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USRRC Joins Coker Tire Challenge in 2014

By on February 17, 2014

This month, as promised, we are bringing you news of the 2014 USRRC Coker Tire Challeng

e. We know that the United States Road Rally Challenge will be run in conjunction with the Coker Tire Challenge, September 18-21st, and that it will be based out of Chattanooga, TN. For more answers, Bruce Gezon and Jeanne English, members of the SCCA RoadRally Board, have joined us in a Q&A – you will find their reply in the bold text below.

For 19 years, we have held the United States Road Rally Challenge (USRRC), sanctioned through SCCA Regions and their RoadRally programs. For anyone who has put on a Regional event of any length and knows the time commitment it takes, you can easily understand that the hours to put on a three-day National event (with three styles of rallies) can drain the resources of even the most active rally programs. We have been fortunate to have had Rallymasters and Regions from Coast-to-Coast and Regions of all sizes take on the USRRC “challenge” since 1995. Will this changeover to the Coker Tire Challenge be a one-year break from Region-sanctioned USRRC events as we regroup, or are we seeing a shift to our SCCA Corporate-sanction in future years of our USRRC?

It is the desire of the RRB to have the USRRC be what was first intended, a destination event emphasizing both competition and social interaction. Should the 2014 format work as intended, it will remain the focus for future years.

How will the SCCA-sanctioning of this event incorporate the United States Road Rally Challenge into the name of the event?
To be worked out with the GreatRace organization. Hopefully something like the “Coker Tire USRRC Challenge”.
Will there be decals that denote those who are participating in the Coker as USRRC?

All decals will likely be the same. Teams will have the same decals as the Coker cars (4 or 5 per side); all vehicles, both SCCA and Coker, will have SCCA Road Rally stickers. 

The original intention of the USRRC was to crown the United States Champion Driver and Navigator in Course Rally and Tour Rally in various equipment classes. The Weekend was originally comprised of two National Tour and one National Course rallies, with a more recent change to replace one of the Tour rallies with a GTA rally.  Will this move to Coker remove our USRRC-event from counting in the points for those whose interest lies in receiving National Championship points for the competitions they run? Or will points be awarded towards our SCCA National Championship?

The 2014 tour will be worth as much as 30 points toward the 2014 SCCA Tour Rally Championship. 

Will the Coker Tire Challenge USRRC offer points in just the SCCA National Tour rally – or will contestants be able to choose where their points are to be counted – either Tour or Course or GTA National points?

Only Tour.

Will points be computed with respect to the experience classes that we currently have?

It will be scored the same as any other SCCA rally that is part of the 2014 Championship.

Will points be given for each day’s placing in the competition or just for the final placing in the 3-day event?

Just for the final placement.  It is a 2-1/2 day tour comprising 20 plus controls.  

Will the USRRC teams be pulled into their own placing in the event or with all competitors?

With all competitors in their class. SCCA cars will be scored separately (in E, L, S) from the Coker cars.

I reviewed the Coker Challenge website and see an entry fee of $350 for 2013.  Will we expect the same entry fee for 2014?

Yes, it is official at $350.

  The site listed the following items to be covered for this fee: All logistic materials including course instructions, timing controls, full service of the competition and management staff, scoring results and rankings, prizes and awards, and Third-Party Liability Insurance. Event T-Shirt, event passes, and car decals. Dedicated towing (sweep). Special events, prizes, and awards. End of event celebration. Lots of fun!
     Lodging can be checked off for Coker to book, with rates given, or teams may arrange lodging of their own choices. For those who have not yet attended a Challenge Weekend, how does this entry fee compare against our past USRRC events?
The entry fee is similar to past USRRC’s and the items mentioned will be covered as they have been for all their events. Note that many USRRC events do not give T-shirts (or even dash plaques) and that many committees do not provide meals without extra charge.
As this is an existing event, how many teams are usually in the Coker Tire Challenge?

According to John Classen, Rallymaster, last few years have had about 40. 

Will you have to be an SCCA Member for this event, given that it has SCCA sanctioning?

Weekend memberships will be necessary for all non SCCA entrants but no fees are charged.  

What are some of those special events that we’ll be exposed to in 2014? Are there stops at Museums, socials at historic venues, or closed courses for regularity runs? While we can all understand the event items, a souvenir shirt and advertising for our vehicles – what are the social extras at a Coker Tire Challenge? While we, in the Rally Community, have been known to “clean-up well” post-event, will we be required to attend socials with formal attire or is this a casual business-attire crowd in the evenings?
Casual attire always works. Remember that many of these folks will have been working on their cars during the event and it’s pretty hard to be formally attired at the end of the day. That said, some might actually ‘dress up’. The social aspects vary each year but the picnic at the Coker Homestead at the base of Lookout Mountain is special and occurs every year. Experiencing the massive vintage Coker auto and motorcycle displays at their headquarters are often part of the activities. The event has no regularity runs on closed-courses. 
Classes. We’ve determined that this is a “classy” event and well run, as well as activities planned to make it challenging and fun. Yet Classes – will there be a USRRC Class within the event? And in that, will we have our Equipped, Limited and Stock breakdown?

