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forums.rcpitstop.com  |  On The Track  |  Offroad Racing Lower Mainland  |  So Ya Wanna Race?!!
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Author Topic: So Ya Wanna Race?!!  (Read 1235 times)

Offline Inferno

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So Ya Wanna Race?!!
« on: March 06, 2014, 03:14:20 AM »
This is my favorite part of the RC car hobby..... racing.
When I did this for my first time (running a hobby grade RC car) it was at a small dirt track just over the border near a water slide park where they had a track, rental cars for $2 to run a battery pack on one of the rentals and I was 13 years old with $20 US in my pocket walking to the water slides from my moms friends place. I never made it to the water park.
That day to me started it all and ever since then I have run an RC it has been on the track with the exception of test and tuning out on my front street or gravel field.
Well I'm 40 now (gasp :o ) and I have learned a few things along the way that I want to share with you all in hopes it may help you even in some small way.

#1 When signing up to race I am signing up to turn marshal. When I got really into the hobby locally I noticed there were a few guys who would finish their runs and grab their cars, go back to their pit, chat with someone on the way back to the pit and ignore their marshal duties but they were the first to bitch n moan when there were not enough guys to marshal when they were on the track. Don't be part of the problem because you set an example for others by what you do. People see it and figure it must be the normal thing to do. Where I race in winter they have a place set aside for you to drop your car so you can get out to marshal right away. It makes the day go faster and people more appreciative.

#2 Take the time before race day and before your heats/ mains to have your stuff ready to go. During a race day I seen many times guys are asking for a couple minutes because they forgot something or their battery wasn't charged etc. On a typical race day you have nearly an hour between heats of the car you are using for that race. That should be more than enough time to have it ready so when your heat or main comes up you have your car in pre-staging ready for your run instead of scrambling to get the body on while everyone else is doing warm up laps.

#3 Make wise investments. You know you like racing and you want to continue doing it so get the gear that helps win not what makes it bling. To put it simply if you are running an E-Maxx that is 90% aluminum with titanium bumpers and stock electronics and tires don't expect to beat the dude who is running a stock chassis with a good motor and a set of Pro-Line tires made for the surface you're running on. To really clarify this, look at what your competitors run, talk to experienced racers to see what their opinion is on that aluminum bulkhead you're thinking of.
I always say this, "if you break the same part twice you either (a) gotta get that part aftermarket and stronger or (b) you need to take the time to improve the line your taking so ya don't break.

#4 Big air looks cool but is it faster? Simple answer is NO! Taking any jump in racing looks cool and the only reason to go big in a race is to clear a set of jumps. If you have a 4 pack of jumps but you know you can clear three of em but get hucked landing at the base of the fourth then take a different approach. Try going double double or watch what the fast guys do to get thru that section. Remember this, time spent in the air is time lost on the ground. You cannot accelerate in the air or turn so make a judgement call on how much hang time you're getting and go for the speed.

#5 Slower is faster. Guys ask me this a lot, "How do you make your car go so smooth?" and that is my answer. When you push your car to its limits and by this I mean push yourself to handle what it can do you actually go slower around the circuit. By making sure your car is pointed in the right direction before pulling the trigger, slowing down into the corners to take them tighter, not overshooting jumps but taking them low to the ground to maximize ground traction you will start seeing what it means to feel smooth on the track. Never push too hard because you make errors.

#6 Transponders. When I first got into the hobby it was all hand counting, big car numbers on the bodies and you had in many cases a driver figure in the shell of the car for realism. Well now you are allowed to black out the windows and race numbers are rare except at big events but the transponder has made life for everyone at the track easier.
You spend a good chunk of money on your rc to race it competitively so why not complete the package and buy a personal transponder too. You never know if the house transponder will run low batt and miss laps for you and you have to keep remembering to grab a house, put it back right away etc. I look at each RC I have as a race investment and so to race em I need a personal transponder.

#7 Race etiquette is king. Simple rules of racing have slowly been tarnished or forgotten like the laws of keep right except to pass on BC highways. During qualifying you are on your own time clock, not racing head to head. You are simply trying to put down the fastest run you can do with 9 other cars on the track trying to do the same thing. If during your qualifying run a car comes up from behind you the right thing to do is move over and let the faster car thru because if you're being caught by another car then that car is ahead of you on the clock and has the right of way. This is also true in the mains that if you are being lapped you are supposed to move over and allow the lead cars to go by. Taking a faster car out not only wreck his or her day but slows you down too dropping you further back down the finish.

#8 Sportsmanship. Making a pass should be as clean as if you were driving an open wheel car from behind the wheel. Hacking or pit maneuvering a car for position is frowned upon and if you do it either by accident or by overly aggressive move the right thing to do is to stop and let that car get under way in front of you where they were before you took them out. Nobody wants to win by playing dirty. So look for a clean pass, make the move where you can and make it stick. Nothing is more rewarding than a clean pass to the driver and the spectators watching.

#9 It's all about fun. Yep it's my last one but most important one. Bring your happy hobby loving self to the track, race with family and friends, make new friends and above all else have fun because after all these cars are models, you're not actually in it getting bumped around and there is no huge prize for winning. It's all bragging rights and candy bars with the odd plastic trophy or plaque.

I hope these few tips help even just a little and you come race with greater enthusiasm for the track.  8)
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Offline lueger68

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Re: So Ya Wanna Race?!!
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2014, 11:55:56 AM »
Very well written Inferno  ;D and all very good points with a lot of common sense which a lot of people don't have these days!! Thanks for posting it!

Kevin  :)
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Offline kristo Mueller

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Re: So Ya Wanna Race?!!
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2014, 02:44:25 PM »
Hey inferno was that in Birch bay? I remember 25 years ago a Rc track with two sides. One side had on roadother side was ooff road I use to be one of the 8 year old goon squad that hung out there all summer. I have a summer home in leisure park down there and often tell my boys stories of that track and the roller rink/arcade.
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Offline butterfly

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Re: So Ya Wanna Race?!!
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2014, 03:55:29 PM »
Very well said Rob!!  Every point is worth the read!!

Definitely keys to making this a bigger and popular sporting event for this area.  If things runs smooth and people enjoy their time out there then it will grow; that means that we have to put in the effort and help out (no effort is too small)...in general make a people connection.

I think the biggest thing I like to see on the track is sportsmanship, participation (esp the marshalling), FUN FUN FUN, and being a smart driver.

It's always a good time for a ninja.
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Offline Inferno

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Re: So Ya Wanna Race?!!
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 02:10:14 AM »
Ya Kris it was Birch Bay and it's going back about 27 years ago. Good times there.
I think if we all keep it exciting and fun more will come and join in. I like to share the sand box so we can build bigger castles.  :P
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Offline kristo Mueller

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Re: So Ya Wanna Race?!!
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 05:56:38 PM »
Right on inferno!!!! I remember that track well and yep it would have been around the same time. Possibly we had already raced against each other 27 years ago!!!!
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