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ekim952522000

Best way to get into to rally

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ekim952522000

Het guys looking for tips to get started in rallying.

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heymagic

What is your end goal in rally ? Driver, co-driver, car owner, scrutineer, sweep, organizer, sanctioning body owner

Rally is full of opportunity to be part of a great community, NASA does an incredible job of making new people part of the sport.

 

 

Gene McCullough

Olympus Chief Scrutineer

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ekim952522000

My goal is to be a driver and my girlfriend would like to be a co driver with me she loves rally to.

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Knestis

Best first step is to go to an event and either work as a volunteer or help a crew. Where are you located?

 

Additional steps require quickly increasing quantities of $$. You can rallycross - short-course, one-at-a-time races in dirt fields or parking lots - pretty much any car but the commitment required to run stage events is going to cost. What do you predict your budget to be?

 

K

 

EDIT - Hey, Gene. It was cool to see your name appear in the rallying forums...

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Anders Green
Het guys looking for tips to get started in rallying.

Take a look on http://linaracing.com/. Topics there include:

 

# I want to drive!

# I want to navigate!

# I want to crew!

# How much does it cost?

 

Cheers,

Anders

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bjorn240

Anders,

 

I searched, but failed to find,

 

#I want to party!

 

Regards,

- Christian

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Anders Green
Anders,I searched, but failed to find,

#I want to party!

Jeez, Christian, I can't give away all my secrets!!!

 

Besides, there's always http://IWantToParty.com/ for that. Oh, hey, that web site actually does exist.

 

Anders

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ekim952522000

I am located in northern california about a hour outside of sacramento

 

I have about 1000$ a month I can set aside each month for rally but this is for me and my GF and I would like to buy a cheap used rally car (It looks like from reading that I would want a VW) to start doing rallyX and get into stage rally's

 

My plan is to buy a used one first figure out what goes into a rally car then build my second, which I will be using a honda for because those are the cars I know how to work on plus I'm just a honda head.

 

I will start reading the links you gave me right now.

 

I really appreciate your guys help, I tryed to get help other places and the ignored saying it's to expensive and you cant do it.

 

I also am setting aside 250$ a month right now saving up to go to the TeamOneil Rally school

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vingoehna

hey ekim, I too am in a similar cituation...wanna get started, but i cant quite figure out this process of becoming licensed and where to go to really get started. if you plan on going to any events and want some company let me know, most of my friends arent really into this kind of stuff or dont have the time etc etc to come along with me so i dont have anyone to roll with but i gotta start going so anyway, if that helps let me know. i bounce around between here (sf) and lodi (pretty close to sacramento) all the time so im close by

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starion887

.............. I tryed to get help other places and the ignored saying it's to expensive and you cant do it.

 

 

Yes, it sure makes the rest of us wonder how we ever got started! Rally ain't cheap but you can go out and participate on the type of budget you are stating. Will you have a top car? No, but it sounds like you are realistic about budgeting and have scoped out costs enough to go at an appropriate cost level for starters. It's a ton of fun,and you'll be at a good number of events in a year with some care in spending that level of $$. Good to have you in the mix....mixed nuts, that is! Wish you were out here in the east and we could get you working at Rally WestVA in June.

 

Regards,

Mark B.

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ekim952522000

Thanks for the input Mark, I'm not to worried about having a super competive car in the begining because I'm sure like I learned in AutoX and at HPDE's the car is not going to be the thing holding me back for a while it will be me holding the car back.

 

OK so heres what i'm looking at. (What do you guys think of this order)

 

Steps

1. Volunteer for a event

2. Hopefully be on someones crew and help out

3. Get a used rally car

4. start rallycrossing

5. at this point I should have enough to go to team Oneil rally school.

 

.......now heres the question what is the next step? How do I go from rallyX to stage rally's how do you make that jump? where to you get a lincense from? How do you know when you enough expierance to get your lincense?

 

Thanks again By the way my names Mike.

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Knestis

The steps you define are pretty smart.

 

Licensing is really not a big deal. Contact the organization you want to run with and they'll give you the details.

 

K

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heymagic

Kirk, it was neat to see your name again, when did you leave the NW?

 

Mike , go to Rim if possible and get acquainted with NASA and the California crew. Volunteering at all the positions is helpful. Being at scrutineering will help you spot was is approved, important, safe, silly and so on. There are many ways to build a car, install a skid plate and so on. You'll be able to get a close look at cars similar to what you want. Maybe you can make some connections and get help building or parts or..or... Working stages will show you how cars are started and scored. It is important to understand how the process works . You'll better know what to do if there is a time delay or stage canceled or a scoring problem. Rally is much more than hammer down on the gravel.

