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Old 05-24-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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Default why do we race the way we do

Why do we race the most laps in X time instead of the first to complete X amount of laps regaurdless of time?
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:40 PM   #2
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That gets questioned a lot...I don't know if I've ever seen anyone who is currently involved in RC have a true answer....other than "That's the way it's been for so long, it's what everybod is use to"

I started racing the summer of 1985, we ran 3 minute races on DIRT OVAL...about a year later we switched to 4 minute which is how the types of racing I've been involved with STAYED for almost 20 years.

It didn't matter if it was Dirt Oval, Off-Road, On-Road or Paved Oval.

I personally switched ALL the races I put on several years ago(SERIES and local CLUB) to 5 minutes. I also hold a couple special events that are LAP based races, which totally change the race strategy.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:55 PM   #3
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My take on this is that it's this way because multiple classes of vehicles run the same track, on the same day. Look at full scale, LeMans run timed races. This could be because the different classes of cars turn significantly different lap times, and of course 24hr. Although our different classes aren't on track at the same time, it is still the same event and there needs to be some sort of consistency.
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
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If time and laps weren't part of the equation, how would you establish a qualifying order for the Mains?
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:27 PM   #5
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We do a five hundred lap race every year at the local hobbytown. Resort the order baised on each segment, first to five hundred in the quickest time wins
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:29 PM   #6
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I wanna say people back in the day knew their battery would last for X amount of minutes, so they made the timed runs accordingly.
Another guess is say you have Joe Blow who can run 20 laps in 5 minutes, but you have Joe Schmoe who can only run 10 laps in 5 minutes.. Everyone would be standing around waiting for Joe Schmoe to take an extra 5 minutes to finish
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geppetto View Post
If time and laps weren't part of the equation, how would you establish a qualifying order for the Mains?
You would still start based on fastest qualifying lap.

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Originally Posted by NitroVal View Post
I wanna say people back in the day knew their battery would last for X amount of minutes, so they made the timed runs accordingly.
Another guess is say you have Joe Blow who can run 20 laps in 5 minutes, but you have Joe Schmoe who can only run 10 laps in 5 minutes.. Everyone would be standing around waiting for Joe Schmoe to take an extra 5 minutes to finish
That makes the most sense to me.

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Old 05-24-2009, 07:06 PM   #8
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If it was laps, the race would be over when the leader finished the laps just like full size racing, you wouldn't wait for last place to finish the exact number of laps
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:40 AM   #9
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race organizers like timed races to keep the schedule. If they changed to laps they would set the number of laps for each class to be close to a certain time anyway (eg. 5mins) so the difference is not worth the complexity.

for club racing it also means all drivers get the same track time, there's no migration to classes that get more track time than others and slower guys don't get upset cos the fast guy made their race shorter...
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:00 AM   #10
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I think timed races goes back to the pre-electronic scoring days. I've seen two ways of hand counting. The first system used a caller to call out car numbers and a recorder to make tick marks next to the number. The second had a recorder for each car using hand clickers. You really didn't know how many laps everyone had till the race was over and there were no times with the lap count. The announcer had to keep track of cars on the same lap. A lot of places set qualifying by your 2 best heats or the total number of laps from all your heats.

Ahh, the good old days.

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That gets questioned a lot...I don't know if I've ever seen anyone who is currently involved in RC have a true answer....other than "That's the way it's been for so long, it's what everybod is use to"

I started racing the summer of 1985,
Joe, think back how did you score in '85?
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:04 PM   #11
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Battery run time seems like the most logical explanation for the tradition. I started back in the days of 1500mah nicads and if your gearing was off by a tooth, you didn't make 4 minutes.

