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Old 12-17-2009, 06:40 PM   #31
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Two years ago, there were some extensive posts in here about taking the hobby mainstream – getting more media coverage, giving nitro racing more exposure, making it easier for people to get started, etc. Some people had some big ideas and because I fell of the map so to speak, I don't know what happen to some of the ideas that were pitched. Does anybody know? Are there any new tracks? Are there any regions in the country were on-road R/C has gotten more popular? If so, why? How did they do it?

Whatever the case may be, you still have the same basic problems with getting people into r/c and getting a track up and running, especially nitro:
  1. Interest. People have to enjoy driving little cars around - and fuel powered at that!
  2. Time to race, including race preparation.
  3. Money. Nitro RTR's aren't "that" cheap. Associated TC3 will still set you back about $329, plus fuel, plus whatever else you need to race. Once you get people into it, the monthly expenses start adding up quickly. Once people want to upgrade to a more competitive vehicle, that 's more cash out the door. [ BTW – Let's not discuss this money point if this post continues, because we all know that to drop a competitive car on the track costs $1K. plus ]
  4. Place to race, which is not easy to come by – parking lot or permanent track.
  5. Enough people participating to support a track – especially one that exists to make a profit.
Anybody solved any of these challenges? Anybody found a magic wand that allows someone to setup a turn-key permanent track that will make a profit within the first year or two?

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:42 PM   #32
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One solution idea :

Several RC business owners ( eg. rc fuel manufacturers, rc engine manufacturers, rc car manufacturers, rc radio manufacturers, rc hobby shops, rc magazines, individuals who dedicated himself to rc ) can joint and pool their resources to make annual, bi-annual, or tri annual race event for that area.

Here how it works : somebody ( maybe local hobby shop owner or individual who care RC so much ) make proposal to several rc business owners and asking their sponsorships. The money accepted will be use to rent the track, hire people to operate the race, buy trophies, etc. The goodies receives will be use for door prizes at the end of day.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:58 PM   #33
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Hey guys,

Man it has been so long since I've been on here! I been out of RC for a while myself. I too see a decline in certain classes due to lack of interest and or economic reasons. When I had my MTX4 racing at Floyd Bennett Field most of the people who came out to practice had 1/8th onroad cars. I was able to keep up with some and pass on the turns keeping a tight drivers line, however my tires wore out much faster. When driving the MRX4 a year back a set of tires lasted couple weekend runs. A set of tires even 38-40shore on the sedan lasts a few hours!

Being cost is a factor I would like to see more tracks start more classes focused around the beginners in mind. Not only would it help sales for many Hobby Stores but the new folks wouldn't be so intimidated by the pricier tags on the pro level kits. Before anyone bashes me - C'mon think about it! Do you guys remember when the HPI RS4 and Racer 2 were one of the best cars for the parking lot racer tracks to even some pro level racing. Infact until the MTX-2 and Serpent Impulse were out the only thing near the Racer 2 was the NEO TNT (now owned by Megatech) and I think much later on came the GS Vision. That and the popular HPI challenge events where people could just snag a RTR vehicle right out of the shop, a gallon of fuel and go race. Those days just doesn't get any better than that! Heck if I had enough money I'd open my own race track right here in Connecticut where there'd be enough parking, onsite hobby store, power, etc. There are some tracks, but being a former resident of Brooklyn, NY I do know how bothersome it is for most dealing with traffic when going up or coming down.

