IROCC Info > Newbie Info

Want to Start Racing?

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weekend camper:
Many people cannot believe how fun and competitive RC racing is until they see it for the first time. The first few questions people have are usually very similar and we would like to take the opportunity to explain what it takes to get started in this exciting hobby that can be enjoyed by ANYONE!

COMMON QUESTIONS
last update: June 2012 -- needs more updating though -- all info subject to change without notice


How Fast do They Go?

Electric (stock class) ~ 25 mph
Nitro (gas) ~ 45-60 mph
World record (2011) ~ 161.76mph (highly modified electric car) http://gizmodo.com/5810686/watch-the-fastest-rc-car-break-the-world-speed-record


How much do they cost?

Our entry class is the Associated 18R.  These cars are great for novices, as they come in a kit, are cheap (depends, $250+ new, used for less), readily available and really stand up to crashes well.  The club usually has a kit available for sale at the track, or grab via your favourite hobby store.

A dedicated RC hobby quality race car (not a toy store brand) with everything you need to race (see below) can cost between $500 and $2500.  Used cars can be had for less, nitro cars with serious "race" equipment are more.

Depending on how much "stuff" (batteries, tools, chargers, spare parts, tent, table etc) you bring to the track, the cost of the car can be a small chunk of your overall budget.  Don't worry though, most guys will share equipment with rookies.

What car should I get to start out with?

The entry class Associated 18R is a great RC car for beginners.  The kit comes RTR (ready to run) with a brushless motor, a slow charger, NiMH battery (upgrade to Lipo ASAP- about $30 for lipo), 2.4Ghz radio and a painted truck body. Invest in a set of foam tires when you can for better traction because the stock rubber tires leave a lot to be desired on our asphalt track.  Upgrades are available for the car.

If you want to dive right in, a 1/10th touring car, either as a new RTR, unbuilt kit, or used, would be a great choice too.  The guys at BC Shaver, downtown Victoria on Fort, or Notorious RC in Nanaimo would be more than happy to set you up with something.  Just tell 'em you want to race with IROCC.  A used car from an IROCC member is also good, because the guys will know the car and it will likely come with extra parts.

Our nitro and 1/12th modified cars are not recommended for beginners.

BRANDS:  It really doesn't matter which brand you get, but ... most IROCCers run some model of either XRAY or Associated.  Getting a brand that is "at the track" will help because replacement parts are readily/usually available at the track come race day. 

What else should I bring to race day?

A chair, a table to work on for sure. 

<needs more>

When do you race?

Sundays in the summer, Saturdays in the winter for indoor.

What happens on race day?

Track setup at 9:00am sharp, for about an hour.  It can be quicker if there are lots of guys to help.
Registration and Practice. Depends, might be 15 minutes, might be 45.
Sometime before noon, we race the first qualifier (heats). There are two or three qualifying races as time permits, and then a main event for each class and each heat within those classes. Each of the three rounds takes about an hour of actual time.
The Mains (the main races which are sorted according to qualifying position from the day's 3 previous heat races) starts somewhere around 3pm, with track tear down complete by 5pm or so.

Winter racing is indoors in a gym, so the time schedule is a little different.  Track set up is about 3:30, with the first heat starting around 6pm or so.  Track is torn down and put away by 11pm at the latest.

How many classes are run?

We race 10th scale Electric "Stock" class. This is the most competitive class and one of the most cost effective forms of RC racing.   The idea is to limit horse power in this class, which leads to slower crashes and closer overall racing.

We also run 10th scale Nitro or Gas class, a very fast class of racing that is definately not recommended for beginners, not only because of the borderline uncontrollable speed but because the cars are harder to setup and maintain.

Our flag ship class is the 1/12th Pan car.  These are as simple as you can get with RC, with four wheels, a motor and a minimally adjustable chasis holding it together.

IROCC (and RC in general) has moved towards the "new" tech of LiPO batteries and brushless motors.  You are still welcome to run the "old" tech of NiMH batteries and brushed motors.


