What is Stage Rally?
Check Justin Hughes' page How To Be A Rally Enthusiast On The Cheap.
Also check our Rally Car Prep page to see what is needed to car ready for stage rally.
From the NASA RallySport University web page (find out more at http://www.nasarallysport.com/d734/Rally-University):
"Stage Rally consists of a series of timed races, called stages. A stage is anywhere from one to twenty five miles long, and is usually a forest or logging road. The roads are closed to the public, and each competitor starts one minute after the next. Thus the challenge is driving the road, not rubbing wheel to wheel with your competitors. Keep in mind that the driver has never been on the road before, and has no idea what is behind the next curve or over the next hill. The navigator is equipped with a special odometer, accurate to the hundredth of a mile, and a route book which tells them what turns to make, as well as especially dangerous sections to watch for, like cliffs or river crossings. All of the stages, sometimes called special stages, are linked by transits, which are regular roads. Because the vehicles have to travel from one stage to the next on these transits, all of the race vehicles actually have to be street legal!!!
The vehicles need to be fully prepped for racing. This means a full roll cage, racing seats, skid plates, five point harnesses, and so on. Also common is seam welding the body, reinforcing the suspension, removing the interior, and re-designing the entire drive train. These are all out race vehicles that are loud and a nightmare on the streets. Definitely not daily driver material!
Because of the large amount of unknowns and the rough condition of the roads, there is a large potential for damage to the cars. This means that the service crew is a vital part of a team's final placing. Much more than many other motor sports, rallying is a team effort. The driver must be skilled, but must also heed the navigator. The navigator's job is to make the driver go as fast as they can, which involves either giving or withholding information! Both of them need to be able to fix the vehicle on the race course if something goes wrong, and the service crew has to be ready to keep the car running, somehow, till the next service.
The events are spectacles in themselves. Anywhere from twenty to one hundred and twenty or more teams participate. A large rally might have 600 people working the course as timers, crowd control, communication and radio relays, stage captains, safety marshals, and officials."
The main organizations for stage rally are:
American Rally Association: https://www.americanrallyassociation.org/
CARS (in Canada): http://www.carsrally.ca/
NASA Rally Sport: http://www.nasarallysport.com/
The SCCA also has a Rallysprint program (currently suspended in 2023) that is a simplified stage rally usually held as a one day event format. More about SCCA Rallysprint at: http://www.ner.org/rallysprint/
Here are some information on how to go racing in Canada (slides to the left, video to the right):
While the driver drives the car, the docdriver has a very important role to call the pace notes and even more. Watch the video below to learn more about codriving.
Understanding time cards
We made a tutorial video to understand time cards and how to fill them up:
Check our Rally Car Prep page for a list of safety equipment required in the car.
In case of an accident on stage and the need to quickly extract a person from a car, check the useful FIA Safety Extraction Guide attached at the bottom of this page, especially the section about the quick modified Rautek maneuver.
Stage Rally with Frog Racing
When you stage rally with us, you have several options:
Pit Crew: Help the team at the service area, pass tech inspection, perform maintenance and repair, provide support to the driver and co-driver. Opportunities to join us for the recce and also spectate on stage! Learn more about the Pit Crew activities on our 'Race with us' page or watch our Pit Crew training video:
Co-driver/Navigator: The codriver/navigator is very important as the driver relies on the pace notes to stay on the road and negotiate the stages at maximum speed. Managing time cards and the schedule is also a primary skill of a navigator. You can train with us during the hillclimb series or rallysprint which are simplified events that run on more compact formats. Full safety equipment is required (fireproof racing suit, helmet, head&neck restraint).
The Jemba pace note system is described here: http://www.jemba.se/notesUSA.htm
Drive your own: Drive your own car and let us help you with setup and pit service.