Gorman Ridge Rally: An Education

Posted: 09.01.11 in Contributed Articles

A novice rally volunteer’s tale of his first event…

By Adrian Segura

A rally timing controlAccording to everyone I’ve spoken to, from World Rally Championship level competitors to the grass roots rallyist, volunteering at a rally event was the single best way for a rally-hopeful to learn about the sport. Taking that guidance, I made it a point to sign up for the Gorman Ridge rally in Gorman, CA some time ago. The event took place over the weekend and it was an absolute gold mine of information for me and an experience I won’t soon forget.

Having never attended a rally and having my knowledge of the sport limited to what I’ve read on forums and seen on WRC television coverage, I didn’t know what to expect beyond cars flying by and time being collected. How did the timing work? Who collected the times? How are the out-times calculated? Clocks? Cards? Dust tastes different, depending on what part of the stage you’re on?

As I parked my car behind the Shell station, in a sea of HAM antennas and their respective operators, little did I know that 13 hours later, I would be squatting in the pitch black, unknowingly on an ant hill, doing my best sage brush imitation, all while flipping a switch on a timing mechanism just as the front end of a barreling rally car eclipsed a red sign. A flying finish in the dark. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

[ Read the rest of Adrian’s story on his blog, “Oh Rally?!“]

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