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Old 03-10-2011, 03:21 PM   #61
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First its not the number of classes....off road has more classes then on-road at this point in my area anyway. At Trackside in Wisconsin they have 11 off-road classes.....and they are getting 95-135+ entries every race day. Its not the number of classes or else Off-road would be dead up there....and from the looks of things its far from it.

IMO it comes down to enjoyment.....what do you like. Some people like on-road over off-road. In On-road we went through a phase where things were changing at a rapid pace and as a result On-road as a whole suffered. But on the flip side because of this period we now know what the core classes are and what the core racers want to race....we just need to get the racers back. From everything that I have seen in my area this happened this winter. We had more racers and new racers show up then we did last season. The bigger obstacle will be whether or not our local tracks can take another summer of $4.50+ a gallon of gas prices. Think back to 2008 when the gas prices shot up over the summer....that’s when there was the huge decline in on-road at that time. Now 2-3 years later its on its way back up but so are these gas prices. As a result people will again have to make a decision on what they enjoy and how close it is to home.

Really there isn’t anything On-road needs to do.....you as a racer need to do what the majority of people in YOUR area want to do so you can keep racing. Not one class is going to be the savior of on-road....its all the racers doing what they like the most at their local track that will allow it to come back. If a rule changes nationally….take a poll at your track and see what the majority want to do. Chances are that if you guys like things the way they are don’t change them….if you want to change that make sure the majority is on board for the change. Its really this simple.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:24 PM   #62
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Having been a race organizer for many years I've seen a lot of things come and go so I will try and put my thoughts together in something that is understandable.

The number 1 issue I think RC and other similar activities have is not within their control...it is game consoles and the internet. So many young people get their fix for activities and hobbies simply by playing games because it is instant gratification and you don't have to worry about things like cleaning equipment and possibly getting injured.

The next thing I would say is race promotion or advertising. Most of us are adequate if not good or great race organizers...but very few of us are good promoters. Hobbies like ours attract a wide diversity of age groups and as many of the younger hobbyists age then their priorities change to things like girls and college or the job and family. So a constant influx of new blood is needed just to maintain the hobby at a given level let alone grow a hobby. Not to knock the magazines but they haven't been exactly helpful lately either. They are doing what sells magazines and following the fads which is a good business decision...but it is not a good decision for the hobby as a whole. They used to have a much broader coverage of the hobby and more race coverage of nitro/electric/on-road/and off-road than they do today. It seems that what race coverage we do get is more because someone was already going there for personal reasons rather than actually being sent on the company dime to cover the event. Again...a good business decision...not so good for the racing side of the hobby itself.

Expense and spec escs/motors/and tires...First you have to realize that the argument of expense is more often an excuse for why people leave and not the real reason behind it. Most often the real reason is because people feel they are not good enough to be competitive or that they are not competitive because other people have more money and buy themselves a win or top finish. So when things go spec and they are still not competitive they still end up leaving the hobby. Now that's not to say that there isn't a place for such classes...but do it because there is a genuine interest in the niche the class fills and not because it levels the playing field. For example...F1 and/or VTA...why is it that F1 keeps coming back and VTA is so popular? Yeah the even playing field is nice but if you boil it down to it's essence it is because the core racers in that class generally have an affection for that style of car. Now when it comes to spec equipment something that I found out through experimentation is that even if all the equipment is exactly the same...unless the cars are easy to drive then people who are struggling (especially the newer drivers) will get frustrated and quit. In general people of all skill levels will have more fun when they have enough grip that everyone can just race each other and not have to worry about what the car is doing. Especially with newer drivers as they will be more predictable and less out of control...this makes them easier to pass for the faster drivers and less of a hazard on the track. They break less parts and have more fun and get in the way of the faster drivers less often so everyone in general has more fun. Sure some guys like the challenge of having to drive a car that is always on the edge...but those guys are going to race anyway and be happy just racing. While newer drivers are more likely to get frustrated and leave. So hard compound spec tires is usually the wrong thing to do in the long run. In essence do what you can to maximize grip both of the cars and of the track. You aren't going to be able to please everyone...but if you can keep new guys coming back and get them excited enough to bring in friends then your race will at least maintain if not grow.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:29 PM   #63
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nevermind.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:05 PM   #64
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I'll add my 2 cents worth...

