teams ran Cascade’s seventh TSsD (Time Speed social Distance) road rally on Sept. 19. All teams completed the first 20 legs up to lunch. Twenty-two finished the remaining 16 legs to the end. (Car 9 had a car-sick navigator and left the rally at lunch.)

Mountains to the Sea was the first Cascade rally for seven teams. Eight teams ran in the Novice class, eleven in SOP, one in GPS, and three in Unlimited. The field included a broad spectrum of road rally experience.

Rally route 
The rally started in northwest Portland, went out I-84, across the Columbia River on I-205 North, and joined I-5 North, to the Ridgefield exit. The route continued through La Center, Amboy and Chelatchie, then across the Yale Bridge before turning west along the north shore of Lake Merwyn to Woodland. There the course turned north along the ridge overlooking the Columbia River to Kalama, then followed the Old Pacific Highway north to the lunch transit across Longview. 

After lunch, the rally continued west, following the Columbia River toward the sea, past Cathlamet and Skamokawa, then north to cross the Grays River Covered Bridge. Then on to Willapa Bay and the final Monte Carlo leg to Long Beach. 

The rally route was about 200 miles and took about six and a half hours to complete, including breaks and lunch.

What ralliers said...
"Thanks again for putting on such a beautiful rally. We did make it out to Clark’s tree last night. What a cool monument to the adventurer spirit."

"We had fun, and I think we are planning to attend the next one, too."

"Thanks for an excellent adventure! I really appreciate all the work that you both put into creating these events."

"Had a great time on some interesting back roads. Love the instant checkpoint feedback of the Richta app."

"That was a blast. Thank you for all the work you have put into making this a great experience."
Click here to checkout the beautiful Cascade Geargrinders webpage!
What the rallymasters said...
This was the rally that almost wasn’t. Mountains to the Sea (M2C) was on the original 2020 calendar for May 16. By New Years we already had much of the route laid out. But our work was put on pause when a landslide closed a critical piece of highway on the route. On Jan. 28, state transportation officials didn’t know when it would reopen. “It could be weeks, months.”

So we set M2C aside and continued work on Cascade’s road rally program. We held an in person road rally school on Feb. 15, and on Feb. 28 we announced the first Saturday Series Rally would be March 21.

Then the coronavirus pandemic. Gatherings were prohibited. Restaurants were closed to all but take-out service. It became obvious that we couldn’t have in-person on-site registration and that ending a rally at a restaurant to announce results and give out prizes wasn’t going to happen. Road rallies and other autosports events were being cancelled all across the country.

In our planning for the 2020 road rally season, we had already decided to use the Richta GPS Checkpoints app to time and score road rallies, so checkpoint worker crews were no longer needed to exchange paperwork with rally competitors several times during an event. Each car would run an app on their smartphone to get scored at each GPS checkpoint. No human contact needed for timing and scoring.

We had also decided to implement online registration using MotorsportsReg. Our original intent was to offer optional online registration for those who wanted to pay with plastic since we only took cash or check at on-site registration. To comply with coronavirus restrictions, we made online registration required and we discontinued on-site registration. We figured out how to complete the check-in process virtually. No human contact needed for registration and check-in.

We had a plan for how to put on road rallies during the pandemic. On March 13 we announced that the March 21 Saturday Series Rally was not cancelled and that, “this road rally will require no human interaction other than within each car.” On March 20 we published Cascade Geargrinders Coronavirus Message, laying out our plan. Fourteen cars ran Cascade’s first TSsD (Time Speed social Distance) road rally.

Although we had worked with the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau for several months to identify an ending location and other amenities for our participants, we decided that postponing Mountains to the Sea was the right decision. On March 23 we announced that M2C was postponed from May to September. Good decision, since it still wasn’t clear then whether the landslide would be cleared by May.
Congratulations to the winners! First overall and first Unlimited is the team of Bob Morseburg and Angela Suggs with a total score of 16 over 36 legs. Very impressive! Second overall and second Unlimited is the team of Zack Pharis and Brandon Harer, with just one more point for a total score of 17. Finishing third overall and third Unlimited is the team of Kevin Poirier and Chris Hale with a score of 65.

Finishing first SOP and fourth overall is the team of Blake Harer and Jeremy Greene with a score of 66. Second SOP and fifth overall is Marcus Gattmann and Kerrie Steffenson. Simon Levear and Ben Bradley finish third SOP and sixth overall.

The top Novice finisher is the team of Jolynn “Maverick” Franke and Julie “Goose” Miletta. Second Novice is the team of James Petersen and Stephanie Heiden. Brian and Jamie Anderson finish third Novice.

Andrew Brewer and Coralee Brewer finish first and only in the GPS class.

But, wait, there’s one more!

Last in Cascade Geargrinders 2020 road rally season is Ghouls Gambol on October 31. Put on a costume, decorate your car, and then run a Halloween road rally. 

This year’s Ghouls Gambol offers an all-paved beginner-friendly tour-style road rally. First car starts at 10:01 a.m. and the route takes about three hours to drive. The route begins at Dealers Supply in northwest Portland, explores forests and farmland brightly lit with full autumn colors in the Columbia River Gorge, and ends in Sandy. Beautiful views and great roads that are just fun to drive!

The event begins with an optional Costume Concourse starting half an hour before first car is due out. Teams that choose to participate will park in the parking lot, leaving an empty space between cars. If you choose to get out of your car, please wear a mask and maintain adequate social distance. Make sure your car number is easily seen on your costume and your decorated car. Ballots will be provided with your materials. Write your costume winner choices on your ballot and send an image of your ballot, along with photos of you and other teams, to the rally organizer before starting the rally. Winners will be announced with the road rally results. 

Entry requires a street-legal vehicle, licensed and insured driver, a navigator, and a smart device (e.g., cell phone or tablet) running the Competitor Richta GPS Checkpoints app. 

The entry fee is $20 per car for CSCC members, $30 per car for non-members. 

Register by midnight October 28! 
Rally on!

Monte and Victoria Saager, Chairs
Cascade Geargrinders Road Rally Program
Good News across the Internet —
With the fewest words we have ever received to announce such a wonderful offering to the Road Rally community —

"After 27 years in print, we just made the Road Rally Handbook available as a free PDF download. It's 400+ pages and faithful to the original ... Clint Goss"

Many of us have a copy on our bookshelves, and now you can click the image above and have a copy on your computer or smart device too!
SCCA Convention Goes Virtual in 2021
No need to take off that extra four days next January for the SCCA Convention in Las Vegas.

Mike Cobb, SCCA President, announced that we are not alone in canceling our annual Convention, with heavy-hitters such as the Consumer Electronic Show (CES), Performance Racing Industry (PRI), SEMA and more canceling their annual and well-attended Vegas events.

More will be forth coming yet virtual sessions will be held to match popular and important training that has been held each year at Convention.

Rally Roundup: Hurdle GTA
Head over to the pages of the New England Region via this link! Thank you to Bruce Gezon for sending us the news. Their site is locked so no forwarding for this edition of RReNews! Rallymaters, please send in your event wrap-ups!

