Rally School 2021

With the Pandemic still in focus, we offered our first ever Zoom Rally School combined with a next day road rally to put those new skills to the test!


February 26/27, 2021
By Monte and Victoria Saager

Cascade’s road rally season opener, the Rally School Rally was a practice event designed to help novice road ralliers learn to play the game. For rally veterans, it was a chance to tune up rally skills for the new season. 

Registered teams received invitations to attend a virtual rally school review the night before the event and an after-rally debrief virtual meeting after the rally. Attendees had plenty of questions for the organizers. 

The Rally School Rally was originally scheduled for Feb. 20. The checkout was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 13, but snow kept us in our driveway, so we tried to run the checkout the following Tuesday. There was snow on the roadsides, but road surfaces were clear and mostly dry. It was a beautiful day for a drive in the country. 

Until we encountered a road closure due to downed trees. The County couldn’t say when it might reopen. The road was a vital link in our planned rally route with no easy workaround. 

We postponed the event to the following Saturday, Feb. 27, in hopes the road would reopen. By Tuesday, the 23rd, the road remained closed and it was obvious we would have to reroute the rally. By Wednesday the new route was measured and calculated, and the new times were entered into the Richta Rallymaster app. Whew!

Unfortunately the delayed rally date cost us some entries. Eight of the 25 registered teams were unable to attend on the rescheduled date. Still we were happy to have 17 teams run the event.

For 11 of the 17 teams, this was their first CSCC rally.

We asked them how they heard about the rally:

• Audi club member forwarded the Facebook invite

• I have been on the lookout for driving events around Portland and found out about your club

via an internet search.

• From the CSCC newsletter.

• Thirty years ago, my girlfriend married a man who worked for Toyota and was big into rally. I was

intrigued then and have wanted to do it all this time. The time is now!!!

• Wife & I heard about the rally/s when we learned about & volunteered for a track event last year.

• I always wanted to get involved with the SCCA which is headquartered just up the road from where I grew up in Topeka, KS. Viewing the PIR/SCCA schedule, I noticed CSSC had quite a few events as well. My CSSC research then led me to the TSD Rally! I’m really looking forward to it!

• How did you hear about this rally? PCA

• My husband is interested in auto cross and he was looking at different events surrounding his interest in that that he and I could both participate in.

The rally route was about 70 miles from the start in northwest Portland to the ending location in Scappoose. It took under two and half hours to complete the event. The route included a lap around Sauvie Island, a drive up Cornelius Pass to Skyline, down scenic Rocky Point Road (an exciting drive even at 23 mph), a low-land tour of the Scappoose dike, through the backroads of Warren past the House of Many Stones, west into the foothills of the Coast Range to Spitzenberg and up Pisgah Hill, finally emerging out of the forest onto Dutch Canyon, with the final GPS checkpoint just inside the Scappoose city limits.

The rally included 11 timed legs with five CZTs after the start.  A CZT is a specific time of day at which an instruction is to be executed. Official mileage was reset to zero at each CZT, which was helpful since all of the route instructions included official mileage.

A fun drive. But a path with purpose.

The rally introduced new ralliers to the fundamentals of Cascade TSD road rally. The rally school portion of the event started with homework - review the Cascade Geargrinders Novice Guide and become familiar with the Road Rally Rules. Then study the Rally School Handout which included the Rallymaster Notes and Route Instructions for the rally. All this reading led up to a virtual Q & A meeting the night before the rally. The virtual Q & A was so successful that attendees requested a virtual debrief after the rally.

Questions before the rally focused on use of the Richta app, trip odometer resets (/0.00), managing your time at a CZT, and best practices for handling materials and devices in the car. The predominant discussion at the after-rally debrief was about time allowances, specifically how to use a time allowance at a CZT.

So, let’s review. Here’s how to use a time allowance when you are late to leave a CZT (time-of-day restart). You arrive at the CZT. What time is it now? What is your restart time? Your restart time is the CZT plus your car number - it displays in your app when you arrive at the CZT. How late are you? Subtract your restart time from actual time. That’s how late you are. Bump that up to the next half minute and that’s how much time allowance you need to take.

For example, say you arrive at the CZT at 12:11:15pm. Your restart time was 12:10:00. You are 1:15 (one minute 15 seconds late). Round that up to the next half minute, so take a time allowance of 1:30. Assuming it took no more than 15 seconds to calculate and enter the time allowance, leave the CZT as soon as you enter the time allowance. If you need more time, add another minute and wait until that time expires before leaving. 

In practical terms, you don’t have to stay at the CZT location to perform this calculation. You could just pull up to the CZT, note your arrival time, zero your tripmeter, and continue to execute the route instructions, maintaining CAST, while you calculate and enter the required time allowance. Just make sure you enter it before you reach the next GPS checkpoint (PC). This time allowance is applied to the leg that starts at the CZT and ends at the next PC. As soon as you arrive at that PC, a new leg begins so the time allowance displayed on the app reverts to zero - it’s already been used. Since you started a new leg at the PC, you are on time and you don’t need to re-enter the time allowance for subsequent PCs. However, you do need to repeat this exercise at each subsequent CZT, asking - what time is it now, what time was our restart, are we late, do we need a time allowance? Easy peasy.

What ralliers said after the rally:

• It was fun!

• Looking forward to the next one.

• Thanks for doing this!

• That was really fun!

• We had a great time!

• The Richta app is really easy.

• Beautiful drive and perfect weather!

• We had such a great time.

• Thank you for putting these events on.

• We had a lot of fun!

• That was awesome. Most intense 30-40 mph drive I’ve taken.

• Thanks for the great time. Some pretty countryside up there.

Congratulations to the top finishers:

Finishing first overall and first in the GPS class was the team of Steve Perret and Kathryn Hansen.

Second overall and first in the SOP class was the team of Brian and Jamie Anderson.

Third overall and first Novice was the team of Jan Bliss and Dave Stauff.

Click here for the complete rundown

Click here for Rally Results