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Old 2nd October 2015, 09:57   #1
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Default Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying

Rallying - the word brings up images of incredibly fast driven machines over rugged terrains. In fact the motto of rallying fraternity is "Real men, real machines on real roads." Because unlike races, that usually happen over circuits that are tightly controlled and prone to be memorised, rallying happen over open roads and tracks that do not easily lend to memorising.

But within rallying there is a class of rallying that is not about speed alone or rather where speeds play visually no role. Welcome to world of TSD (or Time Speed Distance) rallying. Also known as reliability rallying.

Navigation plays a much important part in this sort of rally. The route is secret and only you have to use the road book to get to the end at the same time a speed limit is imposed that needs to be adhered strictly. Typically along the way secret checkpoints note the time and then compute whether you are driving fast or slow. Penalty are applied accordingly. Typically penalties for going faster or double than going slower. The route is covered by crew while calculating their ideal time so that their penalties are least.

While in theory it seems easy it is quite difficult in practice. Navigators use all sorts of devices to keep track of their time calculations and guide the drivers over the route. It is also comparatively cheaper to participate in such release as there is not much to be done for your normal car to make it rally worthy.
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Old 2nd October 2015, 10:10   #2
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Navigation

A common component of all forms rallying is navigation. The route is described in what is called the road book. By series of symbols along with distance from the start and part distance from the last instruction. This form of route instructions is called Tulip Road book system and is followed almost all rallying formats.
The attached screenshot shows a typical tulip Road book page. The first column gives distance from start or cumulative distance. The second part distance from last instruction. The diagram describes the road directions to be followed and next column gives additional information. Some like the one in picture use last column to give distance to go.

The ball or bottom of diagram denotes where you are and arrow the direction to go. There is no north south east or west. Always the direction of your nose as you approach the instruction point.

Using this the crews navigate from start point to finish.
Attached Thumbnails
Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying-1443760696630.jpg  


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Old 2nd October 2015, 11:55   #3
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Crew

White primary rally crew consists off the Driver and Co driver inside the car. Their responsibilities are described by their designation itself. However it is not compulsory that only one person be the driver, specially for the TSD Rally. The driver primary responsibility is to drive as per instructions from the codriver or navigator. He is responsible to give feed back to navigator as most of the time navigator barely gets time to look up from road book, calculator etc. This does not mean driver had little role. In rallies going cross country he has responsibility to keep the car intact and despite difficulties keep to designated speeds.

Atmosphere inside the cabin can get tense very quickly with driver and navigator fighting and shouting at each other. The pressure is immense not to lose even a second.

See attached video - warning on colourful language.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/27ib4acprg...A0002.mp4?dl=0

In addition to the crew inside the car they could be service and other support crews also part of the team. Though typically these are only for speed rallying and not for TSD.

Extreme rally also has its moments.


Last edited by Gannu_1 : 5th October 2015 at 08:59. Reason: Corrected youtube link as requested + typo.
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Old 2nd October 2015, 12:40   #4
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Vehicle

For TSD rally the vehicle requirement is pretty simple almost all normal road game vehicles can do the job. Modification in terms of engine protection could be advised for off the tarmac rally. Other modification include extra in cabin lights, deep hold seats, four point seat belts. More inputs are needed in to calculators and odometer.

The fact is that no car odometer is correct and there is always a drift between actual distance and the odo distance. So one of the prime in put needed is a good odo metre device that can give you correct distance at all times. Special GPS and terror trip devices are bought only for this purpose though they are not 100 % necessary.

There is a saying that road book is always correct and in spite of whatever odo metre you have to correct your drift figures with the road book figures. Accurate clock is another essential item. Though with advent of GPS this has become whole lot easier.

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Old 2nd October 2015, 17:20   #5
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Speed

Information about the speed to be observed is given at the start of the rally or at checkpoints in between. Typically these speeds are given in single or even double decimal digits precision. As per the TSD rules in India speeds are kept below 45 kilometres an hour average. These are relaxed to 90% of highway speed limits if they are higher but no time checks are established in such zones.

To get competitor confused speed limit can be changed within zones of half kilo metre or even less this means that they have to do lot of calculations to get their precise ideal time. Some time speed goal may be given in terms of time to be taken. In which case no calculation need to be done but still the time needs to be observed from in between points.

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Old 2nd October 2015, 20:45   #6
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Default Re: Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying

Thanks, this is a very interesting way of participating in a rally.

