62 JANUARY 2019 scca.com
INSIDE SCCA ROADRALLY
Organizers of the 2018 USRRC had a number of scoring problems that were
increased by the use of CZTs, so much so
that event organizer Jim Heine joked he’d
never use them again. But while CZTs can
create havoc, the advantages are worth the
risk if potential problems are addressed.
CZTs are Car Zero Times. Contestants
start each leg of the rally at a time given for
a phantom Car 0, plus their car number in
minutes. When a team encounters an open
control, the control crew gives the team
their recorded in-time and leg slip. There
is no need to give them an out-time. The
control crew can easily score the leg since
they know the car’s out-time and in-time.
Passage controls are even easier. The
cars don’t stop so the crew just records
the in-time and calculates the leg score.
The only issue is that time allowances
(TAs) have to be figured into the score.
I first saw CZTs used in the early 1990s
with passage controls on the Virginia
Creeper rallies organized by Earl and Jean
Hutson of Blue Ridge Region, SCCA. The TAs
were not on separate slips, but on a single
page where you listed all the TAs for that
section of the rally and then turned in that
page at the next rest break. At least once
we received our score as we entered the
restaurant parking lot at the end of the day.
I’ve used CZTs with passage controls,
instructing teams to repeat or increase their
TA if needed at each restart time, so long
as the cumulative time didn’t exceed 19. 50
minutes in a section. That gives the control
crew time to move to the next location. At
least twice something happened on the route
that delayed a number of the cars and I had
no way to reset the cars with a new out-time.
Kevin Poirier and Chris Hale’s use of CZTs with
passage controls, TAs, and run/work is a method
well worth considering. Their Oregon 1,000
is 1,000 kilometers long. A strong committee
helped with planning, coordinating, and helping
at the breaks, with only Poirier and Hale with
a sweep car working the 621-mile route.
This year’s O1K was three weeks before
the USRRC and, ironically, they also ran
into problems using CZTs. Teams used a
TA form similar to that used by Hutson
with additional columns for CZT and the
time they left leaving the out-marker.
For run/work, Poirier and Hale recorded
the in-time for the first car reaching a
control, gave the clock to that car’s crew,
then left to set up the next control. Each
team had all the information they needed
to score the cars passing them except
for the TAs. The sweep car gave the end
control crew a new CZT at the back of the
line, in effect increasing their car number.
Everything was fine until a car drove
off course. We were working the control
and waited an additional 20 minutes
until the sweep car arrived. Sweep was
also running the event so the two of us
were at least 20 minutes behind.
Add to that a few incorrect route
mileages caused by equipment problems
during the course measurement and we
ended up very late with two other cars.
The O1K uses transit zones between
“stages” much like SCCA Pro Rallies did.
Word got to the sweep car via shortwave,
we reset our positions in the order of control
last worked, not car number, and two transits
later everything was back to normal.
I walked in the door at the dinner, shook
Poirier’s hand, and told him sincerely it
was the best rally I’d ever run. Everyone
shared other stories at dinner and
awards were given out with dessert.
Don’t give up on CZTs. Be specific about how
TAs are taken and prepare for the inevitable
glitch. They do allow two people to staff all the
controls on a great rally for at least 621 miles.
CAR ZERO TIME
CZTs can bring madness in SCCA RoadRallies, but abandoning
them is not necessarily the answer | WORDS Rick Beattie | IMAGE Rick Beattie
Anyone who’s run a RoadRally will be
familiar with a line of cars sitting, seemingly
waiting for something to happen. Then, as
each minute passes, they leave one at a time.