Car Rallying is a very popular activity at the Calgary Sports Car Club, offering several different levels of competition to its participants. See the drop down menu for individual event pages.
A car rally is basically a test of teamwork — car, driver and co-driver (navigator) must all work in unison. In all types of rallies the object is to travel from point A to B with the fewest penalties. There are two different types of car rallies. The NAVIGATIONAL RALLY requires some interpretation of the instructions as to the route to be taken. The PRO RALLY entails very simple instructions; the true competition is undertaken on the designated STAGES, where the car moves through the route as quickly as possible.
Navigational Rally (TSD)
A navigational or “navex” rally is a driver and a navigator working together to match wits with the organizer, who has given them a route and a schedule to follow. These are presented in a form that is not always easy to comprehend. If they are too early or too late at any hidden checkpoint along the route they will gain penalty points. It is the team with the fewest points that wins.
Persons new to the sport of rallying may learn the ropes through a novice rally school offered by the club in April, and then advance to the club rallies, western region events at the navigational or pro level, and then on to national events. Participation in navigational events is recommended before trying the pro rallies.
The actual rally cars vary from basic family sedans to highly developed “racing” machines. A novice will find that all the equipment needed is a clipboard, accurate watch and calculator.
Pro Rally (Stages)
The competitive portions of Pro Rallies are called special stages, where each crew battles the clock to record the shortest elapse time between the start and finish. These sections are held on roads which have been officially closed to public use.
Drivers are not allowed to practise the special stages before the rally and must drive the road “as they find it” always on the lookout for that sharp bend just over the crest of a hill. It takes stamina and concentration to drive “flat out” for perhaps an hour over unknown trails that may not be much wider than the car itself. The co-driver uses a very accurate odometer and the route book to warn the driver of impending turns or hazards.
Roads can vary from sand, rock and mud in the summertime, to glare ice and deep snow in the winter with any combination in the fall or spring seasons.
A fine way to become involved in rallying is to volunteer to work a control (checkpoint) or even act as a blocker on a pro rally. Working on a rally is an excellent way to see highly developed racing machines, meet professional drivers, and just find out about the sport in general.