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Old 03-10-2011, 02:25 AM   #1
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Default How to Revive On-Road Racing

Obviously on-road racing has all but died.

There are very few cars available and even fewer drivers at local events.

I'm in charge of reviving on-road racing for my LHS.

Last year only 5-6 cars showed up to race on-road and 50-60 cars showed up to race off-road.

I blame the death of on-road racing on the touring car spec and its bizarre low traction formula as well as allowing it to become a spending spree.

If I run last year's rules and classes there will be even fewer on-road cars this year.

Here is what I'm thinking:

Make scale the new thing. The top trophy will be the best scale car as voted on by race participants and LHS customers.

Make the races very long. If the races are very long there is no point in spending money on hot motors and high C batteries.

All classes and qualifiers run the same main race. Instead of separating the cars in to separate mains where there is no passing and the mains have to be short because they are so many of them - all cars will run the main race and the top cars will no longer run by themselves because they will have to deal with lapped traffic.

Since everyone runs the main race, there will be no turn marshals. You heard me, no turn marshals. If your car goes off the track you have to go get it yourself. Since the race is so long it makes sense to go get your car. Plus turn marshals have ruined RC racing. It is not OK to run off the track and have turn marshals put you back on the track. Running off the track is bad and should be avoided at all costs and should carry a stiff penalty. I hate watching the fastest cars go off the track and being put back on the track in front of the following car. That is just wrong. The winning car should complete the very long race without going off the track and relying on turn marshals - just like real racing.

There will be a drift event too. While I'm not a big drift fan, there are a lot of guys that are. One of the most popular cars this year is the Traxxas Rally - which is a drift car. So there needs to be an event for them. The top four drift cars will compete in a two lap head-to-head competition that follows D1 rules.

These are just my thoughts. I welcome any feedback.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:29 AM   #2
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One thing to consider is to just cut back the classes, you could have 12+ classes if you try and make your customers happy so just have 3

TC
WGT
12th

nobosy runs mod, the entire industry runs stock now cause it's the same speed so 17.5 with boost and call it a night in all 3 classes
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:46 AM   #3
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Talking with your existing racers will bring good conversation too - it is good to get new blood into any club with new ideas, but the people who make it the club that it is now will all have an opinion too

I'm not saying do not make changes, but changes that are too radical may scare existing racers away as they may not be thinking the same things.

I guess that's all part of an AGM - new things get voted in etc etc

Good luck and hope the on road scene improves for you.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:00 AM   #4
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Drifting is making big gains in popularity. Why? Because there's no technology involved. You don't need the latest motor/battery/speed control to compete.

If you know any racer that stopped racing on road, ask them why they stopped. But don't take "it got too expensive" as an answer. That's an excuse.

Finding the answers to bringing back on road is easy. Getting racers to go along with it is the hard part.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone Axe View Post
Obviously on-road racing has all but died.

There are very few cars available and even fewer drivers at local events.

I'm in charge of reviving on-road racing for my LHS.

Last year only 5-6 cars showed up to race on-road and 50-60 cars showed up to race off-road.

I blame the death of on-road racing on the touring car spec and its bizarre low traction formula as well as allowing it to become a spending spree.

If I run last year's rules and classes there will be even fewer on-road cars this year.

Here is what I'm thinking:

Make scale the new thing. The top trophy will be the best scale car as voted on by race participants and LHS customers.

Make the races very long. If the races are very long there is no point in spending money on hot motors and high C batteries.

All classes and qualifiers run the same main race. Instead of separating the cars in to separate mains where there is no passing and the mains have to be short because they are so many of them - all cars will run the main race and the top cars will no longer run by themselves because they will have to deal with lapped traffic.

Since everyone runs the main race, there will be no turn marshals. You heard me, no turn marshals. If your car goes off the track you have to go get it yourself. Since the race is so long it makes sense to go get your car. Plus turn marshals have ruined RC racing. It is not OK to run off the track and have turn marshals put you back on the track. Running off the track is bad and should be avoided at all costs and should carry a stiff penalty. I hate watching the fastest cars go off the track and being put back on the track in front of the following car. That is just wrong. The winning car should complete the very long race without going off the track and relying on turn marshals - just like real racing.

