Do we need to modernise how we race?

I read a post on the Action RC website this morning which got me thinking, The article in question was titled Opinion: Drop the Drop, and it made me think about it.  Now i’m a fairly new hand at RC racing, and I am the kind of person that accepts that the rules are the rules and that is just how racing is.  However after reading an thread on RC tech with relation to unifying EP ONR racing across Australia combined with the issue of drops got me thinking about what we could do better in Electric racing if we could change just one thing.

As I mentioned before, whilst I have been into all things RC since a child, it has only been as an adult I have even owned any hobby grade RC cars, and only raced when a club was re established in my area in 2010,  and i’ve been hooked since!  However the status Quo for me was just the way that it was.  As I learned more about RC racing I found out about how IC OFR races were much longer, how sanction races have rain day’s allowed for (something that being an indoor racing club we have never had to contend with) and other such differences to how full size motorsport is run.  However where regular motorsport is well attended with reams, racers and crowds, RC racing is still very much considered a niche.

One thing that my club trialled for some time, was 10 minute finals when the norm is still for 5 minute races. Certainly everybody had the battery capacity, so we went for it, and honestly, I enjoyed, and still enjoyed, the 10 minute format far more than the 5 minute race as I have longer to get into the rhythm and stay there, and enjoy the racing with less carnage that often comes with race starts. When people wanted to go back to 5 minute races I was disappointed, but my voice was only 1 amongst those wanting the AARCMCC standard format.  It wasn’t until I read Drop the Drop that my mind went back to that, what would I change, how could I make the sport more enjoyable?  For me, it would be 2 x 10 minute finals rather than 3 x 5 minute ones.  And there is a time saving with the 10 minute races instead of 2×5 ones because you have less changeover time between the extra round.

As to making the sport more attractive to others, it is undeniable that Short Course Trucks have brought in not only new races of all ages, but a new generation into RC racing.  It isn’t the fastest or most glamorous class, but the racing is cheap, close and most of all, FUN!  The second factor is Scale and Realism, the short course trucks look and behave like something you can see on your TV screen in the US Short Course races, or even in the Australian Off Road Championship closer to home.  Yes, many step up to more competitive and “sexy” racing classes, and that is fine, but without a doubt, without Short Course, 1:10 Electric off road would not have the popularity it has regained today.  Short Course Buggies have a similar potential, although not realised as yet.

At a higher level of AARCMCC sanctioned races and State champions etc, there probably needs to be more acceptance of new classes, it took a long time for there to be a set of Short Course rules to get set in place and accepted, and whilst I know that is not easy there certainly seemed to be reluctance to accept a class that has possibly saved this corner of the hobby.  But my focus here has been on club racing which is the arena that the majority of us exist in, racing, crashing, competing and having FUN FUN FUN!   So if you have an idea of how racing could be done better, bring it up at your club, try it out and see if it works, and if it works, pass on the idea to others or up to AARCMCC.  After all, we all have fantastic ideas, sometimes it is just hard for some of us to hear something that might change what has been accepted for too long as the “norm”.

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