As you would expect the epay Silver Fern Rally is a mammoth logistical exercise each year. The marathon rally sees the field of cars contesting over 1250 kilometres of high speed competitive Special Stages over the course of eight days. Of course safety always has been and always will be paramount and this year the introduction of RallySafe to the event will increase safety standards even further.
Rallysafe is a tracking system that enhances safety and improves timing accuracy. Rallysafe provides timing to the millisecond while it also provides instant communication from each vehicle on the event. Should a vehicle drop below a set speed for a period of time or should there be a high-g impact the information is relayed to rally headquarters and the appropriate actions can be taken. The system can also warn approaching vehicles of situations and cannot be turned off and does not rely on vehicle power making them extremely effective in all situations.
For the event the major benefits are the saving in radio tracking, the live stage timing and of course safety! Each car is fitted with a unit and each stage start and finish has a tablet computer for timing. The system is high tech and is used in the New Zealand Rally Championship but this will be a big test over 8 days.
Steve Foster, Clerk Of The Course for the epay Silver Fern Rally has used the system at other events and is enthused by the advantages it provides to a large event such as the Silver Fern. "It really is good for managing the competing field," he says. "It is a very good tracking programme, giving a second by second location of each car, both competing and official vehicles. If a vehicle suffers a g-force of over 14g's it sends an automatic alert to Rally Headquarters and allows us to respond quicker. It has other functions too, such as a push to pass where you can alert the car in front if you are close enough to pass. One facility in it allows us to send a text message to all or any cars for whatever reason to manage the field. It is also a way for cars to report to Rally HQ. They can push a red button on their touch screen if they encounter an incident or accident and should it not be as serious as first thought they can downgrade it by pushing okay." Steve points out that many of the international competitors in the event may not have encountered Rallysafe before. "It is not widely used in some countries yet but once they use it they will appreciate it."
The system is also used in other sports such as jet boat racing and for the epay Silver Fern Rally it brings with it massive advantages.
The epay Silver Fern Rally 2014 will start from Picton on Saturday 8 November 2014. That night competitors will stay in Blenheim before crossing the island the following day to overnight in Westport on Sunday night. Competitors will then head back across the island on Monday to spend the following evening in Christchurch. Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill are the destinations for the next three nights before the rally travels into the magnificent southern lakes area with a Friday night stopover in Wanaka. The rally ends on Saturday 15 November in Queenstown.
The epay Silver Fern Rally 2014 consists of the New Zealand Silver Fern Historic Trophy for 2-wheel-drive cars that comply with various historic criteria as listed in the event regulations and the New Zealand Silver Fern Challenge which caters for 2-wheel-drive cars that comply with the Motorsport New Zealand Schedule A safety requirements. Within each of those sections there are various classes.
The rally will cover 1250 kilometres of competitive Special Stages over eight days and organisers are promising some new stages and new locations along with some roads that have been used previously but in differing configurations. The epay Silver Fern Rally provides competitors with a fantastic rally experience amidst some awe inspiring scenery.
The rally enjoys support from epay, Malcove, Kiwimaps and Brita Safety.
For media information contact:
Lindsay Beer – epay Silver Fern Rally 2014 Media Manager
Ph +64 21 351 499
For event information contact:
Paul Smith - Rally Secretary
Ph +64 274 852234
For more information on the event visit www.silverfernrally.co.nz