Road Rally on the Radio
Listen in to the radio show of Bill Von Suskil, on The Racing Line. Guests were Peter Schneider on the upcoming NNJR SCCA Road Rally, Rich Bireta talking about the GPS Checkpoints App, and Jim Wakemen of SJR SCCA!

Click here to catch the broadcast WVLT 92.1 FM from Vineland, NJ!
There's an App for That!
Richta GPS Checkpoints App Family Updates by Rich Bireta
Here's an update on the state of my apps for GPS timing and scoring of road rallies.  

Recent Releases
This past month I've released several updates to the apps. Competitor version 1.15 was released, but it was apparent that there was a problem with it, which is particularly noticeable on older, slower phones and tablets. Specifically, the amount of time it took to restart the app and rebuild the checkpoint log display was excessive, up to 60 seconds in cases where more than 60 Cps had already been logged. Version 1.16 corrected this. Shortly after 1.16 was released, it was discovered that it did not run on Android version 10 due to a tightening of security on Android 10. Version 1.17 corrected this specific problem.

Several versions of the Rallymaster app were also released. Significant enhancements include a fix to allow it to run on Android 10, and a new Advanced Menu set of functions including Edit Timeslip. Edit Timeslip allows the organizer to change the out time, in time, or TA (time allowance) time on a timeslip and to correct the score. A missing timeslip can be added.

In the two weeks immediately after its release, Edit Timeslip has come in handy in cleaning up scoring details on four different events. I suggest you familiarize yourself with this tool and use it to shorten the amount of time between provisional scores being posted and scores being declared final. 

My recommendation is always to run the latest version of the apps. Check the Google Play Store or Apple App Store for the latest update.

My plan for the rest of 2020 is to restrict the number of releases of the Competitor apps to those fixes that address specific widespread problems. The Rallymaster apps will have additional incremental functions added to make it easier to manage events.  

Facebook Page
The Richta GPS Checkpoints Facebook group has proven to be an effective forum to pose questions about the operation of the system. I encourage those interested to join this group.

Accuracy Stud
Curt Thompson, an Engineer from Seattle, released his study of this system's accuracy on the Richta GPS Checkpoints Facebook page. I'd like to publicly express my appreciation to Curt for undertaking this disciplined analysis. You can find it on the Facebook page or click here for a copy. 

Curt studied both Android and Apple phones using internal and external GPS receivers. He includes a test of his Arduino-based receiver, which uses a highly-accurate GPS add-on board. He reports his conclusions on the system's accuracy and his recommendations for organizing events with the system.

Tip of the Month
I've received several requests to enhance Rallymaster to allow a target time of day to be entered as the ideal arrival time at a timed checkpoint. I will not add an additional checkpoint type for this use case as it is easily accommodated in the current system. For example, let’s say you have CP 3 where competitors are to arrive at 10:30 plus their car number in minutes. CP 2 is a Car Zero Time of Day Restart at 10:00 plus car number in minutes. Simply set CP 3 as Timed from Previous Restart and the ideal elapsed time as 30 minutes.
New Scoreboard App 
A new version of the stand-alone Scoreboard app (Android only) has been released. It is designed for those who want to watch a real-time scoreboard as cars pass checkpoints, and their timeslips are sent to the database. This version eliminated the need for a Refresh button. The scoreboard is updated as scores are updated, with no user interaction required. 

The current version does not recognize and take into account legs that are discarded or rescored. This function is planned for later this year. 

Performance Enhancement when Selecting an Event
All of the apps have been enhanced to reduce the amount of time it takes to display the event list.  

Debug Logs
If there is ever a need to investigate the Competitor app's operation, there is a debug log available as a useful tool. On Apple, go to Settings and Send Log. On Android, tap the three dots in the title bar on the main screen.  Select Send Debug Log. Send the log to me along with your question if you cannot resolve the problem on your own.

Communications Check for Android
Also in the menu for Android only (at this point) is a Comms Check option. This app will check for WiFi and cellular data connectivity and report the test status. This option checks for connectivity to the Internet only and not to any particular site on the web. It is being included in response to a request from a Rallymaster and may be expanded in the future.

Recommended Practice: Designated "Map Watcher" Role
I was sitting in Richta Rally HQ in Larryville, Kansas, watching a rally in Southern New Jersey. Two cars went waaay off course during the odometer check. It occurred to me that a designated "map watcher" could monitor the map for these events and contact the affected teams.

My general instructions for Kansas rallies state that “If you see a sign saying "Entering the State of Nebraska" (or Colorado, Oklahoma or Missouri), then you are off course. Stop and contact the Rallymaster.” We have not yet had this occur on an event.

App Usage
As of this writing, the GPS Checkpoint apps have timed and scored 54 events and generated over 35,000 timeslips.

Development Plans – Richta Transponder
In July, I released a set of apps for timing cars on a road race course. These apps would be useful for Time Trial events where competitors do not typically use track-only cars, and transponder availability can be an issue.  

The apps would also have a use in autocross and rallycross events, though most clubs already have a satisfactory solution based on light beams.

There is a Transponder app for the competitor to use. The Timing and Scoring Chief app, for use in the timing tower, that displays all laps for all cars in the order they pass the timing line, the fastest lap for each car, and all laps for all cars.  

The apps are in proof-of-concept state, meaning they are available for field testing. Contact me if you are interested in kicking the tires on these apps. They will be in the Google Play Store under the name Richta GPS Transponder.
Central Florida Returns to Road Rally — Oct 24th
by Peter Schneider
To paraphrase Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the club; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Earlier this year, Ray Kriegbaum, who lives in Lakeland, Florida, and has been putting on rallies on his own, expressed interest in doing them as SCCA events. RRB Chair Jim Crittenden gave him a couple of names in the area to talk to for help and information on getting started. I volunteered to follow-up, and I am delighted to share that Ray has since joined the SCCA and obtained his RoadRally Safety Steward License. Bob Ricker, our SE Division RoadRally Steward, received approval from Central Florida RE Stephen Mullen for sanction, and their first event is on Saturday, October 24th!

Please join the RoadRally Community in wishing them well on their event. If you can support their effort, please feel to follow this link for registration and donation information.

From the flyer, here is more about the event —
The annual event is normally held in association with The MidFlorida Autoshow and Lake Mirror Concours that has been canceled this year, but the Fall Group Therapy Road Rally is ON! This year’s event will be a will be short Social Rally Question & Answer GTA event to benefit two ministries who work with children and at-risk youth in their area. The rally will meet as usual at the Peggy Brown Building/Lake Mirror Civic Center parking lot at 8 AM and end at Camp Gilead in Polk City. Lunch is included, as well as lots of awards and door prizes.
The event is open to all, and you don’t have to have a fancy car. Each vehicle will need a driver and at least one navigator, more if you like. We guarantee you will see some interesting roads you have not been on before, even if you live here! THIS IS NOT A RACE. The entire route is on paved public roads, and participants must obey all traffic rules and speed limits. So come on out and have a great time while supporting a great cause.
United States Road Rally Challenge • November 13-15th
by John Fishbeck, Detroit Region
What is the 2020 United States Road Rally Challenge (USRRC)?
The SCCA’s United States Road Rally Challenge, or the USRRC as it’s commonly known, is an opportunity for road rallyists from all around the country to come together to celebrate road rallying with 3 days of rallying. The annually held USRRC is hosted from year to year by the various SCCA Regions with road rally programs. This year the Detroit Region is proud to once again host the USRRC, having done so previously in 2012. The 2020 USRRC will be held Friday, November 13 through Sunday, November 15.

