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Old 05-09-2008, 10:19 AM   #16
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I too would love to see the parkinglot racing thrive. (the more people in the hobby the better). However I dont see how this would be to the advantage of pan cars, as parking lots tend to be far from ideal for pan cars. Is'nt parking lot racing want brought on the TC evolution?
Parking lots were all you could race on (outdoor) in the early days the most of the '80s 1/12 and 1/10 pan were run in parking lots. And many of the permanent tracks were just sectioned off sections of existing parking lots.

As late as 2004, the On-Road nationals were on a parking lot track. So it is not out of the question for parking lot races to become the norm. The main hurdle to overcome is getting drivers to accept less than ideal conditions (bumps, traction) and the fact that someone has spend the time to set up and tear down the track (which not many want to do).
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:22 AM   #17
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Cool-looking set-up you guys got there syndr0me.........

...........but that looks like a 1/8th scale gas car track ??????
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:26 AM   #18
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We did it to ourselves. When parking lot racing started, it was mostly with Tamiya's off road car derived tub chassis cars (crappy compared to today's high tech machines), and a run what you brung mentality. As stated in May's issue of XRC, parking lot racing evolved into a super high tech chassis/battery/motor war.

I believe spec racing is the key. We need to save us from ourselves, or it just happens all over again!
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:37 AM   #19
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This is a for certain a problem for most,especially when they have been spoiled with a nice permanent facility.But I will tell you,from my experiences coming from helping build a permanent facility{on-road and offroad},but previously running a very successful parking lot series locally,I along with alot of local racers had much more fun and exposure in the Target parking lot we use to run on.Not to say we have it bad with our Permanent track.But thats the problem.Permanent facilities are rarely permanent or viable. Where a parking lot with a lot of cooperation can lead to a long standing club that will withstand the ups and downs of our hobby.We had so many new racers from the exposure in the Target parking lot.We had upwards of 30 rookies on any given race day.Unfortunately this hobby has a high turnover rate and without exposure,newbies are harder to come by.We moved to our permanent facility and growth slowed to a crawl.So if your thinking of starting a parking lot series, go for it.Look for a high traffic area to hold them if possible.You would be surprised how well it will do.
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The main hurdle to overcome is getting drivers to accept less than ideal conditions (bumps, traction) and the fact that someone has spend the time to set up and tear down the track (which not many want to do).
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:38 AM   #20
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I guess parking lot racing depends on how much effort you put into it...

A parking lot and some cones is the bare minumum.... but how much fun would be derived from that set up?

To do it right i'm guessing you'd need the following...
Parking Lot/Permission to use it
Roar membership for insurance
Pipes
Scoring Sysem
Pit Space/Electricity/Shade
Drivers' Stand

At that point the costs start to escalate. It would be nice to hear from successful parking lot race organizers as to how they went about it and what pitfalls to avoid.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:45 AM   #21
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Cool-looking set-up you guys got there syndr0me.........

...........but that looks like a 1/8th scale gas car track ??????
Yeah, it's HUGE. Too huge for electric, in my opinion. I believe they're talking about shortening it for the electric guys. Nitro is big time here.

The way the club handles setup/teardown is that club members need to be there at a set time to help with the process, or they pay something like double the entry fee. Non-club members pay more entry fee anyway, so they're not expected to help, though it definitely is appreciated. It can make for some long days sometimes, but it seems to be working out pretty well.

The way things seem to be going, permanent tracks may not be around much longer. Parking lots and clubs may become more the norm as time goes on. The problem is, what do you do in places that experience winter? We've been discussing options at the local club, and are looking to see if we can temporarily rent unused warehouse space for a decent rate while the owners try to get a long-term tenant. We can pretty much have the track out with a day or two of notice, so maybe we'll get something like that going. The fairgrounds works, too, but it's expensive, temporary, and only every other Sunday. Something semi-permanent would at least give us the option to race during the week.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:50 AM   #22
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I'm tempted to grab the most plastic TA05 I can find, and make that my parking lot racer. The flex would probably help with traction, and the beating the car takes from the surface itself wouldn't bother me so much on a tub chassis car.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:51 AM   #23
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I guess parking lot racing depends on how much effort you put into it...