For next year I hope to see more RTR classes our or beginner level racing going on aside from GT classes. They should have something like RTR nitro sedan with possibly engine restrictions in mind being some come with .12s and others have .15s and larger. That or more HPI RTR events. I too have looked into electrics just for the ease and messing around some medium size tracks. When your track is 200' x 120' then you feel inclined to run a faster vehicle and that would require more money. Otherwise with a smaller track most RTRs (electric and nitro) would fair pretty nicely.
+1

You are every so true with this post. I started parking lot racing with the electric TC3 when it came out and moved on to nitro with the RS4-2/Racer 2 (both which I still have). Interest has been waning since onroad racing became a bigger business and got away from grassroot parking lot club racing. Exclusion of the "little guy" racer has hurt growth a lot in recent years.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:49 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by rmdhawaii View Post
Two years ago, there were some extensive posts in here about taking the hobby mainstream getting more media coverage, giving nitro racing more exposure, making it easier for people to get started, etc. Some people had some big ideas and because I fell of the map so to speak, I don't know what happen to some of the ideas that were pitched. Does anybody know? Are there any new tracks? Are there any regions in the country were on-road R/C has gotten more popular? If so, why? How did they do it?

Whatever the case may be, you still have the same basic problems with getting people into r/c and getting a track up and running, especially nitro:
  1. Interest. People have to enjoy driving little cars around - and fuel powered at that!
  2. Time to race, including race preparation.
  3. Money. Nitro RTR's aren't "that" cheap. Associated TC3 will still set you back about $329, plus fuel, plus whatever else you need to race. Once you get people into it, the monthly expenses start adding up quickly. Once people want to upgrade to a more competitive vehicle, that 's more cash out the door. [ BTW Let's not discuss this money point if this post continues, because we all know that to drop a competitive car on the track costs $1K. plus ]
  4. Place to race, which is not easy to come by parking lot or permanent track.
  5. Enough people participating to support a track especially one that exists to make a profit.
Anybody solved any of these challenges? Anybody found a magic wand that allows someone to setup a turn-key permanent track that will make a profit within the first year or two?

Inquiring minds want to know.
Well, a few things.

One problem is support for parking lot tracks. Many racers would rather drive 3 hours to a permanent track than around the corner to a parking lot track. low buck entry level racers don't want to travel, and if there'e no local track, there's no local racers.

Down in Florida several racers got together and began promoting races at Homestead Miami Speedway. They planned races on the same weekend as the IRL races. They went from a parking lot track, to a permanent track, and now to a soon to be expanded track that will host the IFMAR 1/8 worlds in 2011.

In '08 here in region 1 a racer who also races Karts got together with an indoor karting track. The track sponsors a car show every year. We were able to plan the Regional on the same weekend as the car show. It was a tremdous hit with everyone involved. That is until one of the property owners caught an RC racer smoking marijuana in the pits. We were asked not to return.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:53 AM   #35
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Well, a few things.

One problem is support for parking lot tracks. Many racers would rather drive 3 hours to a permanent track than around the corner to a parking lot track. low buck entry level racers don't want to travel, and if there'e no local track, there's no local racers.

Down in Florida several racers got together and began promoting races at Homestead Miami Speedway. They planned races on the same weekend as the IRL races. They went from a parking lot track, to a permanent track, and now to a soon to be expanded track that will host the IFMAR 1/8 worlds in 2011.

In '08 here in region 1 a racer who also races Karts got together with an indoor karting track. The track sponsors a car show every year. We were able to plan the Regional on the same weekend as the car show. It was a tremdous hit with everyone involved. That is until one of the property owners caught an RC racer smoking marijuana in the pits. We were asked not to return.
Always an A-hole to screw up the fun for everyone. That is why I am worried about huge events. It increases the chances for morons like the pot-head to screw it up for everyone else.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:59 PM   #36
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Down in Florida several racers got together and began promoting races at Homestead Miami Speedway. They planned races on the same weekend as the IRL races. They went from a parking lot track, to a permanent track, and now to a soon to be expanded track that will host the IFMAR 1/8 worlds in 2011.
+1

We're also racing there on March 19, 20 & 21 2010..
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:33 PM   #37
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Yea, I was thinking of you when I wrote that.

Good work needs to be recognized.
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:46 PM   #38
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Always an A-hole to screw up the fun for everyone. That is why I am worried about huge events. It increases the chances for morons like the pot-head to screw it up for everyone else.
Another thing I have been trying to tell racers is to watch what they do and say, because you never know who's watching.

