R/C Tech Forums

Go Back   R/C Tech Forums > General Forums > Electric On-Road

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-09-2006, 09:53 AM   #1
Tech Champion
 
rayhuang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Posts: 6,511
Trader Rating: 5 (100%+)
Send a message via AIM to rayhuang
Default HI-I am new-I WANT to race!!!

HOws your track doing these days? Onroad scene up or down? Entries good? Lots of newcomers coming out to try it and coming BACK again and again?

I have seen entries drop 50% at club races over the last few years. Big races-record crowds, but the local scene is just dwindling in my area.

How do we tie in the local hobbyshop to the local track (when they arent one entity) and promote a class for newcomers that is both exciting, affordable and easy? A class with clear cut rules, simple, but clear, low cost cars (Spare parts too), motors, tires. A level playing field so that talent is the deciding factor.

Also-a car/battery/tire package that can grow with the racer and can be used to advance to faster classes.

Do you know what I am getting at? Its called "making sure your race track stays open".

Nothing should be more iportant than that. Not the latest motor or battery or belt vs. shaft.

And last-how do we tie in manufacturers?
Theres no way ths wont get ugly-but lets moderate ourselves and keep things positive. I WANT and NEED great ideas!!!

Ray
rayhuang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 10:24 AM   #2
Tech Elite
 
sosidge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 3,865
Default

This is something that's close to my heart!

It's the same for so many electric on-road tracks out there.

Put simply, there are NO new racers, so the attendances gradually dwindle.

Basically this is due to the popularity of RTR nitro off-roaders. Newcomers will only want to race what they already have, and 90% of them have something that burns nitro and is covered in dirt!

OK, so how can clubs continue to grow? Here are some thoughts...

Embrace nitro, embrace off-road - If your club has the opportunity to run off-road meetings in a nitro-accepting environment - do it! This is where the next generation of racers will come from. Many of these nitro racers will be interested in crossing over to electric, especially if you have an indoor track in the winter months.

Help the new members - RC can be pretty mind-blowing for a newcomer. Electric touring car setup can be a fine art, and the amount of pit equipment some people have is intimidating. Far too often I see a new racer hiding in the corner of the venue, totally unsure of what to do, and without a friendly face to call upon.

Give newcomers a helping hand, point out that race pace has more to do with skill than the cost of your car.

Have a drivers briefing before each meeting, run through the format of the day for everyone, clear up any questions, maybe just introduce the new members to everyone else.

Appoint a "mentor", a veteran within the club who can be trusted to help new drivers and encourage them to develop.

Dedicate some free practice time to newcomers, without the pressure of laptiming, or the fear of holding up the experienced runners.

Give some basic tips on car preparation and maintenance. Too many newcomers are struggling to drive a car with crooked steering or binding suspension around the track. An experienced mechanic can pick up all these faults (and more) with just 5 minutes of wrenching.

Don't tell a newcomer then need to spend xxx to get a competitive setup! As long as they can last a whole race, there is a lot more time to be made up by driving a good clean line than anything else!

Controlled classes can decrease the cost of racing - I know that at the top end this isn't always true, but at a club level it can be.

Specifying a slower motor makes the cars easier to drive and decreases wear and tear.

A spec tyre that is hardwearing will cut costs, cut confusion, and help to level the playing field as far as performance goes.

Local shops may want to get involved in a control chassis class.

Invest in some hire cars - If your club had a few low-cost cars ready-to-run and well maintained for newcomers to have a go, you could get people hooked on racing for a very limited cost. You could then sell the new driver the car they have learned with at a discount to reflect the race/hire fees they have already paid.

To sum up - We've all been to new places in our lives. It can be pretty scary. I've recently had to go to a number of ante-natal classes with my partner, which is totally outside my comfort zone! Think hard about your club from the perspective of the new arrival. A club that is focussed on a small group of old friends, with secret car preparation methds and tables of expensive equipment is a pretty intimidating place to go to.

Worth thinking about.
sosidge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 10:27 AM   #3
Tech Elite
 
sosidge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 3,865
Default

Another thing...

One of the first rules of business is this...

"You may have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, you won't sell anything".

The same will go for your club.

Get the word out that you are racing. Publish a website with accurate race dates and information. Contact the local media to get a little article in the news about the hobby and what you are doing.

