The 2022 Lock & Load Alpine will be introducing the X Board.
No, it’s not a new management committee… it’s a rally sign that we’ll use in conjunction with caution boards to show crews the exact location of a hazard.
The X board has been used very successfully on the Classic Outback Trial, where the terrain often disguises a hazard and makes them difficult to see. The caution board is placed on the approach to a hazard and the X board is placed right at the hazard itself.
The Alpine will use three levels of caution for hazards:
- CARE, signified by “!” in the road books,
- CAUTION, signified by “!!” in the road book and a “!!” board before the hazard on the road, and
- EXTREME CAUTION, marked with “!!!” in the road book and a “!!!” board before the hazard on the road.
The definitions are in line with Motorsport Australia guidelines and will be described in the Guide to the Event.
As well as a “!!” or “!!!” board before a Caution or Extreme Caution, the Alpine will use an “X” board located at the hazard itself.
“There’s always discussion about where the caution board should go” said Alpine Clerk of Course, Owen Polanski.
“A fixed distance of 100 metres can take a long time if you’re in tight twisty forest – but may be too close if you’re flat out in top gear on a fast East Gippsland forest road!”
On the Alpine, a caution board will be placed somewhere between 150 and 50 metres before the hazard, depending on the speed of approach. An X board will be placed at the hazard.
“Yes, it has worked a treat on the COT” said COT Event Director, Philip Bernadou.
“There’s no guesswork for drivers and no peering ahead for a hard to see dip or rut. Crews always have a timely warning and always know exactly where they need to take action.”
“I’m very pleased the Alpine is using them” Philip added. “You want some more boards?”
The COT’s X board innovation has proven itself and is popular with organisers and crews in events that have used them.
X will mark the spot on the 2022 Lock & Load Alpine!
Originally published in 2021. Updated for ALP22 in July 2022