In more normal times this includes not only rallying, but opportunities to socialize and visit with rally friends old and new. Sadly, in these coronavirus pandemic times that aspect of the USRRC will be much restricted. But this year’s Detroit Region USRRC organizers have worked hard to ensure that there is still a USRRC to participate in, and that the event will be held with every effort made to protect participants against potential coronavirus threats.

Rally HQ is in Whitmore Lake, MI – on US-23 halfway between Ann Arbor and Brighton
Rally headquarters is the Days Inn at Whitmore Lake, MI. Whitmore Lake, a small town bordering on the adjacent lake sharing the same name, is ~35 miles NWW of Detroit. It’s a straight shot up US-23, 10 miles north of Ann Arbor. This location provides an excellent gateway into many of southern Michigan’s finest rally roads. There’ll be a mix of paved and unpaved roads, but the unpaved roads are maintained county roads and are traversable at rally speeds by the average rental car. But, ah, what roads! You’ll be treated to twisty drives through state recreation areas, cruises down sweeping vistas of farm fields and tree lines, skirt the edges of small lakes – all the while being timed along the way to test your skills at matching the rallymaster’s calculated times.

There will be 3 great road rallies over 3 days!
Each of the USRRC’s three days will feature a rally rallymastered by one of the Detroit Region’s experienced rallymasters. Friday opens up with Hell and Back, put on by Scott Harvey Jr. Scott is the rallymaster for Son of Snow Drift, a popular winter rally that’s been held for the past 21 years, and is a many time Region season champion as well as a multiple time winner of the Region’s challenging Press On Regardless rally. Scott will assuredly entertain you with a TSD Tour rally that will include a visit in Hell. Literally. For you points chasers this rally will count towards the National RoadRally Tour Championship, the Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series. This is a novice friendly rally – the instructions are clear with no tricks, and mileaged to help ensure you stay on course.

Saturday John Kytasty takes the stage with his running of Pavement Ends. John has been the Pavement Ends chairman for several years now and has consistently put on a TSD rally that’s been enjoyed by the participants. John, with the able assistance of his compatriots, the rally team of Adam Spieszny and Piotr Roszczenko, are putting on a straightforward TSD Tour rally that will treat you to yet more of southern Michigan’s rallying territory. Like Hell and Back, Pavement Ends will count towards the National RoadRally Tour Championship, the Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series. And like Hell and Back, this rally is novice friendly as well.

Bruce Fisher, the rallymaster extraordinaire of the Region’s legendary Press On Regardless rally and the recipient of this year’s Robert V. Ridges Award, the highest honor within the SCCA RoadRally Program, is putting on Are You Territorial? on Sunday. Unlike Hell and Back and Pavement Ends, this rally is a Course, or ‘trap’ rally. This event will challenge your ability to read and comprehend the route following rules in the general instructions, and then use those rules to follow the route while avoiding Bruce’s attempts to lead you astray. This is an automotive Rubik’s Cube. While it is experienced rallyists who will be most equipped for this, novice rallyists are encouraged to give it a try and sample this flavor of road rallying. Are You Territorial? takes its name from Bruce’s theme for the rally, in that it will wander on and around and about Territorial Road. This is a Divisional event, counting towards Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series.

2020 USRRC will use the Richta GPS timing and scoring apps
Ensuring the safety and health of USRRC participants in this time of the coronavirus threat is of the highest importance to the Region’s USRRC organizers. The rally community is fortunate that just as this unpleasant situation descended on us a technological solution to avoiding contact at controls and among rally workers has become available. The Detroit Region has now used the Richta GPS-based timing and scoring system for three of its most recent rallies – Pavement Ends in November of ’19, and Son of Snow Drift and Press On Regardless this year. The Region was an early adopter of this technology and has now had significant experience utilizing this system for timing and scoring TSD road rallies.

All three 2020 USRRC rallies will use the Richta system for scoring and timing. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to use the Richta system and are unclear about what is, how it works, and what you need to do to run using it, then click here.

The USRRC in a pandemic year
Whew. 2020 has been quite a year. If anything, this means even more that we rallyists need an opportunity to get out on America’s roads and enjoy this passion for driving about. That said, the Region takes very seriously the need to provide protection against infection by the coronavirus so that rallyists can come and enjoy the event with becoming ill. To that end the USRRC organizers have put into place numerous measures to minimize or eliminate contact.

Sadly, there’ll won’t be the usual socializing, post-rally dinners, drinks and awards, and related activity that forms a core of the rally experience. But the Detroit Region just put on the Press On Regardless rally for 26 teams, where people did get a chance to visit outside at gas stops and breaks while remaining appropriately distanced and exercising appropriate caution.

Here are some of the various steps the organizing committee has taken to ensure there is a minimum of potential virus spreading contact:
  • Online registration on MotorsportReg only, no walk-ins.
  • Online waiver at or SCCA hard card annual waiver only
  • Observing Michigan governor’s current orders regarding COVID-19
  • Use of face masks required whenever folks are away from their car.
  • No after-rally indoor rendezvous gathering.
  • Trophies will be mailed to the winners.
  • Proper social distancing required at all times

While obviously there can be no guarantees of absolute COVID-19 safety, those considerations listed above demonstrate how committed the USRRC organizing committee is to providing a 2020 USRRC that is as safe as possible.

Register now to come join us for the 2020 US Road Rally Challenge!
Friday Night Run of the Month
From the Armchair Rally Archives of Gary Starr
I have always enjoyed teaching those new to our sport the Road Rally concepts for Course and Tour rallies. Perhaps you have seen my Tips for Novice TSD Rallyists in these pages? I am hoping to do the same teaching with these Armchair Rallies in each edition of RReNews. I would love to see more people try Course rallying. But it often is too hard to understand for people who have never done it, so they get frustrated and never return. There is just no way to practice and learn rally traps before running the actual event. And Rallymasters don't help by making the traps way too hard. These Armchair Rallies are an excellent tool to introduce the concepts and show how to navigate trap rallies without even getting in your car. And believe me, the traps in these mimic the actual traps on real events. After doing a few of these, you will be ready to take on the challenge of Course rallies!

Again this month, I'm offering both an easy rally for those new to our sport and a harder one for those ready for more challenge. All these Armchair rallies were scanned in from my original paper generals, so some are a little faded. I have also added handwritten notes on some, circled important Generals sentences, or put obvious arrows pointing to the Generals' areas you'll need to do the Armchair Rally.

The simpler rally is the 1980 Aquatennial Tour Du Lac by Dave Fuss. This rally has no Main Road. You follow the course using the route following rules listed under “Following the Course” in the generals (ie. rules A, B, C). 
The hard rally is the 1980 Flight of the Phoenix. This rally has no Main Road. You follow the course using the Route-Following Priorities listed in the generals. Use the circled items (with arrows pointing to them) in the generals to execute the instructions properly. 

