there's a standardized way for calling things out, and they usually just write it down. IE using numbers for turn sharpness and distance ... "100, 4 right" means 100 feet ahead, is a mild right hand turn. "100, 4 right, over crest, opens into 5 right" means 100 feet ahead, mild right up and over a hill and the turn straightens out. the higher the number the less steep the turn is going to be. "dont cut" means dont take an aggressive inside line, there's a ditch or debris. cant think of anymore at the moment...wish to add, tim?
they call it "shakedown" rather than prerun. heh. but WRC has no specific rules as to how you do your nav books as far as i know, just as long as you dont kill 20 ppl that are on the outside of a turn you just overshot going 80 ... it's really great to listen to the finns and the spanish barking out commands in native languages cuz it's so much slower with bigger words, thus they dont stop talking the whole time. The info is compiled by each team individually, i think. i was watching rally argentina and every team was different calling out in this one section..i actually heard nicky grist, mcraes codriver say "leftish".
Each event has it's own rules regarding pre- running, it is called recce (pronounced wreck-E), short for recconasaince [SP]. Typical rules are as follows:
can only be ran in a "street" car (no race cars, no big engines, should be tame, and QUIET)
can only be ran X number of times (each event has it's own rules) minimum would be 3 times. 1- make notes kinda slow, 2- re-run notes kinda slow to check for accuracy, 3- final run a bit faster for tweaking.
It is indeed their own language, some use numbers (both up and down) some use words.
AFAIK all teams have a notes team. That is a sepperate team that just goes and makes the notes for the event. The actual competitors rarely do the recce, as the schedule is so tight. They may check the course once or so, but note making takes a LONG time to do, and the top guys don't have that luxury.
in the US you are handed the books, in a known set descriptor, and don't get to recce at all.