RC Race Day How It Works & What To Expect.

So your thinking of attending your first race but your not sure how the day will pan out. You may have been to a couple practice days here and there. Now your thinking lets go for it! It’s OK if you haven’t had any practice, a race day is allot of fun. New people join racers all the time and race directors are more than aware of this. The layout of the races will include heats and rounds and these will be divided up based on skill level.

Do I need to book in?

The most important step you can take to begin with is to get yourself booked in. Depending on your local track they all have different methods to book in. The information you need to provide when you book in largely stays the same.

In the UK you need a BRCA License (British Radio Control Car Association) to race remote control cars. Some tracks let you race a couple of times without a license.

Most race tracks or event organizers will ask you to book in through there website. The race entry form will ask you questions like this.

Name, Email, Phone – The usual contact details.

Event – this is the event you are booking yourself into.

BRCA / License number – this is the number on your BRCA License (this applies to UK, other countries may require a similar license type).

Vehicle Type – this will be the class of your rc car. For example 1/8th buggy or 1/8th truggy.

Model – the manufacturers name for you rc car example Tekno EB48.1.

Crystals – you wont see this much radio technology has come a long way. Most frequencies will be 2.4ghz. If you still have an old radio system 27mhz or 40 mhz. You will need to enter your crystals frequency band example “R-24 27.195mhz”.

Fuel Type  – this will either be nitro or electric some may ask for further information. For nitro cars they may ask you for the engine size and the number of ports your engine has example the Picco V1 Star engine is a “.21 3-Port”.

Transponder number – this is an important one, this device is a tracker every time you go across the start/finish line it records your lap time and position in the race. Its important to choose a transponder which works with a ride range of decoders. The numbers are unique to each transponder. If you purchased your transponder second had it may be recorded at some track under a different racers name. Just check with the race director before the race starts.

Ability – be realistic here this is how they split the drivers by skill level.

Driver Type – usually when they split groups further junior, senior or veteran.

Once you have booked in, make a note of the timings for the day. You will want to arrive and register before the drivers briefing starts.

Club Race Day Format Example.

8:00 am gates open.

8:30 am drivers briefing. All drivers are advised to attend the drivers briefing. The race director will explain the rules and layout of the day.  The race director will also show you the direction of the circuit. During the briefing or just before the race starts the heat list will be up on the boards. You will need to find what heat you are in and when you are marshaling.

If you are in the last heat you will be Marshalling the first race. On the heat listings you will see a position number next to your name this is your race number. If you are race number 4 you will marshal position 4 after your race. If the track provides you with stickers place the number on your car in a position where the race director can easily see from the grand stand.

A typical format for the heats is 1 or 2 rounds of practice first. During the practice rounds you will see results including your position and lap time. However these will not be counted towards the results at the end of the day.

This will be followed by usually 3 or 4 rounds of qualifying with a a few minutes warm up. A qualifying round can last 5-7 minutes or more depending on the class of racing. Some tracks have monitors and speaker systems, which let drivers know their positions during qualifying.

Then the finals these are split into qualifying results and can range from 15 minutes up to 45 minutes per final. The finals are grouped like this A final, B Final, C Final and so on. The A final will have the highest skill level. During qualifying things can go wrong someone could crash into you. Or your car could let you down through mechanical breakdowns.

Don’t worry quite often in club races, regionals and nationals you have the ability to bump up. For example you could be in the C final but finish in position 1, 2 or 3 and bump up into the B final. Lets say the B final has 10 racers and you finished in position 1 in your C final you will start in position 11 in the B final. If you finished 2nd you will start in position 12 and so on.

9:00 am race starts. – round 1 heat 1 practice. Racers in this heat will be getting ready in the pit line. While marshals will be going to their posts. If you are racing nitro cars its helpful to have a friend as a pit buddy to help fill up the car during the race.

After the practice rounds it usually goes straight into qualifying heats and round 1 heat 1 will begin.

Most events have a short 2-5 minute grace period between heats. After you finish your race you will need to return to the pitting area and get ready to go to your marshal point for the next race. After you have Marshalled you can return to the pit lane check your car over or relax a little. Keep an eye on the current heat it wont be long before round 2 starts and you are back out in pit lane ready to race.

12:00 pm lunch time. – grab a bite to eat relax a little your half way there. At this point in the day you would have completed the practice rounds and probably 1 or 2 qualifying rounds. Take some time to give your car a once over. Ensure nothing is broken or damaged and your car is primed ready for the next round.

12:30 pm back on track. – All marshals will return to there posts and racers will be getting ready in the pit lane.

2:00 pm finals start. – All qualifying rounds have now finished. Your finals position will be listed on the board. You now know what final you will be in and what position you will start from. The difference here is the bottom final will be the first out on the track. All racers in the A final will need to marshal first.

Remember if the race director allows bump ups (most do) and you finish in position 1, 2 or 3. You will be straight out again in the next final. This is another reason why it is helpful to have a friend with you to marshal while you race.

5:00 pm presentations. – Now that was a long day you maybe feeling tired by this point. Give yourself a pat on the back you have completed your first race day. Some tracks give trophies and plaques right down to position 7. If you finished in position 1, 2 or 3 in your final and bumped up you could be getting a trophy/plaque for the C final and B final.

More information

Race series at a local track. – if you attend a racing series for example a summer series. You will have 6 race days similar to the above layout. If you have 1 or 2 bad days it is OK. Over the course of a series its usually your best 4 that count towards your overall position.

Regional and national races. – these events are much larger and include quarter finals, semi finals and finals.

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