You can certainly do this from your screen by clicking on the images below, yet I encourage you to print it out and head to the "START" line with a pencil. Depart on Route Instruction #1 and enjoy the adventure!

Send me an email at I would love to get feedback from you on these rallies and this column. I have heard of various rallyists having archives of these, and I encourage you to share them with us!
Aquatennial Tour Du Lac Map Rally
Flight of the Phoenix Map Rally
New GPS Options for Road Rallying
by Mike Friedman, Small Systems Specialists, ALFA Rally Equipment
“GPS has arrived, and a new era of high accuracy road rallying is upon us utilizing this penultimate technology." 

As much as I'd love to begin with that statement, this simply is not the case. In today's world, GPS can make rally life simpler and less expensive for some beginners. Still, it has not yet reached the point of being as accurate and repeatable as a good old fashioned wheel sensor and dedicated odometer.

Okay, I've gotten that out of my system, and since that's the way I feel about it, your next question has to be, "Why have you spent time and money creating and tooling GPS based rally equipment to sit alongside an established and time-honored line of equipment?" 

The answer is multi-faceted, but basically; 1, simplicity; 2, portability; and 3, it's just good enough for many applications. The first two reasons are obvious and don't require much explaining. Using a GPS based rally odometer is as simple as attaching it to the dashboard and making sure the GPS receiver has a good view of the sky. This setup is easily portable, making it ideal for rallyists who travel and use borrowed or rented cars to compete. Traditional wheel-mounted sending units, even my own EZ-Pulse, require a bit of wrenching and adapting to mount, dismount, and set up for use.

To understand the last item, it's essential to know where GPS based rally equipment is limited, and there are two areas as currently in use. First are the limitations of GPS itself, as a system. Everyone likes to point out the receiver's great 2-meter position accuracy as showing the system has arrived. Two meters is around 6.5 feet, or about 1.2 thousandths of a mile, which at first glance seems quite enough.  However, this figure is only under ideal conditions consisting of good weather, acceptable terrain, and a lack of local interference. Even then, the spec only says that the reading will be within that 2-meter range 90% of the time. Looking at live data, in more typical reception conditions, we have recorded position shifts in multiple directions of more than 11 meters, or about 37 feet, over a period of one minute. (See figures below)  

All things being equal, this drift tends to average out over time. Still, since rallying isn't about averages but rather "on time all the time," you could get an unexpectedly bad result at the checkpoint line despite overall good looking mileages along the course. Also, GPS satellites orbit the earth at around 12,000 miles, rising and setting over a 12-hour period.  Since the geometry is continually changing, the effect of terrain will differ depending upon the time of day the course is driven and may be inconsistent from day-to-day. 

The bottom line is that despite advertising by GPS manufacturers about 2-meter accuracy. The latest official government assessment of average GPS accuracy is 9 meters horizontally and 15 meters vertically, 95% of the time under ideal conditions, and 17 meters horizontally and 37 meters vertically, 95% of the time at the worst site under ideal conditions. A rally navigator used to 1/1000 mile accuracy and sub 1 point scores will be disappointed!

The second area where GPS is common is using phones and tablets in place of purpose-built rally equipment, and here is where I felt improvements could be made while still making use of the simplicity and portability of GPS. Phones are convenient since we all own one, and they generally include GPS, display screens, and other hardware useful for a rally instrument. However, over the years, I have polled many rally navigators about touch screens vs. mechanical switches and dials. The overwhelming answer has been to stay with mechanical controls. Touch screens are okay in nice weather on a smooth road, but if you've ever tried to operate your phone while making up time on a bouncy dirt road, you know it's not the most accurate way to enter data. Next is the hardware itself, which tends to be a moving target. Phone and tablet models are generally available for a year or so and then go out of fashion. The software (App) developed has to be generalized to work over a reasonable range of equipment. It's impossible to know how each's internal workings will affect the overall performance in rally terms. The operating systems used on phones and tablets are also under continual change. 

Additionally, they offer unknown (and unknowable, in some cases) latency (processing delays) from unseen background tasks continually running out of the software developer's control. Like the GPS itself, in most cases, on average, this may not be an issue, but a processing hesitation or delay in GPS data as you approach a checkpoint can and will cost rally points. We ran several tests using a popular, and I think well developed and thought out, rally product.  In one test, we had three devices running the same software (App) sitting next to each other in the car: A Motorola cell phone, a Samsung cell phone, and a Samsung tablet. As we passed each checkpoint in this test, the score varied by at least one second (1.6 points) between any two of the devices. In another similar trial, we used two identical iPhones sitting next to each other and recorded scores differing by several seconds in some cases. Once again, an experienced rally navigator would be very disappointed with his results in these cases. 
This brings us to my take on the current state of affairs and my new ALFA brand products supporting GPS. The ALFA concept is to take a high-quality GPS receiver and combine it with purpose-built rally equipment to provide the best user experience and reasonable course and time accuracy. At present, ALFA offers two GPS based products: The ALFA GPS-Pulser and the ALFA-Club.

The ALFA GPS-Pulser replaces the traditional wheel-mounted sending unit with a GPS based sensor feeding into any rally computer or odometer you already own. It has been tested with all ALFA brand equipment, and also the TimewiseTM 798A rally computer. There is no reason it should not work with any other equipment brand, but we only have so much ability to test! Your entire road rally equipment solution can be installed and running in borrowed or rental cars in minutes with this product.  As a bonus, since the GPS receiver provides time and position, the GPS-Pulser can also act as a clock-sync source for both ALFA and TimewiseTM clocks, which support synchronization. 
The ALFA-Club is my long-standing dual-use product, acting as either a double-odometer and clock combo for competition, or as a checkpoint timer with memories. Back in 2018, the hardware was redesigned from a "clean sheet" with eventual GPS integration in mind, and this year the fully revised feature list has been made a reality. The ALFA-Club can get both time and distance from either the GPS or traditional sources, so it's not limited in performance or accuracy.

The GPS based odometer is fully factor correctable, just like all ALFA equipment, and reads down to 1/1000 mile. There is also a separate factor for GPS based mileages vs. those from traditional sending units. The GPS based clock is synced to WWV equivalent time, including appropriate leap-seconds. Still, if the "official time" for your rally does not agree, you may easily program an offset to sync with rally time and continue to use the GPS to avoid time drift during the event. When used as a checkpoint clock, you have 400 memories available, all stored in flash memory, so they are not lost during power failures.

