86 DECEMBER 2019 scca.com
What could reasonably be characterized as a pair of Tour RoadRallies proved
to be much more than that to the nine
teams that entered this year’s Land O’
Lakes Region Oktoberally and Pursuing
Purple Cows National RoadRally events
headquartered in La Crosse, Wis. The
start happened at 8: 31 a.m. on Sept. 14
as the first car tried to solve rallymaster
Mike Thompson’s latest rally puzzle.
Thompson used only the paved roads of
Vernon County for the rally route with a
promised trip to Wildcat Mountain. The
rally stopped for lunch at The Goose
Barn, which, as was noted at the event,
“is close to absolutely nothing.”
Truth be known, Oktoberally rallymaster
Thompson characterized this rally as a Tour,
but the description hid the National Course
rally logic it contained. Fred Rosevear
took over rallymaster duties for a typical
National Tour event with John Emmons
acting as registrar for the weekend. Both
events used the Richta CP Timing system.
That first day, the course following
was very much like a Tour with no off-
course loops, no main road, and the use
of the “principal road” definition, but
the similarities ended about there.
Jim Crittenden, who navigated for
Chuck Larouere to take first in Class E and
first overall with just 85 points, explained
the concept as the need to determine
what he called the “unidentified road.”
Thomson used “Onto” and multiple
“Onto” roads, a “Default Rule” (to
“default [to] that of the most recently
acquired Onto”). Points were based on
whether or not an instruction caused
you to “go away” from a single “Onto”.
For Pursuing Purple Cows, Rosevear’s
rally the following day, a more traditional
Tour event appeared. It was advertised
as “speeds are brisk,” and in addition
it challenged drivers with both paved
and unpaved roads, favoring the cars
better equipped for that type of run.
Rosevear’s Tour rally had 81 scored
controls on a 203-mile rally to couple
with Thompson’s 25 scored controls in
211 miles. Both were made possible by
using the Richta CP Timing system.
Thompson is the first to use that
system on an SCCA National Course
Rally, necessitating a number of sanction
exceptions to the current RoadRally Rules.
In effect, it allowed the rally to be run
without checkpoint crews. To compete,
contestants used their smart phone to run
the app, and timing was in seconds, not the
typical hundredths. Additionally, the timing
controls were identified by a checkpoint
symbol in the route instructions, and many
times there was no sign on the course.
The Oktoberally controls were located
using a Dual SkyPro XGPS 160 GPS
receiver that typically could report to an
accuracy of 1.8 meters. As teams passed a
control, their phone would give a “ringy-
dingy tone,” as someone described it,
and the display would show the arrival
time and the leg score, and whether they
were early or late. Then it was on to the
next restart at a CZT (Car Zero Time).
Contestant would receive the critiques
at the next Observation Control (OBS).
The system for teams in Pursuing
Purple Cows was very similar but included
multiple controls between the CZTs. That
event was scored in tenths of a second.
That timing system added precision to the
time recorded upon entering the control.
Reportedly, no one saw a purple
cow – but no one hoped to see one.
Fred Rosevear (left)
and Mike Thompson
played hosts to two
kinds of controls.
Land O’ Lakes Region hosts a pair of RoadRallies featuring a new kind of control | WORDS & IMAGES Rick Beattie