I have organised dozens of these rally’s over the years on behalf of the Dutch Alfa Romeo Spider Register. Mostly in the Netherlands, but also in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

We also made variations on the tulip system. So sometimes we would only give distances between turning points, or produce a road book showing sequential photographs of certain land marks you would have to drive to.

its easy to organise although producing a 100% accurate route book does take quite a bit of effort. We usually had one team put the book together and a second team, verify it independently the weekend before the rally. Even then there might be some last minute changes as for instance a road gets shut down the day before the rally started.

Depending on the level of the participation we would allow/forbid the use of calculators, mobiel phones, GPS etc. the most basic form would not allow any electronic device, so speed/distance calculations are all done using tables. You need a navigator who is very good in mental maths!

Good fun!

Jeroen
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Old 2nd October 2015, 21:42   #7
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Jeroen interesting variations are part of increasing confusion for participating crews.

The problem with banning devices is increasing ubiquity and processing power of mobiles. And ever smaller form. So the way forward has to be which allows everything but still makes it a challenge. This is work in progress.

More about TSD to come
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Old 3rd October 2015, 11:37   #8
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Question.: So we get distance from road book along with navigation instructions. We get speed from speed chart. Where do we get time from?

Answer : Nowhere.

As per our physics classes :
Time = Distance / Speed

So in a TSD Rally we have to compute time for given distance based on speed at which we are supposed to be travelling.

Simple? Hardly!

First time calculation is a difficult task as you can not simply divide distance by speed. If you do this you will get time in decimal format but not in hours minutes and seconds format.

Secondly this is the time that it will take you to cover the distance you need to add this to your starting time which means that you always have to take care of 60 seconds equal to 1 minute or 60 minutes equal to 1 hour while adding time.

This will give you the target time to reach a particular distance but you still have to drive at speeds to reach that particular point at the target time. Your car odometer is never be accurate so it is a question of checking actual time with idle time or target time to know whether you should go faster or slower.

At each of the checkpoints the time at which you arrive will vary from the ideal time, maybe in matter of seconds, and this causes further problems. Each checkpoint becomes the start of next section and the time of actual check in determines the time of checkout.

This load of work comes on to the lap of navigator and hence navigator really gets chance to look up and admire their surroundings.

Last edited by sudev : 3rd October 2015 at 11:39.
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Old 3rd October 2015, 14:48   #9
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Default Re: Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying

Thanks Sudev for a very informative thread.
Though I have experience in INRC Co-driving, I never got around to participate in TSD events. Hopefully I should get started in TSD soon.
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Old 4th October 2015, 07:25   #10
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Time controls

Time control are points along route where each competitors time is recorded. These are kept as surprise controls and are not revealed even on the road book. It is always tried that the controls are kept at locations which can throw of the competitors.

For example a control is likely to be placed just after a blind turn. The intention is that this does not give competitor any chance to adjust his speed and correct his time. If they can see the control from far away they can speed up or slow down to do this. Is it not stupid? They could just stop till it is time to check in?

Well there are rules governing time control and one of them is you cannot stop in sight of time control. Similarly you cannot reverse or enter control from wrong direction. This makes for an interesting cat and most game between organisers and competitors.

Time controls are marked by clock signs on specific colour back ground. It is competitors responsibility to stop at control and get their time card stamped from control officials. If they fail to stop or spot a time control it is deemed that they have missed the control. There are heavy penalties for each missed control and usually you cannot miss more than two.

How is it that you miss a control? It is easier than you think. Crowd, other traffic are amongst chief causes. And to make things interesting organisers also make route in a way that a later control becomes visible and confuses the competitors. For example a control is visible just after a crossroad but the actual route goes right or left and loops back to the visible control later. There may be one or more other controls in that missed loop!

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Old 4th October 2015, 09:03   #11
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Cool Re: Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying

I had an opportunity to take part in one of the TSD rallies organised a couple of months back, in my area. At first I was told it was just a drive event with a bunch of car enthusiasts with their customized rides. Something like a group of 20 or 30 cars.

Less than a week to go and I was told it is a TSD rally. My customized ride sits on ultra low profile rubber with 19ers. I told Ďem they gotta be kidding, to put these customized rides on a rally event. Then I was told it doesn't have much of poor roads and whatever is there could be managed and it is a TSD rally, but have to be a bit careful and that's all. Well I was still not really convinced and was really in 2 minds whether to swap the wheels back to the stock ones. I did not care about losing or winning the rally but those wheels and rubber were brand new and took a lot of pain to get those to our shore. They were precious! I sure didn't wanna ruin 'em right away. However, I convicned myself to give it a try. And prepared myself to lose the event but not the wheels in any case. Took part in the event.

