I have to say that NASA Rally Sport has been extremely innovative the past few years. From adding “Rally Moto” and experimenting UTVs to timing and scoring using jailbroken Nook tablets. Not every idea works out, but some things just make logical sense and today’s press release is one of those ideas that makes sense. Usually only top teams can afford to shut down a section of road and do proper testing, however NASA Rally Sport’s grassroots mantra is all about being inclusive.
Newberry, MI (January 29, 2015)
The mantra of “seat time, seat time, seat time” has long been touted as the best method to improving driver skill. However, the challenging legislative environment in the US is often so complex and expensive, that only a few teams in the country have actually done official testing. NASA Rally Sport’s new program aims to remove this barrier and make it a lot easier for amateur and professional drivers to participate and run a Rally Test & Tune Day
Performance rally is certainly one of the world’s most demanding motorsports. Remote locations, unpredictable terrain, changing conditions, and roads that you may only see once. This begs the question: Where does a rally driver practice? Until now, the answer has been “Practice at the event”. Most drivers certainly come away from a rally with increased skill, but even this route leaves no room for systematic testing of techniques or equipment. A much better method is a single road where a driver can make multiple passes and try different techniques.
The first part of the program is a new insurance price for a test day that comes in at just over $900 which can be shared by up to ten racers, for a possible per-driver cost of less than $95. The second part is a set of clear policy and documentation standards that make it easy for a driver to know what is involved in putting on a test day and what kind of information needs to be submitted. The third is a customized land use contract, penned by motorsports lawyers, designed to satisfy all the tricky aspects of leasing land for practice.
“Most drivers are interested in driving cars, and building cars, that’s not surprising.” says NASA Rally Sport Director Anders Green. “They deserve lots of help from the sanctioning body when it comes to these issues of insurance and land use. Our estimate is it would take a driver just two or three hours to get together the maps and documents we would need to insure a test day using our provided materials. They still have to go find the road and ask for it, but we’re there ready to help them each step of the way.”
“We’ve already been approached by a driver who is well on their way to putting this program into motion here in California.” added NASA Rally Sport Director Kris Marciniak. “Finding a single road to test on is actually much easier to come across than finding a set of roads that can make up enough mileage for a rally. It’s certainly possible to imagine three or four test days a year in every corner of the country. We’re excited, this program is real, and it’s available as of today.”
NASA Rally Sport, the grassroots rally sanctioning body in the US, focuses on competitor fun and providing support for rally organizers. Providing tools, technology, and systems to the organizers, racers, and fans to increase their enjoyment of rally is a core mission of NASA Rally Sport. Making sure that rally remains a sustainable and affordable passion for the drivers and organizers while building the family of racers and volunteers that make rally happen goes hand in hand with that mission.
Additional information is available at http://nasarallysport.com/