First off I want to say, this is a general blog post and is not aimed at any race promoter or track but, it is a discussion I feel like the industry needs to have.
Complaining is probably the biggest trend in the world right now. No matter what you do people will find a way to complain about something. You give someone $100 and they will ask why it wasn't $500. RC is no different and possibly worse because of the smaller community of racers. Someone posts something and just about every one in RC knows about it.
We have gotten to a point where it feels like nobody is satisfied with the race format. Racers are mad at spending more money to get the same amount of runtime you would get for a weekly club race and promoters are doing what they can but, struggling to pay the bills and give the racers a great event. Most of the races that claim to be a big event are only putting out club race style formats but, is that all we are getting? No. but do people care about the the little giveaways like event T-shirts, stickers and other little goodies that usually get lost before the weekend is over? Maybe but, I feel like the majority could go without them if the race format resembled a "large event" format.
To me, large events can have the typical 5min qualifier, but I would expect to see a longer main with at least two pitstops and double A mains for Electric classes. I believe the mains are the deciding factor of how big a race is. I feel a 20min main is the perfect length for let's say a tier 2 race.(Considering nationals, DNC, Silver State and others similar are Tier 1 and clubs races are tier 3). Racers that can go 10mins and want to risk that should be allowed to do that. The majority of the people racing wont be able to do it and the ones that can or want to risk it should be rewarded for their skill. That is part of racing just as much as being able to a difficult rhythm section that is faster and others cant do it. If you want to be faster, work on your race program and driving skill. Lower mains should not have long races in my opinion. The goal is to make the main event and that should be the only long main event. in Supercross, where the 450 main is 20mins, the LCQ isn't 10mins, its 6mins. It is designed to create a sprint-style last chance to make the main. Its not there to be used as a secondary main.
I have said this many times and actually myself and Steve Harris did the math. If you were to do one round with a 15min Qualifier and use the the top 5 average to settle qualifying, you will have 5 extra minutes of qualifying and only use an extra 30-40mins compared to two rounds of 5min qualifiers. the reason for this is because you cut the time between races and that time is used for actual drive time. if you were to do 12mins, its actually less time than two 5 min qualifiers.
So with all this "complaining" i am technically doing, here would be my solution to make a tier 2 big races separate from club races.
- Capped entries - you have to do it. It allows for a program to be accurately setup and possibly a times table to keep the program moving.
- 1 - 15min qualifier - 15mins is plenty of time to put in 5 good laps, it will also allow you to try some small changes or different tires.
- Short Lower mains - 7mins max for lower mains. Make it a sprint race, not a secondary main. The goal is to be in the A, this adds prestige to making the Main.
- Longer mains - Minimum 2 stops for a nitro main or even better, run two 10-15min mains and combine both scores. Double 10min for E classes.
- No Door prizes - Save money on these. Most racers(from what I see) don't really care about a T-Shirt. Event sponsors that want to donate giveaways are still cool, but if you dont need to spend the money here, save it.
- Harder to accomplish, but can help unlock a new world for RC races. Partner with a large YouTube or twitch page. Outside sponsors are looking to have their products viewed on a LARGE scale. Most companies such as monster, Red Bull and other corporate sponsors won't even acknowledge our industry because we don't get the views they want. Partnering with a person/brand with a huge following can potentially unlock some doors for the industry. This will also help promoters make some money and not have to completely reply on entries. I can only imagine the burnout feel when a race gets a low turnout, so being able to worry less on entry count will, in my mind, help keep the moral up.
I am sure there are other ways to make things happen, Im sure what I purpose will have bugs in it, but it is an attempt to make a change for the better of race promoters and racers alike. At the end of the day, racers want their money's worth and race promoters need to make money in order to keep races happening.
Have a comment or an idea? lets have a discussion!