Several years ago at a hobby shop track during the mains 2 drivers got into it because of an on track incident. We've all seen this before, and some have even been involved in one. This one was typical, there was yelling, there were gestures, but it never went to blows. No one liked it, but we thought nothing of it.

Several days later I was talking to the hobby shop owner. What we all missed was there was a man there with 2 of his kids, plus a neighbor kid. He had spent a lot of money in the hobby shop setting the kids up with RC cars. He saw the fight, and that was enough for him. He grabbed everything he had brought, and took it into the hobby shop and asked for his money back. He didn't care how much he got, he just knew he didn't want his kids racing there.

2 racers got into an argument, and who pays the price? The hobby shop owner, who had nothing to do with it. The track has since been ripped out and replaced with a party room, that makes a hell of a lot more money that the track did.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:22 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by jiml View Post
Well, a few things.

One problem is support for parking lot tracks. Many racers would rather drive 3 hours to a permanent track than around the corner to a parking lot track. low buck entry level racers don't want to travel, and if there'e no local track, there's no local racers.
Interesting observation. Parking lot tracks are a lot of work too - and not everyone wants to help setup. [ Note: There should be a parking lot track rule that says that no one works on their car until the track is setup. ] Everyone that stays until the end usually helps tear things down and put things away. Having racers clean up after themselves can also be an issue. I always walk the parking lot as things are shutting down to pick up all the small little bits and pieces that people tend to "leave behind" - glow plugs, small pieces of lexan, cut plastic ties, tire shore stickers - traces of evidence that the owner of the parking lot goes out of his way to find.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml View Post
Down in Florida several racers got together and began promoting races at Homestead Miami Speedway. They planned races on the same weekend as the IRL races. They went from a parking lot track, to a permanent track, and now to a soon to be expanded track that will host the IFMAR 1/8 worlds in 2011.
Awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiml View Post
In '08 here in region 1 a racer who also races Karts got together with an indoor karting track. The track sponsors a car show every year. We were able to plan the Regional on the same weekend as the car show. It was a tremdous hit with everyone involved. That is until one of the property owners caught an RC racer smoking marijuana in the pits. We were asked not to return.
This is another fine example of partnering with an existing event to promote R/C. The electric guys here have been able to sucessfully do that as well. Too bad about the smoker.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:26 PM   #40
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Always an A-hole to screw up the fun for everyone. That is why I am worried about huge events. It increases the chances for morons like the pot-head to screw it up for everyone else.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:38 PM   #41
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There are so many factors outside the obvious expenses of racing in general. No form of competitive racing comes cheap and this applies to many forms of sport. Yet I dont think it's $$ as RC is a hobby that when amortized of the off track hours is no more or less expensive than many aspects of every day living in general. Buying a few cans of coke from a convenience store and there goes a set of tyres.

Where I see the decline mostly is that there should be a better separation of social model motorsport enthusiasm versus racing. In addition, its mainly BOY thing and this often separates the mums and sisters from the sport. Creating a good social atmosphere and distinctly defining the difference when we have our RACE FACE : ON is important.

I think it's unwise to expect any driver to be in a "HELPFUL" mode when he has RACE FACE : ON. It's not the time nor place to introduce a newcomer as they will not appreciate how many years it's taken for those at the front of the field to get there. Nor appreciate that the equipment we used to get there took years to build.

We all see it, the newcomer with standard allen keys versus EDS/Hudy, yet we cant expect them to quite grasp the concept of pulling down our cars hundreds of times and the fact that a $20 Hudy 2mm is essiential, not just a want. I remember my first model and the fear I had to remove a motor and whether I would put it back correctly.

If anywhere, I feel the expenses can be reduced by clubs accomodating for tyre truers, setup gauges and helping newcomers become members and giving them a wholesale reduction on the common items such as glow plugs. fuel line fuel and tyres. So often as a newbie it seems that the hobby shops take avantages of their misfortune and that deters a LOT OF newcomers.