 

Build or buy...tough call. If you have a few skills and a couple buddies building isn't bad. You can easily buy trouble also. You can't always buy what you really want either. NEVER buy a rally car that doesn't have a logbook without a scrutineer looking at it first. Not all cars can get a logbook. You can assemble a car in a month for 3 to 4k and be racing, or you can be one of the career builders who spend 3 years building a car that still doesn't run....

 

Membership and license can be obtained at NASA events. There is a novice class to attend at the first 3 events. Rally Xs are a great way to get your feet dusty and learn some of the basics. You don't need to be wealthy to rally, have fun and finish well.

 

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions here.

 

Gene McCullough

Olympus Chief Scrutineer

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ekim952522000

Well I am working on my competetion lincense for honda challenge right now and have built my own honda challenge car from the ground up (So I do have car building skills, Just have not built a rally car) I also have a 93 integra in great working order that I could make a rallycar and bought it with the intention to, but most people told me this was a bad idea and to buy a used one. Also I already have a seat and all drivers safety equipment. so I'm good to go there.

 

How do I go about volunteering to work at the rim? I would love to do that!

 

Also of the car classes which one is the cheapest class that allows the least amount of modifications? And is also the best begineer class.

 

Also if you guys wouldn't mind discussing the diffrence in building a Rally car compared to a roadrace car? (The one thing I know is that in a rally car you usually seam weld the whole thing) Also what diffrence would I have to make in the cage from reading the rulebook it seems basically the same to me except you would want a X in the roof and usally more gussets in the cage, (Also need to be concerned with passsenger safety)

 

If I can have a car up and going for 4 grand then that looks like a good way to go. hmmmmm.......

 

I have to say you guys are very helpful and if this is the kinda people that rally than I'm looking forward to it even more.

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Andrew_Frick

The cheapest class is up for some debate. The stock class on the surface is cheap, because it allows the least modification to the car. However, it can get pricey if you find a weak point in your car like say ball joints or wheel bearings. And you have to start changing the parts every race because acura had a bad design that year. M2 can be much cheaper in this regard. Since you can mix and match parts from different cars to find the most durable solution. Which is really the main goal for a beginer.

 

Having been in your position not that long ago. I had a car that was stripped and stitch welded before I decided to buy my rally car used. It turned out to be a much better financial decision because I was racing sooner and when I started smashing up parts I didn't feel so bad as it was just some car I bought not one I had spent a year or 2 building.

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starion887

Hi Mike,

 

Well, you certainly ask some good questions. In building the Honda, did you build in a cage? (I presume so but don't know jack about that series.) If you have been through that, then you can do all of a rally car, no sweat.

 

OBTW, I think some of the advice to buy vs build is OK for some folks. Some people don't have car skills and don't want or have time to develop them. That's OK, and 'buy' makes sense. And it does take time, as you know. But, if you build, you'll know the car inside and out, have much lower car reapir bills, have a more reliable rally car because you can spot problems developing; besides, we've seen a few folks buy a rally car and end up with a real basket full of problems.

 

As for building an average rally vs a road race car (this is not for a top rally car):

- Engine and trannie stuff is pretty much the same, power is power, and the same with torque, drive ratios, etc. Shocks to the drivetrain pieces can be less than in road racing, but are often combined with strong suspension shocks and sudden changes in rotation speed (at the end of a jump), and so overall rally presents the same level of drivetrain problems as for road racing, just in a different way. If you are keeping to low power, near stock, to start with, you will probaly do OK with good quality stock shafts; if you pick a car that is commonly rallied, it'll be easy togather info from the experience of others.

- Cages are the same except for details of certain pieces; do a weld-in cage (even though FIA and NASA rules allow bolt-in) so you can run R-A events too and have better re-sale value in the car if you ever sell it.

- Safety stuff is about the same as far as installing seats, belts, etc., expect that you are doing 2 sets. There are specialty items like triangles and a spill kit, but those are trivial.

- Suspension is quite different. There are ways to do it stock based with limited capabilites (limited by spring height vs. rate in the stock spring perches and what ever shocks/struts you can buy), or go out and buy rally suspension. (Or start stock and prgress to rally suspesion as budget permits.) Either way, you are working on getting a decent damping rate with moderate rate springs and higher ride height, not low height and very stiff springs with the holy grail of limiting body roll as in track racing.

- Attention needs to be paid to things like exhaust systems and motor/trannie mounts: the former to take bashing of rocks, and the latter to limit movement and breakage.

- Stock stering components seem to to take rally abuse well, so that's typically an area to do good maintenance and leave stock, in a basic rally car.

