Q&A with Jon Armstrong

FIA European Junior Rally Championship driver Jon Armstrong has changed his pace note system for 2015.

That’s as significant as changing your swing in golf or deciding to use your left foot instead of your right in penalty football shoot-outs! It worked well for Jon in Latvia, as the 20-year old from Northern Ireland finished fifth in ERC Junior on Rally Liepāja – so we asked him about the change.

What made you change your pace note system?

“I used a one to six pace note system before, with six being the fastest. This numerical system has traditionally been used by British drivers, including Colin McRae. The system was about what gear to take a corner in, but I found that it wasn’t as accurate as I wanted it to be. I wanted to change to a system that was purely about the angle of the corner, and that’s why I’ve changed to these new pace notes.

Where did you first hear about them?

“Sébastien Loeb and Sébastien Ogier both use this system and I did a bit of research behind their methods before using the system myself.”

Having done a couple of rallies with this system, do you feel your pace has improved?

“I think that using my new pace note system allows me to know the severity of the corners better than before, and now I use speed descriptions with every corner also. It is definitely a big improvement from before and it is getting better with every mile I do.”

Can you describe how you determine what number each corner is and if you have any special notes made for you?

“I put a mark on my steering wheel before every recce. That way I know exactly what the correct angle of each corner is and there will be no mistakes.”

Do you feel you were happy with your pace notes in Latvia, or is it an on-going learning process?

“In Latvia the pace notes worked extremely well, and it showed by how close we were to the pace on day two.”