54 SEPTEMBER 2020 scca.comFEATURE
(LEF T) Checkpoints aren’t simpleaffairs, with ample equipment needed.
(BOT TOM) A fundamental problem withRoadRallies is a lack of feedback during arally, with participants having to wait forresults to be posted. For those who knowwhat they’re doing, this is alright, but forrookies, problems can compound. Bireta’sRoadRally apps offer results on the fly.
great flexibility in organizing anevent. If you’re still on the fence asan organizer, consider this: Eventswith more than 100 unstaffedGPS checkpoint locationshave been held successfully.
The technologies thatmake the system possible?
Cellphones with GPS and a 4GLTE data network and the GoogleCloud Firestore database.
Here is what the apps do…
•;Competitor: Used by eachcontestant on the event. Theapp times the contestant ateach checkpoint, calculatesthe score (early or late),and displays the score onthe contestant’s cellphonescreen. In addition, thescore is sent automaticallyto the rally organizer.
•;Rallymaster: Used by event
organizers to set control
(checkpoint) locations and
establish ideal times, display
time slips, and export a scoring
spreadsheet for use by the
scoring team. A map showing
checkpoint and competitor
locations is available in the app.
•;Scoreboard: Used by anycontestant, organizer, orthird party to display thecurrent scores for an event.The number of checkpointspassed, and total score isdisplayed for each competitor.Tapping the line item for anindividual car will displaythe leg-by-leg scores.
Bireta recently released newversions of the Rallymasterand Competitor apps, withfeatures that allow organizersto specify opening and closingtimes for controls, which allowsthe rallymaster to reuse controllocations, and incorporates anew kind of control, called a TimeCheck, which allows a rallymasterto include timing points on theodometer calibration run so thata rally team may compare its“hack time” with the momentat which the app timed them.
More updates are planned,including a suggestion from theorganizers of the Ohio Winter Rallythat a way to communicate withand alert teams to road conditionsduring the running of an event.
In addition to the GPSCheckpoint system, the Richtasuite also includes apps for arally odometer, a checkpointclock, a calculator, and a basicrally computer (a combinationof the odometer, clock, andcalculator apps, suitable forSCCA Limited Class rallying).
For more informationabout the Richta system,visit richtarally.com.
DOWN THE ROAD
Earlier this year, Bireta wasapproached by HeywardWagner, SCCA Senior Directorof Marketing and ExperientialPrograms. Could Bireta’s systembe adapted to the racetrack asan alternative to transpondersat Time Trials events?
“Entrants in Time Trials usuallydon’t have track-only racecars,and transponder availability canbe an issue,” Bireta explains.
Bireta’s answer to Wagner:
“Well, why not, let’s see.”
Regardless of where this
latest road leads, Bireta can rest
easy knowing he’s already built
a unique offering for an existing
program that successfully lowers
the barrier of entry for both
organizers and participants.
So, what might his answer tothe Time Trials puzzle look like?
Time, as they say, will tell.
The first part of getting startedwith the Richta system is easy.Simply download the Richta GPSCheckpoint suite, then reviewthe documentation. Once that’saccomplished, Richta creator RichBireta recommends the following:
• Design and write a shorttest rally and register it withBireta ( firstname.lastname@example.org).
• Decide where you wantto set your test checkpoints.Use the Rallymaster app toset the GPS locations.
• Measure your test rally andcalculate ideal leg times. Enter theleg times using the Rallymasterapp. For each checkpoint, setthe type (there are four types,as you will discover) and time.All this can be done from thecomfort of your home.
• Use the Rallymaster appto validate the event. “Pressthe Validate Event button toperform a consistency checkof your event,” Richta explains.“You’ll be prompted for ane-mail address, and you’ll besent a report on your event,listing your checkpoint locations,types, and ideal leg times.”Resolve any errors identified.
• Use the Competitor app to testthe event. Select your rally, entera car number, and run the event.
• Provide feedback to the appdeveloper. If needed, connectwith another rallymasterexperienced in using the appsfor advice and insights.
• Ask questions, and practice,
practice, practice with the apps
so that, as a rallymaster, you
become familiar with them.
GET TING STARTED