I agree with a lot of what has been already said..

I've spent the last couple of years travelling and I have 2 basic ideas on why on road suffers a bit

1) Marketability - modern RC Touring car racing bears very little resemblance to they types of racing going on in the real world. I know there are many good reasons for this but I think their is definitely an effect on how people view their participation. Off-road has less problems in this area because the cars have always looked like mechanical freaks and its not really a huge leap looking at a 1/8 buggy and seeing a real life type 1 baja or off road buggy, but when was the last time anyone saw a Mazda 6 winning a touring car race in ANY country? Now its getting even worse with the global body rules and the body manufacturers making fantasy bodies that fit those rules. Even the bodies used in 1/12 (again I know why they are the way they are) bear little real resemblance to the cars they are named after.

Personally, I believe VTA works in America because it harks back to a glory time in American road racing that many people can identify with. Combine that with a set of rules that ensure close and cost effective racing and there is a recipe for success.

2) Environment - I remember when I started racing in the late 80's and early 90's the atmosphere of clubs was much lighter and much more friendly. People wanted to win but not so badly that it affected their behavior towards others and especially to newbies etc. I don't think the same can be said as much these days. The atmosphere in a lot of clubs is much more competitive than in the past and there are many reasons for this. This is not to say all clubs are like this and I can say first hand that I've visited some clubs that remind of the good old days, but I've also been to some clubs where I have been made to feel almost like an intruder and couldn't wait to leave. I have actually heard of people giving incorrect setup information to someone else with the same car, just to ensure they kept their advantage. I realise not everyone would be like this but I feel its a symptom of the wider issue.

I am not saying fix these 2 things and everything will be fine but I think it could certainly help...
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:25 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by InspGadgt View Post
The number 1 issue I think RC and other similar activities have is not within their control...it is game consoles and the internet. So many young people get their fix for activities and hobbies simply by playing games because it is instant gratification and you don't have to worry about things like cleaning equipment and possibly getting injured.
I have a nephew that made it to fourteen and didnt know how to pump up a bicycle tire. We are not talking about a stupid kid. Its just that he never played outside much. I think we need to wave the banner of how bad it is to never do anything but play the PS3. Dont get me wrong I have one and they are great, but how stale and stagnant life must be when everything you do is simulated on a console. Step up to full resolution kid! Do something real. Look if you dent it, it stays there permanently. How cool is that? If you break this then you have to fix it yourself. No reset button. Awesome. And after you work on it you get dirt on yourself. Even some up under your nails. Cant do that on the Sux Box.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #66
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just to make batboy happy

VTA and either spec 17.5 TC or open 17.5 TC depending on the SIZE of the track. big outdoor nitro style open lanes and 17.5 open is still fun and fast and you don't burn up the motors like you would running 17.5 roar stock as most people are going to gear them to the moon and smoke the motors.

now for indoor carpet 17.5 spec has made the drivers and the regular hobby racers come back to my local track. I had a few guys scream bloody murder about running roar spec but the racing is closer and the speed is controlled to the point that couple of the back markers have a good day and make the "A"

also MAKE A SPEC RUBBER TYRE. my track is Jaco blues. (yes they have had some issues but I didn't jump ship I stuck it out and held my rules.) that's critical for the new driver and the old ones that know how to make certian inserts and rims and rubber work together as it's one less thing to worry about. it's not the tyre of the week club.

Also I think it's the mentally that I have to be in the "A" main even if I don't really deserve to make the "A" main for my region or local track. the PS3 was brought up. that is a game that you can win on your level. well at the track your not playing againts other drivers at your level your RACING against better and worse drivers. so realize that winning is getting better to make the "A" or get second in the "B" as there are 11 guys at your local track that are better drivers then you.

and I'll garrantee it's NOT about the money when running a spec class as I run a T3r (new $250) a Lrp TC spec (used $65) and tires I have been running since the halloween classic. the motor an over the counter Duo3 that's not even my good one. the only one that can beat me on a regular basis is Eric Anderson, and unless you peel him he's hard to beat on the national level.

also like was said it's about finding a set of rules and sticking to them. I gave the locals an extra year to get to the USVTA specs and for the most part they didn't go crazy on me.

but the big thing is make sure people are having fun. the kid that struggled, someone at the track should of been helping him after the first week. see what he needs to learn, slow his car down for him and make sure he learned how to drive before he went as fast as he could. the Track members make the difference on keeping new and old racers. remember just because you think your giving away some info that could be used to beat you, now you need to get faster too. and that makes you try to better yourself. which isn't bad is it?
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:20 PM   #67
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Uhh, read that again.