- Electrical system needs to be strong to support the operation of multiple lights and have battery capacity to keep the car going if the alternator fails

- Attention to detials to keep parts on the car is needed more on rallying. Securing wiring and other parts so that they do not fall off or chafe with the constant shocks and vibrations of rally roads is important for reliability.

- Fuel systems can stay stock or go with a fuel cell and appropriate lines, etc.

- An odometer is definitely something that you won't find in a road race car.

- Seam welding: Maybe optional. Out East here, we don't see as much in the way of harsh road conditions as some of the western events. And in any case, we personally just slow down. Not the most competitive way to do it, but it allows us to runs cars for years and never seam weld a one. You might want to ask around out there and look at various cars. (Gene's suggestion to help at scrutineering is an excellent one!) With a Honda or Acura, not seam welding may be a bad idea, as they tend to be a bit on the flimsy side, IMO. Get a Mitsubishi Mighty Max pick-up and you will never have to add a stitch to the beast!

 

Did that leave out any key systems???

 

AS for progression of getting started, working events will help you understand the whole scene and the general flow of events. Working as service crew for an event or 2 will expose you to the competitor aspect of rallies.

 

As a next step, rally-x is OK to get a few basic car handling techniques developed on dirt, but IMO, rally-x teaches one a limited amount about rallying on stages. One problem is that you learn the same course and how to attack it as hard as possible. If you go out on stages for the first half dozen events with that approach, you are pretty well certain to crash, maybe on the first stage. Learning to drive well on stages is a slow process for most of us, that is a series of learning how to read approaching curves and setting up on the right lines despite instinct to do otherwise, learning how to read the road surfaces, working on team communications from the stage notes to the driver's brain, seeing humps and jumps and off-camber places in the road that will not be in the stage notes and learing how to handle them, and so on. Rally-x teaches only a bit about lines in corners and jumps and cambers and surfaces, and even then, not how to do it 'on the fly' on a road you have never seen before. Bottom line, I would go to a few rally-x's to shake out the car and learn a bit, but not spend a ton of time in rally-x, if your goal is to stage rally.

 

One key thing left out on the list is co-driving. Somebody on the team needs to know the basics of what is going on; you DON"T want to try to learn this totally on the fly at your first event. It can be done, but adds more pressure and creates frustrating problems that might result in a DNF to try to pick this up as an afterthought. If your lady wants to co-drive, get her into some co-driving classes to learn some of what is going involved. (See if both of you can attend the beginning competitors class at Rim and nearby events; I dunno if it is allowed, but some events do) Try to spend some time with an experienced co-driver learning the ropes. In fact, running an event or 2 with an experienced co-driver will solve that set of problems and be a good way to have your partner learn the trade. ANd, if you are going to be competing with your honey, make sure the 2 of you can work together under real pressure; us guys tend to sometimes more "freely express frustration' to our dear ones than we would to others, and it typically gets noticable to severly worse when you are the driver; that can be bad for a relationship!

 

As for the Team O'Neil school, I am personally neutral on that one. That's not a negative; I just see pluses and minuses to schools, and since I never attended one (expcet '99 Sawmill as a kind of refresher), I can't judge very well on the cost-to-benefit ratio to a totally new rally driver.

 

One thing that might help relieve some confusion: There is NO set path to enter US rallying except to: get a car and safety equipment, buy a NASA or R-A memberhsip and license, enter an event, attend the required beginner's classes, and GO. Maybe that is what is so confusing; it's just that easy. So you could jump right in like many of us have. Is there a better path? Yes, to some degree, and I think that is what we are working on in these posts. But ultimately, you have to quit pussyfooting around, commit the $$ and time to actually to get the car, get it ready, get the license, enter an event, and start that first stage with your hands shaking and sweeting and with enough butterflies in your stomach to make you almost throw up. Gosh, doesn't that sound great?!

 

Well, keep asking and get started.

 

Regards,

Mark B.

 

PS: Edit to add a few more notes....

- Andrew hits the nail on the head for M2 (G2 for Rally-America) being the least expensive. 2WD, non-turbo' pretty basic. You are pretty free to replace stock stuff with what ever works or is cost-effective and do a lot of overall car mods as you please. Read the latest tech report on the R-A Tech Fourms, and how one top PGT team was DQ'd from their PGT finish at the recent Oregon Trails Rally for not have the power window motor in the left rear door. That's the right way to enforce Production class rules, but gives you a flavor of what you need to do to be legal in Production classes. No thanks for me!

- As for the people in rally, well that is one reason I'm in rally and not in road racing. Folks here and in rally in general seem a bit more down to earth and open. But that just may be me. And maybe it has to do with some weird subconscious attraction to dirt......

