R/C Tech Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-28-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
Tech Elite
 
chicagokenji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,210
Default Race Director/Track Owner info Wanted

Anyone aware of a thread or forum here on rctech where there the core discussion is about running races, owning a track or maintaining a racing program?

TIA.
chicagokenji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008, 10:04 PM   #2
Tech Addict
 
gubbs3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 619
Trader Rating: 7 (100%+)
Default

I'm not aware of any active threads that follow this type of discussion. There are some that try to identify why clubs fail but those tend to be more destructive than constructive.

In my opinion it doesn't take anything really special to run a club or racetrack. You do need to follow a few simple principles though, much the same as creating a mission statement for a business. Your racers are your customers, give them what they want and understand they are always right. Marketing and advertising are very important. The racers must know when the events are happening or else they cannot plan on attending them. My club had a race last year that was a special program that was on about its 4th year. Somewhere along the line the ball was dropped and even I (the guy who goes to all the races) didn't know the race was happening until 3 days before it.

I could go on for pages identifying what should and should not be done in order to give a club the best fighting chance it can have (that thanks goes to my countless management classes). My club's mission would go like this: Give the racers what they want, be the politician, promote a fun and organized race program.
gubbs3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2008, 10:38 PM   #3
Tech Elite
 
mxrich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: N. GA.
Posts: 4,426
Trader Rating: 1 (100%+)
Default

1 If you put on a good show the racers will be there.
2 Everybody is the same no matter what. Don't let the whiners run things or they will.
3 keep gathering new people.
4 don't add new classes because a couple of guys think it's cool. Plan ahead and look at the market and interest.
5 Most important! Make it fun or make it go away. When it becomes a chore the first 4 rules will not matter and interest will fall. Happy racers will overlook shortcomings when they are enjoying themselves at the track.
Now get going!
mxrich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 06:41 AM   #4
Tech Elite
 
chicagokenji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,210
Default

So I guess this can become the discussion forum for race directors/track managers.....is there a better place than the on-road forum for this?

Thanks guys for the replies. Just so you know I've been overseeing two racing programs now for about 1.5 years. I've chosen to run them as a volunteer effort. I don't get paid. I appreciate your replies. What I'm wanting to compare notes on are the nuances of managing a racing program. So far the big picture items you've both mentioned are being covered currently.

Probably the best part of the two programs is that neither of the programs needs to generate a profit, or for the most part don't even have to break even.
chicagokenji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 07:48 AM   #5
Tech Addict
 
FOXY923's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Canada eh
Posts: 549
Default

The best 2 people to talk to off the top of my head are John Catriala of FastCats and Scotty Ernst of Trackside
__________________
Paris Junction Hobbies ~ RROL.ca ~ Lou's Speedway ~ SCAR
XRAY X10 Link ~ CVTA Sakura Zero S ~ XRAY X10 Custom Oval ~ Caster Fusion F18
RACE 4FUN
FOXY923 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 01:49 PM   #6
Tech Elite
 
POUNDITRACING's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Newport, RI
Posts: 3,063
Trader Rating: 10 (100%+)
Default

I've been anounceing races at the club level for a few years now and I love doing it. I'm starting to look into organizing races on a bigger level. I just opened a practice track at my "Real" job. It is not open on a regular schedual because I don't own a ;ap counting system and there are 2 other track locally.

I think what you are asking is on a smaller detailed level. My biggest pet peve is when racers are not ready for their race. At our local track it's really bad. 5 heats takes 1:15 min. So when I started running the races I told them 5 min. between races with a longer break. NOw were down to about 3 min. In racing timing is everything. Tire warming, and peaking batteries can play a major role in a race.

It might be hard to skip someone but you have to do it. You have tio run a semi strict program or the racers will run you.
__________________
Pound It Paints - http://www.rctech.net/forum/painting-designs-graphics-photography/270707-pound-paints-raymond-ramirez.html
RC Reveled - http://www.teamrcr.net
POUNDITRACING is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 02:28 PM   #7
Tech Fanatic
 
RobS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chatham, Ontario
Posts: 876
Default

I've been race directing for a couple years now and this is some of what I have learned...

