Gimmick Rallye Class Structure
TRC rallyes have competitors run in classes so they are competing against others with roughly their same skill level. The most experienced person in the car determines the class level for the car. Class definitions are, however, judgment calls. The registrar for the event will help if you have questions; just ask at the registration desk.
The experience classes are as follows:
Each person can only be a first timer once, but there are some occasional gray areas. Is someone who was a passenger on numerous other rallyes really a first timer? What about the guy who ran one 20 years ago and barely remembers it?
We take a fairly hard line at registration. If that guy who ran one 20 years ago is now 26, we'll probably let him run as FT. Passengers are a challenge, because it depends on how much they participated as passengers. Pretty much, if you've been (conscious, aware, thinking, old enough) in a car running a rallye ever before, you're probably not a first-timer.
Beginners are folks just starting out. The current standard is that you've won fewer than 2 first-place awards in this class. If you're running at ~700 points per rallye, but do it at enough rallyes that you get some 2nd places, it's OK to stay in Beginner.
If you want to help out on a rallye, at this level you may help as a checkpoint worker. (Be sure you understand the gimmicks you participate in.) If your rallye partner will be out of town, but you want to come out, ask one of the various officials (we're usually pretty obvious) to point out an upcoming rallyemaster to see about working a future checkpoint.
You won enough awards to be out of the Beginner class. Now you're a Novice. You'll stay here until you win 3 first-place awards in this class. Again, if you win a lot because you're practically alone in class, we won't bump you. But if you start scoring above 900 occasionally, it's probably time to upgrade. Generally, Novice first-place awards with point scores above 900 are handed out with "Welcome to Senior!"
Contributions that Novices can make, in addition to checkpoint work, includes coursemarker placing and removal and assisting on prechecks.
No, we're not impugning your age. The majority of rallyists who stick with the sport for any length of time will probably wind up here. You're pretty comfortable with parallel sign and onto gimmicks, almost always catch "L 1st Oop", and haven't missed a misspelled road sign in 10 rallyes. Senior's your place until you start scoring above 900 regularly, breaking 950 sometimes.
At Senior, it's about time to start thinking about contributing to putting on events as a prechecker, perhaps writing a rethrow, maybe even co-chairing a rallye or writing a leg of The Amazing Rallye. You'll find that working on the construction of a rallye greatly improves your analysis of rallyes, and thus your score.
You run reasonably regularly (4-5 rallyes a year at minimum), and consistently score above 900 pretty much no matter who's the rallyemaster.
If you're in Expert, but feel like you're "stuck", and not quite doing as well as you'd like, it's probably time to do some serious prechecking, and even start writing rallyes. In any given year, there's at least one member of the TRC Board who is writing at least two rallyes and working another four, and thus is missing out on the chance to just compete in 6 or more rallyes a year. Step up and help the people on the board!
You know who you are. We know who you are, most of the time. Running a perfect rallye is something you can easily imagine, if only the rallyemaster would write it clean.
If you run in ME, and don't write at least one rallye every couple of years, you should feel guilty. Give TRC the benefit of your experience, and come out and help.
The awards typically presented for each class are:
|Class||Awards typically presented|
|Beginner||First, Second, Third|
|Novice||First, Second, Third|
|Master Expert||First, Second|
Mnemonic (no longer very catchy): First Timer gets only First place awards, then 2 classes get 3 awards, and the 3 top classes get only 2 awards.
We also present Skunk awards to any team that runs a perfect rallye. (If multiple teams run a perfect rallye, then they all get Skunk awards.)
As of May, 2012, we no longer present a Top Score award to the TRC member(s) with the highest score.
Prior to 2009, we also gave a pair of TRC mugs to the First Place First Timer team. If there are no First Timer teams, then we gave the mugs to the First Place Beginner team.