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Old 12-02-2008, 04:25 AM   #1
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Default Sponsored racers/Equipment at club meetings- Thoughts?

As per the title really.

Do they help your club by attracting the well known racers, or do they make the less experienced racer give up racing by being lapped X amount of times, or is there any other negativity attached to seeing them around?

Personally, I believe most Team driver items, (if not all!) these days can be purchased off the shelf and are just as good as what the team drivers use.

There will be exceptions (such as cells and possibly brushed motors, although the latter are becoming less popular in the b/l era) but I doubt they make a big enough difference unless you have a very high level of skill and at an event that could use make the difference between the B and the A.

As for my own take on this, i'm no different to anyone else who is racing and, yes I make mistakes as well

Through the 3 or so years of sponsorship and almost 15 years of r/c racing in general, I have met some great people I will happily chat to for hours if need be, through to people I simply decide to stay clear of as they for whatever reason decide to dislike me or have little in common with me- maybe jealousy plays a part too?

You see on forums sometimes guys hating on sponsored guys and wonder why and thats the only reason I can see why.

You can't read other peoples minds neither do I intend to spend time doing so either... i've got a car to race with!!!

Don't hate the player, hate the game I guess you could say to that.

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Old 12-02-2008, 04:48 AM   #2
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As to the question of whether it is a "good thing" to have very fast drivers a a club - well, I have seen it go both ways. Some people don't like being well off the pace and leave the hobby (or go to a club which is less competitive), others enjoy the challenge of having someone to aim for.

At the end of the day, if you don't race the best, you'll never be the best.

On the question of equipment - yes, it can be intimidating for people to see a table full of expensive equipment in the pits, the impression being that you need all this to compete. I was at a meeting the other day where someone was proudly displaying a box of THIRTEEN brushless motors - I don't even think there are that many winds! However you soon realise that a lot of that equipment makes no difference to your driving, especially at club level, and hopefully there are enough wise heads around who can help newcomers realise this.

At the end of the day, the thumbs are the most important thing.

Finally, the topic of sponsorship. All that matters is that the driver is an ambassador to the brand. There are plenty of unsponsored people who have more stuff than the sponsored drivers. And this belief that sponsored drivers get better stuff is a myth. Nowadays all the stuff is so consistent out of the factory that it makes no difference where you get it from.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:57 AM   #3
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A good post!

I think some of the newer racers can and do find a sponsored racer intimidating to their own racing, but that shouldn't be the case.

I've seen plenty of times that sponsorship doesn't automatically win races- and it can be a big misconception to some people that being sponsored makes you a better racer.

What most people will see is that we are all one group of people with the same interest to the hobby. I have quite a few trophies from club racing and a few from bigger events too, but as time passes I don't care now if I get any more, racing is fun but at the same time has a competitive edge to it.

Without sounding like I am the best thing since sliced bread, I have helped a number of racers in my time with the knowledge I have in the hobby, and it's not always the right advice for the right racer!

That is one thing that can make the hobby unique, different things work for different people, just like it can outside of our hobby. I hold no secrets about my setup or driving style, i'll say it how I see it
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:06 AM   #4
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At our club we make every effort possible to educate any new racers that come into our club. We will suggest a BAREBONES setup that is very cost effective and totally capable of winning and the a MUST HAVE setup with the extra nessacities. Today we dont have a need for comm lathe,brush grinder,brushed motor tools,trays,discharge boxes ect ect so we can give a pretty affordable setup..

FACT IS............ No matter how much S.H.I.T. the sponsored guys flant all over there pit tables.... You can only race with one free motor,battery and set of tires at a time. So dont dwell on what people have, notice there commitment to car setup and track time..