Then comes the social aspects, in life, each and everyone of us will probably deem at least two in a crowd as idiots. As our numbers reduce, the % of idiots increases. The key is to attract the crowd to dilute the interpersonal conflicts and negative history on track.

From their, accommodating the spectators and non racing family members to enjoy the day is probably the most challenging. While us racers are head down and BUM up, stressed solving tuning issues, we arent very approachable and we dont have much time. Hence there needs to be an alternate social atmosphere on track to build the numbers.

From the limited experience, I feel that if the top runners make appearances at social club days and leave their own cars at home and come to support and create the enthusiasm by demonstrating their techniques and skills on a new members car, it lifts the spirit of newcomers, and allows them to realise the depth of preparation that makes them top racers.

It happens in skateboarding, sponsored riders come to public parks, they provide emotional support, hand out some promotional gear, old wheels, yet they dont use up the skate time, they watch and praise the youngsters and alike to continue and let them know they too were once like them and perseverance is the key to any form of success.

As for the isolated incidents, its a fact of life, the issue is "Is the bigger picture" more inviting than the one off negative incident.

Ultimately, the message that winning a titles event may require a large investment, though for the sake of enjoyment, it's quite achievable with a limited budget. If winning is what is key and feel the need, then get the message across that the FIRST person one really needs to beat on track is "one's self against the clock" and self satisfaction will be rooted in the right way.


h
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:46 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by jiml View Post
Another thing I have been trying to tell racers is to watch what they do and say, because you never know who's watching.

Several years ago at a hobby shop track during the mains 2 drivers got into it because of an on track incident. We've all seen this before, and some have even been involved in one. This one was typical, there was yelling, there were gestures, but it never went to blows. No one liked it, but we thought nothing of it.

Several days later I was talking to the hobby shop owner. What we all missed was there was a man there with 2 of his kids, plus a neighbor kid. He had spent a lot of money in the hobby shop setting the kids up with RC cars. He saw the fight, and that was enough for him. He grabbed everything he had brought, and took it into the hobby shop and asked for his money back. He didn't care how much he got, he just knew he didn't want his kids racing there.

2 racers got into an argument, and who pays the price? The hobby shop owner, who had nothing to do with it. The track has since been ripped out and replaced with a party room, that makes a hell of a lot more money that the track did.
R/C is often promoted as a "family" activity. It is - as long as you keep your wife and kids away from the other racers. I got an earful from my wife after she and my son were hanging at the track for a few hours, about the other racer's behavior and comments.

All walks of life like R/C. Some people are "rough around the edges" so to speak, which can make things very uncomfortable for others. Swearing, jesturing and making lewd jokes can all put a damper on things in some people's eyes. People have to realize that R/C isn't a church outing.

But regardless, you are absolutely correct. As racers, we should all do the racing community a favor and try to be on our best behaviour at all times. Not easy to do for some.

Are there any "private" R/C clubs around? I thought that as a ROAR club, you were somewhat obligated to help further the cause by allowing newcomers to race.

During my absence from racing, the only on-road nitro parking lot track on the island shutdown. The few people I talked to could not explain "exactly" why, only that the club was informed not to race there anymore. After the holidays, I intend to speak to the owner and find out what the story is.
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Old 12-18-2009, 05:53 PM   #43
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There are so many factors outside the obvious expenses of racing in general. ... No form of competitive racing comes cheap and this applies to many forms of sport. Yet I dont think it's $$ as RC is a hobby that when amortized of the off track hours is no more or less expensive than many aspects of every day living in general. Buying a few cans of coke from a convenience store and there goes a set of tyres.

Where I see the decline mostly is that there should be a better separation of social model motorsport enthusiasm versus racing. In addition, its mainly BOY thing and this often separates the mums and sisters from the sport. Creating a good social atmosphere and distinctly defining the difference when we have our RACE FACE : ON is important.