This costs next to nothing but helps to bring those new racers through the doors.
sosidge is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 11:06 AM   #4
Tech Elite
 
dr_hfuhuhurr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 4,502
Trader Rating: 75 (100%+)
Default

Ray, the offroad track here (CRCRC) did something recently that I thought was BRILLIANT. They had "New Racer Packs" that they gave out with the purchase of any kit. Included in the pack was:

1. Info about the track (times, fees, directions)
2. FAQ about what racing is about and what to bring
3. Coupons for 2 free race fees and 1 free practice session.

I thought it was a brilliant idea and it's a great value-add to the price of a kit.
__________________
"There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness. Which side are you on?"

“Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.” - John Wayne
dr_hfuhuhurr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 11:14 AM   #5
Tech Adept
 
Lana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: B double O Bee eye E S
Posts: 240
Default

Here is what I found:

The local tracks such as the Gate etc etc. Have a lot of local fast guys that get UNLIMITED amounts of track time. Well, that pretty much sucks for the rest of us that can't do that. Who wants to show up and race against that? Not me!

So I'd say that as a newbie and seeing this and having the odds stacked B4 you even walk in the door would take the wind from my wings and I'd never go back...

Just taking a wild swing in the dark as to why some of the local FAST tracks are seeing less and less turn-outs. And some of the "slower" smaller tracks seeing more and more....

Just a guess from a small time sucky racer with a heart of gold!

LA
Lana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 11:15 AM   #6
Tech Champion
 
rayhuang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Posts: 6,511
Trader Rating: 5 (100%+)
Send a message via AIM to rayhuang
Default

sosidge and Blake-thanks for this first info.

I had my eye on opening a large hobbbystore recently-but my current work has taken a few twists and turns (for the good I hope) so I cannot start a new venture. Had I-heres some of my ideas. One is just like Blakes:

-identify a true basher vs one who shows a desire to race.
-guide the "racer" towards certain cars and introduce them to the idea of racing this car. Show why its best to start with brand a,b,c cars vs others (local parts support, set-up help at track).
-present brochures that introduces them to the local club with free coupons for practice, maybe race fees.
-invite them back to stire after building to get car set-up, esc set, etc.
-"newbie nights" (Not called that) with the local fast guys or at least competant driver/mechanics there as driving and set-up mentors.
rayhuang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 11:21 AM   #7
Tech Elite
 
dr_hfuhuhurr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 4,502
Trader Rating: 75 (100%+)
Default

I think guides to "building" a kit and setup sheets in the hands of shops would be good as well. All of the "extra" stuff we do to the cars to get them free and fast would help the first time racer. A setup sheet at the time of purchase would not only get more sales from the shops but also get the racer to the track the first time with most of the right parts.
__________________
"There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness. Which side are you on?"

“Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.” - John Wayne
dr_hfuhuhurr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 11:53 AM   #8
Tech Adept
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 124
Default

sosidge made some great points. But one I would like to emphasize is the need for a mentor. That would be INVALUABLE to a newbie! I really like the idea of "newbie nights" where veterans are available for tuning and setup help and just available to answer any type of question. About four years ago, I was in that newbie position, and it is very intimidating. I started with a 1/12th car and when I was introduced to tire cutting, roll out, car setup, oil weights, damper tubes, etc. etc. I wanted to give up that day. Too many variables and no "newbie" class to run in. LUCKILY, I had a couple of great mentors (still close friends of mine to this day) that guided me through all of the "stuff". Without those guys, I would of given up trying to race in a heartbeat. I thought 1/18th scale would be simpler but that is as complicated as anything out there (even though I learned a ton racing 1/18th scale on and off road vehicles).
Lastly, I completely agree that there has to be class for newbies where everything is controlled. Batteries, motor, car setup, the works. Cars that are tough (can take a hit into the boards without breaking), run at a decent pace (10 - 15 mph) and that would allow a newbie to learn how to control a RC car as compared to being focused on how fast am I running.
FYI
I think Virtual RC works as a great tool for learning to drive a RC car in "race" conditions. I think it made me a better driver and taught me better throttle control.
Thanks,
Matt
mpetrich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 12:25 PM   #9
Tech Regular
 
TC Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 363
Default Great Topic Ray...

I agree with all the above ideas and thoughts. I'm just an 1hour 1/2 away from Ray and I've seen the same thing in and around the Pittsburgh area.
Even though this is not exactly prime-time for indoor racing, I've noticed many guys pulling back from the hobby also as well as the limited number of "newbie's" coming in.
Personally, I think there's so many forms and variations of this hobby now that weren't necessarily available a short time ago that folks have been forced to either choose nitro over electric or get out due to the competition level. Look at the shear number of folks gravitating to the nitro's, RTR's or otherwise. So many different classes to choose from in nitro also, it's easy for a backyard basher to go to their local off-road track and throw down their T-Maxx or whatever and race as well.
Not so easy in electric; batteries, motors, lathes, etc. all play such a huge role if you want to be competitive, much less beat the big dogs.

