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Old 09-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
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Default Breakout Racing: The Ultimate Spec Class!!!

I started a Breakout onroad class at my local track to get new racers involved and increase participation in onroad racing in general. It has proven to be effective and FUN!

Our rules include: any electric onroad car, any onroad tires, any motor, any battery, any speed control-- so there are almost no rules at all! It's "run what ya brung". The most important rule is: NO LAP CAN BE FASTER THAN THE BREAKOUT TIME. Think of Breakout racing as a "spec" class, where the only spec is the one that really matters: lap time!

We set our breakout lap time to about the same as an average VTA car-- the slowest "normal" racing class-- so that all car types can compete on a level playing field, and to encourage beginners to participate.

I am interested in hearing from other racers about their experiences and observations on Breakout racing. If you are doing Breakout racing, what works for you, and what doesn't? If you are contemplating participating in or starting a Breakout class, what are you considering?
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:14 AM   #2
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So I can put a 3.5 t motor with a black diamond on my bd7 and as long as I don't beat the time of a VTA it's a legal lap?
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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So if, for example, I finish the race in first, but don't go faster than the predetermined lap time that is set (fastest allowable time) I win? And if I run a faster lap at any point, then the win is handed down to the second guy to finish the race? Just seeing if I am following you correctly.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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So I can put a 3.5 t motor with a black diamond on my bd7 and as long as I don't beat the time of a VTA it's a legal lap?
Yes, as long as you don't turn a lap faster than the breakout time. Our breakout times are set to a relatively slow pace (similar to an average VTA car) to encourage beginners to race with us. The racers agree on a lap time for each track layout before we start racing. If it turns out to be too slow or too fast, we change it for the next race day. You might have different goals when deciding on the breakout time at your track.

If you race with us, then you might want to adjust the gear ratio to get close to our required breakout time, then reduce the throttle end point on the transmitter as a final adjustment. As the track gains traction and the driver improves throughout the day, reduce the throttle endpoint further to stay above the breakout time. In your case, a 1-tooth pinion and 1% throttle sounds about right.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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So if, for example, I finish the race in first, but don't go faster than the predetermined lap time that is set (fastest allowable time) I win? And if I run a faster lap at any point, then the win is handed down to the second guy to finish the race? Just seeing if I am following you correctly.
Yes, you would win. But if you are leading and breakout, you lose that lap, and the lead goes to the driver behind you. The goal is to run every lap as close to the breakout time as possible without going under the breakout time. It's sort of like bracket drag racing.

We have had occasions when the leading driver will breakout once, but still has time left in the race to catch and pass a guy who hasn't lost a lap, to take the win.
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Last edited by howardcano; 09-28-2012 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:46 AM   #6
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One of the cool features of a "Break Out" Class is when a group of racers gets better, and wants to go FASTER, you simply change the MIN LAP break out time in the computer, and turn up your radio throttle - No $$$ to spend in most cases.

It's a fun way to restrict (mainly Newbies, and guys who race FOR FUN vs. an ultra competitive guy - but I've seen plenty of the ultra competitive guys LOVE breakout as well, because it's the challenge of turning PERFECT lap times - and really works on guys becoming consistant.)

W/ most scoring programs - if you set the MIN (Breakout) Lap time, and a car goes faster, that lap doesn't score, and the time is added to the next lap.

ie: a 15.00 second break out lap, if a car runs 14.99 followed by a 15.02 it scores ONE lap as a 30.01, or if he PULLS the trigger and runs TWO back to back 12.50's, it would show as ONE 25.00 second lap.
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:50 AM   #7
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It's a fun way to restrict (mainly Newbies, and guys who race FOR FUN vs. an ultra competitive guy - but I've seen plenty of the ultra competitive guys LOVE breakout as well, because it's the challenge of turning PERFECT lap times - and really works on guys becoming consistant.)
There are certainly drivers who have no interest in Breakout racing, as it replaces the "go as fast as possible" mindset (usually associated with sprint racing) with the "go as consistently as possible" mindset (usually associated with endurance racing). I have friends who would much rather run their car in practice only, looking to eke out that last 1/100 of a second in lap time, than compete in a close but "artificial" Breakout race. That's fine; we all have different ways of enjoying our RC cars.

In particular, the "Type A", ultra-competitive driver-- doesn't every track have at least one?-- probably won't like it, and might never be convinced to participate. But sometimes the guys who seem to be like this end up discovering that there are, indeed, other ways to have fun with "toy" cars!

I know of a national-level driver who actually procured a car specifically to run the Breakout class. He made it a personal challenge to adjust the radio while he was driving to stay within 0.1 sec of the (13 second!) breakout time throughout the race... But he still didn't win every race!
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:53 AM   #8
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I did a form of this some 25 years ago only the breakout was a total lap target and not a single lap time. Lamest thing I've ever done in RC but as mentioned above, to each their own.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:01 PM   #9
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I did a form of this some 25 years ago only the breakout was a total lap target and not a single lap time. Lamest thing I've ever done in RC but as mentioned above, to each their own.
I think the total lap target would definitely make things less interesting. With the computer monitoring individual lap times, one can use some strategy to put together a good race, and it gets more interesting.

Mark, I know you are an excellent driver, and may not be interested in the format, but we are trying to use it to get new people involved in the sport. There may have been a time when you were starting out that Breakout racing would have been more appealing to you... or maybe not.