First 100 odd kms were good roads. Then came narrow stretches, then the surface started breaking up, portholes and poor patches appeared and we reached a point where the tarmac ended! I said to myself like this is it, this is how my Michelins are gonna blow up! If it was mud road I would have been more relaxed by the fact that itís better than a hard surface which is in poor condition. But this was a stretch with the first layer of soling with boulders, not even the smaller metal soling. That is the worst you could possibly drive on. If your drive slow you have to drive too slow, as in crawl, and if you drive fast you sure are gonna rupture the tyres as well as damage the wheels as the rim is too close to the surface with those thin side walls. You have to zig zag through the least torturing space you find and maintain an optimum pace which would kinda glide you over the surface. It cannot be too slow as you have to maintain the pace and it definitely canít be too fast, plus you have to keep a watch on the average speed. The thing about TSD rally is, they give you a silly average speed for a fine stretch and a challenging average speed for a poor stretch.

Finally we made it to the other end of this unpaved stretch and there was a border check post (not a rally check point), which obviously was closed! The watchman there was so prompt that it took bloody 8 long mins to just lift that pole so that we could pass. Imagine losing that kinda time after struggling to maintain pace on a very challenging stretch just before that trying to save not just mins but even seconds.

Finally we set off from there and came the worst of roads. Narrow, poor surfaced with deep portholes, grass on both sides grown above the height of eye, madly winding with full of hair pin bends. 40 odd blinding hair pins up, a few down and again a few more hair pins to climb after that, around 60 hair pins IIRC. To be frank, we lost count after 50~55. Bilstiens were a blessing on this stretch. Half way through the climb, road surface got better. However, we made it to the destination, with all 4 Michelins and Borbets intact (which was my major concern). 20 cars participated, or was it 18. Say, around 20 cars. We came out winners. My cousin was my navigator. The moment we were flagged off, I told the basic calculation for navigating. Not to brag, but being a nautical officer, thatís like elementary school stuff for me. And my cousin was great at guiding me through the confusing roads we had to navigate. We kept a good track of the time, avg. speed and distance. Only part where we slightly went off the plan was when we had to make up for the time we lost at the state border check post, we miscalculated a bit and did a bit more avg. speed than what was required and reached the last check point a liíl early. Reaching faster is double penalty. It would be better to reach late than early in a TSD rally. But still, we were way ahead of the runner up. In short, we nailed it.

The organisers were mighty impressed with the precision of timing we did. Said they havenít seen a team making it this well in their very first drive. And on 19ers?!! That was new to them too.

And thatz how we do it. (Not quite so, but thereís no fun in saying thatz how we did it! ) The guys who conducted the rally were ones who do INRC and stuff and I was told to participate in the Mahindra event that was coming up. But here I am typing this sailing on high seas where I do my real navigation. Will try some other event hopefully when I am back on vacation but not on low profiles next time. It does handicap you. But I thank heavens for letting me have it both. The best customized car in the event and winners same time. Could I ask for more. And for those who havenít taken part in a TSD rally. Try it. It IS fun!

Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying-tsd-rally.jpg
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Old 4th October 2015, 16:01   #12
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Default Re: Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying

This is an entirely new concept for me. Once or twice, I have seen it mentioned, but lack of interest made me to neglect them. Is it happening quite often in India? Any way, thank you for this information.
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Old 5th October 2015, 08:46   #13
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Default Re: Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying

Quote:
Originally Posted by drdeepudev View Post
This is an entirely new concept for me. Once or twice, I have seen it mentioned, but lack of interest made me to neglect them. Is it happening quite often in India? Any way, thank you for this information.
There was one which happened yesterday.

Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying-12004802_1036811803030550_2582376106486785414_n.jpg

The details can be found here. ROSA FUN DRIVE

I was away on a drive to BR Hills, else would have participated. I am sure some BHPians would definitely have attended, it will be nice if they can share the experience here.
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Old 5th October 2015, 10:15   #14
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The event had one major difference in approach as it forced the participant to make up lateness at subsequent check points. This can result in rash speeds. The normal TSD rallies do not allow you to make up lost time. Your "innings" are over at check points and next segment is new innings.

Another was that this combined a treasure hunt - clues to be answered. Though this is good fun in itself.

Last edited by sudev : 5th October 2015 at 10:17.
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Old 5th October 2015, 21:44   #15
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Default Re: Explained! TSD (Time-Speed-Distance) Rallying

Excellent thread Sudev. Rallies continue to be a mystery in Indian motorsport arena and this thread from TSD guru himself will help demystify as well as spread love for motor rallies beyond the desert and raid. All the best.
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