After a 15 year hiatous, I recently got back into this roughly 9 months ago. What drew me back was the competition and comroddery(sp?) with other hard-core racers. Unfortunately, not everyone is as crazy about this hobby/sport as we are .
I don't have anymore answers to this than anyone else, but
the one or two suggestions I can make though, is/are:
1. If paintball games/championships can be run on ESPN/ESPN 2, why can't RC start getting more exposure. Man is paintball boring to watch on TV, not to mention the commentary isn't nearly as entertaining as Goetz .

2. Advertize-- If someone at my local track didn't ask me to go...I would have never been to the GATE. No-one other than the hard-core racers know you guys are there. I bet this boads the same for several tracks in Anytown, USA.

3. Socialize with new guys to your/anyone's facility. If they have a bad time most likely the won't be back, and don't forget how fast word of mouth spreads.

4. I think the "Rent-a Wreck" is a great idea, I just wouldn't want to be the guy maintaining those cars.

5. Have some club meetings and get some ideas from other locals that may be able to help and spread the word. No door to door like a Joahova's Witness though.

Just my 2 cents.
Ray, 75% chance I'll be making the road-trip Friday to the Gate.
TC Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 12:40 PM   #10
Tech Champion
 
rayhuang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Posts: 6,511
Trader Rating: 5 (100%+)
Send a message via AIM to rayhuang
Default

Thanks Dan-bring a 19t motor for Sedan. Goetz and many others at the Gate work very, very hard with newcomers and racers of all ability to bring them up to speed. I always try and help the 12th scalers get there cars better. I agree-the mentoring process IS the difference between someone who quits and soeone who stays untill the learning curve gets flatter.

But-were still faced with identifying the people who have the desire. How do you get the person at the hobbyshop who has contact with these people every day to help? YOu know it aint easy and owners of hobbyshops probably dont want there employess talking about rc racing all day and not making sales!!
rayhuang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 12:56 PM   #11
Tech Elite
 
seaball's Avatar
R/C Tech Charter Subscriber
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 4,303
Trader Rating: 9 (100%+)
Send a message via Yahoo to seaball
Default

ray, at our track we offer dude sandwiches to the winners of each class. that seems to keep attendance up. though, it also seems to creep people out.
__________________
*** The Gate II - Home of Mike Wise ***
seaball is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 01:11 PM   #12
Tech Regular
 
CrashTstDummy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
Posts: 437
Thumbs up

Being the manager of the R/c section of a hobby shop is something I enjoy and i know that we as business people and owners dont always take the time to think of ways to entice and encourage others to get into the hobby as well as we should...such was the case with this shop for many years...I would like to think we are making a change and trying to promote the sport/hobby much better than we have in the past and want to continue to see a resurgence of interest from the new people...in that vein i would like to offer our assistance to others and the assistance of those members of the shops team in helping the newbies anytime they have quesions or concerns...Team AB Charles/eXpress is made up of Mike McBride...Dan Hartman...Scott Hartman...Dan Yourga...Eric Orton...Dennis Maitland....Ken Feather and my newest member Dan Chronister. They will help anyone at asnytime at any track and race they are at and when possible here online and at the shop.These guys are team members officially of Team Express as well.

Jim
CrashTstDummy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 01:13 PM   #13
Tech Elite
 
EDWARD2003's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 2,004
Trader Rating: 6 (100%+)
Default Attracting New Racers. PUBLIC EYE IS KEY

The only way you can attract new comers is by having club races outdoors at a local parking lot, ie Home Depot , Canadian Tire.

Our race club and hobby shop were about to go under, until someone proposed the idea of having our club races at a Canadian Tire location. The location was free and we were smack dabb in the public eye. Over the years we have gained a tremendous amount of new comers and saved so much money towards club upgrades and ect.

Also start classes like Tamiya TT-01 Rally class,I know few guys who have moved up to sedan class after conquring the rally class. There cheap kits and their bullet proof, simple as that.

The key to attracting new comers is getting your hobby in the PUBLIC EYE!

Edward Pickering.
EDWARD2003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 01:15 PM   #14
Suspended
 
McSmooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Served Fresh Daily
Posts: 1,631
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayhuang
Thanks Dan-bring a 19t motor for Sedan. Goetz and many others at the Gate work very, very hard with newcomers and racers of all ability to bring them up to speed. I always try and help the 12th scalers get there cars better. I agree-the mentoring process IS the difference between someone who quits and soeone who stays untill the learning curve gets flatter.