We do give the reality check too:
-some guys have deep pockets
-some guys must have the best of the best
-some of us have been at this 20years so the gear piles up over time
-lots of stuff we have is not needed
-if your starting out dont expect to win
-realize that you may never win a race, its life, the hobby is setup in heat and mains system so you still get the race feeling even if your always in the C-main
-Race days are more then being on the track its a social occation. Have fun shoot the [email protected]#! and make friends!
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:18 AM   #5
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I don't know about the intimidation factor of sponsored racers at club races - however, the do need to race somewhere. We have one or two guys at our events where they are easily 1-2 laps faster than everyone else. It's virtually impossible to beat them race-wise, but racing with them helps others get faster. Equipment isn't really intimidating other than knowing that they are "ready for any track condition". I'm sure some people's irritation could come from some form of jelousy vs. intimidation.

A lot of kids who "want to race" have no idea that it costs much more than just the cost of buying a car, charger, batteries. However, new classes like the Traxxas Slash here in the US have helped tracks grow a larger class of lower-priced racing. When kids want to get into on-road TC, 12th scale or other vehicles which break key components, they are looking at a higher budget.

I like sportsman classes which help people get by with a basic setup. Of course, people need basic tools and good batteries and a set of gears. But, then you have a wide variety of other options, hop-up parts, motors, ESCs, matching batteries, setup stations and all that to get the extra few seconds-per-lap (which can also be gotten from more practice).
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:18 AM   #6
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These days, i'll travel around when I can to different meetings.

For the young newcomer, this may not be an option if their parents have to take them, without straying off topic too much, this has good and bad points.

Good because they are staying with the same racers and learning one track, bad because they may not be learning different setups at a new track.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:35 AM   #7
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I think another problem is the cheaper forms of racing being attractive to sponsored racers, personally i've only ever raced stock touring car and that can come under critisism for sponsored racers being in that class for too long.

My take on that is that i'm happy with the speed of the class, but occasionally I will race 19t, but never mod.

Why? Well, simply put, there's no point in racing a car you havnt got the setup knowledge or skill to control it. Adding to that, tyre and part wear rate is accelerated the quicker your car goes.

If I was such a threat to the stock class, i'd be winning every race I went to, and that isn't the case.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:48 AM   #8
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I'm fortunate enough to live close to 360 RC Speedway. We have some of the fastest drivers in the U.S. here... I'd not want to imagine racing without these guys. For me it's an inspiration, and a pace to shoot for. It doesn't hurt that they're some of the nicest guys to spend a Sunday with that I know.

When I lived in Texas, My friend Neil and I were pretty much winning and TQ'ing every weekend in the Dallas/Ft.Worth area, then every month or two we'd make the trip down to San Antonio and get our asses handed to us by Ron Atomic, Brandon McNally, and some other very quick drivers. If it weren't for the four and a half hour drive each way, I'd have been in San Antonio every weekend... racing with them made me a better driver no doubt.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:53 AM   #9
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I don't think it matters what level you're at with your racing, there's always someone ready to hand your a$$ to you!

Just that for some it happens sooner rather than later, I am no exception!

There have been a few guys who have helped me get quicker over the years and for them I say thank you One I havn't spoken to for years until I found him on facebook.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:55 AM   #10
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I think Sponsored drivers help the track. Some are more than willing to help maintain, set up, and even put away the parking lot tracks i run with no problems at all. Everyone knows who they are and quite honestly, the only reason a non sponsored driver would even be in the same race as a sponsored driver is practice. The sponsored drivers who has all the bling stuff not only is providing advertising for the companies they represent but also help sell products for the local and not so local hobbyshops. I know if there were ever a need of help, i can easily direct a rookie driver to one of the pros such as Tony Phalen, Bitter, and Steve Weiss. They have MORE than helped out a racer at one time or another with enthusiasm. Even my expert drivers are great..i don't think i have ever seen Mark Barden, Ian Aquino, or even Dennis Vice say to me.."No Charlie...i won't help that noob!". What it comes down to, if someone needs help, ask for it. If the intimidation factor is present...ask the race director for help. He can lead you to the right direction.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:12 AM   #11
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It's very rare you will find a sponsored racer who won't help anyone at the track. If they can't it's because they're getting their car ready or going out to marshal.