"out in the mid west we have plenty of on road racers but not nearly as much as off road though"
Ooops, that's what happens when you scan things at work. Sorry Aric.

Still doesn't change the on-road has lost a lot of popularity whereas off-road is gaining.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:44 PM   #68
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Lot of suggestions here but ultimately they are arguments about how best to arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

What is required is a dramatic reduction in the cost to get started. The entry cost needs to be in the $149 - $179 region. If this means 1/18th scale then so be it.
When an interested spectator, for example father and teenage son observe and are excited about an RC race they observe in the parking lot of their local shopping center and they think what they are observing looks fun; and, when they approach the people running the race and ask what it might cost for one of them to race, you can draw a graph showing the likely hood of their racing, inversely proportional to the cost. After $200 that graph angles sharply down; when you get to the actual cost of a current competitive 1/10, the graph is almost at zero, most likely.
Every sport/hobby has a certain rate of attrition; which must be made up by new blood. At $149 you have a fighting chance to recruit new racers at $700+ you have almost zero chance long term.
If you disagree I think you need to explain why something like racing remote control cars which is by its very nature very attractive to 15- 25 year old males, in reality attracts so few 10 -25 year old male participants.

It appears manufactures and retailers can produce a decent 4wd RTR rally/sedan on road vehicle profitably (Associated RC18 style vehicles) for $129-$149. My guess is that if they scaled up production and lowered margin a $99 on road RTR is do able; in fact a brushless, 2.4ghz, lipo package, with a decent quick charger for $199 shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:32 PM   #69
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the way to revive on road is to have ROAR quit changing the rules. since the adoption of brushless and then lipo, i am not sure the rules for the classes have stayed consistent for more then 9months. each year everyone has to read the rules and buy new equipment to meet the new rules. i mean it has been rediculus. different wind motors from year to year, no boost, boost, this size lipo, that size lipo. this body is legal, then that body is legal. it has just been a moving target.

If you stop moving the target then you may get the guys that already are into on road to stop quiting onroad. and then you get a consistent race program and then people start to watch and then they start to join in. the biggest problem we have local is the start of a new class for 3-4 weeks and then it dies away and takes 2-3 racers with it. for the last year we have been racing only 4 classes. 2 sedan and 2 pan. we have seen an increase in participation. guys that have moved from off road to on road because they watch and see that we race these same classes every club race. and then spectators that come to the track see the same faces each club race and see that the class they will run will be there the next club race.

we try to discourage the class of the month, just to keep consistency and to reduce the amount of people that we loose. usually the guys that push for a new class are the ones that are there one week and gone the next anyways.

and guys, it's not the money. the economy may be in a slump. but we have one of the biggest hoppy shops in the US. in the months between thanksgiving last year and about mid Feb this year, the hobby shop has done more business this year then the last 2-3 years.

to to save onroad, QUIT CHANGING THE F'ING RULES!!!
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:46 PM   #70
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the way to revive on road is to have ROAR quit changing the rules. since the adoption of brushless and then lipo, i am not sure the rules for the classes have stayed consistent for more then 9months. each year everyone has to read the rules and buy new equipment to meet the new rules. i mean it has been rediculus. different wind motors from year to year, no boost, boost, this size lipo, that size lipo. this body is legal, then that body is legal. it has just been a moving target.

