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Old 10-21-2014, 06:37 PM   #149
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Brisbane
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Originally Posted by JLock View Post

Here is a link to the basic rules that GT started running by since late 2007.

These rules had been modified over the years to try to keep up with the evolution of the class. The engine rules for the Spec Class changed when spec was a viable option (started with RTR engines, then made a list of low-cost engines {all were $200 and under}, then modified to what you see on the link). The original rules developed were for Spec and Open only. As things changed, Outlaw and Electric were added as part of the evolution. The core of these rules (Open and Spec) were developed long before ROAR's rules (which they used as a basis for some of their current rules) by a group of racers from Leisure Hours Raceway (headed by Bubbacola). They were the first group to organize racing these cars and many of the rules developed around the world in the beginning of GT racing (including the rules in the link) were based off Bubbacola's rules.
Jlock, there have been developing problems in Australia in IC On-Road in the last 6 years, I don't think any one person or concept is to blame. As everyone knows global economic issues hit the pockets of everyone so we won't go there.

Onto GT, we ran at a AARCMCC sanctioned event where it was a small short track, wide enough but tight. We were running our 200mm, it was the first time a good field of GT's came and encouraging to see event numbers grow. As usual there were distinct differences in skill level. Some cars were a little "bashy and loose" others were quite tight, there were heaps of cars at the finish line and there was a lot of barrier hopping and u-turns going on and from where I was standing most of them didnt fall to pieces and there were a lot of happy faces.

I pondered over whether the field was better off with or without the those couple of experienced driver and concluded that it was a good idea to have some experience in the field to set a good driving etiquette for the new comers.

Personally I think it should be pullstart, fuel bottle, glowy and plug/tyre wrench. But they use starter boxes and I totally get it from a Novice point of view that a starter box has to be the way to go. Run IC 200mm for a few years and I really do think the simplicity and cost effectiveness of a true pull start RTR class, but that's all learned in hindsight once you get to know the cars. Im sure there's hours of specifics involved in getting the big picture sorted but there was one guy....

It was his first sanctioned meeting ever, he made the 3 hour trip and attended, kudos to him for having a go. The engine in his car was tired, he was struggling to get it tuned. He wasn't frustrated, just eager and he was loving the atmosphere and I stepped over and offfered to take a look.

He said he had another engine, it was stilla little tight, coming from novice ourselves, it's always risky to change, so we persisted in trying to get the engine to behave and it wasn't playing ball. There wasn't enough time for a tear down and another driver came across and said "Use your new engine..." We all know what it's like at the beginning hanging on to additional expenses as long as we can, he agreed to bite the bullet and swap engines...

So from a novice point of view, this guy took the plunge and had a go at a state title and why not! There were experienced people helping him improve his skill set and car performance and he was soaking it all in and loving it. Later as I was watching the finals and it ended, he came over right after the race and with giant beaming eyes and a huge smile. Said...

"That's the most awesome experience, I ran for 30 WHOLE minutes non stop and had a BLAST!!"

I thanked him back for enjoying it, it was a pleasure to see someone still at the root of our hobby, enjoying his race car, not yet caught up in lap times or results, brands or sponsors and adding one more happy driver to the event.

When specifications make it difficult for newcomers to enjoy because others are buying car performance and imposing that on newcomers that just came to have a good time and finish, that's when things need to get real about how we classify drivers and their motives for the class.

I've had the idea of inviting top drivers to setup and set a benchmark time to let newcomers get a real value to work from and be able to rationalise who and what they are up against so they know when to re-assess the situation. Might also put a little peer pressure on those who are doing it for the wrong reasons. Adding subjective rules are definitely not the way to go!

I mentioned earlier that it's important to have experience on track, it's more about newcomer education, not just car tuning and engineering. Newcomers appreciate the support, they can have a good time coming last if the RC community lets them know that at the front of the field, it's going to be tough and it might be wiser to hang in there, get your skills and kit sorted and when they can't get further in GT results to step up a class and make some room for another newcomer.

If GT is an avenue to expose newcomers to the long term commitment required to develop into internationally recognized classes, then it's a good breeding ground for newcomers. I too have read the excessive investment and $$ drive for performance and without some experienced heads on the drivers stand to keep it real, then it's just another fad poaching drivers from the International IC specs.

I was watching youtube 1/8 racing and thought,*g* those wheels look big and why are they so slow.... then realised they were using Lola shells on a GT car, ouch!
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