Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pace notes explained ...

Added 5th July 2012: I noticed that there are exceptionally lots of interest in this particular blog entry of ours. With that in mind, we're going to re-post this subject in a more in-depth discussion/explanation. I hope our 2 years experience more than when we first created this entry will help you more as it has for us.
Added 16th November 2012: How to create pace notes at the end of this entry

You must be wondering how on earth can the rally drivers drive so blardy fast in the twisty winding road not knowing what's waiting for them behind that blind corner. Actually, they do know what's coming up ahead of them, in fact, in extreme details. These details are called PACE NOTES.

Pace notes are written in tight shorthand notes during a recce & are delivered by the co-driver to the driver during the rally. There are a lot of "standards" being practiced coz there aren't actually 1 specific standard. In general, pace notes are either numbering or describing system. If you've played Richard Burns Rally (RBR), you'll find the describing system rather familiar with corners being labelled as FAST, KAY, MEDIUM, and such.

As for us, D24 decided to go for the Colin Mcrae Pacenotes System (CMS), a numbering system. Lets just say its not entirely pure CMS, as we had to alter some notes to make us more comfortable & to minimize our reaction time towards a note when its called out. Here is a portion from D24 pace notes from Rally Of Domain, the training ground for Z2H students.

Pace notes called by OBK:
Start, 50, 5 left and 2 right minus into 2 left plus long, and 2 right plus opens, 70, 5 left into 4 right over crest

Translation by Keng:
Start, drive 50 meters into a fast fifth gear left-hand corner, then immediately keep left for slow second gear right-hand corner in half throttle. Then accelerate into a slow second gear left-hand corner, immediately changing direction into a second gear right-hand corner that opens into a straight. Accelerate flat out before lift-off throttle for a fifth gear left-hand corner. Then brake slightly for a forth gear right hand corner over a crest

OBK must make sure that he is in sync with Keng when reading these notes to him to avoid miscommunication which could lead to disaster. As cliche as it may sound, practice makes perfect team, both OBK & Keng spent countless of hours to practice & develop teamwork trying to achieve flawless syncing. So they say, without a good pace notes, the driver will only be able to drive at 80% of his pace!


Due to overwhelming response, I've created an entry on how pace notes are created. As a start, I kept it simple Keng's Recipe: Guide to Crispy Pace Notes


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