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Old 11-30-2006, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default The official "fix TC racing" thread

This is something I have been trying to figure out a way to do for some time.I understand this-I understand racing-all of it.I'm a student of the game-have been all my life.But try as I might I can't seem to make anyone else understand it,because you have to see the "big picture",and it's just too big to compress into a sentence,or a paragraph,or even a post.So I have started this thread to try and get it all into one place-sort of a blog.I have an idea that could be a good thing for the survival,and growth of TC racing.Not THE solution,that everyone must abandon what they are doing now and change over to,but A solution that could be added,or at least tried.I have a complete argument to present to justify it,but there is so much background information that I need to do it in installments-break it down into it's component parts.This is the first.

Have you noticed how every thread in this forum always comes around to the same topics? Not enough racers,too many classes,the high cost of racing,how to get new racers,batteries,motors,ROAR,and a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD.And the answers and reasons given are always the same,yet the solutions given never suggest any real change.And these same old discussions have been going on for some time now.Everyone wants everything to get better without really changing anything to achieve it.But you can't have it both ways-if you want a big difference,you need to make a big change.Most people bristle at the idea of any change for fear that they will have to give up something that they like,and see any idea presented as a threat-to defend against.One simple modification of the existing structure may be good in one instance and terrible in another.And people tend to argue different solutions to differing problems all at the same time.Which is a waste of time.

Touring car racing is not just one simple thing.There's indooors,outdoors,carpet,asphalt(purpose built and parking lot),foams,rubbbers,silver can,stock,mod,brushed,brushless,lipo,nimh,pro level,club level,and so on.Yet the equipment used is all the same.What's the difference between the classes,between stock,19,mod,beginner,expert ect.? The motor.That's all-all the other equipment is the same.The chassis,electronics,radio,support equipment is all the same for every class and at every level from the weekend hobbyist to the pros at the worlds.R/C is odd like this,and I'll come back to it later.And they've morphed to the point that they don't even look like cars any more.A current TC looks like a cockroach with tribal graphics and big gay wing shoved in it's ass.

The fundamental,root cause of ALL the issues that are argued and discussed is this-THE CARS HAVE TOO MUCH TRACTION! They're overdeveloped,and they so much grip,and they're so underpowered that every little thing makes a noticable difference.Some people acknowledge this,some don't see it,some know and don't see it as a problem,or know it is and don't want to change it for any number of reasons.But it is undeniably the cause of all the issues discussed.If I was wrong about this there would be no market for low-downforce bodies-but what does Protoform keep coming out with?

There are always parallels made to full-size racing and how we should copy what they are doing(or should'nt)and that's quite a large subject in itself.I'll address that first,as there is so much to be learned there.What to do,and what not to do.

Thanks for looking-more to come.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:56 PM   #2
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This is just gonna turn into a ROAR, lipo, brushless, and 4cell argument like all the others. I think the best way to "fix" it it to leave it alone, Mod guys seem to have the Problems, so leave it up to them to deal with it. Most of us only race 19turn and stock anyway, we dont have fried esc's, or crazy tire wear. And the cars are definaty not "too fast". But thats just my .02
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:40 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by R.Dalnogare
This is just gonna turn into a ROAR, lipo, brushless, and 4cell argument like all the others.
Not at all-I intend to show a class structure where none of that is an issue.There are plenty of other threads going now for people to beat that dead horse,there is no reason to do it here as well.
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:39 PM   #4
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Before we go into the comparisons to full-size racing I think it's important to address a more fundamental question.

What is good racing?

Let me get straight to the point-Modern "big time" racing SUCKS! Formula 1,Nextel Cup,CART & IRL are all just a shadow of what they used to be.

And there is a whole generation of people that don't know anything else.Everything has become "spec" racing(just like TC)and it's boring.Technology has advanced to the point that the cars have so much grip,downforce,and capability that the horsepower has to be capped because they are capable of "ludicrous speed" and must be regulated down to the point that they are all identical,at every point on the track,and there's no passing. To quote Chris Economaki-"Thats not racing-it's a high speed dress parade".And he would know because he's seen it all-from the beginning.Why is this relevant? Because TC racing is the same way-this is everyone's "model" for good racing.How much difference in performance potential is there between all the current top of the line cars? NONE-it's spec racing!The screwed up thing is that the popular thinking is that that's the way racing is supposed to be.But when any racing series is allowed to go too long under the same structure it becomes overdeveloped,outrageously expensive,and less exciting(TC).Here's a few racing series that did exactly that,and died.-
Trans-Am(died 4 times)
Can-Am(these first two were some of the best racing there ever was)
GTP
GTO
GTLite
And all these were "fast" with "close racing".And look how many premier racing series are fighting for their survival right now.