1. You have to be stern but fair. My track was also bad with people not being ready for their race... I'll start the race if your not ready (and have no reason not to be ready) but if your racing back to back or something of the sorts I'll give you a extra few minutes.

2. New racers... Take the time before the heats start to show new people the ropes, how to mount house transponders, what races they are in and so on...

3. You can't make everyone happy... No matter how many people are in your club there will always be a couple that you just cannot please... But life goes on.

There is a lot more to this but like somebody else said you could go on for days of what to do and what not to do...
__________________
Rob Say
Action Hobbies Kingsville
"In racing you never really lose. You either win, or learn."
RobS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 06:55 PM   #8
Tech Elite
 
chicagokenji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,210
Default

Keep the comments coming.

We are all listening.
chicagokenji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #9
Tech Addict
 
gubbs3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 619
Trader Rating: 7 (100%+)
Default

One thing our series has done to combat delays is to run a hot loop. From the moment the last car finishes, there is a 4 minute countdown clock that will automatically start the race when it runs out. For each heat there is an option for a racers minute in which the race director manually adds one minute to the countdown clock. Again the clock still starts automatically when the time runs out. Barring any computer problems that cause delays you can write the exact time of every heat before everything even starts and run a perfect schedule all day long.

This format is not ideal for rookies but if someone takes the time to show them the ropes, they all learn by the end of their first race.
gubbs3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 08:12 PM   #10
Tech Fanatic
 
trailranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 946
Default

I was a club/track director until last month. I sold my interest in the track for several reasons.
1: Personal Health Conflict, I've had cancer for two years and when I do treatments, I'm broke $$$ and tired and sometimes out of state for months. Now im having that funny feeling I need more treatments
2: I Love Racing, and managing a track took the fun out of racing since I had to focus on the running a race.
3: The racers created problems wanting: We want these race class, we want these amenities, we want this location but there were only a few committed racers to justify any changes $$$.

That being said. Running a track should be a fun and positive experience for everyone including racers. Just like any small business it requires alot of unpaid hours.

Sometimes the best approach to racing is just keep it simple and hold your own when racers begin to "want"

A few personal insights.
When racing "toys" like the RC18T or Losi Sliders I think it would be best to keep them boxstock little or no changes allowed!!!. It is amazing how expensive a cheap $179 RTR can become in a few months. By time I upgraded my RC18T to be fast for the silver can stock class I realized that I one spent $400 and secondly made the other racers want to quit becuase there were 2 or 3 racers that were very fast. I should have just applied that $400 to a competitive 1:12 pancar or 1:10 oval car and let the others have their fun just driving.

Don't get hung up on rules or multiple classes. Too many classes splits the interest in racing. Too strick of rules limits the number racers wanting to abide by those rules. It maybe better to allow some concessions to the rules, but in most cases a simple weight, motor and batter limit is enought to keep things in check. Just post "NO FUNNY BUSINESS WHEN WRENCHING ON CAR: All changes to car must be fair and continue the good sprit of racing within the class rules."

Try to keep races to three class features that range in price and speed on a race day. Oval Example: Losi Sliders(Box Stock), 4-Cell Sedan Oval, 4-Cell 13.5 Oval.

There are two type of racers: Those that want to race unconditionaly, and those that won't race unless everything is their way. Face it, If a racer wants you to change the track/classes/ or rules for them before they race, will that be they only time they play that card or will they try again later to change things? Will that racer even show after changes are made? Racers that race unconditionaly are the racers that deserve to have their input heard.

Let the racers know that PARTICEIPATION COUNTS, if a racer wants a say in how things happen, RACE.

Let the racers know that even with paying track fees, it maybe expected of them to share the load of work around the track. Things need to be cleaned, repaired, moved, shoveled, ect.

I think that about covers my personal experiences.