We race a parking lot series at a lot of different locations, so the track length and configuration changes lap times significantly. Since the track is set up just before practice, it would be hard to know the lap time much in advance. So running timed heats makes much more sense.
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Old 06-03-2009, 11:13 PM   #12
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It's very simple really, as someone said already. Instead of having a target lap count which may or may not be ever achieved (imagine a race with only slow drivers, how long would that take to finish even if it ends when the leader crosses the line?) it's a lot easier to have a set time. It's the same thing really but it takes the doubt out of the question when is the race going to be over.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhberger View Post
Battery run time seems like the most logical explanation for the tradition. I started back in the days of 1500mah nicads and if your gearing was off by a tooth, you didn't make 4 minutes.
The tradition started well before we ran electric powered r/c cars. The time format we all use was already in place at ROAR events way back when the only power plants in r/c were Veco or McCoy .19's and a tank of fuel.

If we're going to ask questions about why we race the way we do, I have one...

Why is it that r/c car racing is one of the only forms of racing where the qualifying is longer than the actual race?

If you look at INdy cars, Nascar, Formula 1, Superbikes, pretty much ANY form of motor racing anywhere, the grid is set by the fastest single lap time of a qualifying session. Which seems to make sense... set the grid by who can go quickest, then run the race and see who can go quickest and still get to the finish...

At an r/c race, your grid spot for an 8 minute main is determined by an 8 minute heast, or if you use the ROAR "qualipoints" system, it's determined by your performance in three or more 8 minute heats.

I've participated in races where my grid position for an eight minute race was determined by 24 minutes of racing. It almost made the actual race seem anti-climactic.

Why not leave the eight minute qualifiers, but instead of using the total of the eight minutes, pull the best lap for each driver during the eight minute qualifier to determine qualifying order?

thoughts?
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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Agreed. I prefer drivers single fastest laps to determine grid position. Personally I'd like to see a shorter version of the qualifying that F1 uses:
20min everyone on track, 5 slowest cars do not bump to next qual session, grid determined for them
10min everyone else on track, next 5 slowest cars do not bump to next qual session, grid determined for them
8min the fastest guys on track, grid set for start of long race
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Old 06-05-2009, 01:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trips View Post

Why is it that r/c car racing is one of the only forms of racing where the qualifying is longer than the actual race?

....
Why not leave the eight minute qualifiers, but instead of using the total of the eight minutes, pull the best lap for each driver during the eight minute qualifier to determine qualifying order?

thoughts?
All valid points and I would certainly like to see it happen. The reality however is that we race in a limited amount of time at our club and to accomodate all classes we have to mercilessly cut down on racing time, so much so, that the best time to have fun is before the heats even start (practice time) when you can drive around until your battery goes flat, or about 20 minutes. Downside is that everybody may be on the track and there's no timing, but then again you may have the whole track to yourself if everybody else isn't ready to practice yet.

But back to the point, imagine a car is bumped and scores a very good lap time (as it can happen very easily) even though the driver is not fast. Say it is crashed and jumps a barrier ahead of the pack just enough to get the best time but not short enough to be discarded by the computer. That means you need to go back and manually discount those laps on the basis of what marshalls/officials see on the track. Only then can you set the grid correctly. But can anyone guarantee that no mistakes will happen with such a system? It sort of defeats the purpose of having electronic timing. Plus, this means more time wasted to validate the lap times and that's exactly where it hurts.

Thsi is a very common occurence at our club and most cars get bumped up or down but oevr five minutes this is somewhat averaged out, so in the end the fats guys end up at the front of the grid anyway. Not sure if only the best lap counted.

Another side effect could be that in heats people would push their cars (overgear or whatever) gambling to score just one phenomenal lap and then in the race change the gearing again to last the five or eight minutes. This is a lot of messing around and not really representative of the driver's skill in the end, I think.

Another thing I have noticed for instance is that I score the best times when I am a certain way away from the pack (somewhat in opposition if that makes sense) and have no traffic to care about around me. This happens after a few laps when I manage to pull away and before I manage to catch up with the last of the pack. But it can happen on the first lap as well when the first car to go in a staggered start has the advantage of a clean track. How do you determine then whose car to start first?
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Last edited by niznai; 06-05-2009 at 12:01 PM.
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