THE Cub Report- 11.14.2010, Version- I’m Not Crazy, and I Have the Paperwork to Prove IT!
Am I just crazy or did Ferrari suffer a meltdown with their race strategy at Abu Dhabi? For those not in the loop, yesterday was the season finale to the Formula 1 series. Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso stood an excellent chance of bringing home the World Drivers Championship, but due to getting stuck behind slower cars after an early pit-stop, he’s finishing the race in 7th place, handing the World Championship to Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. Certainly Vettel is a deserving champion, but it’s a hard pill for a Ferrari fan like me to swallow. Any which way, the 2010 F1 season was incredible from start to finish.
In toy car rc World Championship news, arguably the most prestigious race in our hobby was held last weekend in Thailand, the IFMAR 8th scale off road worlds. This race is the epitome of all that is wrong with rc racing.
I might very well be clinically insane, but- the event was too freak’n long. Most of the major factory teams have been there well over a week, and have visited this far away venue multiple times already this year. There is absolutely no need for rc racing teams to fly over to Thailand multiple times for preparation, that simply is a huge waste of money. If IFMAR would have banned the teams from pre-running the venue, and eliminated the “pre-worlds/warm up” race, they could have saved the teams tens of thousands of dollars, money that would have been better spent paying team members or even feeding the starving people of this world. Seriously, just how does having factory teams visiting (read- testing/getting in laps) months in advance lead to getting a more deserved World Champion or to “better racing”? It doesn’t. This is a grievous error on IFMAR’s part. Hopefully they pull their brains out of their rear-ends and limit the time at the worlds venue to just the week of the event. And yes, this can be policed, it’s pretty hard for Hara or Drake to just show up somewhere and not be noticed, especially in Thailand.
Practice on Thurs, qualifying on Friday, “mains” on Saturday, and catch a flight out of there Sunday morning IS the optimal schedule. Just where is the need for a team to show up days early, then qualifying for a week?
And since when are 6 rounds of qualifying a good idea? Can anything be determined by 6 rounds that you can not do in just 3? IFMAR needs to take a LONG, HARD look at full scale racing to see how it should be done. A week worth of qualifying is an Enormous waste of time and resources. What is IFMAR trying to do, waste as much money as possible? Work the teams till they physically drop? The top teams and drivers need to say “ENOUGH”. The race program is far too long.
Also, the TQ after 6 rounds of qualifying ended up being American Jared Tebo. Props to Jared, he worked and drove his a$$ off. So you’d think Tebo would have started first on the grid correct? Nope. IFMAR has the most ridiculous way of holding the mains. The fastest driver of the two semi finals was Hara, so he actually started on pole for the main. So, just why in the hell do you hold 6 rounds of qualifying to determine a TQ, for the TQ to not occupy pole position during the final? That is asinine. Does anyone at IFMAR ever use one TINY bit of common sense?
The same can be said about bump ups. IFMAR used 6 freak’n rounds of qualifying to determine the top 10 drivers etc, yet, even the TQ is not even guaranteed a spot in the main. Remind me please, so just what is the purpose of 6 rounds of qualifying if even the TQ (or any of the the top 10) is not guaranteed a spot in the big show? IFMAR essentially ran 6 rounds of quals, followed by another set of quals known as the lower mains. ENOUGH qualifying, MORE RACING!!!! Gezzus…
And this type of “qualifying” is meaningless and impossible to understand by the masses. Hardcore racer types that use this format on a weekly basis know how the IFMAR ladder works, but the casual racer/basher/mainstreamer has no clue. IFMAR needs to put some KISS rules to it’s qualifying. What’s the point of qualifying if only a small portion of the population understands how it works?
And just who from IFMAR thought the Thailand track was proper for the event anyways? If you didn’t see the track, they covered it with oil (yes- oil) to get “traction”, and used cement (yes, you heard me correctly- cement) to patch the rough spots, make jumps, etc. Rc racing should emulate full scale, not only in the looks of the cars, but also on the types of tracks we race on. Would an IFMAR official PLEASE point me to a full scale off road track (anywhere in the world, or any other world for that matter) that uses oil for traction and cement for patching rough spots and jump faces? Is every person at IFMAR blind? They must be, as the Thailand track in no way represented a full scale buggy off road venue. Why doesn’t IFMAR just skip the bullsh!t and just start covering every track with carpet. IFMAR seemingly wants perfect traction and perfect jump faces- carpet covered metal ramps would do just that, and would be just as alien to the real world as the Thailand track. Can we just keep it real? Real dirt? Just dirt, no oil or cement required.
Lastly, the biggest gripe from the IFMAR race… Can you truly determine a “World Championship” over just a single one hour main event? Are you certain to get the worlds best driver on top of the podium every time after just a single one hour main? American Cody King won the 2010 World Championship, and he won it fair and square. King IS the world champion, and deserved so. But there is, and has been for years, talk from the drivers and factory teams that determining the championship over a single one hour main is far from optimal. A race series to determine the championship would cost rc teams a ton, but that’s how it’s done in every major full scale championship. I’d suggest that instead of IFMAR screwing around with a week qualifying, why not hold multiple A finals? What if you are by far the fastest driver in the world and flame out during a single final? Indeed, your bid for the world championship is over. If multiple finals were held, it would give all the drivers a more fair shot to show exactly where they stack up.
Yes, I must be crazy. I’m probably F’d in the head, and the way IFMAR holds its worlds must be absolute perfection.
Or perhaps I’m the only person saying what everyone else in the industry is thinking……..
That’s it for this week, support your local hobby shops, tracks and bash spots!
YOUR Cub Reporter