Driver to co-driver communicating

KOH427

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How do you communicate to your partner while racing? Specifically, what verbal commands do you like the co-driver to give to help navigate?

I've tried different things but haven't settled on anything yet as a standard.
For instance;
Right 1, right 2, right 3, depending on the severity. Or maybe hard right, easy right or long sweeper.

It seems that the less wordy the commands the better. I'm not really into having a discussion about the right turn, just how sharp it is and when it's coming.

What about when there is a speed limit? It seems when the co-driver constantly gives out the current speed, it becomes a little confusing. Other verbal ques are hazards, long straights, multiple lines...neked wemens, ect.

Another problem is that is if the discussion isn't efficient and to the point, the co-driver wares out after a few hours and stops giving input.

Co-driver: Left turn ahead.
Driver: Left turn here?
Co-driver: Right
Driver: Turn right here???
Co-driver: No, turn left back there, you just missed it! :p

Maybe it's bin discussed before, I couldn't find it in a search.
 

PT9Baja

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I am just a fan, still , but I follow off road and rally racing to a lesser degree and have always thought that the rally pace notes and code talk to communicate between navigator and driver could work in off road. It seems like the AGM team is using a form of pace notes by watching their videos. My questions are , is it possible to make detailed pace notes for off road races? ,would detailed pace notes work in Baja racing ?, has anyone tried it ? If your wondering what pace notes are and how they work , you tube rally racing in car and google rally pace notes.
 

MX808

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Well my nvigator just tells me what is coming up by remembering the course in his head and with course notes that we get for that race. I do not run a gps but my navigator is really good. I dont think we have once had a problem with mixing up turns but i can see how it could be confusing. For me hearing the numbers all day and in such succession would drive me crazy. I hope that helps.
 

lauren

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well when im codriving i will tell the driver the degree of the turn like 90, 15, or 180, and the distance to the turn, hazzard, or speed zone. when we get in the speed zone i like to keep the driver 5 under the speed limit then it gives you some room for mistakes etc. i will tell him when he is about to go over or when he is right at 5 under, other then that with speed zones i dont say anything else so i dont confuse the driver.
 
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KOH427

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Hard right in
3
2
1

Caution in
3
2
1

sweeping left in
3
2
1

I assume this means that the new direction/event is given first and then the time at which it will happen is communicated through a backwards countdown?
 

maxyedor

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Get the distance rings up on the GPS and call out how far before a turn, and look at the speed, if you can, give a time to the turn. "Left turn, 1/3 of a mile" or "left turn, 30 seconds". I say correct instead of right, and use it all the time so it's natural. I use the same lingo and call out style for all marked hazards and call them while scanning for new rocks, holes, broken cars, armadillos, that sort of thing.

I also try and give any info I have about the turn, sweeper, hair-pin, 90º, rutted, sandy, take the far right line etc.

The driver really shouldn't have to say much, as I never load them with too many bits of info. Unless a turn is really back to back, or a turn into a double down, all I call is 1 turn/hazard ahead, keeps confusion to a minimum.

Then there's the other stuff I keep track of, I never give actual readings from the gauges unless they're abnormal, only "gauges are good", and I try to call that right before I radio pit with a RM update. The two guys I co-dog for still ask about the gauges because I'm pretty sure half the time they forget that just updated them 15 minutes ago and am watching like a hawk.

The desert is pretty wide open unlike a rally stage, so there's plenty of dead time between actual call outs, that's where the iPod and having a conversation about nothing comes into play. I seriously have no idea what we talk about while racing, but it keeps both of us calm and alert.
 

randy s

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first off, for me it sure helps having the same co-driver. if there's enough time, i don't mind at all if steve, my co-driver, is a bit descriptive on corners coming up . but generally he just says right/left or danger right/left. on the highway speed limit sections i tell steve to tell me when i'm under 53 mph and above 58 mph rather than keep calling out the speed all the time. on longer highway sections, you sorta get a feel of how fast your going alot of times after you get used to the rhythm. it seems like if you come from a rally background like the armins, that their style would be great, but trying to learn that in our venue from scratch would be pretty hard to do without alot of instruction and practice with the same co-driver for every race. there's a substantial amount of concentration required in a thousand mile race i would imagine to use the rally method. in any case scenario, it's very hard for anyone not to make mistakes every now and then in endurance desert racing and no system is perfect. mistakes are impossible to eliminate completely...with some drivers today, as opposed to pre GPS racers, i think they'd be lost half the time..i saw dan chamlee pulled over really early in the 1000 and i asked thomas what was up afterwards and he said their GPS failed early on in the race and they couldn't fix it and they still won their class the old fashioned way and the co-dog was there only to see to his other responsibilties. i thought that was cool.
 

