TIME CONTROLS are specially defined areas determined by the organization of a rally to ensure compliance schedules and maintain spacing between vehicles involved.
The time controls are defined by panels (or signs as shown below). As outlined in the rally-dictionary, a control area is considered to be the area between the first yellow warning sign and the end sign (beige colour with three crossbars).
All control areas (between the yellow warning panel and the final beige panel with 3 cross bars) will be considered as parc fermé and no repairs or assistance may be made within.
In some terminology it is also considered as ‘dead time’ since it is the time between checking into the control area and the time you set off from it.
There are several types of controls throughout an entire rally. Below we will list them along with the signs by their type and the distances that separate the signs within a control area.
– OUT OF A RALLY. (Marks the beginning of stage section and sector)
– Service/Assistance Entry.
– OUT OF SERVICE / FILLING.
– REGROUPING ENTRY (End section and sector) / REGROUPING EXIT (Top section and sector) / ASSISTANCE ENTRY.
– TIME CONTROL AND STRETCH OUT (DEAD TIME) (End Sector / Start new sector).
– STAGE FINISH AND STOP CONTROL (TIMED SECTION)
– Control STOP / PASSAGE CONTROL (There is no set time for the passage control input; it only certifies that you have gone through that point of the route).
– END OF RALLY (End stage section and sector)
Since the timeliness in submitting the time card at the different time controls is very important and the rules are very strict with such breaches by applying severe penalties, it is imperative to have your clocks synchronized with the official rally time.
Many of the penalties imposed on a rally are errors of the minute that the control is performed during, so you should take this matter very seriously as a co-driver.
In ‘a rally from start to finish’ we will analyze and explain in detail the different parts of a rally and the roles and responsibilities a co driver has in each one of them and especially during the controls (the ‘minute’, when it starts, when the time card should be delivered to the marshals etc…). This is one of the issues that raises doubts when various situations occur during the normal running of a rally.