Many of you are using the ALFA-Elite, my premier TSD rally computer, or at least familiar with it. The ALFA-Elite went out of production last year due to certain essential parts becoming unavailable and other considerations. I have been getting a lot of requests for information about when a replacement rally computer will be available, and I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know it is under development. The replacement unit will also offer built-in GPS and traditional sensor use, and a host of new and exciting features. As development proceeds, I'm happy to hear from you all about what you'd like to see in this new product. Please email any time to The full list of features for all ALFA brand rally products is available at

I've been rallying since 1977, mostly TSD rallies, but I did compete in performance stage rallies mostly during the 1980s. I introduced the ALFA brand of rally equipment around 1983, and they have been in continuous production ever since, with thousands of examples out in the field winning rallies. I have worked with GPS based systems since its beginning, introducing one of the first handheld GPS aircraft navigation systems back in the early 90s. Since then, I have designed GPS based products for other markets, as well as non-GPS products for industrial control, instrumentation, and communications. My company, Small Systems Specialist, is currently based in Pennsylvania, where I provide engineering services and produce rally equipment. 
Robert V. Ridges Award Submission Season is Here!
from SCCA RoadRally Rule Book
Bob Ridges was Secretary of the RRB from the inception of the National program in 1957 until his death in 1965. This award is presented to the SCCA member who exemplifies the highest degree of dedication and sportsmanship in the sport during the preceding year who has made an outstanding contribution to the success of an event during its execution; who has made an outstanding contribution to the program as a whole; who has exhibited exceptional sportsmanship involving personal sacrifice; or who has undertaken physical risk for the preservation of life or property. 

This award is not intended for sitting RRB members, Official Observers, Rallymasters, or Officials unless they have clearly demonstrated extraordinary dedication, achievement, and/or sportsmanship above and beyond the duties and responsibilities of their office. Contestants shall only be eligible in cases involving exceptional sportsmanship, personal sacrifice or risk. The recipient is selected by the RRB based on recommendations of any rally participant or Board member. Presentation of the award is made at the Annual SCCA National Convention. This award may not be presented each year. This is the highest honor within the SCCA Rally Program. 

“Bob was a sportsman in the truest sense of the word. To him, sportsmanship lay in the manner of performance rather than in the winning; though as a competitor, he always strived to do his best. His honesty, integrity, sincerity and never failing good humor as well as his dedication to sports car activities have left an indelible mark.” 
- SportsCar March 1965 
Year Awarded and Recipient(s) 
  • 2019 Bruce Fisher, Dimondale, MI 
  • 2018 John Emmons, Galesville, WI 
  • Lois Van Vleet, Galesville, WI 
  • 2017 Rich Bireta, Lawrence, KS 
  • 2016 Mike Thompson, La Crosse, WI 
  • 2010 Cheryl Babbe, Anchorage, AK 
  • Bill Demming, Anchorage, AK 
  • 2009 Ron Ferris, Florissant, MO 
  • 2007 Bob Richer, Pompano Beach, FL 
  • 2006 Jeanne English, Hermosa Beach, CA 
  • 2005 Jim Mirrielees, Arlington, VA 
  • 2003 Ted Goddard, Perkinsville, VT
  • 2000 Jim Heine, St. Louis, MO 
  • 1998 Paula Gibeault, Ridgecrest, CA 
  • 1997 Russell Brown, Houston, TX 
  • 1994 Gene Henderson, Pinckney, Ml 
  • 1993 Bob Radford, Rockford, IL 
  • 1991 John Classen, Burbank, CA 
  • 1990 Norman W. Hill, Lisle, IL 
  • 1989 Virginia J. Reese, Ann Arbor, Ml 
  • 1987 John Buffum, Colchester, VT 
  • 1985 W. David Teter, Newark, DE 
  • 1982 “Doc” Floyd Shrader, M.D., W. Memphis, AR 
  • 1979 Harry M. Handley, Westport, CT 
  • 1976 Clyde Durbin, Dallas, TX 
  • 1975 Wayne J. Zitkus, Toledo, OH 
  • 1973 Erhard Dahm, Farmington, MI 
  • 1972 Kenneth Adams, Bakersfield, CA 
  • 1971 Ronald W. Jones, Tucson, AZ 
  • 1969 Victor T. Wallder, Nutley, NJ 
  • 1967 Frank Schmitz, Shawnee, KS 
  • 1965 Sam E. Fast, Middletown, NY 
Should you know of a member that you believe deserves this award and they have not already received it, please nominate that person by sending an email to

Be sure to include a description of that person's contributions and why you believe they should receive Robert V Ridges Award.
Second Hand Roads by Northern New Jersey Region
by Dave Panas and Peter Schneider, NNJ SCCA
On September 13th, NNJR hosted a Novice-orientated Time-Speed-Distance Rally utilizing the Richta App GPS Scoring System.

Second Hand Roads, the title of the event, harkens back to an event by the rallies Co-Host Raritan Valley Sports Car Club, who has sanctioned both Q&A Gimmick/GTA and Time-Speed-Distance events since the 60s. RVSCC was also the driving force behind NNJR's Pine Barren Express TSD rally, which ran for ten years in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. PBX was a brisk event that lasted way into the night and utilized tulip instructions and the State Forest System's sand trails. 

Second Hand Roads in the old day got its name based on the fact it would recycle old trophies and commonly used rally roads. The Region brought the event back to life in 2018 and plans on conducting the event for many years to come.

While most people think of NNJR as a Region that presents Gimmick/GTA rallies and as host of the annual USMC Toys for Tots Charity event, most people are unaware the Region has a long history in road rally, which goes back to the 50s. By the way, the Toys for Tots Teddy Bear Rally, which has run for 30 years, is the longest-running charity event sanctioned by SCCA. 
I thought I’d let you know about the time when NNJR actually participated in the National Rally scene—

Back in 2013, Dave Panas wrote, "For several years before and after 1963, NNJR conducted the Jersey 500 National Rally. The ’63 event was run over three days and did account for 500 miles of rallying. The first car was flagged off at 2 PM on Friday, July 12th. 44 cars started. The Friday course accounted for about 150 of the 500 mile event and had a total of 10 checkpoints. Participants included Hank Mann, the National Rally Board Chairman, and Stew Blodgett, the official SCCA observer. This stellar duo took Friday’s 2nd place behind a couple from Springfield, Va.

The Saturday route of approximately 250 miles jumbled the Friday’s scores with several highly placed Friday teams suffering major checkpoint penalties. The Virginia couple still led and our erstwhile Nat'l Rally Board runners dropped to the bottom of the top ten.

The Saturday route took the contestants to northwest Jersey for a buffet lunch at the Newtonian Inn in Newton. Supposedly the meatballs were a hit, as was the lemonade stop in midafternoon. The afternoon run took the cars along the country roads of Sussex and Warren counties. A comment from the time said that “the roads there are fast, lightly traveled and offer unequaled conditions for rallying in the ‘prompt’ manner.”

The final 100 miles were run on Sunday morning. The rallymaster designed a regularity run with loops. The three day runs were appropriately titled "Straights, Curves, and Circles." Apparently that was enough to trip up enough folks that the results were scrambled again!

Part of the enjoyment of the event was the FREE gas and oil provided by Gulf! (these were the days of corporate sponsorship) Two of their representatives were on hand to lend whatever assistance they could and had more fun than some of the contestants. One even rode in the sweep car. AND, they also provided lighter fluid, household oil (sewing machine oil) and sewing kits for distribution. [I hope that didn’t affect their local gas prices.]

Representing the NNJR were the novice class winners, Dave and Mary Latto. First novice and seventh overall.

For being the closest of all predicting the final score, the winner, Jo Murray, was presented with a Heuer watch, compliments of that company.

