This weekend I did one of the strangest things i've done in a while. I help my friend out with his father's road rally.
now I know what you're thinking.... Cannonball run. get somewhere as fast as possible no matter what the cost. It couldn't be further from the truth. Apparently those types of rallys do happen, but they are now on closed courses. This kind of rally is of a different sort. It's not how fast you get somewhere... it's how consistently you travel along the route.
Here's how it works. Two people to a car, a driver and a navigator. You get your instructions 15 minutes before you leave. The instructions state how far you go the turns you take and the average speed you're supposed to be travelling. sounds easy huh? well all the roads are open and have traffic on them. Next most of the roads are dirt roads. As for keeping a constant speed you just flip on the cruise control right? wrong. you're likely making turns and corners that you need to slow down for. Every time you slow down, you're going to have to speed up and make up the time. Also they don't tell you when the checkpoints are. so you could go over a hill and find a checkpoint there where you are timed. Still doesn't sound too hard does it. Now for scoring... you are given one point for every hundredth of minute early or late you arrive to checkpoint. So if you drive too fast and get to a checkpoint a minute early, 100 points. Not it's sounding tougher. Now what would you say if I told you that for this particular rally the winning car over about 5 1/2 hours of driving and 11 checkpoints had a score of 8. That means he was off 8/100ths a minute over almost 6 hours.
All sorts of cars were there. Many Subaru AWDs, a couple trucks, and a 2006 Dodge Charger. There was a BMW Z3 that did the dusty route with the top down and a 1962 Morgan that quit after the 1st leg because it was a little hard on their car.
It was very cool though. Barrelling along country roads at 40 mph on gravel. My job was with my friend to make sure the checkpoints were in the right place and to collect time cards and such.
It was pretty neat. I've treated my Camry better though. I don't think she liked me much for it. Not quite the right tires I guess. I treated her to new windshield wipers for it.