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Everybody has to start somewhere,
and the best place to start is at a club meeting. The following guide should
help you to understand and enjoy radio control Racing.
We welcome drivers of all abilities from complete novices through to experienced racers.
If you intend to compete at one of the race meetings, you should arrive at the track by 9.30am.
When you arrive you will have to book in at race control. Booking in takes place shortly after 9.30am. When you book in, you will need to tell us your name, all the frequencies that you have available, and pay the entry fee. £8 for non-members. If you wish to become a member, you can collect a form from race control and complete it trackside.
Practice is open from 10.15am until 10.35am. If you want to practice, you must first take the peg that has your frequency number (or colour) on it from the board. This peg entitles you to switch your radio on and use your car for 5 - 10 minutes. When you have finished, please return the peg to the board, as other drivers may be waiting to use the same peg. You must not switch your transmitter on during practice unless you have the correct peg. If the peg is not on the board, either ask the drivers on the rostrum, or come to race control and we will put out a call.
Before the racing begins, a driver's briefing will take place. You should attend this, and listen to the instructions that are given. This will explain the start procedure, marshalling duties, etc and any special procedures for the day. If you have any questions, please ask.
A list of all the heats will be displayed on the back of the driver's rostrum. You should check this as it has 3 important pieces of information on it.
1. Your heat number.
2. Your car number.
3. Your frequency.
If you booked in and had more than 1 frequency, you may have to change frequency. The first choice that you give us, may not always the one that you will end up racing on. If you give a choice of frequencies at booking in, please make sure that you have them with you and that you can change to them if necessary.
The car numbers are available from race control, as are the transponders, which will automatically count your laps. The transponders are available for collection prior to your race and must be returned immediately after your race. They should be securely fixed to the car, usually to the underside of the body shell. You will need to drill an 8mm hole and have a spare body clip. The windscreen or side pod away from the engine are favourite, however, some cars now have a purpose made holder which should be used. Never allow the transponder to come into contact with the hot engine / exhaust, or any rotating gears / shafts, as they will be damaged. Each transponder costs over £55 to replace.
An announcement will be made over the PA system, calling drivers for the next heat. If this is you, you should make your way to the rostrum, with your car and mechanic. Before each race there is a couple of minutes of warm up. Use this time to get your car's engine warm and get used to the track. You are not racing at this stage. The cars will be called to the line and you should drive your car into the pit lane. Never drive the wrong way around the track or into pit lane. If you have just started a new lap, continue the lap and enter pit lane. We will wait for you to finish the lap.
Once in pit lane your mechanic should fill your car and wait for the start marshal's signal to release the car. The cars are released at 1 - 2 second intervals. This is called a "staggered start". Qualifying is against the clock not other drivers. Your 5-minute race will begin when you cross the start/finish line for the first time. If during the race, a faster car comes up behind you, do not block or crash into it, instead you should pull to one side and allow the faster car through. Try and follow the faster car, you will learn the correct lines and corner speeds. Remember "slow in fast out", by this we mean enter a corner slowly, choosing the correct line, will allow you to exit the corner faster and achieve faster lap times. If you are going faster than another car wait for them to pull over (or make a mistake), and pass them cleanly. Accidents will happen, but do not deliberately crash into other cars.
At the end of the race, "race over" will be called and you should drive into the pit lane, turn off your car and transmitter, return the transponder and quickly go to your marshal point. You only have to marshal the race following your own, and you should stand at the numbered post that corresponds to your car number. Whilst marshalling you should remain alert at all times and be as quick as possible getting to cars that need assistance. However, never put yourself at risk, such that a car can hit you. Remember these cars are travelling at high speeds, and if they do hit you, they can break bones.
The heat results are put on display after the race. When you have finished marshalling, you can check the results, clean your car, alter the set-up etc. Don't be afraid to chat to other drivers. They are all very friendly. Look around the pits and see if anybody else is driving the same car as you. A 5-minute chat could save you a lot of frustration, as well as time and money.
At the end of all the qualifying rounds, all the drivers will be called to race control for a drivers meeting, before the finals commence
The finals listing will be put on display. You should check this as it has 3 important pieces of information on it.
1. Your final race number.
2. Your car number.
3. Your frequency.
Just as you did for the heats, check this listing and make sure your car has the correct number and frequency. When your final is called, you should collect the transponder, and make your way to the rostrum. The final's start procedure is slightly different from the heats, as you start from the main straight and all at the same time. A countdown from 10 begins and when it gets to 3, you mechanic must put your car on the ground and step back. The final is started when the start marshal lifts the flag, and the tone sounds. The finals are normally 20 minutes long, but may be reduced during the winter due to the weather and short days. Due to the length of these finals, your car will need to be re-fuelled by your mechanic. It is up to you and your mechanic to decide when to come in for fuel. Remember that most fuel tanks will only last for about 6 - 8 minutes. The mechanic must stand behind the pit boxes whilst re-fuelling the car.
When the final has finished return your car to the pit lane and turn off your transmitter, return the transponder to race control and go quickly to your marshalling point.
At the end of a days racing help to clear the track away and return the area to as we found it, we are very lucky to have use of the facilities and we do not want to loose them.
That is the end of your days racing. It may see a bit daunting at first, but once you have been, you will soon realise that it is not as complicated as it sounds.
Things may not always go right at first, but do not get disheartened, there is always next time. Remember, we all had to start somewhere.
We hope to see you trackside, and good luck with your racing.
If you have any questions do not be frightened to ask, the committee and other drivers are here to help and ensure we all have a good time.
10 Golden Rules
1. Arrive at the track early.
2. Attend the drivers briefing.
3. Ensure you have the correct frequency.
4. Return the transponder.
5. Marshal the race following your own.
6. Never turn your transmitter on in the pits unless you are racing.
7. Listen out for announcements over the PA.
8. Do not crash into other cars.
9. Observe the safety rules.
10. Enjoy your model car racing.
"Please feel free to contact us with any questions or come down to the track on a Sunday"
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