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Time once again for DR SCCA's annual TSD rally school!

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:00 pm
by John Fishbeck

Hi all -

It's time once again for the DR SCCA annual TSD road rally school on Saturday, April 1, at CJ's Lounge at the 8 Mile Rd exit (exit 53) of US-23, between Brighton and Ann Arbor. Click here for event flyer with directions to CJ's Lounge and an entry form. You can sign up online at! Click here to go directly to the rally school event page on

Here are a few common questions we hear regarding the school:

Who would benefit from coming to the DR SCCA rally school?

Clearly folks who are interested in road rallying but have no experience with it will benefit most from the class. And these people are really our target audience. But if you've only rallied a year or two, maybe in just a few events, then the school might be an excellent refresher for you as well. Review your knowledge of the basics, and maybe pick a new thing or two.

What will the rally school cover?

The class is structured to cover the bases for all of the fundamentals of TSD road rallying. Class coverage will include:

  • An introduction to road rally concepts and terms.
  • How to follow the rally route using the provided route instructions and route following rules.
  • Matching your car's odometer to the rallymaster's mileages.
  • Basic road rally time keeping requirements and techniques.
  • Checkpoint procedures.

And keep in mind that there's no such thing as dumb questions - only unasked ones.

Will I have a chance to practice any of the things presented in the classroom?

You bet. The class includes two short practice rallies. Although very short, the practice rallies include almost all of what you will encounter on a full length TSD road rally event. You'll have ample opportunity to practice what you learn in the class.

Do I need to have an especially prepared rally car?

Nope, not for road rallying. People compete in all sorts of vehicles, everything from VW Jettas to Subaru WRXes to Jeep Wranglers. Naturally a small, quick, good handling car will be more fun to compete with, but you can be competitive in just about any vehicle. The car needs to be street legal, with everything working and in good order - but other than that, no special preparation is necessary.

What do I need to bring with me to the school?

You just need a few basic items:

  • A hard surface to write on in the car - a clipboard is perfect.
  • A time-of-day clock with big, easy to read digits, reading out in seconds. A digital kitchen timer will work - something like this West Bend timer works nicely. You should be able to find these at Target, Walmart, etc. A wristwatch will work in a pinch for the budget minded.
  • Pens and/or pencils. Not just one - bring at least a spare or two. Cars somehow eat 'em during rallying.
  • A number of differently colored highlighters (for marking up route instructions).
  • A four function calculator.
  • Some paper.

That's it! Hope this answers any questions, but if not - post your questions here and they'll get answered.

If you're interested I would encourage you to pre-register early to guarantee a place and to enable us to know how many copies of materials we need to produce. You don't have to sign up as a driver/navigator team - if you sign up by yourself, we'll do our best to team you with someone to run the practice events.

I hope we'll see you at CJ's Lounge Saturday morning April 1!


John Fishbeck
DR SCCA Road Rally School Chair

Re: Time once again for DR SCCA's annual TSD rally school!

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 2:38 pm
by John Fishbeck
CJ's Lounge in Whitmore Lake, home of the 2017 Detroit Region SCCA TSD RoadRally School!

Following the disappointing cancellation of the originally scheduled March 18th TSD road rally school due to weather and power issues yesterday’s (Sat Apr 1) rescheduled school was a fine success. Eighteen prospective rallyists came on a charming early spring day with clear skies and sunshine to learn the fundamental of time-speed-distance (TSD) roal rallying. At least 3 or 4 of the teams indicated they’ll be showing up for Twilight Tour on April 22nd! Excellent!

We saw a first for my time with the rally school. We score the second practice rally so folks can have a chance to check out their newly acquired time calculating and driving skills. Two teams, Matthew Rebandt/Samantha Ostrovsky and Brinton Mooberry/Van Blanca, tied for the best showing! 44 points for 3 controls – an average of 15 hundredths of a minute, or 9 seconds, difference between actual time and rallymaster calculated perfect time per control! Outstanding performance!

An additional 3 teams came in with final scores of under a 100 points, for a total of 5 teams coming in an average of 20 seconds or less per control within perfect time. We’re believin’ these folks learned something at the school!

We hope all who came enjoyed the class and left with a basic grasp of how to compete in a Detroit Region TSD road rally. And thanks to the DR SCCA volunteers who showed up to help with putting on the school!

I do believe there are some likely road rally rides in there!

Class instructor Mike Bennett clarifies (one fervently hopes!) some esoteric point about TSD rallying

Determined rally school attendees do their best to absorb the fire hose stream of TSD rally info directed at them!