How to cover a rally...

British Rally Championship: Galloway Hills Rally

Single day rallies can be a bit of a nightmare. Everything has to be covered and that means you need an itinerary set to almost military precision.

Single day rallies can be a bit of a nightmare. Long and hard days have the added complexity from the sheer logistics involved in making the most of all the scenarios presented across the day.

From ceremonial starts to remote services – everything has to be covered and that means you need an itinerary set to almost military precision.

So, when does this prep work all start?

For this particular rally, the Galloway Hills Rally, I started about a week before compiling all the stage information, running information and comparing it to the brief that I had for the clients involved.

Picking the stages to visit on this rally was a huge task in itself! Having never visited the twisting and challenging stages in the hills of Galloway I had to base my decisions from OS maps, StreetView and any video on-boards that I could find from previous years. I quickly narrowed down a few locations per stage and started to put together an itinerary that could work.

I had four stages on my schedule; I’d capture the first pass of SS1 and also SS2, SS5 and also SS8 along with also visiting the remote service and the ceremonial finish. A completely packed day starting at 6am and technically finishing at around 7pm…if things went to plan.

After I decided all the stages I wanted to visit I could type up my plan, with clearly defined arrival times, journey times and co-ordinates pre-programmed into the sat-nav I was ready to roll…

I arrived at the first stage of the day at 7:30 ready for the first run at 8:15. Having scrambled through the forest at a rate of knots to find the perfect spot on my specified corner (part of this rally’s requirements), I waited. And waited some more…and more.

The start time had been and gone and I started to wonder if I’d perhaps gotten the day wrong? Alas, having managed to move around enough to get a signal I found the first stage of the delay had been delayed by an hour…all the hard work I’d put into my itinerary had been undone in one foul swoop. It was time to adapt and overcome – I could roughly use my initial plan as basis for timings but I’d just have to go with the flow.

At the end of the day I’d imagined 3 of my 4 planned stages but still managed to get to the remote service and finish. All in all I was pleased that my planning had somewhat paid off. Things never quite go how you’d like but where’s the fun in that?

Photographed for Jakob Ebrey Photography

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