There will be a drift event too. While I'm not a big drift fan, there are a lot of guys that are. One of the most popular cars this year is the Traxxas Rally - which is a drift car. So there needs to be an event for them. The top four drift cars will compete in a two lap head-to-head competition that follows D1 rules.

These are just my thoughts. I welcome any feedback.
Just my thoughts after coming back to RC racing recently after 10 years:

1. Concourse: Best looking is a good idea, that makes good body variation instead of everyone running just the Mazdaspeed6, LTC-R or P37 etc.

2. Long Race: I think for the modern brushless motor, a longer race is better, but not crazy long. I would say a 10 minute race is more than enough because I see people start to loose concentration after 3-4 minutes at my local track, even the best drivers.

3. True Stock Spec Motor & ESC Combo: A lot of people blame the death of on-road to the boosted ESC. I do agree to certain extend. This has led some manufacturers re-release true spec ESC to bring the cost down and make racing a lot more fair. So far, the following are some good examples to enforce in the stock spec class:
a) Speed Passion Cirtix Stock Club Race Combo (Street $90 for both ESC and motor)
b) KO PROPO BLZ-350 Series Combo (MSRP $170 for both ESC and motor)
c) Novak GTB 2 Sportsman Racing and SS PRO Motor ($100 MSRP + MSRP $75)
d) LRP SPX Zero and Vector X11 Stock Spec (MSRP $140 + MSRP $75)

You have to decide if you are locking down to either 21.5 or 17.5 for racing, depending on your local track size. I also think locking the motor timing at 0 should be enforced. I run my Cirtix combo against other non-boosted (ESC only) class and I have hard time catching them up because of the their advance motor timing.

5. Turn marshall: Without them, it is not going to be fair if good drivers keep being taken out by some rookie drivers (unpredictable driving paths). Turn marshall is not the problem of the race. What should be done is that the race director should enforce stop-go penalty for drivers who keep bumping others "intentionally" or "repeatedly". If the specific driver keeps doing the same thing, he should be disqualified from the race.

Alternatively, you can install higher barrier at the corners where drivers most likely to short-cut. This forces them to make the correct turn, instead of getting stuck at the barrier and risking part breakage.

6. Controlled Tires: Instead of having to spend money mix and match tires, inserts, etc., there should be controlled premount tires. To bring the cost lower, you can enforce only the very hard compound with visible ID mark on the side of the tire. Plus, no tire compound should be used because it defeats the purpose of running hard tires by artificially softening them. The most they can do is to clean the tires before the run.

7. Batteries: A maximum capacity and C can be enforced. For example, my 17.5 runs only 1300mAh during the 5 minute race. So essentially a 10 minute race is going to be 2600mAh. However, battery capacity keeps increasing as technology advances so the only way to limit is to enforce the mAh-C number. For example: Drivers can choose to run 4000mAh X 30C = 12000mAh-C battery or 3000mAh X 40C = 12000mAh-C battery. The former has more overall run-time but less over-all punch, the latter risks dumping the battery at the expense of more initial punch, etc. You should decide this number from experimenting at your track after you have decided to lock down on either 21.5 or 17.5 motor.

8. Cost: You have to understand, everyone wants to win races. Naturally, some people will spend as much as they can to gain any advantage against others. This is the nature of racing. All the race director should do is to keep the play level by limiting some variables stated above. Also, a good driver is always going to be a good driver regardless if he runs a slower motor or not. I don't think I can win Marc Rheinard or Atsushi Hara using boosted motor even if they are running non-boosted ones. You can educate the drivers to become better by holding driving classes (some extra incomg, too) and teach the rookies how to drive better and understand, winning is not done by simply spending more money.

