In early March I kicked off the 2013 season by competing in the “No Frills Rally” hosted by the Champaign County Sports Car Club. For a change of pace, I assumed the driver’s role. As my wife and usual rally partner was out of town, I recruited my 10 year old son Sean to be my navigator. Sean has ridden along in the back seat on a couple TSD rallies, but this was his first time as an active participant. He did a good job of keeping up with the route instructions and even saved me from making a big navigation error. We ran in the “Seat Of Pants” class meaning we could use no equipment other than the stock odometer, a clock, pencil, and paper. While we finished 3rd of 3 in class, I was reasonably pleased to have scored under the maximum 100 on all 4 legs. SOP requires a different skill set that I’ve developed running SCCA RoadRallies as a navigator in the “Limited” class with a highly accurate, correctable odometer and a sophisticated spreadsheet for calculations. I was trying to estimate how much time we lost at stops and slowing for curves, then trying to make up the lost time by running 10% over the prescribed speed for ten times the amount of estimated time lost. It’s a great theory, but hard to do in real time. At first I struggled to mentally keep up but by the end was starting to get the hang of things. We scored a very respectable 15 on the last leg which was over 15 miles in length. While a Road Rally wasn’t exactly Sean’s preferred way to spend a Saturday afternoon, he was a trooper and indulged his father. I suppose I owe him a trip to the Lego store sometime soon.
Next up is the “Badger Burrow” Tour RoadRally in Madison Wisconsin on April 20th. This will be my first Sports Car Club of America rally of the year and my first chance to earn points towards the 2013 SCCA National Tour Championship. I’ll be back with a report after that event.