Regardless of if they're having a good or bad time out there

Also, for any racer in general you always have a "home" track.

This is where everyone tends to know everyone, and most people get on well together. This is the place where typically you started off racing and never forgot, usually also it made you the racer you are now.

So, the next time a newcomer comes to the track and sees a sponsored guy lapping him, just for a second it would be good if they could think for a second... How did he do that?

My answer would be: The same way you can do that to me if you stick around and learn, because anyone with desire can do the same as the next guy on the rostrum

My son will be 4 in June, he loves cars. But r/c might not be for him- my point is that desire is only something one has, it can't be taught.

I think the only thing no one likes at the track is trying to teach someone who has no desire, but that's life
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:25 AM   #12
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I see no real issue, never have, with sponsored drivers racing at local club-level events, but I don't really see them as much of a drawing card either. As long as their courteous, and don't use the battery/whatever advantage as a means of muscling their way through the field on a quali it's not much of an issue. Some sponsored drivers spend a lot of time roaming the pits being a great diplomat for the hobby and their sponsors, and I've seen them give out plenty of tips and spare parts to help get lesser experienced drivers in the game, and I've also seen the ones that walk around with their heads in the clouds oblivious of everyone and everything other than their own racing. We've probably all seen instances of both.

You are quite right that most "team" items are now available off the hobbyshop shelves, but at the same time I think you're forgetting the fact that not everyone can "afford" what you get for free or are able to procure at lesser cost changes your relative cost for what you're buying out of your own pocket since it is done with funds you haven't spent on other things that the average racer includes as part of his overall budget. Even the vaguest of perceptions puts you in sort of an elitist class with some of the lesser funded guys' eyes, whether it's totally the truth or not.

But the one thing I will suggest tc3team, IMHO, is that honestly I don't think you're doing anyone a favor running in the stock class at your local events. Big events, nationals, sure I think those should be open to everyone. But I don't think you're doing yourself any favors dominating what's basically a rookie/intro class week after week and it sure does nothing to increase participation because it's a proven fact that some folks, especially the inexperienced, get tired of being embarrassed by the same guy each week. It would be sort of like Michael Jordan decided to join your local city league basketball league. People would think it cool in the beginning, but that interest would soon wane, and people and other teams would start dropping out.

Everyone's correct, running against better competition makes you better. But that's in the hardcore racer's eye and mentality. But all I'm suggesting is that not everyone sees it that way. I know as I was coming up quickly through the ranks I aimed at beating the local hotshots, that thought they were hot, and as I bypassed them I moved up in classification. And looking back I saw the same group of newguys each year (just different faces) getting beat up on by the same old crop of experienced guys, and it wasn't a pretty picture and it did little to grow participation or retain racers. Another way of looking at it is with your own son. When he gets ready he's going to join the stock class first, but after a short time he's not going to have much fun getting railed on and beat up by daddy each week and he won't grow any interest in your hobby but will instead reject it and you entirely.

I know where you're coming from, and at the same time suggest that running the 19T class or the next higher class wouldn't be that much of a difference in wear and tear, yet at the same time suggest maybe limiting your stockclass running to every few weeks. In that way you'll give some of the guys some breathing room, as well as build some anticipation to "when is he coming back" while also showing a bit of sportsmanship on your part. I know that's what I used to do back in my hotdog days, and it did a lot for my positive rep and showed the slower lesser-funded guys that my interest wasn't totally in raining on their parade all the time.

just a thought

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Old 12-02-2008, 07:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie_b View Post
What it comes down to, if someone needs help, ask for it. If the intimidation factor is present...ask the race director for help. He can lead you to the right direction.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tc3team View Post
desire is only something one has, it can't be taught.

I think the only thing no one likes at the track is trying to teach someone who has no desire, but that's life

Very good points!!.......... I think most tracks have a good amount of people who are willing to help you out when you need it. But you need to have desire to learn and experiment with set-ups. Some people don't strive to learn and commit to there program, get frustrated, and finally, lose intrest. Patience is key to your future in this hobby.

