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  Home > Specials > Rally glossary > Rally Glossary C
Rally Glossary C
Car wheels never sit in absolute upright position but are tilted either inward or outward. When top of wheel is more inward than the bottom, camber angle is negative, otherwise positive.

Chase car
In the days of free servicing, mechanics followed the rally cars through whole route, except actual stages. Service van with full compliment of tools and spares met rally car in pre-designated places but for emergency service an ordinary road car trailed competitors. These cars, known as chase cars, were usually high-performance big estate or station wagon with couple of mechanics and selected spares.

Term originally from track racing and is rarely used in rallying, chicane refers to S-shaped bend, usually artificially constructed from tyre barriers. Aim is to divide long straight in two sections to keep speeds down at safer range.

Within groups rally cars are divided into classes. For further information, see car classifications.

Clerk of the course
Supreme officer in charge of the rally. He often has assistant or deputy clerks who see to certain aspects of the rally like route, medical or press service etc.

Cloverleaf format
Name adopted to mean rally format which is centered around single service with route spreading out from there like leaves of a clover.

Place where driver and co-driver sit in the car.

Also called navigator, co-driver is the one sitting next to the driver and calling out pace notes. Term navigator originates from era when rallies did not consist of timed special stages but were road map reading exercises. Similarly, co-driver is a term which actually was born in the same era as crew was not so strictly "the driver and the other guy", rather "the driver and the guy who drove when other one took a nap".

Competitive section
Timed speed test on roads that are NOT closed to the public traffic. Compare to special stage. These were only used in Safari Rally.

Blend of rubber used to achieve optimal performance from different tyres. Softer compound tyres offer more grip but wear out sooner. Softer tyres also warm up faster (due to extra movement inside the rubber) and generally provide more performance.

Commission Sportive Internationale, formed in 1963 by FIA to govern international motorsport. Was reformed in 1979 to become FISA.

In any form of motorsport drivers seek shortest possible route through the intended route. While on any track racing (F1 for example) drivers are limited to the track itself by either barriers or low traction outside paved surface, rally is different. It is often useful to clip inside of the bend, so-called apex, to both reduce total distance by few centimeters and maintain higher speed through corner.

Cutting tyres
All tyres have more or less grooves. Tarmac tyres because of regulations, gravel and snow tyres because grooves help clear out stones and snow so that rubber can bite down to hard base. If existing grooving is not sufficient, for example during rain on tarmac or running first on dirty gravel roads, extra grooves are cut into surface of the tyre with special tools.

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Co-driver (on left) reading notes to a driver Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window
tyre cutting
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Cutting tyres. Note how technician has already cut one bigger W-shaped tread by connecting smaller lines with his tool. Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window