This may come as a shock to some,but you can actually have very different cars on the track at the same time and still have close exciting racing! I watched 2 hours of racing today on Speed from the SCCA runoffs.The first hour was Formula440(I think)-the little 2 stroke formula cars.They're pretty much identical,lots of grip and not a lot of power,and not too many of them(just like TC).The second hour was Touring2-man what a race! Completly different cars all on the track at the same time-in the same class-and competitive! Here's a list of the cars that ran in that class-
Subarus
Firebirds
Mitsubishi EVOs
Camaros
Neons
GTOs
3 series BMWs
Cadillac CTSs
350Z's
(HPI and Tamiya make realistic looking versions of most of these bodies aleady)
4's,6's,V8's,turbo and non turbo,all wheel drive and 2wd,light cars and heavy cars-and they were evenly matched,and competitive! Some cars were stronger on some parts of the track than others and thats what makes for racing that's exciting to watch-and participate in.And it was a race!-a real battle.They look fast-hanging the tail out,four wheel drifts,three wide and off in the dirt and right back in the hunt without losing a position.Proof positive that the cars don't have to be absolutly identical,and absolutely hooked up to be competitive.How is it that all these different cars can be competitive? They are all just a little bit overpowered.Street tires,no downforce.The great equalizer.

If we are going to look to fullsize racing for guidance,or ideas,we need to look to amature fullsize racing programs.There's not much good you can take from Nascar where it takes $50 million to field a winning team,and $50 million just to show up.(TC is like that now)Formula 1? Sir Jack Brabham said recently "My entire budget for my last year of racing wouldn't pay the catering bill for an F1 team today"-not much good to be learned there either.SCCA has classes for everything from bone stock production cars to spec racers to full blown big bucks race cars.They also have classes that are only run at the regional level,not at the national level.Some classes became so popular at the regional level that they became national classes,but they began as budget classes for new racers.No matter what form of racing you are involved in,there is something useful to be learned from any,and every other form of racing-both techically and in its organization.The form of racing that we can probably take the most useful lessons from is local short track oval racing.There are over 800 dirt tracks nationwide,plus the asphalt tracks,and they are thriving.Like us with our little cars it's a weekly show,and they have to draw enough cars,and put on a good show to put butts in the seats and make enough money to survive.Just like at hobby shop! A short track program usually will have about four distinctly different classes separated by cost,and speed.And there is a pretty big jump from one class to the next.At the bottom is usually a "bomber" class of some sort that can be little more than a car straight out of the junkyard with some safety equipment that can be campained for next to nothing.Next up will be a "street stock" class that uses production cars with limited modifications,and greater preparation and tunability.Next will be a class that will be purpose built race cars that still use many production car components like Modifieds or limited late models,or maybe 4 cylinder sprint cars.At the top will be the premier class-usually Late Models or Sprint cars.Completely purpose built race cars with high dollar horsepower and a big tire bill.The important point here is that there is a big difference in the equipment,and the cost in each class-and the lower classes always have the bigger car counts.TC racing isn't like this-the equipment is really the same in all the classes,costs the same,and the difference in speed is marginal.The short track promoters know that they need the volume of the lower classes in order put on a full show,and keep the stands full,so they can offer a big enough purse to attract the premier class cars,and keep the stands full! Your LHS needs to do enough volume to pay the rent,but it's the same thing-you need an undercard to support the premier classes! This isn't unique to oval racing-the same rules apply to any racing program that has bills to pay.NHRA is the same way.The sportsman classes bring in money needed to support the pro classes.

There is another important,fundamental question-What is fast?

Einstein said it best-"It's all relative" In order for something to be fast,it has to be faster than something else.Something is always either faster or slower in context-relative to it's comparables.Fast has nothing to do with lap times.Faster lap times are just that and may or may not make the racing more competitive,or more challenging and rewarding.The challenge,and therefore the reward,is going faster within the set parameters.Which is some combination of the class rules/structure,laws of physics,and probably your budget.It is entirely possible to have good racing under a different set of parameters. Where the lap times are different,but the cars are still "fast".When it comes right down to it "fast" means on the edge regardless of miles per hour or lap times.If you're dancing on the edge-you're going fast!

Thanks again for listening.

Next up-the downside of downforce.
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:31 AM   #5
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Every one wants to to win, so they buy the best that they can to do so. Some guys have the finances to buy what ever is out there. Some may be sponsered and pay little to nothing for the stuff needed. Others may not have enough resources to build that ultimate racecar.

