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2021 Second Hand Roads


By Peter Schneider

Results and Photos

On May 23rd SCCA-NNJR presented this year’s version of ‘Second Hand Roads’ a 65 mile Time-Speed-Distance RoadRally which utilized Richta Smartphone GPS checkpoint timing/scoring application.

‘Second Hand Roads’ is an event which was originally conducted by Raritan Valley Sport Car Club (RVSCC), which is club that operated in Central New Jersey since the early 60s. ‘Back in the Day’ there was over a dozen rally club conducting events in the area, hosting both TSD, Gimmick rallies and the all night New Jersey Monte TSD Map rally, which was always run in the dead of winter on a moonless night. How things have changed. These clubs included, Triumph Sports Car Club, Greater Rockaway Sports Car Club (Grass), Mustang Club of North Jersey (later rebranded as Motorsports Club of North Jersey), MG Car Club, Corvette Club and in the ’70 the Z-Club.

The idea behind ‘Second Hard Roads’ hosted by RVSCC was to provide the club an excuse to recycle leftover trophies from prior events and use an old set of rally instructions for the route layout, refreshed for current road conditions and signage.

Working with that theme, over four years ago, SCCA-NNJR and RVSCC got together to resurrect the event. The first couple of years scoring was done by closed staffed Timing Controls, a set of two teams worked two controls each which allowed a total of four timed locations along a 65 mile route. The events had a short break at a County Park, to give contestants a chance to socialize and provide the control teams time to move from their first control location to their second location, in order to leap-frog the rally teams. Enough time was needed between control locations, to allow for the control crews to time all 30+ cars at their first location, close up their control, drive to their second location and setup before the first rally car arrived, hence the need for the short break at the County Park.

Since ‘Second Hand Roads’ is advertised as a Novice or Beginners event, the route instructions are designed to be easy to follow with mileage to every turn and a lot of Official Times in the Route Instructions to keep everyone on-time. Official Times, also known as ‘Key Times’ or ‘Car Zero Times’ (CZT) are the mathematical/calculated time for Car Zero to pass a specific location. Since cars start the rally ‘one minute’ apart from each restart location, all a contestants needs to do, is add their car number to the ‘Key Time’ to get their individual perfect time at that location. In fact the Route Instructions even have a special column to the right of the Instructions to write-in the contestant’s individual time at each instruction.

The rally was divided into three sections. The first section, provided the exact mileage and ‘Key Time’ to each Timing Control, the second section provided the mileage to each Timing Control but not the ‘Key Time’ and the third section hid the Timing Controls along the route, so the ralliest needed to ‘stay on time, all the time’ to get a good score at those locations.

The past two years ‘Second Hand Roads’ switched from staffed Timing Controls to the Richta Smartphone GPS checkpoint timing/scoring application which allows for dozens of Timing Locations on a 65 mile route. The Richta App utilizes GPS technology via two apps, a Rallymaster app and a Contestants app. The Rallymaster app is used for the placement of control locations using Longitude and Latitude provided by the Global Position System. The Rallymaster then after calculating the perfect arrival time at that location (‘Key Time’) enters the ‘Leg Time’ into the Rallymaster app and after validating the data of all the Timed Controls and Start/Restart location in the app, the timing portion of the event is ready to go.

Contestants utilize a second app ‘Richta-Competitor’, which is available as a free download for either Apple or Android Smartphones and using their car number provided by the event organizer loads the event on their devise. The ‘Richta-Competitor’ downloads a ‘hidden’ file to the contestant’s phone that includes the Longitude and Latitude and Official Time of each location tagged in the Rallymaster App, and as the Contestant drives by the location, utilizing the written route instructions, the ‘Richta- Contestant’ app pings the phone and provide instant feedback of their score at that location and a running total for the event. Other features of the app, include the fact that the Rallymaster can track each car’s location along the route and the ‘Richta Cloud’ keep track of everyone’s leg scores, for easy download at the end of the event. The Rallymaster no longer has to worry about staffing Control Locations, providing instructions to the Control Worker to get from Timing Control to Timing Control, which were in a sense several mini-rallies, or have to be concerned about doing the ‘math’ at the end of the event to see who gets the trophies.

The 2021 rally route started at Subaru 46 in Hackettstown, had an 11 miles odometer leg ending in Allamuchy, NJ, (the township's name comes from the Native American word "Allamachetey", meaning "place within the hills") utilizing some of the same roads as the 2020 event but in a different configuration. We drove the entire length of ‘Shades of Death’ Road, up Jenny Jump Mountain and then used the narrow twisty roads on the west side of Jenny Jump State Park before heading into Johnsonbugh (Johnsonburg originated as an important stagecoach stop. An east-west route carried mail from Dover, New Jersey to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and a north-south route carried mail from Albany, New York to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both routes crossed at right angles at this location, and a post office and tavern were built. The tavern became an important meeting place, and elections and caucuses were held there) before a 30 minute break for Ice Cream in Blairstown, NJ at the world famous Blairstown Diner.

Blairstown, NJ is not only home of the Blairstown Academy which was founded in 1848, a $65,000+ per year Boarding school for grades 9 – 12, which even has its own 18 hole golf course, it was also featured in the original version of Friday the 13th, which introduced Kevin Bacon to the movie going public and also Jason Voorhees (https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/warren-county/2017/08/friday_the_13th_tour_in_nj.html) who terrorized the ill-fated camp counselors at Camp Crystal Lake which was filmed in Hardwick, New Jersey. The setting for Camp Crystal Lake was Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco which is the private property owned by the Northern New Jersey Boys Scout Council, and is only open to the public on official tour dates. (https://crystallaketours.com/)

After visiting downtown Blairstown, the route doubled back north on Route 94 to the Paulinskill River Valley which features great narrow twisty paved roads with elevation changes not seen in other parts of the state, to end at Mattar’s Bistro in Allamuchy less than 7 miles from the start at Subaru 46. The 28 teams participating in the event utilized the restaurants outdoor patio pace for a social distance gathering for a late lunch and awards.

The Region would like to thank Pat and Eric Sjogren for conducting the initial pre-check of the rally route, Satish Gopalkrishnan and SaveraD’Souze for confirming the TSD Calculations and being the Official SCCA Safety Stewards and assisting at the start and end of the Odometer Leg as Novice advisors and Joanne Schneider for Registration, countless pre-checks of the route and helping at the finish, her only reward was several lunches at the old fashioned dinner in Blairstown.

SCCA-NNJR next event will be a navigational mileage based rally on August 22 – ‘Back to School’.