WHAT IS A REGULARITY SECTION?
The purpose of a Regularity Section on a Historic Road Rally is to test the crew’s skill at maintaining a precise average speed over a defined route, usually on public roads.
An essential part of all Historic Road Rallies is the Regularity Section, a feature of Fifties road rallies which has been especially recreated for historic rallying. Competitors are given a set average speed at which they must travel along a given route. However, the timing point is not known to the competitor, so they must be travelling at exactly the correct speed when they reach a control. It’s a way of producing timed to the second competition on the public road, without directly encouraging high speed driving or risking damage to a valued classic car – that is as long as you keep to the time schedule. Unfortunately, if you get delayed for any reason, through wrong-slotting (turning the wrong way) or meeting slow or obstructing traffic, you’ve got to make up that time as quickly as possible, as you’re being timed to the second at the next secret control, which could be just around the next bend!
Regularity sections usually have several intermediate time controls, the locations of which are secret and cars must not stop or slow down unduly when coming within sight of a control. On UK events, each section between intermediate time controls is considered as a new and fresh section, so whatever happened on a previous section bears no effect on the current part of the route.
Navigation and regularity
In its simplest form, the route is given to competitors, in one of many forms – a map showing the route, map references plotted on to an OS 1:50,000 map, a depicted route passing various points on the map (such as spot heights) or a diagram of the route. Competitors are then given a set speed to traverse the given route and to help keep to the set speed, the crew consult a set of speed tables which tells them the time at which they should be passing a given distance. This will indicate whether they are early, on time or late passing the set distance.
A variation of regularity is “Jogularity”, invented by John Brown for the first Le Jog, when only standard speedometer tripmeters were permitted in the cars. Competitors are provided with a printed table, listing landmarks along the route, with the exact mileage at the landmark and the scheduled time of arrival at the landmark based on the set average speed. Landmarks given are not only junctions, but also include road signs, houses, gates, cattle grids or bridges etc. Intermediate time controls are always placed exactly at a listed landmark. Even if you’re proficient at working with speed tables, it’s advisable to put them away and just work with the printed Jogularity schedule. If you try to monitor your progress using both methods simultaneously, you’re bound to get completely confused.
Another variation of regularity using ‘Tulips’, is similar to Jogularity, but instead of having a descriptive list of landmarks, the instructions concentrate on junctions which are depicted as schematic diagrams, known as tulips. These diagrams show the junction with a blob at the bottom of a stem indicating the direction of approach, with an arrow on the branch of the junction denoting the direction of departure from the junction. Although the look a little like flowers, they are called tulips as they were first used on the Dutch Tulip Rallies of the Fifties.
The rules of ‘Deeliarity’ are simple: stay on the road you are on unless a tulip diagram indicates that you turn off onto another road. Never fork, turn or even go straight on into a road, which has a give way line across its entrance, unless there is a tulip which tells you to. The real snag is that there are no distances so you never know how far away the next tulip is! We recommend that you do not try to plot the Deeliarity section in advance. Deeliarity is designed to be tackled ‘as you see it’ on the road and can become very confusing if you try and plot it on the map beforehand.
Invented by a Dutchman called Ben, this form of regularity is often seen on continental events and some events organised by Simon Rossiter. You have the distance, and the time that you should be at that point, but no indication of the speed that you should be doing at any one point. It is usually accompanied by descriptive directions or tulip diagrams.
There are examples of the forms of regularity that a crew can expect to encounter on an Easylarity event on the Sample Sections part of this website. Some are taken from Loughborough Car Club’s event from the past few years.
This page was complied with the help of Andy Gibson’s ‘How to Survive Regularity Sections’ piece originally featured on the HRCR.co.uk website