To understand the scope of Rally Navigation Training, let’s have a look at how Rally Navigation works:
Navigation sets rallying apart from any other kind of racing. The course is only marked on a roll of paper, called a road book, and checkpoints are un-manned electronic waypoints that the riders must cross through, an ERTF device tracks and validates that the rider has crossed these waypoints. Missing a waypoint attracts heavy time penalties.
Road books give specific course directions at set mileages along the course. The navigation tower consists of an odometer readout (some riders run two odos for redundancy) that can read off of a wheel sensor or use GPS to calculate the distance travelled. The road book is printed on a long roll of paper. It’s housed in a big box on the navigation tower and the road book can be rolled forward or backward via a small thumb switch mounted next to the left grip. Additionally a CAP (compass heading) read out is also used.
Some markings in the book are to warn of upcoming hazards, like a ditch, or to help guide the racer around an obstacle. These help make the course safer, and allow an extra opportunity to sync the odometers to the road book. Racers constantly re-sync their odometers to keep them as close to the road books’ markings as possible. There are some course directions that send the rider off track and onto un-ridden land. For these, at the specified mileage, the rider veers off-course and orients to the correct direction using the compass bearing given in the road book. Sometimes turns onto marked trails are also given a compass bearings so the racer can double check that he’s picked the right trail.
TRAINING: There is no better place to train for Rally Navigation other than Bigrock Spain. The training is managed by Jordi Grau who brings a lot of rally experience with him. The fact that factory riders like Joan Pedrero and our very own Indian boys CS Santosh and Aravind KP trust Jordi’s roadbook training is a testimony to how good his training is.
Rally navigation training is an ongoing process, experience plays a very important role as well. After learning the basics of rally navigation and training for 2 weeks in May/June 2017, the plan is to return to Spain for further training as we prep our way to Merzouga 2018.