A parking lot and some cones is the bare minumum.... but how much fun would be derived from that set up?

To do it right i'm guessing you'd need the following...
Parking Lot/Permission to use it
Roar membership for insurance
Pipes
Scoring Sysem
Pit Space/Electricity/Shade
Drivers' Stand

At that point the costs start to escalate. It would be nice to hear from successful parking lot race organizers as to how they went about it and what pitfalls to avoid.

As I noted earlier ----
And especially in today's retail market, with traffic ever decreasing at malls, it'd seem easy to get major retailers or shopping malls to give up empty parking lot space to allow you to hold a race that could attract shoppers. I know that years ago, during the parking lot on-road frenzy, that we had malls vying to host our races and even funded the trophies and provided insurance coverage. IWe were even able to cross-coordinate between the property owners and the radio stations to provide annoucing of the race, and oftentimes the radio and TV stations hosted live on-site cut-in coverage. Seems like an easy formula to replicate today ...........


Parking Lot/Permission to use it - covered in the above.
Roar membership for insurance - kinda an iffy deal at best, you really have to deal well with crowd control (to get the coverage) via barriers and such. But we always got the local police departments involved to help with sawhorse barrier placement. And we most often got the mall to allow us to fall under their corporate blanket insurance (same thing they cover all events at the mall).
Pipes - yes, this does cost (but is something you can get your local plumbing supply house to be involved with sponsoring)
Scoring Sysem - yes this does cost too (but it's something we always got the lhs to help sponsor)
Pit Space/Electricity/Shade - mall parking lots offer plenty of space, and have electricity available if pre-arrainged (mall sponsoring), and shade is up to the racers bringing easy-ups
Drivers' Stand - we always had a set of easily moved and portable ones made like sawhorses out of 2x4s that were no higher than a couple of feet.

Last edited by RocketRob40; 05-09-2008 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:00 AM   #24
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The way things seem to be going, permanent tracks may not be around much longer. Parking lots and clubs may become more the norm as time goes on. The problem is, what do you do in places that experience winter? We've been discussing options at the local club, and are looking to see if we can temporarily rent unused warehouse space for a decent rate while the owners try to get a long-term tenant. We can pretty much have the track out with a day or two of notice, so maybe we'll get something like that going. The fairgrounds works, too, but it's expensive, temporary, and only every other Sunday. Something semi-permanent would at least give us the option to race during the week.
Yes, permanent tracks are a bit of a dying breed - what with real estate costs (it's not like they're going to ever go back to 70s and early-80s levels) it's really not an option most places.

And as far as winter goes I see two options: I know a lot of guys don't want to hear it but many places have successfully transitioned to mini racing during the winter months (yes it costs more to add cars, but it saves wear and tear on your summer outdoors stuff for another season) -- and the other option I've never really seen investigated (heads-up here guys) is contacting Walmart; literally every town has a now-closed and empty wallyworld location (after they've either opened a new store, it's cheaper for them to build a new one than remodel an old one, or replaced it with a supercenter) and it'd be my guess that with some creative negotiations with wallyworld officials and your local government (that's likely not getting any tax revenue from the old building, it's the old cut-&-move routine - "we want to stay in your town, but we don't want to have to keep paying for our old site") and you might be able to get a semi-permanent indoor location for a song.......... it surely can't hurt checking out.

~ just my 2-cents worth
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:12 AM   #25
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Parking lot racing is how to get people interested in the hobby. If they can see it they will buy it. If it's hidden in the back of a store nobody nows it's there until they go in the store. Back in the 80's-90's parking lots were it and everyone wanted a permanent track- why because getting help to build and tear down the track and store it became a problem.With insurance the cheapest is ROAR. You can always show them the website with the rules and that's a selling point to the persons who has the parking lot.
It was also alot easier back them because there was just 1/12th and 1/10th electric. With Nitro you have nosie and that's a problem. Especially with a muffler falling off or a nitro run away.
Make sure you leave the parking lot cleaner than when you set -up your track!Good luck
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:14 AM   #26
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Yes, permanent tracks are a bit of a dying breed - what with real estate costs (it's not like they're going to ever go back to 70s and early-80s levels) it's really not an option most places.