You need to also have the desire to do well and not get discouraged along the way..... I too run at 360 Speedway in NY and I'm also very fortunate to be mixing it up with some very fast Guys on a weekly basis. My driving has improved over the years because I learn things in the pits, better driving line and helpful advice from the Pros. They too want you to succeed because then they will have a field of Racers to compete with on a daily basis...... BELIEVE ME, they want you to do well!!........ Some of these Fast Guys will give you there set-ups and help you get your car dialed. One of the things we feel is important is the car must handle right on the track. Once you have your car figured out, we encourage everyone to run laps, and preach the good word of practicing but not make the same mistakes of not running the fast lines. Also, following the fast guys around the track and not getting in there way helps your driving alot and helps you learn how to drive in traffic. (Keeps the pros intincts sharp too.)

The bottom line is, driving an RC Car has to be fun and you have to be passionate about the hobby...... Don't get frustrated, keep applying yourself and seek help. Take a break thruout the day if you need to release some tension and get back at it.

Like what was said before, you can't teach desire, your going to have to want it.

So to my fellow Racers........... Enjoy the ride!!.......... Happy Racing!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:43 AM   #14
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I think, at least for me, the "Team Drivers" that are at the track that I race at have helped me a ton. They helped in the proper set-up of my car, first time in on-road for quite some time, they helped with pointers on how to get the car driveable. I know some sponsored drivers can be a pain, but, I guess in that way I'm lucky. These guys are very helpful and are very easy to talk to. I like tha fact that they are there because I can see what they do to be as fast as they are. I have a tendecy to look past all the "Big" equipment and look at the basic set-up that they are using. What also helps, is the atmosphere at the track. It really helps to have a track where the bigger guys are open to talk to and offer they're help.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:48 AM   #15
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But the one thing I will suggest tc3team, IMHO, is that honestly I don't think you're doing anyone a favor running in the stock class at your local events. Big events, nationals, sure I think those should be open to everyone. But I don't think you're doing yourself any favors dominating what's basically a rookie/intro class week after week and it sure does nothing to increase participation because it's a proven fact that some folks, especially the inexperienced, get tired of being embarrassed by the same guy each week. It would be sort of like Michael Jordan decided to join your local city league basketball league. People would think it cool in the beginning, but that interest would soon wane, and people and other teams would start dropping out.

I know where you're coming from, and at the same time suggest that running the 19T class or the next higher class wouldn't be that much of a difference in wear and such, yet at the same time suggest maybe limiting your stockclass running to every few weeks. In that way you'll give some of the guys some breathing room, as well as build some anticipation to "when is he coming back" while also showing a bit of sportsmanship on your part. I know that's what I used to do back in my hotdog days, and it did a lot for my positive rep and showed the slower lesser-funded guys that my interest wasn't totally in raining on their parade all the time.

just a thought
I've read all your post, but thought i'd pick up on these points.

The thing with stock and travelling around is that two tracks are never the same.

One week i've been at a larger, flowing track with no grip, the next i'm indoors on a small track that race foam.

I've been side by side with non sponsored racers and its come down to the last corner(s) after 5 minutes. I don't spend my life and a second mortgage on tyres, motors and cells either, as my wife and son come first, racing second.

I still use a brushed motor, where as i've seen a lot of newcomers getting a 13.5 in the car from the first wheel it's turned.

But, yes I know some sponsored racers will have a lot of equipment and put it all in the stock class, and that DOES look bad.

Personally, (all of this is said without sounding sour about it) I dont see the need to change my motor to suit others when I know im not always winning. Winning isn't everything for me, it's not the only reason anyone goes racing.

If people are out to judge sponsored drivers when they win a race in stock and not knowing how well they race in general, they don't really belong in the friendly spirit of racing we all as a community, enter into.

Club racing is fun, when you know where your limits are and where other peoples are not to get too heated up about what class they should be in.

Keep the topic going, i'll happily contribute to it as best as I can
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