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bjorn240

Mike,

 

Mark is right on the money. I agree that rallycross is probably of little lasting value as a training tool for rallying, but on the other hand, it's extremely cheap seat time, so why knock it.

 

I do think that time and money spent at Tim O'Neils (or an equivalent school in Europe) is well spent. I think the average driver will learn more in a class at Tim's than he will in a full season of rallying, and the cost of Tim's school is roughly equivalent to the cost of one rally.

 

I'd echo Mark's point about co-driving. I originally did it as a cheap way to get into the sport, and found out I like it so much that it stuck. I don't expect that'll be the case for you, but you will certainly learn a lot about how rallies operate and maybe even a bit about rally drivnig, sitting in the right hand seat. Having a sense of how a rally operates and how controls work will make your first rally as a driver very relaxing. Also, it's a very cheap endeavor and way to discover if rallying is what you expected, especially given you already have a suit and a helmet.

 

And I do think you'd benefit from using an experienced navvie for the first event or two, again, just so you don't have to worry about that when you're driving. Also, having the notes come "just so" for the whole event is part of what makes rallying fun.

 

Welcome to the sport. If you or your wife have any co-driving questions, please feel free to ask!

 

- Christian

http://www.christianedstrom.com

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ekim952522000

Hmmmm still up in the air on building or buying I don't think I will be able to make that decision until I go help at a couple events.

 

I did not build the cage in my current bar but I have put cages in 2 other cars and I can rebuild a honda tranny and engine in my sleep.

 

I see your point about buying someone else's problem car I'm really leaning towards building it (But would like to go to a few rally's first and see what I'm up against )

 

What type of shock is a good enrty level one that wll hold up does anyone use a off the shelf koni? Or would It better not to waste the money and go with somthing like DMS right off the bat?

 

And thanks for the awesome break down of rally car components that was a great! read. Those were execellent points about RallyX that I never thought of.

 

Also I did not relize production was so strict and is definetly not the class I'm looking for because I have tons of extra honda parts around my house that would work on my car. and could see a huge expense having to always buy the exact stock parts for that year.

 

I am amazed it is that simple to get into rally (and excited it is) because the lincensing process I'm going threw for Honda Challenge it rather long.

 

also I like the idea of using a expierenced co driver for atleast my first couple of events. I don't forsee and problems with my girlfriend as the co driver as we do alot of racing together (but you never know, she really wants to co drive so hopefully it will work out)

 

Where can I find info on the rim as far as being a volunteer and attending these classes you were talking about I'm ready to quit pussyfooting around and spend some $$

 

Also what would be the best thing/Position to volunteer for for someone who wants to eventually become a driver?

 

Is there some dead time where I could go around check out the cars and talk with all of you guys at the event? I would also love to be there for the inspection of the cars before the race. When is the rim of the world rally?

 

Oh yeah and I'm definetly going to the teamOneil rally school I'm going to treat it as a vacation. I'm hoping to build a little confidence in my dirt driving skills before going to my first satge rally, I am also hoping it will help get me off on the right foot so I don't develop any bad habits that I have to fix later.

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IHBObry

Both Mark and Mr Edstrom give great advice, and do so freely. Listen to them.

 

I would add 1 item, Navigate while ramping up any driving effort.

 

Reasons:

 

Cost is less even if you buy good rides if you do not have a friend in the drivers seat already; and even without that you can find a ride without doing so if you talk the talk and are honest about you skills or lack there of; etc.. This will expose you to the cockpit enviroment that rally cross can't replicate, and TSD only hints @. An example would be if you pay 50% of the entry fees @ 4 events as a codriver you will expend what it costs to run a car for 1 week end. Add a dinner or 2 plus & well stuff you can't imagine & 1/2 the room and your still doing 3-4 times more rally @ the end of the year for the same dollars. No glory other than to a few others who understand but heck only drivers race for glory right?

 

It also allows you to learn from someone who has done 1-99 more rallies than you without the pressure of being on the wrong side of the car with the pedals and steering thing. Because... RX and TSD only have elements of whats going to happen. It's not what you what you feel 7+ miles into a stage.

 

You will learn codrivers can help you and in fact control the driver/car. (when he does listen and trust you) Almost as good as a psp.

 

It will take the pressure off of you when your getting the car together because your not rushing to do so, and you can justify your codriving/build/finance yourself without pressure. (your not getting sponsorship so forget that)

 

Now that I've revealed some secrets of the rt side of the car I'm sure to be never accepted by the brotherhood but (IMHO) it is the easiest way I can see of starting and learning without putting the life of others, or finances in peril. I left out putting your life in peril because you better understand and assess that risk before you do anything further.