I think it's unwise to expect any driver to be in a "HELPFUL" mode when he has RACE FACE : ON. It's not the time nor place to introduce a newcomer as they will not appreciate how many years it's taken for those at the front of the field to get there. Nor appreciate that the equipment we used to get there took years to build.

We all see it, the newcomer with standard allen keys versus EDS/Hudy, yet we cant expect them to quite grasp the concept of pulling down our cars hundreds of times and the fact that a $20 Hudy 2mm is essiential, not just a want. I remember my first model and the fear I had to remove a motor and whether I would put it back correctly.

If anywhere, I feel the expenses can be reduced by clubs accomodating for tyre truers, setup gauges and helping newcomers become members and giving them a wholesale reduction on the common items such as glow plugs. fuel line fuel and tyres. So often as a newbie it seems that the hobby shops take avantages of their misfortune and that deters a LOT OF newcomers.

Then comes the social aspects, in life, each and everyone of us will probably deem at least two in a crowd as idiots. As our numbers reduce, the % of idiots increases. The key is to attract the crowd to dilute the interpersonal conflicts and negative history on track.

From their, accommodating the spectators and non racing family members to enjoy the day is probably the most challenging. While us racers are head down and BUM up, stressed solving tuning issues, we arent very approachable and we dont have much time. Hence there needs to be an alternate social atmosphere on track to build the numbers.

From the limited experience, I feel that if the top runners make appearances at social club days and leave their own cars at home and come to support and create the enthusiasm by demonstrating their techniques and skills on a new members car, it lifts the spirit of newcomers, and allows them to realise the depth of preparation that makes them top racers.

It happens in skateboarding, sponsored riders come to public parks, they provide emotional support, hand out some promotional gear, old wheels, yet they dont use up the skate time, they watch and praise the youngsters and alike to continue and let them know they too were once like them and perseverance is the key to any form of success.

As for the isolated incidents, its a fact of life, the issue is "Is the bigger picture" more inviting than the one off negative incident.

Ultimately, the message that winning a titles event may require a large investment, though for the sake of enjoyment, it's quite achievable with a limited budget. If winning is what is key and feel the need, then get the message across that the FIRST person one really needs to beat on track is "one's self against the clock" and self satisfaction will be rooted in the right way.


h
Well said.
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Old 12-18-2009, 07:40 PM   #44
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Default helping others

ditto the well said comment. You should at every race try to seek out an opportunity to help someone, it is a great feeling to see someone improve with the little knowedge that most of us have. remember the if your the top guy at your track that you can''t race if the 30 behind you don't show up. remember to leave what brand of car you drive at the door so to speak just help whoever or whatever they drive get better. Peter Breton
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:07 PM   #45
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ditto the well said comment. You should at every race try to seek out an opportunity to help someone, it is a great feeling to see someone improve with the little knowedge that most of us have. remember the if your the top guy at your track that you can''t race if the 30 behind you don't show up. remember to leave what brand of car you drive at the door so to speak just help whoever or whatever they drive get better. Peter Breton
This is like a catch 22. The newbs are eager to learn and eager to share new information and knowledge. The better their skills get, the more they need to concentrate on tuning and may not be as helpful to other newbs. They get better and better, then get sponsorship. This seems to be the attitude of a lot of sponsored racer. They don't have time to help a beginner tune their car because they are expected to work on their own to perform well for the sponsors. Don't get me wrong, there are great guys out there who do share their knowledge with the beginners. But most of them are so focused on their cars, that they don't even come up to breath air. I'm wasn't even good and I am guilty of the above.

I was heavily into racing a few years ago but since local track closed, I ventured into rc planes. Then I realized how relatively cheaper it is to fly planes than to race. A full race car and necessary equipment, tools, spares, and tires will cost $1500 to $2000 plus maintenance, track fees, fuel. I got a nice radio and 7 park flyer sized planes with that kind of money, complete with servos and power systems (enough planes to make a hanger out of my garage). As much as I love to go back, the cost of racing is going to keep me from doing so.
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