GPS/Road book ?

LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
In 2011 our GPS failed just before the start at the start line and had to use the book. Wasn't fun and we ended up following the dust instead. Probably would have been better if we had been prepared to use it. Not sure how this would work in our single seat car and will use GPS.
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
You will need a mileage display, besides that you can do it. There are no course markings what-so-ever so your co-rider better be on his game. Finding your way back to the race course after being lost can be dangerous and then your mileage will be all screwed up. You can still use a GPS but only to confirm your still on the track, and it also has the mileage display.
 

GDRBORETIRED

Well-Known Member
We had GPS problems in 2012 and didn't find the road book to be of much use without accurate mileages. In 2013 we had some times when a loose connection caused the GPS to quit. for a short period it was but a small problem. If you are going to use only the book you must have accurate mileage with the ability to reset and/or adjust/recalculate. Both the GPS and the book provide some information. IMHO both used together provide the BEST info.
 

biffgnar

Well-Known Member
Maybe a dumb question but if you have GPS why would you really need the book?
You don't. This last year when I was in the passenger seat I tried to keep up with both book and GPS, but when I was in the driver's seat my partner in the car gave up on the book and just used the GPS. The book is a cool souvenir to show folks back home though!
 

Hog Wild

Well-Known Member
Maybe a dumb question but if you have GPS why would you really need the book?
Here are a few reasons many like to use the roadbook:
- You want to be true to the vintage theme of NORRA and use paper roadbook as they did in the 60's in the original Mexican 1000 rather than high-tech GPS that's not vintage at all.
- Many hazards are marked in the roadbook, and none are marked in the NORRA GPS file.
- You know how far you'll go on the current road before you turn onto another road.
- You like the challenge of navigation, and take pride in going the full race without GPS.
- You want to learn about or practice roadbook navigation because you want to get into rally, or even race Dakar (i.e. Team El Martillo and others)
- You've entered the "roadbook only" class.
 

LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
Here are a few reasons many like to use the roadbook:
- You want to be true to the vintage theme of NORRA and use paper roadbook as they did in the 60's in the original Mexican 1000 rather than high-tech GPS that's not vintage at all.
- Many hazards are marked in the roadbook, and none are marked in the NORRA GPS file.
- You know how far you'll go on the current road before you turn onto another road.
- You like the challenge of navigation, and take pride in going the full race without GPS.
- You want to learn about or practice roadbook navigation because you want to get into rally, or even race Dakar (i.e. Team El Martillo and others)
- You've entered the "roadbook only" class.
True but seems like a handful for us single seat guys! I didn't the original races used road books. I thought it was just a race to La Paz. How you got there was up to you.
 

Hog Wild

Well-Known Member
True but seems like a handful for us single seat guys!
Imagine the consequenses for the bike guys when they take their eyes off the course to read the roadbook. Yet many of them still use the roadbook, for one or more of the reasons listed above. And imagine the guys doing other rallys, like Dakar, where the course is completely unknown to all the competitors, and GPS is not allowed. They have to do it without any pre-knowledge of the course, which often isn't the case in Baja since most of the roads are used regularly for racing. That extra challenge is part of the essence of a navigation rally. NORRA has adopted some aspects of those type of events, and avoided other aspects.

I didn't the original races used road books. I thought it was just a race to La Paz. How you got there was up to you.
I have a couple of scanned pages from Mike Pearlman of one of the roadbooks from the old days. I've posted it here before, but don't recall exactly where. The roadbook may have been more of a "suggested" route in those days. Either way, GPS didn't come until decades later.
 

Chris_Wilson

Well-Known Member
When did they (NORRA or SCORE) first start marking courses with markers on the ground? Before gps we used the road book (aka tulips) for prerunning but never during the race. And even if there were no course markers, and they often went missing, you knew where to go from experience, burned in tracks, and prerunning. Prior to course markings, it was head south and find the checkpoints and finish line. I'm not sure road books were ever really used while racing Baja in NORRA or SCORE.
 

GDRBORETIRED

Well-Known Member
You don't need the road book but there is a spot or two where you can fold up your car like a cheap suitcase if you don't heed the warning in the road book. That warning will NOT be on the GPS!
 

Hog Wild

Well-Known Member
These scans are from the 1971 Mexican 1000. Back in those days racers relied a lot more on themselves, and didn't have all the high-tech tools that are available today. No GPS, no sat or cell phones, no trackers, horrible radios, etc. Imagine what it was like when there were very few chase vehicles, and the only way south for them was down hundreds of miles of dirt race course. And even the top guys got lost once in a while. Those days had a whole different level of challenge!



 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
I am planning on doing it on a bike this year and haven't decided whether to run with or without GPS. I don't see why you guys can't have your co-driver keep up with the road book in your cars. I understand it would be more difficult in a single seater, but not impossible. Where to mount it for easy viewing and not obstructing gauges and vision will take some consideration I am sure.
If bike guys can do it, cars can.
 

oregoncoast

Well-Known Member
On the bike, I used GPS only. In the car we use GPS (iPad with puck, and a back-up small Garmin) and the road book. The road book has some of the hazards listed which is nice, and my navigator used it extensively to get us prepared for what was coming up. The one thing we need is a bigger, better odometer in the car that she can reset easily when needed to keep synced with the road book.
 

LantanaTX

Well-Known Member
The road book seems like a fun challenge for the rally fans, but I just don't see my self trying to use it in the single seater. The team I am with races SCORE and BITD when not racing NORRA, so we are more equipped to race with GPS and are heavily invested in the Lowrance equipment. Seems like we could also add the hazards from the book to the GPS file ourselves. We do this while pre-running other events. I do love the road book as a souvenir and we always keep it in the car for "just in case".
 

Rory

Crayola Killer
The first year Jeff Furrier and I raced the Mark Stahl Chenowth we didn't use the road book at all. The last 2 years Jeff would go through the book every night and look for the BIG danger spots, then write them on a piece of paper in order (Big enough to read while racing) with the mileage. This is what I plan on doing for Challenger IV, although I like the idea of the scrolling route book too, I just don't have any room whats-so-ever in the cockpit of the car.
 
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