It should be noted that the Course Marshall for the event was Roger Bohl, a name that became familiar in National rallying circles for years to come, as were the second place overall winners, Dennis and Sally Anne Koelmel.  It should be noted that the Koelmels drove for the Renault factory rally to read more
Photos and Graphics —
Overview map, Rallymaster Peter Schneider presenting scores and trophies, social distancing and fellowship post event by Marina Bleimaier. First Place Expert and Overall team of Ed and Carolyn Harris. Remainin photos by Team Schneider!
Smuncher's Attic
Co-Hosting of Road Rally Programs is "Old News” — by Bruce Gezon
Smuncher's Attic, is our gift from the Archives of Bruce Gezon. A National Champion many times over, Rallymaster, friend and worthy competitor, he has a treasure trove of rally history. This month, we've transcribed a piece written by Paul Novak from 1975. You can view the original here.

From Bruce, "It appears the advice, these twenty-five years later is still valid! Gator Gotcha Fore! lost to Highway Robbery in 1975, but it was a superb event. Like Heart Of Dixie you could always count on it to stay within their stated philosophy."

We here at RReNew believe this could easily be a current piece on the state of our program. Now, the comment about 1947? We left it as written, yet wondered if it were not keyboard-dyslexia and should be 1974. Enjoy another edition of Smuncher's Attic!
Paul Novak
I don't know!! But we are getting closer and next year I hope to write how it was done.

After reading the write-ups on rallies in the various publications that I subscribe to, rallymasters are almost always referred to as devious unscrupulous individuals who are all trying to "stick it to" the contestants. This attitude is assured to get bad comments at the finish.

Rallying is a hobby. People have a hobby because they enjoy doing that thing in their spare time, whatever it may be. As soon as a hobby stops being fun then they get a new hobby. Organizers should keep this in mind if they are at all interested in furthering the hobby of rallying.

THE GATOR GOTCHA FORE National Rally (Vero Beach, Fla.) has been designed with contestant enjoyment as the primary consideration. Secondly, the rally had to be made challenging to be of national caliber. No traps are used!!! A trap is a situation or wording that is cleverly omitted or disguised in the General Instructions to avoid detection. Cute traps, like the sign that is near a mailbox and upon close scrutiny you can detect that it is in some way supported by the mailbox, hence an ineligible sign, are definitely avoided.

Contestants like to make their own mistakes and if enough opportunities are provided everyone will make at least one dumb mistake. Instead of traps we use: Limited structured course following situations. Every situation is explicitly covered in the general instructions. These involve Main Road follows, conflicting route following priorities (where a lettered instruction, numbered instruction and the Main Road can be applied at the same point and each defines the same or different directions) where logic must be used to deduce the proper priority to use, and a few misspelled signs the more obvious the better. Be sure all signs are easy to read at rally speed - No one likes a sign hunt. One hard to see sign could easily ruin an otherwise great rally.

Tell the contestants exactly what you are going to do to them and then go out on the course and do it. Everyone appreciates an honest rallymaster. Make the general instructions complete. Well placed checkpoint locations are utilized to separate the scores of the contestants who fail to bring their own "trap" with them. No one complains about an unexpected control or a well hidden location where they got caught running early. A few of these early in the rally will keep the contestants running on time and increase their ability to make their own dumb mistakes.

After the route is completed a review of every situation should be made to see if any can be construed as devious. These should be eliminated without hesitation. The rally is always tougher than the organisers realize! So eliminating a "trap" or two won't hurt - only help.

Everyone appreciates efficient checkpoint operation and fast scoring. This is the polish that's added after you do everything else right. That is, training checkpoint crews “before” the rally and establishing a good, fast scoring system.

In 1947 THE GATOR GOTCHA THRICE rated a 93+ on the contestant evaluation reports. The overall finishing position is not yet announced. This year we felt that we've got it all together so if you are planning to attend the SCCA National convention on Jan. 24th also plan to run our national rally on Jan. 18 - 19. We promise you will enjoy your favorite hobby!!
SCCA RoadRally Board Looking for Volunteers
With the New Year fast approaching, it’s time to think about 2021.

RoadRally Board Appointment
On August 27th, Jim Crittenden announced that he would be retiring from the RoadRally Board at the end of this year. Mike Bennett, Detroit Region, has agreed to serve as RRB Chair. Wendy Harrison, Clyde Heckler, and Peter Schneider will continue to serve on the RRB next year.

  • The RoadRally Rules, Article 1, Section A, defines the RoadRally Board: "The RRB is responsible for providing enjoyable RoadRally competition, emphasizing safe, considerate use of the highways, precise directions, and fair competition. The RRB shall monitor the execution of approved rules and standards for all SCCA sanctioned rallies, but particularly National Touring Rally (NTR), Divisional Touring Rally (DTR), National Course Rally (NCR), Divisional Course Rally (DCR), National GTA Rally (NGR), and Divisional GTA Rally (DGR) events."

We are looking for SCCA members who want to help promote our sport and our Club across America. Should you like to serve on the RRB, please send an email to and express your willingness and interest. Additional positions on the Board, it should be noted, will be available in 2022 and 2023. 

RoadRally Development Committee Appointment
  • The RoadRally Rules, Article 1, Section C5, defines the RDC: "A RoadRally Regional Development Committee (RDC) shall be appointed by the RRB for the purpose of coordinating and administering the SCCA RoadRally Regional program."

During our September 10th meeting, the RoadRally Board voted to re-establish the RoadRally Development Committee. Suspended in 2015, these responsibilities were absorbed by the RoadRally Board as a whole. Activities in this area have progressed, and several new Regions have put on rallies. As an introduction to the sport, Treks were established in 2019. 

With the recent increased focus on RoadRallying by the National Office, more assistance will be needed. Should you be interested in serving on the RoadRally Development Committee, please send an email to and get involved in developing our Regional RoadRally programs' support and promotion.
Submitted by RRB Member Schneider
Upcoming Road Rally Events for YOU!
VA: 201017 FSR Rally to the River/New Member Welcome Event

Road Rally w/ PCA - First Settlers on Saturday, October 17, 2020 at Euroclassics Porsche, Midlothian, VA - Join your FSR friends on Saturday, October 17th for a Gimmick Rally to the Rappahannock River.... while teasing your brain as you search...

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TX: 201017 Tick Tock Rally

You're invited to the Tick Tock Rally, an SCCA Regional Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) tour rally. The rally will start and end in Anna, Texas and will traverse paved backroads of Collin County. At fun speeds. This is a precision driving event to...

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NH: 201018 SCCNH Something Old - Something New TSD Rally

Road Rally w/ Sports Car Club of New Hampshire on Sunday, October 18, 2020 at SCCNH Rally, Concord, NH - Start Location: At carpool parking lot at exit 2 off I-89 in Concord, N.H. Entry Fee: $30 per car (there's NO limit on the number of...

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CSCC 2020 Mountains to the Sea

Road Rally w/ Cascade Sports Car Club - Road Rally on Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Dealers Supply, Portland, OR - Join us for the 55th anniversary of Cascade Sports Car Club's classic Mountains to the Sea road rally. This year's rally offers...

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IN: 201025 Points Rally #6 - The Hunt for Orange October

Road Rally w/ SCCA - Southern Indiana Region on Sunday, October 25, 2020 at Evansville Indiana Area, Evansville, IN - This rally will use the Richta Competitor app so you will need it installed in a smart device (phone or tablet) before you get...