What is a heat race?

Because we have way more racers in each class than can fit on the race track, and also because the range in ability is great, we split up the classes into heats based on your last week's performance. We never have more than 8-10 racers on the track per heat, so if we had 28 drivers in electric stock we would break that down into 4 heats of 7 drivers.


Must you race in the same heat all of the time?

No, you would race in the same heat for the the qualifying races and then the whole group is re-sorted for the main events, so if someone in a lower heat, say heat "D" was really really fast all day and had the best overall time then that person would be on the pole position in the "A" main. The A is the fastest group, followed by the "B" and "C" and so on.


Are there any fees on race day?

Yes, $5 will let you race ine one class all day if you are a member. Membership is $20. Without membership, a day's racing will cost you $10.

Indoor racing is just one class and costs $15.

IROCC has a "rent a ride" program available.  First come, first served.  Talk to someone at the main tent for current info.


Can an inexperienced person show up with a new car and get some help?

Definetly! We love to help out and are doing everything we can to see our club grow. Everyone is friendly and willing to help out - ask anyone and they will lend a hand.


What is the learning curve like? How long before I am moving up the ranks?

Although it appears very challenging at first glance, R/C racing does not take too long to get the hang of. We have many long term members, as well as newcomers of all ages, making for lots of great racing no matter if it is the "A" Heat or the "D" Heat. Most drivers improve every race and after about 1/2 a season are usually starting to move up the field. Some drivers are "B" Main or even "A" Main drivers after only a year or two of racing.


How long are the races?

In electric racing all heat races and the main event are 6 minutes long. It is not a certain number of laps to the finish, just as many full laps as you can in 6 minutes. So, if you are running in first and cross the finish line on lap 22 at 5:58, then you get to come all the way around again (full laps remember) and take the checkered flag. So you would finish with 23 laps in 5:17 minutes total or something close to that. If another driver, say in second place, crossed the finish line 3 seconds behind the leader, that driver would not have made the finish line in time (before the 6 min race is over) and would have finished with 22 laps in 6:01.

Gas races are 5 minutes for heats, 10 minutes for the "B" Main, and 20 minutes for the "A" Main. Typically each driver can only go about 5-6 minutes on a tank of fuel so a number of pit stops are required to finish the race.

Indoor racing heats are 8 minutes long.

How do you keep track of all the cars?

We score all of the races with a computer. It sorts the qualifying heats and sets up the main events. Each car has a small electronic transponder mounted inside the body. This sends a signal that is detected at the Start/Finish line. This way the computer counts and times every car on the track. There is a bridge across the track at the Start/Finish line that contains a wire that is connected to a receiver and the laptop computer.

The club has "hand out transponders" if your car doesn't have a personal transponder attached.


Do you have to paint your own bodies?

"Ready to Run" kits have a painted body and regular kits that you assemble yourself do not. Painting can be very simple or extemely complicated or artistic - it is up to you. Some racers at the track are for hire to paint your race car bodies.  Stickers (er, decals) kits can make up for a lack of (perceived) artistic talent.

Painting the lexan bodies we use is its own topic altogether.  The main points are that you need special paint (for polycarbonate), and the paint is applied inside the body, not the outside.   

A very wordy (with some pictures) tutorial is http://www.rctech.net/articles/painting_hauntedmyst.shtml ... seems like it covers the topic and then some.


We are always eager to recruit new club members, so if you have anymore questions, please donít hesitate to ask.

weekend camper:
blank for future post

shaner:
i would like to see track on sunday july 29 and aybe rent a car and race that is if racing this sunday
thanks
ps is there a race july29

Blake:
Hi there,

Yes, we are racing this Sunday, July 29.  It shouldn't be a problem for you to try the rental-ride.  You will want to show up around 9:30AM - 10:00AM.

Blake

ColinB:
What class or rules are there for winter season indoor racing? In other words, what sort of car/motor/battery should we be looking at getting?
Thanks,
Colin

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