There has to be a spec car for some of these classes, especially novice. How can a RTR out of the box beat a fully tuned top of the line car in novice class. The RTR is not adjusted, has the wrong tires, completely overgeared, and weak batteries. A car not tuned makes it harder to drive. The new comer sees this and knows that to compete he has to spend a thousand plus dollars. Nobody wants to spend a thousand or so to see "IF" they like the hobby. That chases away the newbies before they get a chance to actually get hooked.

Bottom line is spec classes in novice class will help the newcomers. Also if ROAR does go to four cells in "Stock Class Only" it divides the slower cars from 19T and open mod classes. Cars wil not have all the torque behind it when they crash. Not as costly for the beginner. These cars are stupid fast and hard to keep on the track. Let alone drive them for four minutes as a newbie. It will help eliminate the sandbagging in stock. Stock should have Novice, Intermidiate, and Sportsman only. "Pro Stock" should race 19T. Pro means professional, a pro is a sponsered racer or someone getting paid. How can some of us compete with racers that are pros. We can't buy the stuff that some of them have. We also do not have amazing skills like them. When pros do not have a class the race sportsman. Why not race 19T or open mod. If I were that good I'd be ashamed to porposely sandbag like some of these guys do. Yes, do know they know who they are.

Forgive my rant, but that is what is wrong in TC. These are my two cents worth.
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratus Racer
There has to be a spec car for some of these classes, especially novice. How can a RTR out of the box beat a fully tuned top of the line car in novice class. The RTR is not adjusted, has the wrong tires, completely overgeared, and weak batteries. A car not tuned makes it harder to drive. The new comer sees this and knows that to compete he has to spend a thousand plus dollars. Nobody wants to spend a thousand or so to see "IF" they like the hobby. That chases away the newbies before they get a chance to actually get hooked.
careful of this statement... its not necessarily the RTR's holding a newcomer back... they need some extra gear, true, but its not $1000... its tires, tire sauce, a 27t stock motor, and some batteries (2-3) packs maybe... if a newcomer does not get influenced by the race track surroundings and pressured into thinking his gear is not up to par, he/she can learn to tune and drive better and compete easily in novice and intermediate classes... by then the newcomer should be far enough in to know if they want to make the next step in spending to compete in sportsman and pro classes...
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:09 AM   #7
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First off, AWD on the racetrack needs to go away.... You want to have AWD tub chassis'd parking lot bashers great.... People are frying motors, esc's and breaking parts because 10th scale TC has become Point and Shoot... Harder tires, different compounds, etc won't do it and neither will 4 cells....

Second, we use the same chassis and bodies for a million different power combinations... The outside world has no clue what they are watching... We should possibly have a TC, GT2 and GT1 class with clear distinctions between the cars, not just stock, 19 and Mod all running the same blob on top....
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AM03GT
careful of this statement... its not necessarily the RTR's holding a newcomer back... they need some extra gear, true, but its not $1000... its tires, tire sauce, a 27t stock motor, and some batteries (2-3) packs maybe... if a newcomer does not get influenced by the race track surroundings and pressured into thinking his gear is not up to par, he/she can learn to tune and drive better and compete easily in novice and intermediate classes... by then the newcomer should be far enough in to know if they want to make the next step in spending to compete in sportsman and pro classes...
I didn't say the RTR is the culprit. I didn't bash the RTR, but look at the $500.00 chassis competing in novice with them. Read the paragraph completely. It's the investments made by others (sandbaggers) racing at a lower level. The cost to be competitive as a newbie is expensive. Tires and wheels, springs, sauce, gears, batteries, a decent charger and radio (the kit radio sucks with no EPA, D/R), a bunch of replaced parts, a few burnt overgeared motors before someone offers to help or they figure some of it out on thier own. Try putting a slow ten dollar servo on your car and race a top of the line car. See if you don't get smoked and tell me that is enjoyable wataching cars hooked up while your runs and handles like Sh*t. If a racer helps out the newbie it will save him/her some big money. If not the newbie is SOL. This is not an every time the newbie walks in the door type of thing that someone is waiting for them to help them. Our local track should have a spec class for Novice. We both race there.
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:45 AM   #9
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We have a big problem here in the US, look at Europe most all of the track are club owned! They are willing to pay dues for a nice track and perform there own mantaince, will we no! so we rely on the hobby shop owner to do it for us and we bitch, we don't help to make it better then it sucks and we go do something else and say what happend. We did this to ourslefs, we can't blame anybody but us! Look at our RC flying fields all club owned and not owned by hobby shops! They take care of there own and proud to make there field look good and they pay dues to keep their hobby going and to bring in fresh people. We think we as racers have the love for RC racing here in the US but in other countries they would race roaches with 4cell pack on ice if need be, would we? I think that we are so close minded that we will not allow other forms of fun racing in the US, I was at a off-road track and someone had the nerve to say it was too bumpy to race on this track "IT IS A OFF-ROAD TRACK!" it's supose to be bumpy! We need to change our way of thinking before any changes are going to happen and stop bitching and make the changes ourslefs.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:02 AM   #10
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I'd have to agree with with the too much traction statement. instead of taking away speed lets just make the speed we have unusable that way people are forced to slow down without actually slowing down. Its the way it was back in the day nobody dreamed of running a 9 turn because you couldn't put the power down, now we have super soft rubber and soft foams. I remember running offroad on one set of fronts and a couple sets of rears the entire season now I'd be lucky to get a week out of a set of rears. The technology can be used but it would be nice if there was a beginner and intermediate class that didn't use it. oh well in the end I'll still race no matter what so whatever ROAR decides I'll live with it.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:13 AM   #11
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short sweet and to the point,