This breakdown was a means to establish a winner over different types of events in the past. As there is a single tour then the class winners will be the class ‘winners’. See question above about this too.

I’ve always heard about the “taping over” of the vehicle odometers for the Great Race-style events. We won’t be required to do such, will we? Our USRRC Route Instructions will contain mileages for turns vs. turns based on time…won’t they? We won’t see such route instructions as “CAST 20MPH for 9 seconds” to determine mileage turns, will we?

Where did you get that idea? We will have the use of our regular equipment but there will be no mileages in the Route Instructions. And they don’t base turns on time. 

There will be a Speedometer check to the nearest tenth of a second and speed changes for an increment of time, not distance. Please keep in mind that this is a TSD-rally except the known elements are time and speed rather than the speed and distance as used for calibration on our rallies. The formula is still the same. 

The Timewise Speedometers used by the vintage cars use the same type of calibration factor that we use on our ‘A’ and ‘B’ boxes. No, there will be no taping over of odometers; we will be using SCCA classes. No mileages – turns are defined by tulip diagrams; speed changes are at signs, there are sometimes instructions that have multiple speed changes (usually to slow down to go around a sharp curve) keyed off a single sign; some speed changes are at the apex of a turn, although if there is a sign, e.g. a stop sign, the speed change is done at the sign.

It wasn’t until I became involved with SCCA (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth) that I learned our local events were called Course Rally. That is what we enjoy and Rallymasters can make them Tour Rally by removing the Main Road Rules. Yet, it appears from a vintage rally website that this event is more about remaining on time and will be a Tour Rally by SCCA sanctions. What rules will be used for the event?

Coker Tire Challenge Rules

Will each of the three competition days have their own event or will this be a cumulative event over the three-days?

One Three-Day Rall

Scoring. Our National events are timed to the hundredths. What is the scoring method of Coker USRRC? Now if you reply “seconds”, I won’t have a concern as that is how my Region scores our events, yet…won’t this be cause for many ties amongst the competitors?

Yes, timing is in seconds. Ties are indeed possible. However, the legs are often quite long and weather conditions might play a bit with the factors. Ties happen now so it shouldn’t be a problem but I doubt that we will see the event won with a zero.

How will ties be broken, as I would expect for there to be multiple low scores?

Ties are never broken on SCCA events for anything other than awards, never for the Championship.

Trophies.  Will trophies be made to those who are competing as USRRC entrants?

They have very nice awards, and they should be worth transporting home as well, unlike some we see these days. Trophies for SCCA USRRC cars will be for Classes E, L, and S.

Like vehicle races with various classes, will we be starting at the front ‘o the pack each morning or will USRRC teams be intermixed based on their registration date?

This is still to be decided. We wanted to start at the beginning with a five minute break or so before the vintage cars so as not to allow them the advantage of hacking off of a vehicle they know has better equipment. While the final decision has not yet been made, we will run separate from the Coker vintage vehicles. What is still to be determined is whether front or back – or alternating, e.g. Friday at the front, Saturday at the back, Sunday at the front.

Why is the Coker Tire Challenge welcoming our USRRC into their 2014 event? What is in it for them?

They will have more entries and perhaps even some additional entries to their premiere event, Great Race. After all, several SCCA people run Great Race in their own vintage cars, driving for someone else or navigating for someone else. Great Race has been won by many different SCCA members over the years, some still running in SCCA. The more the merrier

Insurance. The limits required for this event are quite high. Will all USRRC teams be required to purchase additional vehicle insurance for this event to meet the $250,000/$500,000 requirements?

All cars will need to meet the required limits of liability; if a rental car, it will need to be covered by the renter’s own insurance in the applicable amounts.

In closing, these Coker events sound like great social weekends, but wait – there is wonderful scenic rally too! In your words, give us your welcome and encouragement to the RoadRally community to embrace this years’ USRRC and attend the Coker Tire Challenge –

Gezon: Past Coker Tire Challenges have traversed the rural valleys and mountains of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee that haven’t been seen by SCCA rallyists since the Heart Of Dixie days. There is no more varied scenic terrain anywhere else in such a confined geography. And it’s the end of summer in the middle south.  Can’t wait!   

English: John Classen does a really good job of picking interesting and scenic roads; you will not be disappointed. And if you want to come early or stay late, there are a number of places to visit: Rock City Gardens (see 7 states!), Tennessee Aquarium, Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, Ruby Falls, Raccoon Mountain Caverns, Chickamauga National Military Park and other sesquicentennial Civil War sites. Be there or be square!

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