I am not sure about drift as I never seen a drift race before.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:09 AM   #6
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Further thoughts are the more rules there are, the more there is to tech.

This can turn people away - and it has to be enforced by someone...

My local club hosts their racing on a track that is only 10x15m, which makes the racing very close. (a little too close sometimes )

The bigger the track, the more chance you have of widening the gap up of the good and not so good racers when the speed is found, and higher speed accidents.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abailey21 View Post
One thing to consider is to just cut back the classes, you could have 12+ classes if you try and make your customers happy so just have 3

TC
WGT
12th

nobosy runs mod, the entire industry runs stock now cause it's the same speed so 17.5 with boost and call it a night in all 3 classes
Adam has the right idea. Having a bunch of classes just because 1 or 2 drivers might have an interest just doesn't make sense. Old saying " You can please some of the people some of the time but NEVER all the people all the time". Concentrate on growing a small number of good classes that a wide variety of people can enjoy. My club is in the same boat as yours. Now, we're going to focus on 3 good classes. GT 21.5, VTA 25.5 and Mini w/can motor. A class to fit every budget.
Age old problem has finally bitten on road in the butt. Too much emphasis on fast,fast,and faster with too little regard for budgets and getting new people involved. Good Luck...on road WILL recover.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone Axe View Post
Obviously on-road racing has all but died.

There are very few cars available and even fewer drivers at local events.

I'm in charge of reviving on-road racing for my LHS.

Last year only 5-6 cars showed up to race on-road and 50-60 cars showed up to race off-road.

I blame the death of on-road racing on the touring car spec and its bizarre low traction formula as well as allowing it to become a spending spree.

If I run last year's rules and classes there will be even fewer on-road cars this year.

Here is what I'm thinking:

Make scale the new thing. The top trophy will be the best scale car as voted on by race participants and LHS customers.

Make the races very long. If the races are very long there is no point in spending money on hot motors and high C batteries.

All classes and qualifiers run the same main race. Instead of separating the cars in to separate mains where there is no passing and the mains have to be short because they are so many of them - all cars will run the main race and the top cars will no longer run by themselves because they will have to deal with lapped traffic.

Since everyone runs the main race, there will be no turn marshals. You heard me, no turn marshals. If your car goes off the track you have to go get it yourself. Since the race is so long it makes sense to go get your car. Plus turn marshals have ruined RC racing. It is not OK to run off the track and have turn marshals put you back on the track. Running off the track is bad and should be avoided at all costs and should carry a stiff penalty. I hate watching the fastest cars go off the track and being put back on the track in front of the following car. That is just wrong. The winning car should complete the very long race without going off the track and relying on turn marshals - just like real racing.

There will be a drift event too. While I'm not a big drift fan, there are a lot of guys that are. One of the most popular cars this year is the Traxxas Rally - which is a drift car. So there needs to be an event for them. The top four drift cars will compete in a two lap head-to-head competition that follows D1 rules.

These are just my thoughts. I welcome any feedback.
Some interesting thoughts and here is my feedback:

1. Super long races will just force people to buy batteries so they have enough capacity to finish. It will do nothing to stop people from trying to get better motors.

2. Running all cars in the same main. A mod TC hitting a 17.5 spec TC at the end of the straight is pretty ugly. This isn't ALMS or the Rolex Series where a driver is looking ahead at traffic and can easily judge approach speeds. Through the infield it is less problematic but there is just too much disparity in acceleration and top speed for this to work IMO.

3. No marshalls. You will just have chaos on the track and drivers stand. Most marshalls will try not to impede the race while turning a car over. You think a driver will care about blocking the other driver's sight lines or standing in the middle of the lane when all they are worried about is getting their car back on the track and back to the drivers stand? How do you propose this would work for a driver with mobility issues or a disability?

Hopefully whatever route you take works and make sure to post what happens. No doubt in many cases the current formula isn't working so you may be onto something.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:53 AM   #9
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Our LHS used TCS to promote on-road racing. Now, we have heli and offroad guys joining the on-road races.

