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 Rallies come in all shapes and sizes - here is a description of rallies easily accessable to Club Triumph members with a pointer to moving on up the competitive tree if you wish.

Road rallies make up a lot of grass roots motor sport in the UK and account for a large proportion of the MSA permits issued 


The idea behind road rallying is to follow a precise route over taxing roads (which are sometimes un-surfaced) at a scheduled speed of no more than 30mph average. The route is broken up into sections which are interspersed with controls of various sorts. 


A “navigational scatter” has no defined route but a graded list of locations to visit scattered over the map.  


There are basically two forms of road event open to non-competition licence holders who are members of the organising motor club, these are;

“12 car events” and “Navigational Scatters”


12 Car Rallies -  

All road events must comply with the very strict regulations set by the MSA-these are set out in the “Blue book” however if the entry is restricted to 12 cars the regulations are less strict for the event, so basically a 12 car is a short road rally run in the evening/night to a set route which you don’t need a competition license for.

A twelve car Navigational Rally is a FIXED ROUTE EVENT, i.e. you are told which route to follow, you also have a time schedule to keep to (well as near as possible to!). All crews take the same route, Objective; Drive the route whilst staying within your schedule…sounds easy! 



The event would be a closed to club 12 car navigational rally

The event organiser would chose a route (aprox 40 to 60) miles, which will be divided into sections (there will be about 5 or 6)

You drive each section in turn and are given a time allowance for each one.

Cars start at one minute intervals

(The start times for subsequent sections depend on how far behind the crew is)

The start and finish of each section is marked with a TIME CONTROL (TC)-remember this very important!

Before the start you are given a set of sealed envelopes (one for each SECTION).

These envelopes will contain things like the following;

Grid reference for the TC where you are (just in case!)

A clue to show you the route to the next TC

The mileage for the section

The time allowed for the section 

You will be required to show an unopened envelope to the Marshall at the start of a section to prove you haven’t cheated, Although if you get lost during a section or cant solve the clues, and are running well behind your time; open the envelope for the next section and go to the start TC for THAT section –remember it is also the end of the section you are ON. You will get a fail, but don’t worry! It’s not as bad as turning up so late at a TC that is closed!  This is known as OTL (Outside total lateness) 

How do they check you have gone the right way?

 Code boards are placed along the route sticking out of hedges and the such –they are a 6 inch square with a letter on they will be facing you on the nearside, you wont know how many there are so you need to keep your eyes peeled, at the end of each section the marshal will sign the next code board so you cant go back for ones you missed (silly thing to do because you could face oncoming event traffic!)  

 You are marked on the number of minutes early or late at which you finish a section  

 Again the supplementary regulations of an event explain penalties, navigation examples and what equipment is needed etc. 


Time for each section includes the time taken to plot the route (i.e. solve the clue) as well as drive it, so the quicker you solve the clue the more road time you have, the time allowed for a section is a nominal 30mph average speed, sounds easy? Well think about a 10 mile section (20 mins) takes you 5mins to plot the route, you now only have 15 mins to complete 10 miles thus the average is up to 40mph. 


Only driver and navigator are allowed, no passengers may be carried (all though sometimes Navigators losing the will to live half way through the event become passengers!)

For some events the driver must have special insurance cover, for others your classic insurance may cover you if the event is not specifically timed and is deemed to be a treasure hunt or similar. It is wise to check with your insurer whether this is the case or not for each type of event. If you do require special insurance this can be arranged by the organising club via the MSAs  insurance broker Alexander Forbes Motor Sport Risk Services for a fee of about £15, don’t worry you wont need to fill in lots of forms as long as you can sign a declaration at signing on that;

A-I have no disabilities

B-I have no convictions other than a max of SIX speeding points

C-I have had no more than one fault accident in the last three years

D-I am over 17 and have held a full license for at least 6 months

E-I have no other material facts to disclose

(The above  insurance declaration applies to Navigational Scatters as well) 


Navigational Scatters - 

Again no competition license needed you just need to be a member of the official motor club organising it or a member of one of the invited clubs (A maximum of 8 invited clubs are allowed) It differs from the above in a few key aspects; it is open to more than 12 cars, has no element of Timing on the public highway and the car is an incidental means of transport between the various points. 

 So how does this become a competition?  

 Your aim is to accumulate as many points as possible by visiting various remote locations in the total time allowed, at each location there will be a small “code board” (Route check) placed by the organizers which is hidden from general view, usually the driver gets out to find it, the Navigator records it on his check sheet and then directs the driver to the next location. 

 How do you know where to look for code boards?  

 At the start time each crew is handed a clue sheet which will contain information to visit say 60 route checks there wont be enough time to get all 60, so you pick and chose your route carefully to get as many as possible, the 60 odd RCs will be graded in groups; say 20 easy map-reference checks, these will be worth less of a score than say 20 simple navigation clues, which again carry less of a score than a clue that takes a bit of thought! You may also encounter a manned control or travelling Marshal to visit which may again give you more points. 

Where’s the skill?  

 The skill comes in;

A, Solving the Navigation

B, choosing the route

C, navigating the driver

D, Getting to the finish on time 

 Does this sound like something you would like to do under the Club Triumph banner? Good because this is the basis of the Historic Counties Run. 

 Here are some of your questions answered

What modifications do I have to do to the car? 

 None, a map light, a roamer, pens pencils and a soft clip board would be good to bring.

Is there scrutineering?  

Yes the cars aree inspected for general safety and submitted to a noise test, no car over the permitted 98dB (A) (.5 meter test) is allowed to take part. 


How many people can take part?   

This will be found in the event "regs" although each crew can be more than two people but only in one car! 

 12 car Rallies and Navigational Scatter Rallies are entry level events – you can certainly go to much higher levels of competition including full blown stage rallies like the Manx Historic rally. Please contact Mike Banks at  for more information.