By the way, 235mm 1/10 pan cars are the most popular in our Breakout class because they're cheap, simple, rugged, easy to maintain, and handle great. (Also, because I own several of them that I loan to other racers for them to use!)
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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JOE MYERS EVENTS:
South-West Tour "Championship Series" - www.southwesttour.com
Kimbrough 400 - www.Kimbrough400.com
Joe Myers - R/C Racing since 1985 ~ Santa Maria, CA (Central Coast)
Joe, have you ever tried Oval Breakout racing? I'm curious to hear if it works as well as it does for our roadracing. I race with Big Chuck, a.k.a. "Mr BRL", at his track, Fastlane. He originally wasn't a fan of the idea for road course, but he has now had enough fun running one of my "loaner" cars on the road course that he has fielded his own CRC car. He may consider Breakout for a beginner's oval class, at least locally, if it holds promise.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by SWTour
JOE MYERS EVENTS:
South-West Tour "Championship Series" - www.southwesttour.com
Kimbrough 400 - www.Kimbrough400.com
Joe Myers - R/C Racing since 1985 ~ Santa Maria, CA (Central Coast)

Quote:
Joe, have you ever tried Oval Breakout racing? I'm curious to hear if it works as well as it does for our roadracing. I race with Big Chuck, a.k.a. "Mr BRL", at his track, Fastlane. He originally wasn't a fan of the idea for road course, but has now had enough fun running one of my "loaner" cars on the road course that he has fielded his own CRC car. He may consider Breakout for a beginner's oval class, at least locally, if it holds promise.

I have done it on oval in the past (we don't have the racers for it right now) but I know other places that are really liking it (Like the newly ReVamped KING R/C SPEEDWAY in North Carolina) They have a couple different oval break out classes.

Matter of fact, their guys are nailing the lap times so close, they are upgrading their scoring software to Scoring Pro I believe, because they need a smaller increment of time.... (from 0.01 to 0.001)
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MarkA
I did a form of this some 25 years ago only the breakout was a total lap target and not a single lap time. Lamest thing I've ever done in RC but as mentioned above, to each their own.
Yeah, back then you couldn't fine tune the Autoscore program like you can todays programs...I remember doing a total lap break out in NORRCA at the Velodrome in Carson CA.

A few different thoughts -

They penalized you if you broke out the max number of laps (They took that lap away) BUT if you could cross the line with a near perfect 4:00.01 type of run - regardless HOW MANY LAPS they took away - YOU WON.

Guys tried stopping on the track and waiting for the perfect time to DRAG RACE to the S/F line - it was crazy. (We did the SHOOT for the perfect FINISH TIME w/ extra laps) and milked the final lap with the throttle.

We also used SPOTTERS w/ stop watches

...another fun thing in Break Out is setting your car up to be ABLE to run quicker, and having good throttle control and feel for the lap time...and getting behind someone - and pushing them (not physically) into THEM pulling away from you - and THEM breaking out.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:18 AM   #13
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Default Loaner Cars!!!

Here's another way that I'm increasing involvement in our onroad program:

I usually bring at least two extra 235mm 1/10 pan "loaner" cars with me so other drivers can try out onroad racing. This may sound altruistic, but I do have an ulterior motive: it's a very cost-effective way for me to guarantee I'll have somebody to race with after making the long drive to the local track. (Several times in the past, before starting the Breakout class, I've been the only one to show up and had to turn the day into an extended test session when I would have preferred to be racing.)

I don't think I'd be able to afford loaning cars for use in other classes, but, thanks to the slower, controlled speeds we run in Breakout class, the cost of purchasing, maintaining, and repairing the loaner cars is quite low. It's much less than what I would spend to go to big, out-of-town races where I can compete with others of my skill level.

My "guest" drivers have ranged from world-class TC drivers to guys who have never driven onroad. Often I'll approach one of the guys practicing on the adjacent offroad track, hand them a car and transmitter, and say "Come race with us!". (I have been absolutely astounded by several of them-- these guys can DRIVE!) If someone wanders into the shop, curious about the "toy cars", I'll let them try one out (with the throttle throw adjusted to match their ability). I've made a lot of new friends, and always have fun. Several previous "guest" drivers now race their own cars in our Breakout class.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:22 AM   #14
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The way we did it was to set the minimum lap time to be the average lap of the new guy so that he didn't get beat by 6 laps. If you went faster than the breakout time, the lap didn't count. We only had to do this for a few weeks until the new guy came up to speed.

Now that he's closer to pace of the fast guys, we don't do it anymore. It was fun seeing how close you could get to the breakout time without going over. And as stated, it rewards consistency.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:43 AM   #15
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The way we did it was to set the minimum lap time to be the average lap of the new guy so that he didn't get beat by 6 laps. If you went faster than the breakout time, the lap didn't count. We only had to do this for a few weeks until the new guy came up to speed.

Now that he's closer to pace of the fast guys, we don't do it anymore. It was fun seeing how close you could get to the breakout time without going over. And as stated, it rewards consistency.
Hi CarbonJoe,

I was hoping that you would pick up on this thread! One of the inspirations for our class was a post you made more than a year ago, which I think bears repeating because it states the concept quite succinctly:

"What we've done locally is start a "mongrel" class, which is run whatever you like. VTA? No problem. 13.5 boosted foam TC? Bring it on. The trick is that we set a breakout time for the lap (RC Scoring Pro has a minimum lap time that we set). That way, if they run faster than the breakout time, the lap doesn't count.

"This changes the game to who can dial in their car as close to the breakout time without going over, and rewards the most consistent driver. Also, since nobody wants to break out and lose a lap, the racing is necessarily close. We change the breakout time to suit the slowest type of car entered, or depending on the capabilities of drivers entered, something that the beginner can hit.

"We've done this on both road course and oval (instead of just having a beginner class), and it's done quite well. It helps the newbies not get discouraged, and allows anyone that shows up to run, regardless of equipment. And it's fun for everyone. We still have the normal classes as well, without the breakout time." -- CarbonJoe
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