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OR: 201031 CSCC 2020 Ghouls Gambol

Road Rally w/ Cascade Sports Car Club - Road Rally on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at Dealers Supply, Portland, OR - For over 50 years ghosts, goblins, spirits and ghouls have haunted Cascade Sports Car Club's Halloween road rally. In bygone years, ...

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Road Rally w/ SCCA - New England Region - RoadRally on Saturday, November 7, 2020 at Tanger Outlets - Tilton, NH, Tilton, NH - Grab Bag Rally will be a straight-forward Time-Speed-Distance rally of approximately 140 miles. A mix of formats will...

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Post Your Upcoming Rally Dates and Invites HERE?
After the middle of March, we saw almost all road rally events placed on hold — some Rallymasters have shifted to later dates on the calendar and others have been forced to cancel their rallies and schools.

Our goal is to share news about our beloved sport of Road Rally across North America — be they sanctioned by the SCCA, PCA, BMW, Furrin Group, Cascade Sports Car Club, or any of the many local marque clubs or as community events! Please checkout our growing list of Road Rally events across North America!

Please send us news of your upcoming event dates and promotional materials to share, so as to make fellow road rally enthusiasts 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!
NJ: 201018 Fall Fun Drive and Fundraiser

Road Rally w/ BMW CCA - New Jersey Chapter on Sunday, October 18, 2020 at NJ Public Roads, Bridgewater, NJ - Chapter Family Fun "Pick Your Pumpkin" Drive to Benefit NORWESCAP On Sunday, October 18th, the NJ Chapter will host a family-friendly...

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WI: 201024 Kettle Moraine Colors Tour Road Rally

Road Rally w/ SCCA - Milwaukee Region on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Nagawaukee Shopping Center, Delafield, WI - SCCA Milwaukee Region Presents KETTLE MORAINE COLORS TOUR ROAD RALLYE- Delafield, Wisconsin Saturday. October 24, 2020 Join your...

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GA: 201024 Waterfalls & Wine Fall Foliage Drive

Road Rally w/ MBCA - Peachtree on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Amicalola State Park, Dawsonville, GA - Anticipate a scenic view of the North Georgia mountains in full color with the stunning view of three of the most interesting waterfalls in...

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OH: 201031 Annual Barney Powers Memorial Road Rally

Road Rally w/ SCCA - Cincinnati Region on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at Susanna's Guest House, New Richmond, OH - Cincinnati Region SCCA presents the Barney Powers Memorial Road Rally Sanction # 20-RRRG- Bring a clipboard (some loaners available) ...

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IN: 201024 Acton Spooky Halloween Road Rally

Road Rally w/ SCCA - Indianapolis Region on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at Kroger Parking Lot - Southport Rd, Indianapolis, IN - Acton Spooky Halloween Road Rally Fall is on its way and with it, comes one of Indy's favorite road rally events....

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2020 SCCA RoadRally Championships
The SCCA RoadRally competition season is based on a calendar year – January to December. As promised, RReNews publishes the standings for the SCCA National Road Rally Championships from Bruce Gezon, Points Keeper.

We want to thank Bruce for being faithful to RReNews and for providing the Standings so timely each month! Have questions about the SCCA Championship Standings? Send Bruce an email by clicking here.

For 2020, we have the 2019 Course Standings. These will remain until the first Course Rally of 2020. The Manufacturer Championship may be viewed here.
2020 SCCA Course Championship
2020 SCCA Tour Championship
2020 SCCA GTA Championship
SCCA RoadRally Lifetime Points
This month we are posting the SCCA Lifetime Points for TSD and GTA Road Rally programs. Names such as Harry M Handley, Robert V. Ridges, Russell K. Brown, and Victor T. Wallder were involved in their start and their maintenance over the years, with the reigns going to W. David Teter in 1997, until his passing in 2014. Now maintained by R. Bruce Gezon, you can view the full listing of those who took the first six Overall Finishes in this two programs. The TSD points go back to 1958 and GTA to 2007. For those who have earned more than 25 points, you can find their names listed in the back of the Road Rally Rules, which are published as an Appendix.

SCCA Matters — Words from the Wheel: SCCA Natl News, Rally Planning Calendar, and RRB Minutes
Words from the Wheel
Brian Harmer, SCCA Rally and Solo Program Manager
With how interesting and challenging the year of 2020 has been, I wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who have found ways to stay engaged in the Club and the sport of RoadRally. 

Many things are going on globally, and keeping everyone healthy and safe has become a top priority. This new way of life has made engaging in any car-related events challenging. The RoadRally community, however, found ways to take care of our members’ health and safety while still providing an avenue for folks to “get away from reality” and play with their cars for a while.

As of writing this article, a total of 44 SCCA RoadRallies, with 609 total participants, have been sanctioned. Of those events, 27% of them have been Social Rallies (12), which is even more fascinating considering being social in 2020 is one of the most challenging things to do. 
Every month when I listen in on the RoadRally Board calls, the Board has always voiced concerns that if events were happening, they followed guidelines and procedures to ensure everyone stayed healthy. Being a part of these calls shows me that everyone’s hearts are in the right place. It is times like these and hearts like those that continue to show why SCCA members initially join "because of the cars," yet "stay/come back for the people." 

To all the people who continue to make this Club what it is, I once again say "thank you." As these interesting times evolve, let's continue to stick together and find ways to safely be around our SCCA family. As I am writing to my RoadRally family, let's continue to have fun with our "cars" — be they sports cars, family sedans, trucks, minivans, or SUVs.

Sometimes "Things Just Take Time" — Part I
SCCA Safety Steward Program by the RRB
A United States President described how big democratic societies work: “They are like ocean liners: you turn the wheel slowly, and the big ship pivots. Sometimes your job is just to make stuff work. Sometimes the task of government is to make incremental improvements or to try to steer the ocean liner two degrees north or south so that, ten years from now, suddenly we're in a very different place than we were. At the moment, people may feel like we need a fifty-degree turn; we don't need a two-degree turn. And you say, Well, if I turn fifty-degrees the whole ship turns over."

Over the last couple of years, the RoadRally Board (RRB) has addressed several related issues that were well overdue. While each of the tasks was addressed individually, they accounted for significant changes to the RoadRally Safety Steward program.

During the January 2017 on-site RRB Meeting at the National Convention, the Board of Directors asked Chairman Rich Bireta and the RRB to develop a set of priorities for the RRBs direction for years to come. The RRB document three significant areas with subtasks:
  • Safety Steward Program
  • Communication Strategy
  • Regional Development

RoadRally Safety Steward Program
We want to take this time to discuss the changes/efforts that have been undertaken concerning the RoadRally Safety Steward (RRSS) Program  and what tasks are still outstanding.

Mike Bennett (Detroit Region) and Peter Schneider (Northern New Jersey) took on the majority of the work on the tasks related to the RRSS Program. When Wendy Harrison (Indianapolis Region) joined the Board in 2018, she agreed to work with Mike and Peter on scripting and updating the outdated Safety Steward videos, which are still available on YouTube. 
The first task completed was a review of the RoadRally application process and finding none. Schneider created and documented a formal process approved by the RRB and published in April of 2017. Download your copy here. We also learned that RoadRally was the only program that did not have a re-certification process to retain the SCCA-issued RRSS Licenses.

