THE Cub Report – Rewriting The Rulebook
Happy December to you, with holiday season in full swing, so is indoor racing season. If you are a noob to rc, let me explain. During the summer months most people in our hobby like to race outside. During the winter months, things typically move indoors.
I don’t race either, because racing sucks. Right now everyone likes to focus on trophy races and keeping their 30% partial sponsorships rocking, when racing should simply be about fun at the local level, and fairness at the highest.
So here we go folks, this is what would happen if I was made head of ROAR tomorrow, rc’s most lovable sanctioning body (feel free to make your own list in the comments).
1. The massively-stupid no reverse rule would be GONE! Seriously, after DECADES, we are talking BASIC stuff here. F1 has reverse, is toy car racing more esoteric than F1? I think not. If F1 can have it, so should rc. Not to even mention all the upsides here, but I would be personally quite stoked to NEVER see another marshal step on my buggy while attempting to get to another car that is only stuck to the pipe because it has no reverse.
2. I would make two sets of rules, one for amateurs, one for professionals. Hey, it works in EVERY other form of racing, it WOULD work for rc. And not that my rulebook would have many differences between pros and amateurs, there wouldn’t be, the pro rules would mostly explain what it would take to get your pro card.
3. How do you get your pro card? In Cubby’s new rulebook, amateurs and pros would not race together, if you wanna race pro, you would have to earn it. If you’ve ever been in a ROAR national A-Main before, you could apply for your pro car. If you finish on the podium at the amateur nationals, same thing.
4. A return to realism. All classes would have more emphasis placed on scale realism. Wheels, tires, and bodies, in all classes, would have to slowly start morphing back to vehicles that look at least similar to their full scale equivalents. No, I am not talking about forcing on bodies/tires that suck, I am talking about bodies/tires that work well, but are also look realistic. Yes, I know first hand it can be done. Scale looking tires can work awesome on the track, just like bodies. You could expect buggy classes to require a scale driver figure and touring car classes to require actual lighting, kind of on that tangent.
5. Less classes, a LOT less classes. In other forms of racing, rules change often. When short course trucks are hot, they would have a class. When stadium trucks are not, they would not. The goal is take the 5 guys from 6 six different classes and get them racing together again. Of course you could race whatever classes you like, but if you wanna do good at the amateur nats, you might wanna race the classes that will be supported there.
6. Practice is the new qualifying. One of the biggest problems I have with rc racing is the lack of… wait for it… RACING! Have you ever spent all day the track qualifying, just to have some knuckle dragger knock you out in the first corner of the main? Let’s stop qualifying all day and get some actual racing in. The new rulebook would have your 3 hours of morning practice turn into a hot lap session, where your best 3 laps would determine your starting order for the mains (yes, plural).
7. So what would be a typical post-Cubby race day be like? Get to the track and hit practice. Every track holds at least a couple hours of practice before racing starts, so no big change other than your fastest 3 laps will count. This practice session puts you in your grid spot for your main. The rest of your race day would consist of 2 main event, ala motocross. Each main would be 15 minutes in length, therefore giving you at least 30 minutes of racing per class. Needless to say, that is a lot more “main event time” than the current 5-7 that you are probably getting right now. Because a typical race day will be drastically shortened via less classes and no rounds of qualifying, race days won’t be so long, nor as busy. Time to wrench AND talk to your buddies? WTF?
8. New classes? Damn right! As much as we need to cut classes, we need to add some too. Rock racing? Rock crawling? Scale crawling? Yes, yes, and YES! Nope, those aren’t the “classes” you were looking for, but ROAR is the sanctioning body for ALL of surface rc, not just the “classic” types like 1/10 2wd buggy. Also, FPV! No, FPV hasn’t taken off in surface yet, but instead of making rules 10 years AFTER they are needed, my rules would be pro-active.
9. It is all about the money, always. Sadly, right now our “big names” aren’t making diddly. Ya, I know sponsorship dollars are hard to come by (understatement), but I just happen to be a good salesman (blatant lie) and have the connections to bring in outside money to pay our champions with (mostly not a lie). For example, a big energy drink/automotive/etc company could get an OUTSTANDING ROI by being the title sponsor of the rc national championships. In fact, right now is a Very hot time for professional gamers. No, remote control cars aren’t in that league (yet), but right now our champions aren’t making any outside sponsor money, or really, much money at all. If you are gonna be serious about racing cars (of any type), there needs to be some serious money on the line. A national champion should never go home with a trophy paid for by an over-extended credit card, they should go home with a check for six digits.
So there is the gist of its folks. In a world that does not exist, in a parallel universe much stranger than ours, that would be just a start to the changes I would make to the rc racing rulebook. However, there are a few general rules that I would always stick by- like drastically reducing the amount of classes, making the rulebook MUCH thinner overall, as well as gradually introducing more scale realism. Combine that with creating a new amateur/pro system, a national championship series, and getting some outside the industry sponsors (Hello Red Bull/Apple/Ford/Geico!) to start putting more cash in our racer’s pockets, and that would be my starting point. Well, cause you know I actually do care about racing and would like to see it blow up, or at the very least, to stop it from completely dying off.
So there ya are folks, time for me to get out of my dreamworld, plus I am worded out for another week. If you can, drop by your local hobby shop or bash spot to help support your sport!
YOUR Cub Reporter