THE Cub Report, 03.20.09, Version- Bernie Ecclestone Has The Worst Ideas Ever
Hello, hello, welcome to yet another edition of the famed and feared Cub Report, the rc industry’s only truly wfo opinion column.
Battle of the big league sponsorships. Did AE get pwned by Traxxas again? Well, the state of 1:1 short course racing is actually pretty fubar at the moment. CORR, who really put short course racing on the map with the general masses, might not even exist right now. They had an awesome tv package for last years races, with lots of big money series sponsors, but still came up short at the end of last season. Short enough, that they were not even able to hold the last couple races of the season. Since then, they’ve been in some strange limbo that is nearly certain to end in death, but, latest rumor is that “The King” Jeremy McGrath is looking to keep the series alive. With CORR almost certainly out of business, that leaves the “big team full size short course racing crowd” with two options for 2009, the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, and Rick “Too Hip” Johnson’s The Off Road Racing Championship Series (TORC).
So when the hell do I relate this to the rc crowd? Well, right now. It’s been big news that Traxxas ponied up the big moola to be the title sponsor for the TORC series, and also big news that AE has gotten on board the Lucas Oil series. So how did Traxxas pwn AE? Well, it’s hard to tell at this moment which series will become the premier series of that sport, or even if both of them will make it through 2009. The Lucas Oil series is mainly west coast, and already seems to have a tv package in place. The TORC series has the sports superbowl, Crandon Wisconsin, on its schedule, a decent lineup of sponsors, and it’s own tv package to be revealed soon. If TORC does go on to pick up the ball where CORR dropped it and become the premier league, Traxxas will have fully pwned AE in the full size sponsorship biz. And not only that, but by cutting all those big checks to TORC, Traxxas will give our sport/hobby perhaps the largest exposure to the general masses it has ever gotten, bringing in thousands upon thousands of new hobbyists. Of course AE has to be given some props for their involvement with the Lucas Oil series, but it’s unlikely they’ll make the nearly as much of a splash with their “official rc car” sponsor as Traxxas will with their title sponsors of the other series.
Some people have short term vision, others, long term. Have you looked at the new ROAR rules for short course trucks? I have. My first impression was of being totally shocked as I had estimated it to be another decade before ROAR would get off their asses and make rules for the class at all.
After talking with dozens of local racers, it seems most of them really like the way ROAR set up the rules for the short course trucks. They love how they are keeping them somewhat spec, somewhat tame, somewhat keeping the short course trucks as “the fun class”, not as a “serious” class.
Well, I’m going to speak out and say that ROAR, and all those old school racers are short sighted buffoons. And not just on one level, but on many.
First off, for those that appreciate how the ROAR rules are keeping the short course trucks as the “fun” class, I would like to point out that EVERY class is supposed to be the “fun” class. If every class you race isn’t fun, please go find another hobby to ruin.
Secondly, for those that appreciate how ROAR is somewhat keeping the short course trucks as short of a “spec” class, I would like to say that EVERY class could easily be made a spec class. The Traxxas Slash and upcoming Thunder Tiger/AE SC10 have nothing special about them that makes them the ultimate “spec” class. If local racers enjoy “spec” so much, that can be done with equal success with any other rc car/truck released. It’s the racers that make racing fun, not the truck.
Lastly, the only constant in life is change. Do you realize that it is rumored that there are no scheduled replacements for the XXX, XXX-T, and XXX-S? Those platforms are essentially dead. Why do you think Thunder Tiger/AE has not released the B5 and T5 platforms yet? There is no need. It’s not like their competition is releasing something better. It’s not like those would be “hot sellers”, because they won’t. Those platforms were the standard through the late 80’s and all through the 90’s. Nitro 8th scale has put a hurt’n on the 10th scale electric racers since the turn of the millennium, and now the era of scale realistic short course trucks are the final straw to break those former cash cows backs. Believe it or not, change is a certainty- with T4/XXX-T type trucks to become dinosaurs, and short course trucks to become the norm. When ROAR made the rules for the short course trucks, they should have done everything in their power to help make them the premier form of rc racing from the get go, not strangle the class with pathetic “keep it stock rules” and participate as a “demonstration” class limitations. Long term wise, it’s more likely the non-hobbyist masses will catch on to the more scale looking short course trucks than the T4/XXX-T mutant looking trucks we have been racing. For our sport/hobby to really break into the mainstream, any class more scale appearing needs extra support, from local racers, up to the idiots stroking the keypads at ROAR.
That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops, support you local tracks, and put those rc car related stickers on your 1:1 rides.
Your Cub Reporter