And as far as winter goes I see two options: I know a lot of guys don't want to hear it but many places have successfully transitioned to mini racing during the winter months (yes it costs more to add cars, but it saves wear and tear on your summer outdoors stuff for another season) -- and the other option I've never really seen investigated (heads-up here guys) is contacting Walmart; literally every town has a now-closed and empty wallyworld location (after they've either opened a new store, it's cheaper for them to build a new one than remodel an old one, or replaced it with a supercenter) and it'd be my guess that with some creative negotiations with wallyworld officials and your local government (that's likely not getting any tax revenue from the old building, it's the old cut-&-move routine - "we want to stay in your town, but we don't want to have to keep paying for our old site") and you might be able to get a semi-permanent indoor location for a song.......... it surely can't hurt checking out.

~ just my 2-cents worth
I've already looked into the wallyworld thing. There's one by my house that I've been eyeballing. Right now they're under a property management firm. The firm that we're about to contact offers seasonal and temporary contracts. I still need to call them to see how flexible they are on rates.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:34 AM   #27
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I've already looked into the wallyworld thing. There's one by my house that I've been eyeballing. Right now they're under a property management firm. The firm that we're about to contact offers seasonal and temporary contracts. I still need to call them to see how flexible they are on rates.
Might I suggest doing the old "end-around" the property management company (wally only "hired" them to try and rent the space, which seldom happens, so they only need to be involved if money's exchanging hands) -- go to your local government first (as I alluded earlier, Walmart often gets their property tax bill on that building and property nixed when they build the new one) and see if you can interest of your loval gov into twisting the arm of Walmart --- for the benefit of a non-profit/club/orgainzation that will help the local community (I think you know what I'm saying). Many towns get the old buildings use at Christmas time for pageants and stuff, so it's do-able - you just gotta get your ducks in a row.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:36 AM   #28
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Might I suggest doing the old "end-around" the property management company (wally only "hired" them to try and rent the space, which seldom happens, so they only need to be involved if money's exchanging hands) -- go to your local government first (as I alluded earlier, Walmart often gets their property tax bill on that building and property nixed when they build the new one) and see if you can interest of your loval gov into twisting the arm of Walmart --- for the benefit of a non-profit/club/orgainzation that will help the local community (I think you know what I'm saying). Many towns get the old buildings use at Christmas time for pageants and stuff, so it's do-able - you just gotta get your ducks in a row.
that is a great idea.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:43 AM   #29
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Our local Hobbytown owner sets up a p-lot track every Sat, has been for many years now. Its a fun run what ya brung attitude. Many of the local hardcore and sponsered racers tend to stay away due to the poor condition of the racing surface(very bumpy and course asphalt), but he has a solid ten heats almost every week. The only permanent asphalt track has been redone and is hoping to get back to former days of glory, time will tell on that.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:51 AM   #30
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Might I suggest doing the old "end-around" the property management company (wally only "hired" them to try and rent the space, which seldom happens, so they only need to be involved if money's exchanging hands) -- go to your local government first (as I alluded earlier, Walmart often gets their property tax bill on that building and property nixed when they build the new one) and see if you can interest of your loval gov into twisting the arm of Walmart --- for the benefit of a non-profit/club/orgainzation that will help the local community (I think you know what I'm saying). Many towns get the old buildings use at Christmas time for pageants and stuff, so it's do-able - you just gotta get your ducks in a row.
Yeah, the locals use it to launch fireworks during the 4th of July. So I know it's possible. I need to figure out who I need to talk to about that now. Thanks for the help.
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