You won't be Travis Pastrana or Ken Block while you're participating in a local Coursemarker/Gimmick Road Rallye, but there are still trophies to be won. Check out The Rallye Club's latest Bay Area adventure.
To run a road rallye you don't need to be factory backed by Subaru. Actually, all you need is any means of transportation, from a Ferrari to a Hyundai, a clipboard, a pencil, $20 for the entry fee and a full tank of petrol.
Coursemarker/Gimmick Road Rallyes are street legal competitions which are run on public roads and have no speed element. During a drivers' meeting, a driver and a navigator are given route instructions to drive along a prescribed route. The instructions are filled with clues and gimmicks to take the team off the "correct route" and put them on what is known as the "turkey route." During the rallye there are questions to be answered on a score sheet, and depending on which route you're on, makes the difference in your total score.
One of the things you are looking for on a Coursemarker/Gimmick rallye are the different coursemarkers throughout the route. Some of these coursemarkers will give you points and new route instructions. Some of the coursemarkers are "fish" meant to trick you and cause you to lose points (and possibly get even more lost than you already are).
There are drivers' meetings before the rallye and checkpoints along the route to make sure everyone is on track and also to hand out more instructions and clues to possibly confuse the drivers and navigators along the way (it's all part of the fun). I've heard road rallyes explained as a large board game where the neighborhood is the board and your car is the game piece (in this game you always get to be the car and don't get stuck being the top hat or the wheelbarrow).
Jalopnik ran The Rallye Club's (TRC) We're Off to See the Wizard rallye. We learned that during a rallye you will probably make a hundred u-turns, the navigator will get carsick at least once (I personally learned that my navigator ate green beans at some point during the day) and, very important, you can never have too many lights at night. The rallye ended at a local pizza joint where beer was poured and the "rallye" bench racing began. Scores were added up and here are the winners:
Winning the Master/Expert Class with a near perfect score of 990 out of 1,000 was Navigator Jim Davidson and Driver Ted Boet driving an Infiniti G35. No surprise these guys won as they also run their own rallye series with the El Dorado Touring Club.
Winning the Expert Class with a score of 990/1,000 was Navigator Julie Kline and Driver Steve Kline all the way from Nevada.
Winning the heavily contested Senior Class with a score of 925/1,000 was the father-daughter team with Navigator Christy Thomas and Driver Bob Cunningham.
Winning the Novice Class with a score of 920/1,000 was Navigator Jessica Powell and Driver Trevor Thompson.
Winning the Beginner Class with a score of 935/1,000 was Navigator Heidi Brown and Driver Peter Brown.
Winning the First Timer Class with a score of 915/1,000 was Krider Racing with twelve year old Navigator Gus Krider and his dad, Driver Rob Krider, beating the hell out of a Hyundai (and coincidentally giving Hyundai their first rallye win of 2010).
To find out more about rallyes or check out the schedule for future events go to the website for The Rallye Club.