“What do you do for the rally?” Part 1: The Crew

Cast of characters:

Sergei Remennik – crew driver

Mark Rozin – crew co-driver

Oleg Krylov – manager of S.Remennik/M.Rozin crew

There is a little less than a week before the start of the FIA European Rally Championship second round – the Rally Islas Canarias Ceremonial start will be held on 3 May 2018; but do you know when the rally actually starts for each member of a large rally team?

Perhaps the most intense work for these guys begins with the immediate start of any rally: they attract fans attention, experts track them with stopwatches in their hands, interviewers wait for them at the finish of stages, and journalists can predict all the breakdowns at the special stage by online results… But what is considered to be a difficult work? After all, daily routine basic work is extremely important for the rally to take place for the crew and for the sports team to make plans. What is the sports component for the driver and the co-driver before the rally start, they will tell us.

"What do you do for the rally?" Part 1: The Crew
“Very difficult” work during the rally

Sergei Remennik, crew driver, “Work on the next rally begins immediately after the previous race finish, when we watched all the on-boards and figured out our mistakes. When there is free time, I start watching the next rally on-boards. These are our last year’s video recordings and records of Alexey Lukyanuk’s performance. Watching our on-boards, I analyze how well we worked together, how punctually Mark gave me information and how correctly I worked it out. Watching Lukyanuk/Arnautov’s on-boards, I draw attention to the same moments because their crew level, of course, is higher than ours and there are nuances that we can use. Also, I try to spend time training with the simulator for two or three hours and build the stages in Richard Burns Rally, since we won’t have asphalt trainings this year, as we are literally overwhelmed with the main work. Test runs will be held immediately before the Rally Islas Canarias start. For comparison, before the same rally in 2017, we drove more than 300 “test” kilometers”.

"What do you do for the rally?" Part 1: The Crew
Mark can often be found behind “coloring” or rewriting a clean his pacenotes

Mark Rozin, crew co-driver, “It’s impossible not to think about rallying because some part of the brain is constantly occupied by these racing 360 days a year! Planning a working schedule for a week-month-quarter, you always need to keep in mind that somewhere around here, in these dates, there will be a rally and we’ll “get out” of ordinary life for a week. Before the rally start I watch the videos from the special stages, compare the tracks, whether the route coincides with last year. If there are sections of last year’s route, we adapt the previous pacenotes during the recce, and not make the new ones. It will give us more time for the new roads. Everything else will have been prepared by our sports team and Oleg Krylov, the crew manager, by the beginning of the rally. The most difficult task for Sergei and me before the rally is to run away from work in time and get to the airport on schedule to fly away, and then we are met, accommodated and we join in the usual rally timetable. So our work before the rally is the coolest – we accumulate peace of mind and comfort with our families, so that we could leave for the race! (laughing)”.

For Oleg Krylov – the crew manager – the rally begins with the publication of the first documents for the event. He sends application forms for crew participation in the rally and for test runs, coordinates the crew and the rally organizers, not forgetting to track all key dates in the rally schedule (for example, the deadline for starting fees payment). He finds out how to fly better, and whether there are any “bonus” opportunities from the organizer to make logistics for the team a little easier.

"What do you do for the rally?" Part 1: The Crew
Sergei Remennik, Oleg Krylov and Mark Rozin

Oleg Krylov, manager of Sergei Remennik/Mark Rozin crew, “For each rally I make the so-called team timetable – this is a book, where you can find who should be engaged and what should be done in the week of the rally. Ideally, every mechanic should have his own book, the engineer – his own, the manager should have the third, the crew – the fourth. For every team member I describe his duties, the time when he needs to arrive at the rally, and, of course, the specifics of this event, including quotes from the regulations, especially important moments and so on”.

"What do you do for the rally?" Part 1: The Crew
A pleasant part of the pre-start events is an autograph session

For example, the crew book looks like a detailed extended rally program with notes. Let us consider the section describing activities before the start: the time of arrival in the country and the city of the rally, the time of receipt of documents for reconnaissances, the time of appearance for administrative checks, the schedule and procedure for the recce (which sections can be passed two times, how to move from one special stage to another in order to minimize the mileage and leave the time to work directly with the pacenotes), the time for participation in free practice and qualifying stage, the participation in an autograph session and compulsory driver’s official photo, the Ceremonial start. And then every racing day is described the same way, until the departure to the airport after the rally.

If during the racing week someone of the team has a question – most likely Oleg knows the exact answer.

"What do you do for the rally?" Part 1: The Crew
Such media activities are also in the book “team schedule”