Building on the How to Write Pacenotes article I would like to provide some more guidance on preparing to make notes and some hints and tips to improve the quality and consistency of notes.
Firstly a quick introduction, I’m Graham Raeburn, son of 1970 British Rally Championship winning co-driver Nigel Raeburn. I have also competed as a co-driver on many stage rallies and was Clerk of the Course of the Plains Rally for a number of years. I am now running www.rallynav.co.uk delivering online webinars in Rally Navigation and selling various rally products including Easywrite Steering Wheel Covers for assisting pacenote writing.
Expanding on the excellent article here https://www.therallyco-driver.com/how-to-write-pacenotes/ I will write about some excellent preparation ideas to help develop better pacenotes and to become a co-driver that really contributes towards team performance.
For me the number one requirement for the recce vehicle is to ensure the car has the steering wheel on the same side as the rally car. Beyond this the more similar the car is the better (try to get a driving position that gives a similar view of the road ahead).
Regardless of choice of car (and plenty use hire cars!) a few key bits of preparation can make a difference. Firstly tyres – not compound or tread pattern (although in muddy or snowy conditions something suitable will help avoid getting stuck!), but spares – many newer cars come with space saver or can of foam puncture repair kits. These are no good if you split a sidewall or are trying to drive gravel tracks on space saver! Without a good spare a puncture could mean the end of your recce.
As many recce’s will start early / finish late – good lighting is really beneficial – both in the car (map lights / head torches) and a spot lights on the car if possible.
Pacenote writing help
One of the keys to good pacenotes is consistency, distances and corner angles need to be consistent if you are to drive with maximum confidence and performance.
The best method for gaining consistent measurement of the length of straights is to use a tripmeter, either a fully installed rally tripmeter or smartphone apps are good enough for this purpose. Simply reset the trip at the start of each straight and convert the measured distance into your notes when you have arrived at the next corner.
For corner angles, the traditional method has been to use masking tape to mark up increments on the steering wheel, this works if you are consistent with marking the steering wheel. Tape can also be messy, uncomfortable, come off as you drive. So for me the future is Easywrite Steering Wheel cover. Whichever approach you choose the key is to be able to translate steering wheel movement with the angle of corner and the desired notes.
Prepare for Success
Every event is different, so ensure you have a plan for each event as to how you are going to make the best possible set of pacenotes. How many runs through each stage do you get? Do you have a set of notes from previous events (perhaps just part of stages – if so sort them out in to the running order for the recce). Create a plan, execute the plan achieve success.
Has this article proved useful, well keep reading to find out more about Easywrite Steering Wheel covers. Do you want to learn more about making your own pacenotes then book onto one of my webinars – Pacenotes for Beginners – Webinar Booking
Easywrite – #WriteYourSuccess
Easywrite products are an easy fit steering wheel cover that enables accurate and consistent pacenotes to be made with the angle of each corner being easily measured. No more bits of sticky tape on the steering wheel. Easywrite allows the driver to quickly and intuitively recognise the degree of difficulty of the corners, decreasing the difficulty of identifying and writing the notes by 90%. Reversible to cover both 1 fastest / 6 slowest and 6 fastest / 1 slowest styles of pacenotes. Innovatively this product comes complete with access to video tutorials from 2019 European Rally Champion Chris Ingram and top Italian rally driver Simone Campedelli. Available in the UK from www.rallynav.co.uk/shop