If you stop moving the target then you may get the guys that already are into on road to stop quiting onroad. and then you get a consistent race program and then people start to watch and then they start to join in. the biggest problem we have local is the start of a new class for 3-4 weeks and then it dies away and takes 2-3 racers with it. for the last year we have been racing only 4 classes. 2 sedan and 2 pan. we have seen an increase in participation. guys that have moved from off road to on road because they watch and see that we race these same classes every club race. and then spectators that come to the track see the same faces each club race and see that the class they will run will be there the next club race.

we try to discourage the class of the month, just to keep consistency and to reduce the amount of people that we loose. usually the guys that push for a new class are the ones that are there one week and gone the next anyways.

and guys, it's not the money. the economy may be in a slump. but we have one of the biggest hoppy shops in the US. in the months between thanksgiving last year and about mid Feb this year, the hobby shop has done more business this year then the last 2-3 years.

to to save onroad, QUIT CHANGING THE F'ING RULES!!!
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:28 PM   #71
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Has anyone considered that some or most of the clubs when running race meetings forget about the middle to bottom end people that pay the same money to enter and end up short changed by only having 1 final (4 heats , 3 Finals for A Main and rest 1).
Now if you have travelled 2/3 or more hours to an event, it tends to turn those people away from the sport.After all they just want to have some fun.
Now there are clubs that run 3 finals for everyone which is great. So why don't all clubs do this, even if they have to cut heats back to give everyone the same amount of track time. I know here in Australia there is definitely a TOP TEN mentality with clubs and drivers.
just my bit
thanks Steven.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:42 PM   #72
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VTA, once an untested class that many considered a fad, now looks to be a staple of TC racing that proves, in many places more popular than stock TC. Even if you dont like VTA, the scale sports car look sits better with a lot of people than the Easter egg on Jaco Blues.

Before VTA picked up in Calhoun GA we were running M4 tamiya class there and it seemed to be the thing that offerred that platform to step into racing that didnt have the steep learning curve. Now the track itself is gone. VTA and mini's with it. All the friends that I had at the onroad track are still with me---racing e-buggies and Short course trucks.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:46 PM   #73
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VTA is not the answer to anything. There is virtually no VTA racing in the NE at all.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:49 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by nashrcracer View Post
just to make batboy happy

VTA and either spec 17.5 TC or open 17.5 TC depending on the SIZE of the track. big outdoor nitro style open lanes and 17.5 open is still fun and fast and you don't burn up the motors like you would running 17.5 roar stock as most people are going to gear them to the moon and smoke the motors.

now for indoor carpet 17.5 spec has made the drivers and the regular hobby racers come back to my local track. I had a few guys scream bloody murder about running roar spec but the racing is closer and the speed is controlled to the point that couple of the back markers have a good day and make the "A"

also MAKE A SPEC RUBBER TYRE. my track is Jaco blues. (yes they have had some issues but I didn't jump ship I stuck it out and held my rules.) that's critical for the new driver and the old ones that know how to make certian inserts and rims and rubber work together as it's one less thing to worry about. it's not the tyre of the week club.

Also I think it's the mentally that I have to be in the "A" main even if I don't really deserve to make the "A" main for my region or local track. the PS3 was brought up. that is a game that you can win on your level. well at the track your not playing againts other drivers at your level your RACING against better and worse drivers. so realize that winning is getting better to make the "A" or get second in the "B" as there are 11 guys at your local track that are better drivers then you.

and I'll garrantee it's NOT about the money when running a spec class as I run a T3r (new $250) a Lrp TC spec (used $65) and tires I have been running since the halloween classic. the motor an over the counter Duo3 that's not even my good one. the only one that can beat me on a regular basis is Eric Anderson, and unless you peel him he's hard to beat on the national level.

also like was said it's about finding a set of rules and sticking to them. I gave the locals an extra year to get to the USVTA specs and for the most part they didn't go crazy on me.

but the big thing is make sure people are having fun. the kid that struggled, someone at the track should of been helping him after the first week. see what he needs to learn, slow his car down for him and make sure he learned how to drive before he went as fast as he could. the Track members make the difference on keeping new and old racers. remember just because you think your giving away some info that could be used to beat you, now you need to get faster too. and that makes you try to better yourself. which isn't bad is it?
This is your best post EVER, and I love you for it. I truly believe as a track owner/race director you learn WAY more than anyone else in the hobby, as to what makes or breaks a race program. I agree with every word of this post but the whole JACO blues thing. Sweep QTS all the way baby!

And Nash, Access RacePlace is now a Paragon legal facility. Ground Effects 4 life!!!!!!
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:54 PM   #75
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VTA is not the answer to anything. There is virtually no VTA racing in the NE at all.
Why do you always have to crap on everyone's dreams?!?!

J/K Larry!!! You're right individual classes aren't the problem or the solution.
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