Josh Fitzwater
trailranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 08:48 PM   #11
Tech Apprentice
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Dayton Ohio
Posts: 55
Default

I've been running racing programs on and off for the past 15 years. Here's a few tips I have for a successful program:
1. Have a preseason rules/schedule meeting. Make it known way in advance that the rules will be discussed, decided, agreed on, and set in stone for that season at the rules meeting. Make it far enough in advance of the season for advertising of the rules at the track/hobby shop, and for people to purchase items for the upcoming season.
2. At the rules meeting, get people to commit to volunteering for track setup, repairs, etc. Other racers will razz the non-participants so that they will want to volunteer.
3. Set up a full season schedule, and keep to it. Nobody wants to race at a place the you never know from week to week what time racing starts, or what the "new" weekly rules will be.
4. Once the season starts, the person running the races needs to race as well. Nothing burns out a race director more than having to watch everyone else having fun, while they're stuck behind a computer. I have several guys set up as announcers who can run the computer when I race. I just put them in a different heat so their turnmarshall time is spent behind the computer. A couple of the regulars will even work on my car if I need help.
5. Announcing is crucial to a good program. Be lively, funny, and excited on the microphone. An announcer that just randomly tells racing order doesn't get people motivated and emotional. Even if its a tight race for 8th place, make it the focal point for a couple laps. Gets the guys down in the order excited, and they'll want to come back week after week. The other thing that bugs me at most races is an announcer only announcing the race order by names of the driver or car #. I always make an extra effort to announce car colors, descriptions of the car, and where they are on the track at that moment. "Joe's in first, that's the white and blue car on the back straightaway". Gives the driver's an idea of who's where, and for the people watching as well info on good tight races.
6. Give something back to the racers at the end of the day. We give out "hobby bucks". Small $5, $3, & $1 gift certificates to The Hobby Shop. And, don't always give them out to the top 3, give some random items away to others in the race as well.
7. Grow your program by making a class for the new racer that wants to compete, but can't always win against the "unlimited budget racer", or the sponsored guys. We call it "sportsman", and have a breakout lap time. If you go faster than "x" seconds, the lap doesn't count. Keeps the really fast guys out of the class, and gives the mid to lower level guys a chance to win every week.

These are just some of the not already mentioned items that I think can help you make a really good racing program.

Randy
thehobbyshop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2008, 09:54 PM   #12
Tech Fanatic
 
trailranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Springfield, MO
Posts: 946
Default

Tottally agree with HobbyShop with seasons.

Have them POSTED IN ADVANCE WITH DATES.

Also SEASON CHANGES or Points Series also drum up interest. Running the Same Class week after week and kill the interest if the same people are always winning. Point series are good for keeping the big classes, rolling.

With a season or track layout changes from outdoor asphalt to indoor carpet, some racers jump in at the change since the first few weeks have a learning curve on finding the setups. That may be the reason why some conditional racers won't race till the track layout changes or classes change. They may feel that the "HOME COURT" advnatage is reduced since everyone has to relearn the layout.
trailranger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 01:33 PM   #13
Tech Elite
 
chicagokenji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,210
Default

For those of you who need to setup your track each and everytime you race, like those in parking lots, what's your costs and how have you either broke even money-wise or made a profit?

I'm reviewing our past outdoor season and looking at time spent, capital outlay, and hourly wages paid to those that help get the event up and running every week.

In the above review I'm looking forward to next year's outdoor season and how I can improve our situation.
chicagokenji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2008, 01:44 PM   #14
Tech Elite
 
chicagokenji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,210
Default

Oh by the way, I forgot to thanks those that have taken their time and posted to this thread with their insight above.

Thanks.
chicagokenji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-03-2009, 09:13 PM   #15
Tech Elite
 
chicagokenji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 4,210
Default

Thought I would resurrect this topic.

How much money is "not enough", "enough" and "very nice" for a Summer outdoor track to gross on average per week?

I know it's kind of a loaded question and answers will vary widely, but I thought I would throw it out there.

We're contemplating our upcoming outdoor season and need to make some decisions soon.
chicagokenji is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
KYOSHO MINI INFERNO OWNER N RACER @ TOYKAR TRACK YAMAHA Singapore R/C Racers 2 07-20-2008 07:58 AM
Race Schedule & Track Info 2007-C&C's Raceway stavman Northwest Racers 1568 05-13-2008 01:47 PM
Track owner seeks new location rctrackman Track Locator Forum 71 09-22-2004 08:22 AM
New Race Director ChrisCrash Track Locator Forum 0 01-27-2004 09:52 PM



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 06:40 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