Region News

 Hope Spring Eternal

A charity road rally to benefit American Association of University Women (AAUW)

RallyMasters Lynn and Brian Beckmann

Story by Peter Schneider

Final Scores ~ Questions

On August 26th Northern New Jersey Region (NNJR) of the Sports Car Club of America and the Motorsport Club of New Jersey (MCNJ) hosted a 65 mile Navigational Gimmick (GTA) road rally to raise funds for and awareness of the American Association of University Women. AAUW is a not for profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

The 2017 event is the ninth event conducted by MCNJ for the organization.  Lynn and Brian Beckmann have been the RallyMasters for each of these events.

A Navigational Gimmick rallye provides the contestants a non-timed event that tests team’s ability to follow a set of common written instructions while answering a limited number of questions along the way.  The questions are used to help the organizing committee determine if the teams followed the route correctly. On this event teams are penalized 1 points for each 1/100th of mile over or under the official route and 100 points for each incorrect answer to a question.  Low score wins.

Thirty teams started the event and all thirty teams finished within the designated allowed time without incidents.

After a 15.92 mile odometer leg the competitive portion of the rallye started in Hope, NJ and wound its way to Blairstown.  Using back roads and local landmarks made famous by the ordinal? Friday the 13th horror film aired in the 1980.

The first navigational challenge occurred shortly after the end of the odometer leg with a Straight as Possible trap which had less than 4 hundreds of a mile difference but a 100 point question which could only be answered correctly by going straight on a small side road.  No matter which way the teams went they both turned Left at a STOP intersection and proceeded to the next Numbered Route Instruction.

The next trap was based on the difference between a quoted street sign and the actual road.  The route instruction told the teams to make a Right after “JENNY JUMP RD”, the actual street sign and not the road.  Teams that executed the instruction correctly turned on Jenny Jump Rd vs the next road which was about 1 mile further away.  The route self-corrected two instructions later.  Since the mileage difference between on and off-course was enough, a question was not required.

The third route following trap involved an automatic turn onto Honey Run Road which was active during the first three legs on the rallye.  Once again this self-corrected a couple of instructions later. Mileage error and a question was used to assess penalty points.

The next navigational challenge involved understanding the General Instructions and where signs can be located.  All quoted signs are on the right of the road unless the term SOL (Seen on Left) is used.  The first “LOCUST LAKE RD” sign was not on the left and not valid.  The second sign was less than a 1/10th of a mile down the road, but out of sight of the first intersection.  No matter which street sign you turned at, on-course and off-course rejoined shortly. Since the two signs were on opposite sign of a large triangle intersection the mileage difference was minimum so a question was used to add penalty points for those teams that went off-course.

A couple of miles later, Honey Run Road reappeared, which triggered the automatic turn, this also self-corrected with a large mileage penalty so no question was required.

The sixth trap on the event was based on the ability to identify valid rallye roads based on the General Instructions.  The Instruction read Left 2nd Opportunity.  The first road was a marked Dead End and was not a valid Opportunity. Correct mileage and a question were used to reward the teams that stayed on-course.

The last leg in the rally had three traps.  The first of these was a simple Straight as Possible, which used two questions to penalize the teams that went off-course.  The second trap in the leg was an either/or.  Contestants were told to make a Left on Jacksonburg Rd or Right at “STOP”.  Since the “STOP” was quoted, you needed to look for an actual sign and not a STOP intersection.  Only 5 of the 30 teams executed this instruction correctly, three of them in the Expert Class and two in the Novice Class.  Since the mileage penalty was large, no question was needed.

The third trap in the last leg and the ninth in the rally was based on an easy to miss four way intersection at State Route 94.  The Instruction told the contestants to turn Left at T (intersection). As you approached State Route 94, almost directly ahead of you at the intersection as a standard Black and Yellow Double Headed Arrow sign, which are traditionally reserved for T intersection.  But this was placed on the far side of State Route 94, to reinforce the Stop sign and to caution motorists of the busy intersection. Only two Expert teams notice that there was a street directly across State Route 94, a Straight as Possible brought teams past the answer to the seventh question which saved them 100 points.

Lynn Beckmann explained the traps and reviewed the correct answers to the questions.  Winning awards were presented to both Driver and Navigator in three class, Expert, Intermediate and Novice along with a half dozen special awards including DBLF (Dead Last But Finished.)

The Region will be hosting two more events in 2017, October 15th and December 3rd


Results ~ Questions