Rc Racing as a whole lacks organization. (for example and just as an example Roar is a joke .... in my opinion)
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:18 AM   #12
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Now don't go blame ROAR Jason, Roar only has two races anymore, Regionals and Nationals. Two races a year can't be ruining touring car for the whole country. Your local hobby shops are not making any effort to bring in customers to their business, which is their business, no one elses. ROAR promotes racing, their objective, by creating rules for racing and sanctioning races. Tracks are not enforcing the rules that ROAR provided. Tracks are not asking for sanction numbers from their ROAR regional directors for their large trophy races. The regional directors that the membership votes in, don't do a very good job in many areas. ROAR has its share of problems. Remember how you got interested in r/c cars, Jason? Did you see it on TV? Maybe a hobby shop advertisement? A ROAR race flier? Or was it word of mouth? You remember the stuff you started out with? Do you see that kind of stuff in the hobby shop display case or on the wall anymore?

You guys need to blame your local hobby shops and tracks for poor racing turnouts and disorganization. Its not ROAR's fault or the racers fault that a hobby shop completely relies on the customer word of mouth advertising, or pathetic internet forum posts for race advertising. Its not ROAR's or the racers fault that a track doesn't enforce a set of rules that has been provided for them.

It is the racers fault that there is a lack of funds for hobby shops to advertise better, perhaps if more "racers" bought their stuff at "racetracks" they could afford better advertising techniques. It is the racers fault when they buy parts that are illegal and then complain because they believe that they should be legal because the parts are better. The rules are there to keep things fair, consistent, and organized across the country and across the world, not to make things cheaper, faster, or more technically advanced. Its the tracks not using or enforcing the rules and the racers not abiding by the rules that is causing a extremely large problem.

It is not just one single source for the problems the industry is facing right now. Most of the problems is at the hobby shop and racetrack level, racers attitudes and mindset are another culprit.
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:19 AM   #13
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I should have chosen a different title for this thread,but I can't edit it.I meant for this to be a discussion about improving access to on-raod racing at the very lowest,local level.ROAR is making the rules for national level racing,and high level racing at the local level.The "premier classes" I referred to in my last post.That is a completely different discussion.The point I am working toward is that there needs to be a viable place for people to get into the hobby.Something that is completely removed from top level racing,and equipment-the "undercard" that I spoke of.Somewhere over on the 4cell thread I think someone was criticized for being honest with someone looking at getting into the hobby by telling them it was $1000 to get started-that's the issue I'm trying to address,and it has nothing to do with the national level problems that ROAR is working on.Criticism of them would be better served elsewhere.As mentioned by gijoe64,this is something we need to take responsibility for ourselves,at the local level,and not expect someone else to fix it for us.

There is a new thread on here today where a newcomer to the hobby asked whether to get a xxxs rtr or an HPI-watch that thread and the type of responses that he gets-that's the problem I'm trying to get people to address here.

There is also a very good thread going in the racing forum about some just for fun races being held at the Tamiya track-check that out-that's the sort of thing I am trying to get people to think about.
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:38 AM   #14
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Cant say i didnt warn you!
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:42 AM   #15
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A just for fun class is the Tamiya Mini class with the M03 chassis'. This is a class that our local tracks are all starting. I have seen a few of these races. I personally think that anyone that has never raced before should start out in this class. At our track, we will be enforcing TCS rules. I think that after this class gets a strong following we will split the true nooBs from the more experienced racers, and the nooB class will be pure box stock. The batteries that are used are only pre-assembled sticks, the only motors allowed are the silver cans that come in the cars. This is as grassroots as one can get, and super cost controlled. the car is less than 25% the cost of todays CF fliers that everyone is racing, as are the batteries and charge equipment.

This is the class that you are preaching about.
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