Staying On Time

It's called Time-Speed-Distance for a reason. 



Cascade rallies measure time in seconds. Time displayed on the Competitor Richta app is official rally time.

Time yourself out from a CZT using the clock displayed on the Competitor Richta app.

When instructed to pause for a specified length of time, track the length of the pause with any accurate timepiece. For example, the instruction PAUSE 15 seconds at STOP tells you to pause for 15 seconds when you come to an intersection where you have to stop at a stop sign.


The route instructions will direct you to average a speed beginning at a specific reference. For example, the instruction CAST 25 at “SPEED LIMIT 25” tells you to change your average speed to 25 mph at a sign saying speed limit 25. From that point on, you continue to average that speed until a subsequent instruction directs otherwise.


Mileage in the route instructions in the OM column is official rally mileage. Official mileage is measured to the hundredth mile.

Compare your trip odometer to official mileage at the end of the odometer calibration zone. When distance is provided in the route instructions, you'll know how to adjust for your odometer.

If your odometer is greatly different than official mileage, you might even want to adjust your speed by the odometer calibration factor.

Odometer correction factor

Use the following formulas to correct for any difference between your vehicle's odometer and Official Miles:

Odometer correction factor = Your odometer miles / Official miles

Your expected miles = Official miles X Odometer correction factor


Your odometer miles = 9.5, Official Miles = 10.00, CAST 45

Odometer correction factor = 9.5 / 10 = 0.95

Expected miles = 15.00 X 0.95 = 14.25 your miles

Assuming your speedometer is off by the same amount, you can adjust your average speed by the correction factor.

Your adjusted speed = CAST X Odometer correction factor


Adjusted speed = 45 X 0.95 = 42.75 mph

If your odometer miles are less than Official miles, you must drive slower. If your odo is greater than Official, you must drive faster to stay on time. (Slimmer = Slower. Fatter = Faster.)

Tips for staying on time

Follow the route attentively and accurately. You can lose a lot of time u-turning to get back on course.

In general, drive a little faster than CAST. You'll need time to safely navigate corners, slow to read signs, and stop at stop signs.

Pauses may be provided where needed. If you don’t need the full pause, wait out any extra time safely on the other side of the intersection. Keep track of pause time. Pauses are included in official leg times; if you skip a pause, you may earn penalty points for being early.

Leave a little early from CZTs and pauses.

Learn to use time allowances to your advantage, especially at a CZT.

Calculate your odometer correction factor and use it to adjust CAST.

Beyond these SOP tips, you need equipment to improve accuracy of distance measurements and to calculate perfect arrival times.

Equipment and Apps

Distance-measuring devices interfaced with the vehicle or GPS-based smart device odometer apps can provide much more accurate distance measurements. Some even provide odometer calibration.

TSD calculations can be made using a calculator or laptop. Where mileages are provided in the instructions, perfect arrival times can be calculated ahead of time.

Even more accuracy can be achieved with a custom-designed road rally computer using vehicle-interfaced distance inputs or GPS distance input. Such systems can be quite expensive.

Smart device apps with functionality similar to a rally computer, but at a much lower cost and with improved ease of use, are increasingly available.

For links to popular rally equipment and apps, see Appendix A of Gary Starr’s TIPS FOR NOVICE TSD RALLYISTS.

Click here to continue