Iíve been offline for the past 10 days and was anxiously looking forward to the reviewing the results of this race. The level of controversy about the start is pretty much off the charts, so itís only natural that I have something to say about it.
Since my comments go well beyond the race itself, I decided to create a seperate thread on it.
First, my congrats to the winners. Iíll have to get onto SGrid some time this weekend to checkout the pics and the videos.
A-Main start: Bad starts are all a part of racing. We all know this. At club races or at something as big as the Nationals, as Luke W pointed out, ďsh*t happens". I think itís good that we talk about it, so that everyone can learn from the experience and reduce the likelihood of bad starts in future races. Eliminate it entirely? Good luck. About the closest thing to a clean start that I can think of are the race gates at horse races Ė but Iím sure thatís not perfect either.
Rules: Race directors need to enforce the ground rules laid down for an event. Period. Failure to do so lessens the quality of an event and starts to reek of favoritism and unfairness. I wasn't at this event, so I cannot make any statements about how well the rules were enforced. This is only a general comment made based on what other posted.
Video: The ability to review video is a great thing, but the bottom line is, itís not part of the rules. Bad starts, rough driving, pit violations and more, are all up for this level of scrutiny. Is this what we really want? Are we willing to pay for this level of officiating at National events? I donít think so. For this level of officiating, I think an entry fee of $250-500 would not be out of the question.
Taking R/C ďseriouslyĒ: Just because someone doesnít derive an income from racing cars, does not make them any less serious than those who do. I hate the fact that people continue to make this distinction. Thatís messed up. If a person can derive some type of income from racing Nitro R/C cars, more power to them. Iím sure all of us would like to be in this position. But people who do derive an income from racing, qualify/race with people who do not derive any income from racing and like everyone, fall under a racing organization that IMO, is more oriented toward hobby level enthusiast versus ďprofessionalĒ racers. Iím sure a lot of people will disagree with this statement, but itís how I see it at the moment. I admit that I have to give this more thought.
Some people seem to be implying, that for those that take this hobby "more seriously", a different set of rules or level of rule enforcement needs to be in effect.
Many of us only have a ROAR membership because itís required to race Ė and the reason we need it is because of the liability insurance. The rules are a good thing and provide a foundation
under which we can all race at a competitive level. As stated in the rules, the race director has a lot of leeway over how a race is run. The ROAR Race Management Team thing is an interesting concept Ė but itís like combing the three braches of the U.S. government into one governing body. Who do you appeal to when the rules, officiating and final decisions are all made by the same entity?
We all have our reasons for racing, but at the end of the day, we either walk away happy or unhappy, winners or not winners, fulfilled or unfulfilled. Iím pretty sure that the majority of us want a clean fair race, in which everyone complies by the rules and the rules are strictly enforced. But thatís an ideal that can never be fully attained and we all have to live with a certain amount of imperfection and disappointment. For some, the consequences of racing under these conditions is far greater and unacceptable when things go wrong than for others. At the moment, thatís just the way it is.
The bottom line is: Can anything be done to make things better?