Sachsen Classic 2017: Driving a successful rally

Michael Rassinger
Saxony Classic 2017
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W he has already sat or watched once in the rally car, knows: it doesn't work without a co-driver. The driver moves the pedestal more or less quickly on asphalt or off-road, but without a directional announcement, the fun would be quickly over. Driving and reading the road book do not work at the same time if you have not memorized the route down to the last meter - which rarely happens in practice.

Rallye course in theory and practice

So the co-driver is the real boss, as the more than 100 participants who attended the rally course at the Sachsenring experience. Dirk Johae, Motor Klassik editor, and Harald Koepke, organization manager of the Klassik Rallies, give further valuable tips. So you should always use the right road book for the day in question - sounds strange, but it has already happened with novices in rallying. It is also advisable to carefully check the time information: '2.5 minutes is not two minutes and five seconds.'

You should also devote preparation time to the watches: mechanical timepieces must be wound up before the start of the rally electronic versions, a fresh battery is advisable unless it has recently been replaced. If a timepiece fails, Koepke advises using the cell phone or smartphone that almost everyone has these days. Even with older devices there is always a stopwatch hidden in the menu, which can step in if the rally clock fails.

Delays do happen but impossible to catch

Since the Sachsen Classic is a regularity rally, delays can no longer be made up: If you arrive at a time control two minutes late, you cannot do so at the next check by driving faster and bring in two minutes early. There are even double penalty points because there were two deviations from the target. The boarding pass must be checked carefully, arrival times should not be calculated in advance and entered in the morning to save time. If there is a wrong time on the handover card, the team will be penalized with points.

Every hundredth of a second counts

During special stages, specified routes should be covered as accurately as possible to the hundredth of a second in the given time. Thereby the beginning and the endThe test is marked and measured by a light barrier or a pressure hose. The special stage is announced with a yellow sign, followed by the red sign announcing the start. Secret special stages that are not entered in the road book ensure a special change. Often they are included in other exams and appear suddenly with a green sign. The co-driver then has to react quickly, because now it is necessary to cover 100 meters in exactly 15 seconds. A third stopwatch is definitely worthwhile for such surprises.

Dirk Johae describes how to best coordinate in the cockpit before special stages: the driver and co-driver should start the test together and actively, so that one trusts each other Unity in the team. A common 'lot' and the reliable countdown of the co-driver in the last few meters of a test brings a lot of security and calm to the process. If a secret special stage turns up as a complete surprise and no stopwatch is ready, counting loudly by feeling can be very helpful.

Competent Co-drivers talk a lot

The ideal co-driver knows about all special stages and has entered the relevant data such as type, length, average speed and type of time measurement (light barrier /pressure hose) in the road book or on a sticky note. Very important to know: where do you go after the exam? Quite a few co-drivers did not know how to respond to this question from the driver, which can lead to unrest in the cockpit. Harald Koepke also recommends that you take several ballpoint pens with you: the passenger should mark each section as driven in the road book. If the only writer suddenly disappears, the uncertainty increases.

In the hourglass class, analog clocks are used exclusively, with electronic timepieces there is a free choice of devices. If a test is nearing the end, the team must have agreed beforehand whether the co-driver will initiate the end by counting up or down. From ten to zero is easy, but if the nervous passenger simply prays the numbers on the running stopwatch, when is the end?

The participants of the Sachsen Classic 2017 practiced driving on time at the Sachsenring. We show some impressions in the photo show.


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