BUSBY

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first off, for me it sure helps having the same co-driver. if there's enough time, i don't mind at all if steve, my co-driver, is a bit descriptive on corners coming up . but generally he just says right/left or danger right/left. on the highway speed limit sections i tell steve to tell me when i'm under 53 mph and above 58 mph rather than keep calling out the speed all the time. on longer highway sections, you sorta get a feel of how fast your going alot of times after you get used to the rhythm. it seems like if you come from a rally background like the armins, that their style would be great, but trying to learn that in our venue from scratch would be pretty hard to do without alot of instruction and practice with the same co-driver for every race. there's a substantial amount of concentration required in a thousand mile race i would imagine to use the rally method. in any case scenario, it's very hard for anyone not to make mistakes every now and then in endurance desert racing and no system is perfect. mistakes are impossible to eliminate completely...with some drivers today, as opposed to pre GPS racers, i think they'd be lost half the time..i saw dan chamlee pulled over really early in the 1000 and i asked thomas what was up afterwards and he said their GPS failed early on in the race and they couldn't fix it and they still won their class the old fashioned way and the co-dog was there only to see to his other responsibilties. i thought that was cool.

I agree 100%. Sad.




In my experience (having been co-dawg for quite a few others) ... you need to work out your own communication system.

Ron Stobaugh and I (myself as co-dawg) were in the BajaLite in the 1000 this year off the start for 380 miles. A couple times GPS and I were having issues and I had to switch to old school call outs. We had a pretty good rythm going for two guys who had just met and had NEVER been in a vehicle. We just spoke about it for a few minutes, I asked what he liked and we went for it. (but we're both a little bit older and have had a mile or two in vehicles pre-gps)

Best advice ... seat time with the same driver/co-driver.
 

harleys dad

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I agree 100%. Sad.




In my experience (having been co-dawg for quite a few others) ... you need to work out your own communication system.

Ron Stobaugh and I (myself as co-dawg) were in the BajaLite in the 1000 this year off the start for 380 miles. A couple times GPS and I were having issues and I had to switch to old school call outs. We had a pretty good rythm going for two guys who had just met and had NEVER been in a vehicle. We just spoke about it for a few minutes, I asked what he liked and we went for it. (but we're both a little bit older and have had a mile or two in vehicles pre-gps)

Best advice ... seat time with the same driver/co-driver.
Brian I think we had a good system, you having a good time? Heck yeh get em lol I personally could not handle someone telling me every turn when I can see it for myself Occasional holes-washouts or plane going the wrong way ok but to listen to some one and concentrate on driving forget it. If that is all you have been trained for maybe, but not for me. I just dont see how anybody can get down and concentrate on there driving with someone yaking all the time, even when you can clearly see where you are going.
 

PT9Baja

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[video=youtube;KFjRj25uclQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFjRj25uclQ&feature=related[/video] This seems simple sitting at my computor. I have never sat the real seat, but have spent a lot of time as a fan. I make no claim as an expert but it seems like the rally guys go so fast because they know whats coming with a pace note system , This code tells the driver whats ahead not whats in front of him. They set these notes on there pre run. Just thinking an off road team might go faster with the notes. I dislike the armchair racer saying stuff like they know it, and I have no first hand seat time. I am a fan of the sport just thinkin about it and wondering what the pros think.
 
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Polarcub

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For us it all depends who is driving, one driver is only concerned about traffic he knows what lines he wants and remembers it well so I watch the mirrors and call out hazards but for the other driver he needs more guidance with him I push him into lines and call out turns etc I try to keep the verbage simple and short easy right, hard right, at crossings or merge points just a simple clear to the right etc....It really IMO boils down to figuring out what works for you, personalities and abilities both come into play. Having a co-driver who can remain unemotional and calm/push the driver is a benefit...seat time together is the key and having clear expectations communicated before your in the car.
 

rickf

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Rally stages are very, very short compared to any off-road race.
Rally notes are also the only form of navigation allowed for most rallys.
 

BUSBY

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Brian I think we had a good system, you having a good time? Heck yeh get em lol I personally could not handle someone telling me every turn when I can see it for myself Occasional holes-washouts or plane going the wrong way ok but to listen to some one and concentrate on driving forget it. If that is all you have been trained for maybe, but not for me. I just dont see how anybody can get down and concentrate on there driving with someone yaking all the time, even when you can clearly see where you are going.

Sometimes I get amp'd up ... lol

Yes, we had a good system:

"you got this ... yeah, go go go" ... "holy crap, that was close ... good recovery"

Good times.

Like you say, sometimes the obvious doesn't need to be called out & it's time to enjoy what we are all doing and just have fun!
 

Tipracer

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Rally style notes are way to hard to read over rough terrain...that being said ANY reading of any type is difficult at speed (thats why most gauges are all good if they are standing straight up...what are you gonna do call out "temp at 196.5"). I have co-piloted for a LOT of teams and the first thing I try and do is get accustomed to the driver, I try to provide him with the best description of what he can not see...Depending on the driver I will will either countdown to a turn or obstacle WITH severity (i.e. 90 degree left in .....) or if they know the section I will just check them up or push them faster(again dependent on the driver). In sections like the San Felipe whoops its pretty apparent where to go, I will just make sure that we stay on the correct line and stay on top of the whoops...In tight and twisty sections I talk the entire time. As far a speed sections I will only tell my driver when we get too close to too fast. I too have had to use hand signals when the intercom craps out....because of that I have the reflective 3M fabric sewn to my left index finger of my race gloves to help the driver see at night, works well... Also after every race with a new driver I do a sort of debrief with that driver to see if there is anything I could improve, prevents me from carrying on annoying habits.
 
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