Well – Will YOU Be Territorial?

Territorial Road in southern Michigan dates back to the state’s earliest pioneering days.

Approved in 1829 and carved out over the next 10 years, the road stretched from Detroit all the way over to St. Joseph on the Lake Michigan shore. A significant portion of the easternmost section of Territorial Road still exists, running east-west from Plymouth, about 22 miles WNW of Detroit, 54 miles to an intersection 12 miles WNW of Jackson. It is along this route that rallyists will find themselves on Sunday, November 15 when running in the third of the 2020 U.S. Road Rally Challenge’s (USRRC) three rallies, ‘Are You Territorial?’

Launching out at 8 AM from the USRRC’s headquarters at the Days Inn in Whitmore Lake MI, this rally’s contestants will begin to work their way through the rally course, finishing up back in Whitmore Lake by 1:40 PM. Unlike the previous two Tour rallies, ‘Hell and Back’ and ‘Pavement Ends’, ‘Are You Territorial?’ is not promoted as being ‘novice friendly’. Matter of fact, it won’t even be all that friendly to experienced rallyists. ‘Are You Territorial?’ is a Course (also known as a trap) rally. Like a Tour rally, contestants work to follow the rally course while also maintaining correct timing. In a Tour rally the rallymaster works hard to make the route instructions clear and unambiguous to keep rallyists on course.

Ah, not so much the Course rally rallymaster. Instead, in a Course rally the rallymaster is pitting his wits against yours, trying to trick you into going off course. Those instructions that attempt to mislead you into going in the wrong direction are called ‘traps’, and ‘Are You Territorial?’ will have one in each leg of the rally. This is an event that pairs bopping around in cars while attempting to solve puzzles! The key to running a Course rally is to carefully study the General Instructions (GIs), which you receive in advance of the rally, to understand the route following rules there. Then when actually running the rally you will apply those rules as appropriate as you come to intersections, hopefully correctly! And here’s the cool thing – if you fall for the trap, you don’t then automatically become lost. Instead, the Route Instructions (RIs) are written in such a way that you’ll wind up being back on course without even realizing you were off – until you arrive at the next checkpoint and see that your time is wildly off, in which case you’ll realize you fell for the trap.

Rallymaster for ‘Are You Territorial?’ is Bruce Fisher, who has stage and TSD rally experience going back to the 80s. For the past two decades Bruce has been rallymaster of the Detroit Region’s famed ‘Press On Regardless’ rally, for which he has received many accolades from those who’ve run his PORs. Bruce brings his experience, knowledge, attention to detail and insistence on accuracy to his task of rallymaster for ‘Are You Territorial?’, guaranteeing an engaging and challenging event.

If you’ve never competed in a Course rally, this will be a great one to start out with. While there will be traps, Bruce has worked hard to make these straightforward without deliberately making contestants crazy with all but impossible to solve traps. C’mon out and give it a shot! You may discover that you’re a trap rallyist after all!

You still have several days to register (online registration ends at midnight Sunday, November 8, and in consideration of the pandemic there’s no on-site, in person registration). So why not click here to head over to MotorsportReg and register to run one, two or all three of the USRRC rallies? Do it now!

You can view more information about the 2020 USRRC by clicking here clicking here to view an info page on the Detroit Region’s website.