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From digest.v7.n1093 Sat Feb 7 15:33:40 1998
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 1998 12:42:27 EST
Subject: Bubba Duane is WR*NG on TSD Rallies

Bing and everyone,
If the Fonz can be W*ong, *Rong, Wro*g, Wron*, so can Bubba Duane be WRONG. In digest 7-1084

<<A TSD Rally is the most boring thing you can ever do with your car. Consider it the EVENT from HELL if you like true performance driving. Take lots of Coffee and No-DOZE to keep yourself from falling asleep. >>

Some TSD Rallies fit that description. Oktoberfest ones often do. Reason is that for the most part entrants have never been on a TSD before. Because of WHINERS in the past the Oktoberfest ones were made less challenging. I still remember the flack I got for a short stretch of Dirt Road on the one I Rallymastered in 1979 on Oktoberfest. Duane sounds, almost, like he is whining about TSD Rallies.

<<What are the basic rules?

You MUST drive the exact speed limit over a set course. You get a start time and a finish time and the objective is to stay exactly on the speed average over the entire length of the course. There are lots of web sites that explain it in detail. Computer geeks love it. I did my first (and last) TSD Rally at O'Fest in Waterville last July. What fun driving 2 lane mountain roads at EXACTLY 35 mph while 25 cars are backing up behind you mad as hell because they normally drive 50 mph on the smooth roads of N.H.>>

The most important concept is not to get lost. You must finish to win. You calculate the finish time, you are not given it on a TSD Rallye. Speeds are average speeds. Reading the rules generally gives you an idea of where checkpoints will not be, like on an area which would cause cars to bunch up. Heck you can drive 50 on those roads.

You must drive an average speed over a set course. On a good rally the course may be tricky to follow. There are time traps too. The speed changes often in a "leg" of a rallye. Again, the Oktoberfest Rally is a novice event designed to cause no headaches and NO WHINING.

TSD rallies put a premium on a good driver and a good navigator. The best TSD rally driver in the world is worthless without a good navigator. Expensive equipment is not needed. You can use a stock odometer, circular slide rule and wrist watch. There is a lot of satisfaction someone with thousands of dollas of equipment when your outlay is minimal.

My prescription (for Bubba Duane) is to go on an SCCA Divisional Rallye, There used to be an SCCA Rallye called "Virginia Reel" in Duaneland. You won't fall asleep unless you're brain dead. And, unlike an Autox where you only get a rush for a minute or so the rush on a good challenging TSD Rallye lasts for hours. No Autocross or drivers school can provide the sheer ecstasy of a four Day 1000 mile Rallye where you get disqualified if your score is too high for one day's run or if you get a speeding ticket. On a challenging one it hurts so good when you've shifted 2000 or more times in two days. Without a crunch and while paying attention to your navigator chanting, down 10, down 9, up seven slow down. Checkpoint ahead, lose 7 in 200 yards.

A zero really feels good.

Then there are enduro Rallies, not a Pro Rallye but a simple 24 hour duration winter Rallye. Sounds easy. Try going through 25-30 checkpoints and only manage an error of a minute or so only to find someone else done better. Still have bragging rights to being under two minutes behind John Buffum thirty years ago in 24 hours. He had the computer, we didn't. Averaging 37mph may not be a challenge on the Beltway in commuter traffic, try it at night on a dirt road you've never driven on before. 37MPH can seem like 137mph when you're "down" thirty or so.

A TSD Rallye should never be put on by someone with less than a year's TSD experience. There are too many things that can go wrong for an inexperienced Rallymaster. Course following, calculations, checkpoint workers, legal problems etc. A gimmick rallye is a far better idea where people don't get overwhelmed by corrected miles and hundredths of a minute vs.seconds.

Once you have driven/navigated the challenge is to switch spots in the cockpit and try the other position. Biggest challenge is to be on speaking terms with your partner after 5 hours. And, no whining.

Bubba Michel, trying to get Bubba Duane and others to see the light.

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