It started with just a simple mini class following a TCS style rules. The LHS tried to make everything as affordable as possible. We have a mix of drivers, skill level, ages, etc. The mini class really focuses on driving skills and not the amount of money you throw at the car to make it better. We have drivers driving a box stock car and still able to keep up with the top driver with all the Tamiya blue blings.

Currently, the on-road expanded from mini and sedan (gt1) to mini, sedan (gt2, gt1, ff) and f1. Our first ever mini endurance race has 10 teams of 4. All local guys.

I think the success was due to the low cost to enter, the competitiveness of the racing, and having people you can improve with and most of all, all the hard work of the LHS.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:56 AM   #10
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We started a RCGT class, No timing, 17.5, X-Patern tires, no race bodies, and it was a big success in bringing in new and old to race! Cars range from TC3's to the latest high buck T/C. Competion is close as heck.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:00 AM   #11
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We started a RCGT class, No timing, 17.5, X-Patern tires, no race bodies, and it was a big success in bringing in new and old to race! Cars range from TC3's to the latest high buck T/C. Competion is close as heck.
Problem with X-Pattern is that, sometimes it is very hard to get. I could not find a set to run for over a month. Plus they are not as cheap when compare with some hard premounts.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:05 AM   #12
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On-road was fading out at our local track. TC mod foam drove the nail into the coffin. Way too fast and the breakage was paramount. VTA died due to the changing rules.

We still have on-road; 1/12 17.5 and WGT 10.5 with boost and what not. Ironically one of the fastest 1/12 racers uses an old GTP 4-cell with a 1S and Rx pack. The WGT class is growing but now that AE discontinued the RC10R5 who knows. Fortunately the track is almost all CRC for 1/12 and WGT. (AE was a more durable chassis).

Oval racing is holding its own and Slash/SCT is continuing to grow and bring in new people.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abailey21 View Post
One thing to consider is to just cut back the classes, you could have 12+ classes if you try and make your customers happy so just have 3

TC
WGT
12th

nobosy runs mod, the entire industry runs stock now cause it's the same speed so 17.5 with boost and call it a night in all 3 classes
Brilliant!!! That's how it ends up at most clubs anyway. I'd add VTA though, because it's wildly popular in the MidWest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone Axe View Post
Obviously on-road racing has all but died.

There are very few cars available and even fewer drivers at local events.

I'm in charge of reviving on-road racing for my LHS.

Last year only 5-6 cars showed up to race on-road and 50-60 cars showed up to race off-road.
Wow, I'm in a really small town and we pull 10-13 entries generally. R/CAR in Indy gets 70 or so every Sunday, and that's mostly 12th scale and VTA as I understand it.

I think the most important thing in any area is the environment at the track. On-Road in recent years has become sort of a "members only club" When I started racing 25 or so years ago, everybody hung-out, and embraced any new racers that showed up. Set-up info was regularly exchanged, even with the guy who was racing for the very first time. It appears to me that our community has developed cliques, and the newbie classes are kinda looked down upon. Nothing discourages new racers more than showing up and being looked at as an inconvenience.

If more of the fast guys would be pro-active in taking the less experienced under their wings, and help make those important early racing experiences more enjoyable, we'd retain more racers.

Off-road will always be more popular based on the fact that you can run the cars in the street/yard, and almost everyone starts with some type of off-roader.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rockin Rich View Post
We started a RCGT class, No timing, 17.5, X-Patern tires, no race bodies, and it was a big success in bringing in new and old to race! Cars range from TC3's to the latest high buck T/C. Competion is close as heck.
i think thats the best idea... RCGT puts alot of people on the same playing field...

and x-patterns can be found... just gotta make sure you order them in advance prior to races...
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:24 AM   #15
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Start fresh, make the class for beginners and kids.

- slow speeds
- scale looks
- cheap

No rules. Run what you brung. Anyways its for beginners to have fun.

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