But-were still faced with identifying the people who have the desire. How do you get the person at the hobbyshop who has contact with these people every day to help? YOu know it aint easy and owners of hobbyshops probably dont want there employess talking about rc racing all day and not making sales!!
We just need to let Mr. Hobbyshop know that if these people get involved with racing and stick with it, that they'll be back in the store to buy more stuff. Not necessarily big money items (which will possibly happen occasionally), but even just general maintenance. I don't care how good or bad you drive, you're always going to need tires and brushes.

After being involved with racing for quite some time, there's a few ways to spot the one's that have the desire. One way is to look for the guys that really take care of their equipment. This goes for on-and-off track. If they are truly interested, they will make the extra effort to keep their cars clean and neat....and they'll try racing the same way. They'll be the ones to slow down and try racing clean, rather than going nuts and playing pinball on the track. Sometimes these people are shy and somewhat intimidated, so it's very important to make the effort first...but these are ones to look for.

Some people just don't have the attention span or patience to race, and it shows. However, these people shouldn't be ignored either. You can try to help them, and see where it goes. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

There are a few younger kids (late teens) that have really been making the effort around here, and have been getting a lot faster. There's also a few "older kids" doing the same. We've been helping them along, giving them tips on going faster without spending a lot of money, and reinforcing that driving clean is 90% of the game. I continually point out that 6 seconds sitting in the boards will cost you 10+ qualifying positions at a big race.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from Kim Davis of Composite Craft (anyone remember them?). He told me "If you want it to run like an A-Main car, it has to at least LOOK like an A-Main car." Meaning...keep it clean, keep your wiring neat and tidy, etc. I still use that today when helping out new racers....because if you don't have deep pockets, take care of what you have.

Another thing we've been trying to do is get out in front of the masses. Hiding inside all year won't cut it. We need to get a few basher cars ourselves, get out in some parking lots, and show people how much fun it can be.
McSmooth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2006, 01:18 PM   #15
Tech Master
 
Keith Billanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: BUFFALO
Posts: 1,794
Trader Rating: 15 (100%+)
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayhuang
YOu know it aint easy and owners of hobbyshops probably dont want there employess talking about rc racing all day and not making sales!!

Rc Talk all day should increase sales.

Some ideas would be to have a video of racing at the gate playing at all of the local hobby shops on a loop. Word of mouth just doesnt cut it with this hobby. People have to see what they are missing,, or at least what they are dropping large coin for.

Another idea i always thought would be good would be to contact some highschool tech departments. Hold a seminar/ demonstration.. and invite highschool kids to have their own league..

Another Idea is to contact one of clevelands large shopping malls and set up a kiosk with a vid, and some display cars and equipment. OR like toronto, hold an outdoor race right at the main entrance on a saturday/sunday. At the TTC (toronto Touring Champs) there were literally thousands of people around the perimeter of the track at all times.

Another Idea is if cleveland has an auto show (im sure they have some kind of event like that)... hook up with people who run the show and see about putting on an exhibition race. Toronto had the Molson Indy race and the toronto hobby show race for years and it was huge... (there was a track put together and raced on, while the indy race was going on)


Ideas

Keith
__________________
OUT
Keith Billanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Heat of America Race Series 1/10 & 1/8 Scale Nitro On-road Race Aug 25-26 Lincoln, NE Tire Chunker Kansas/Missouri Racing 1 08-17-2007 01:30 PM
Heat of America Race Series 1/10 & 1/8 Scale Nitro On-road Race Aug 25-26 Lincoln, NE Tire Chunker Texas Racing 0 08-16-2007 03:20 PM
Heat of America Race Series 1/10 & 1/8 Scale Nitro On-road Race Aug 25-26 Lincoln, NE Tire Chunker Minnesota and North/South Dakota Racing 0 08-16-2007 03:16 PM
Heat of America Race Series 1/10 & 1/8 Scale Nitro On-road Race Aug 25-26 Lincoln, NE Tire Chunker MARCCA Discussion 0 08-16-2007 03:15 PM
8th July 2007 - HPC Buggy Open Race in conjunction with FEMCA qualifying race Danny Teh Malaysian R/C Racers 297 07-10-2007 02:33 AM



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. It is currently 07:54 PM.


We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Powered By: vBulletin v3.9.2.1
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Advertise Content © 2001-2011 RCTech.net