2 – 5 December, 2021

Virtual chicanes – safe and easy

There has been some interesting social media comments since we posted that we’ll be using Virtual Chicanes in the 2019 Alpine.

Chicanes are often used on Special Stages overseas on very fast stretches of road. Overseas though, then tend to be *real* chicanes, made out of massive hay bales or tractor tyres. Real chicanes work, but they’re difficult to manage and, they cause damage to vehicles if there is a miscue.

Virtual chicanes are really simple.

They’ll be called up in your roadbook. And, there will be warning signs at 300m, 200m and 100m.

After you go past the VC START boards you need to brake and get down to the proscribed speed – before the VC END boards.

Rallysafe will go green as soon as you have achieved the speed.

Then, you can immediately get back on the loud pedal.

This video from Molly Taylor and Malcolm Read from the 2018 Eureka Rally shows how easy it is.

Note that Malcolm calls the virtual chicane a “brake and speed zone”. Molly told us that they pacenote the VC that way to reinforce what needs to be done. Clever.

Molly Taylor & Malcom Read, 2018 Eureka Rally. (Full video here)

We’ll use virtual chicanes sparingly on the 2019 Alpine and only where we need to for safety reasons.

Note that the Alpine will NOT have Restricted Speed Zones on special stages, but we may use them on transports in sensitive areas. In a Restricted Speed Zone you need to enter the zone at the proscribed speed and maintain it for the whole zone.

Australia seems to be setting the trend in our use of Virtual Chicanes. A Finnish WRC blog, “It Gets Faster Now” talks about chicanes and includes the video from Molly Taylor in their story “Virtual Chicane Dilemma” as an exemplar of how it should be done.

We’re really positive about Virtual Chicanes. They give Organisers a simple and effective safety tool, with no risk for competitors.

And there are no tractors or bloody big round hay bales involved!

More reading
FIA under pressure to introduce ‘virtual chicanes’ in WRC
Virtual Chicane Dilemma
An Unexpected Tractor On The Stage Caused This WRC Driver To Crash Out
Virtual chicanes ‘would work perfectly’ – leading Rally GB figure

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