Try it. You'll like it insist local automobile rallyists. To introduce this old-time and usually pleasant sport to newcomers, the Washington Rally Club is offering its ninth annual school for beginners Saturday morning, Jan. 15, at Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale campus.
The course is designed for people who know absolutely nothing about rallying, said faculty member Dick of Lieberman, 1975 Sports Car Club of America national champion. "The sport is for people who enjoy cars, want to see the countryside and enjoy a bit of competition."
Illustrated talks will cover the basic of the rules timekeeping, understanding route instructions and avoiding traps that cost time and distance. Students can test their new knowledge in the club's first 1977 rally on Sunday, the 16th.
"Bring a pad, pencils and three bucks," Lieberman advises. The cash is for the registration fee and the simplified, the new edition "makes explicit what was implicit in the old book," say Lieberman, a Senate committee staffer.
No fancy calculating equipment is needed. As for cars, "Any sort is fine." he says. Small or sports cars are more pleasant on the country roads rallys maneuver."
Rallying began as a social activity primarily with tourists rallying at a meeting place for conversation and refreshments.That still is an important part of the event, but now rallyist must follow printed route instructions and keep to a precise time schedule. Arriving late or early at any of the checkpoints en route incurs penalty points. A "clean sheet," no penalty points, is the ultimate goal.
Liberman feel he is typical of the several hundred serious local rallyists. "i began in the mid-60s," he recalls, "I stuck to it. Eventually, I enjoyed it."
He sys, "A rallyists must be a dogged pursuer. You may get lost, but you should go on to the finish to find out where you went wrong. If you perist, you won't get lost again. If you quit, you haven't given rallying a fair try."
The Washington Rally Club was chartered to promote interest and excellence in the sport, Lieberman points out. This is why experts are willing to help beginners learn tricks that may beat them in the future.
"A good rally is one people enjoy doing," he continues. "The quality of the instructions and selection of the routs are all part of it. Local standards are fairly high so new-customers will get a good grounding," he adds.
Students going on the first rally will have a route of about 75 miles with the faculty at the finish to review mistakes. "We may lose a few," admits Liberman. "But everyone will know where the finish line is and should go on. It is important to complete the course the first time no matter what."
Rallying requires two-person teams. One drives and one follows the route and keeps time.
Rallying is not easy. Lieberman repeats the sports old adage, "If you painted a white line down a straighr road and told everyone to follow it, someone would still get lost."
For details on the school, phone registrar Mike Humphrey, 978-8341. Classes begin at 9 a.m. an dend about noon.