 

Bernie

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starion887

 

It also allows you to learn from someone who has done 1-99 more rallies than you without the pressure of being on the wrong side of the car with the pedals and steering thing. Because... RX and TSD only have elements of whats going to happen. It's not what you what you feel 7+ miles into a stage.

 

Bernie

 

Hmmmm, I sure wish I could have put it that well; that is a good suggestion that Bernie is presenting.

 

To add in a few more notes: To be fair, buying can work out poorly, BUT it can also work out great. For every car that is a basket case, there is one that is quite good. (I bought 2 that have worked out well.)

 

As for working an event or 2, I would try very, very hard to work timing controls; working a start and a finish would be ideal. You may see things happen that you don't yet know why, but it'll make sense in time. This may be hard to swing on a first event (flying finish person would be the easiest to wrangle). But, regardless, just go and don't give up and work wherever you can. Scrutineering is second actually in my book, as you can learn lot just hanging around tech unoffcially, gawking at and peering under cars at the motels, at parc expose or ferme, or in a long service break. (Hey, you can volunteer to work in the service area on some events too.)

 

The school is good; sounds like you will go with a mind 'like a sponge'!

 

Suspension...hmmmmm.....DMS is certainly a good solid choice, but there has been talk about HotBits lately, as a less pricey option. I would steer you towards Larry Parker in MI for Hotbits. Like all of us, he has preferences, but I still trust his info and perspective. (Despite him trying to wrap me around a tree at STPR....hey, just kidding Larry! NO, steer away from that tree.......ack..)

 

You can get to the RIM page through the, you guessed it: http://www.rimoftheworldrally.com . AND GET YOUR REAR GOING; IT'S TOMORROW AND SATURDAY! Have fun out there.

 

Beyond that, look at Gene's event in WA state, and look at the California Rally Series. Check out http://www.nasarallysport.com for links, and check out the Rally America site too, to see what they have out your way.

 

Regards,

Mark B.

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ekim952522000

WOW tommorow darn it I have to work late Tommorow no way I can make it to Lancaster in time.... (I could have done next week but not tommorow )

 

Oh well I'm going to look at the schedule and I will Definetly be at the next event.

 

Thanks for the great links and the great help I will be reading over everything you guys said many many times. I will try to get one of the jobs you reccomended.

 

Being a Co Driver sounds like a blast too, Would be great to learn both Positions. I'm sure it would help me driving later. So how do you go about getting into co driving?

 

Well I think I'm going to look for a nice used car for a while and If I don't find one I like than I will build one. Worst case I will learn alot why'll looking.

 

Ok heres the steps I'm thinking at now

 

1. Volunteer for a couple of events

2. Get on someones crew to help out and get a closer look at the cars and what goes into them

2. Start doing some co driving

3. Why'll Co driving, Look for a car to buy or build one (not sure yet)

4. Do some rallycrosses to get a little bit of seat time

5. Attend the team Oneil rally school.

6. At this point I should have enough confidence to go do a Stage rally!!

 

Thanks for the AWESOME INFO anything else you guys would like to add please do I would love to read more.

 

OK that's enought of my yappin time to to start reading all the info on those great links you guys posted

 

Mike U.

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Whiplash
Het guys looking for tips to get started in rallying.

 

All YOU really need is... Unlimited Source of Income!

If you don't have that, it's difficult to be in any motorsport type.

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bjorn240

Mike,

 

That sounds like an excellent plan, which would prepare you for long-standing success in rallying.

 

I would also recommend going to the Treeline Rally (in Covina) and the Gorman Rally (in, surprise, Gorman) in July and August. Both of these are small, regional events, but they'll give you a great opportunity to meet other rallyists and have a look around.

 

I think you should also go to Specialstage.com, log into the CRS forum, and introduce yourself. If you post a post saying, "I'm looking to crew for someone" you're likely to get lots of responses. Likewise, a post about co-driving would probably do the same.

 

To learn to co-drive, go to http://www.davekean.com and read his information. You can supplement that with the CRS rally school in Ridgecrest, and some personal lessons from an experienced co-driver. If you have questions, you can contact me via my website http://www.christianedstrom.com . I've been co-driving for 9 years, and I'm getting pretty good at it, and I'm happy to spend some time talking about what the basic skills are.

 

Cheers,

- Christian

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wrxman

 

Lot's of good information in this thread. More than I can digest tonight.

 

 

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction Christian.

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ekim952522000

I agree this is one of the most informative (and helpful)threads I have ever read on the internet.

 

Thanks again guys I'll keep you updated on progress and hopefully see you out at some of the events.

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