By November of 2017, we had contacted over 260 Licensed RRSS; forty individuals identified themselves as inactive and agreed to have the National Office suspend their licenses. Should those members decide to re-engage in the sport at any time, they would be welcomed back as active an RRSS after meeting the current requirements. Most RRSS were prompt to reply and help us update our records. Yet it was almost two years later, August 2019, before we closed out this task with the remaining eight non-responsive RRSS reached and all email addresses updated in the National Membership database. Persistence pays off; never give up!

While the first two tasks were underway, Bennett, Schneider, and Sasha Lanz (Texas Region) and others reviewed the existing RRSS Manuals and created SCCA's first RoadRally Safety Steward Knowledge Test. Download your copy here. We agreed that the Test was a tool for the Safety Steward Instructors to understand the knowledge gaps of new Safety Stewards and enforce additional education sessions before issuing approval for an individual to become a licensed RRSS. This task was completed in May of 2017 and rolled out to the 42 RRSS Instructors in June of the same year. It was fine-tuned at the 2018 Convention when used at the on-site Safety Steward Training Session conducted by Jeanne English (Cal Club Region) and Bennett. It has been used successfully as part of the Safety Steward process for the last three years, updated as needed based on annual changes to the SCCA RoadRally Rules.

Once the Knowledge Test was approved and rolled out, discussions about how to automate the Test and establish a Re-Certification process began. The RRB agreed that the RoadRally program should follow the other Steward programs' precedent and require the RRSS to be re-certified every three years. 

Updating of the RoadRally Handbooks 
An additional task was to review and update both the GTA/Gimmick RoadRally and  TSD Regional RoadRally Handbooks and the Safety Steward Checklists. Bennett and Schneider completed this task in November of 2018 with extensive input from the RoadRally Community. The Manual has been updated annually since then as the need arises. The most recent version was made available on the RoadRally Document and Rules Website in September of 2020. 
Divisional RoadRally Steward Job Descriptions
In January of 2017 the RoadRally Board reviewed the Divisional RoadRally Steward (DRRS) Job Description and confirmation that all the existing DSSR were willing to remain in their positions. The role of the DSSR now includes administering the RRSS Application process and assisting with Regional RoadRally Development activities. These are in addition to the existing responsibilities of developing and maintaining a Divisional RoadRally Series program following the rules, standards, and procedures established for the RoadRally Program. The RRB understands that not all Divisions have active Division-wide Series due to geographic distances, Regions currently without a RoadRally program, or lack of interest. Additionally, DRRS will serve as an advisory resource for the RRB on event operation topics. In 2020, the DRRSs have been attending the monthly RRB meetings; their insight and contributions are greatly appreciated. The RRB approved this Job Description in March of 2017; updates to the SCCA National Operation Manual are still pending. 

Sometimes, "Things just take time."
Road Rally Planning Calendar
SCCA RoadRally Board Minutes -
July and August (September Still Pending)
Rallying to Preserve the SCCA Rally Archives...
Book Lover? History Lover?
Motorsport Enthusiast?
A believer in the good works of the SCCA Foundation and the Preservation of the SCCA Archives at the International Motor Racing Research Center?

Should you not have already purchased your copy of this worthy history book, you have two options: order it today or be sure it is put on your Christmas list by the end of the month!

We don't have the numbers post-POR 2020, yet we received this from author Andrew Layton before the Press On Regardless:

"Sales of the POR book have been pretty good so far. We have sold 68 Buffum-signed copies for a total of $2,040 raised for the SCCA Foundation and IMRRC. I was able to work the first transfer of funds at the beginning of July very easily with Mindy at the SCCA. It probably helped a lot that the book was mentioned in the June issue of Sports Car and has also been reviewed by Victory Lane Magazine. I believe the letters to participants in the fundraiser have already gone out. 

There are just under 300 copies left of the book. Overall, things seem to have gone fairly smoothly with the Buffum-signed promotion. Thanks again for the great idea and support!"
We certainly hope that you will choose to order one of the Limited Edition books for $74.99. These are to be numbered and signed by both Layton and John Buffum and will raise funds for the SCCA Foundation and the International Motor Racing Research Center — an invaluable facility in bringing this book to print.

And if not that edition, you MUST get yourself a copy for $44.99, to support the good works done by Layton at recording the history of the Press on Regardless — The Story of America’s longest, oldest, and meanest road rally, for generations to come. Well done, Andrew Layton!!

Click here to purchase your edition today!
From the Home Office in Jewel Lake...
The falling leaves, drift by my window...
For those of you who know a bit about Alaska – fireweed! Fireweed, a vibrant wild perennial, has bloomed to the top and we can expect frosts, and all that follows anytime. Our days are noticeably darker, and the "snowbirds" have started heading south for the winter.

What should have been a summer of activity – be it road rally and other motorsport events, state fairs, fundraisers, musical performances, parades, weddings, family reunions, movie houses, vacations and more – was scuttled by the COVID-19.

Our fellow rallyists in the Cascade Sports Car Club in Oregon maintained a summer season with their TSsD events. The small "s" for social, which I thought quite brilliant!

Yet as the Covidian Era continued, we saw Speed Waivers come into play, which could be done online and eliminate another "contact point." Combined with the Richta GPS Checkpoint App, this allowed Rallymasters to have near-contactless events! Creativity using Zoom meetings for Novice School and Driver Meetings became a norm, route instructions were mailed out for printing at home, and standings emailed out to competitors to review. Be assured; all missed the social part of our sport – that camaraderie and conversation after the last checkpoint over food and libations.

Oh! And the ability to follow rallyists on the course during events with live-timing brought a new twist to our sport as well! We certainly have seen tremendous innovation in the modern-technology side out of necessity and many of us jonesing to road rally!

Rallymasters are already laying claim to 2021 weekends. Here is hoping our ingenuity, passion, and determination to rally continues, and that our scientists and medical communities continue their diligent efforts to quell the spread of COVID in 2021. — Cheryl Lynn, RReNews Cla
It's Here, so Let's Use It!
We encouraged all of you to start using the #comeroadrally hashtag in your posts about rallying. One reader wrote to ask what that meant and how it could help! It is a means to easily find information on the internet for common causes. Perhaps you have attended a seminar, wedding, or motorsport event where they have asked you to use a hashtag in your posts? Hashtag is # for those unfamiliar. So should you enter #comeroadrally into your browser, you may find a similar page such as this where you can find articles, images and more about road rally (and a few oddities beyond)!

Does it REALLY Matter?
We wondered too, so we pulled the hashtag to see what was there! Trust us when we say we did some searches before selecting #comeroadrally years back, learning not all links for road rally took roads we wanted to travel, ha!

By simply putting in #comeroadrally in our search window on our web browser, we found a page in Twitter, Instagram, links for, and google had these images which have links for road rally too:
Road Rally eNews, produced in association with the Sports Car Club of America, since 2013