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Hand-out motors at major races


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#1 Mark Wampler

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 05:38 PM

Today there's been some discussion on social media about the CPC hand-out motor format. 

 

Much as I wanted to participate on the King track, other obligations precluded my attendance. 

 

I'm a huge fan of hand-out motors, but there has been some dissent about consistency, so maybe it's time to bring an old discussion around again. 

 

My thing is I'd like to see hand-outs at all major races. It's an extra burden, but it's also an extra boost for track  economies. 

 

I'd like to add that Tim at JK has done an excellent job in providing racers with Hawk Retro motors. The subject has been hashed off and on, pros and cons. 


You can quote me.

-Mark




#2 The Number of

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 07:23 PM

From what I have seen so far on the Facebook discussion is that there were some dogs, some bullets, and a large number of motors that were the same. No different than what is found in a regular sampling of very inexpensive motors that probably have little quality control available for them.

 

Expecting something more in the way of consistency at this price point is a pipe dream. From what I have seen the quality of 100 motors will work out like a bell curve, 10 bullets, 10 dogs, and 80 that go up and down in speed.

 

Was talking to another racer the other day that was involved in motor production with a large company and said that was the way it always worked out even with quality control at every step.

 

So are hand-out motors fair? Guess that depends where your motor falls on the curve. :)


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#3 Mark Wampler

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 07:38 PM

This was pretty much my thinking. It's the luck of the draw.

 

I think the issue comes into sharp focus among the top guys. Lower main guys like myself look to run with those in the same qualifying bracket and slug it out however fast or slow we go. It's true that this years CPC top Can-Am cars fell short of the top speeds in prior races.

 

Those days maybe over for hand-out format races.


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-Mark

#4 slotcarone

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 07:45 PM

Here's my two cents. I have not traveled to many premier races but if I am going to spend a lot of vacation time, money, and prep time at a distant event I don't want to be counting on the luck of the draw to be competitive.

 

I would want to use my own motors which may not be jets but at least I know what I have.


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#5 Wizard16

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:02 PM

Mike,

 

What's your definition of "competitive"?

 

I have traveled and prefer hand-outs. Not that they would remotely make me a winner but all the times/laps are more closely compressed. If, as what has been stated many times, motors don't matter as much as set-up, practice, tire choice, etc., then the cream still rises.

 

I would think that the top drivers would be chomping at the bit to prove their success isn't based on motor performance.

 

Then what - anything less than a podium means the weekend was a loss? GTC at Sano is hand-out and those times and lap totals are incredibly close. 


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#6 Mark Wampler

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:02 PM

When a top racer gets hold of slow(er) motors that has to be a drag. You then can only rely on your set-up and expert driving skills to take on the lower ranks. 

 

Half of the B and all of the C and D Mains qualified in the 4.1s except the last qualifier in the D Main. So from the E and F main, the lap times fall off sharply. From a top of 3.912 to a 4.197 in qualifying will be where the consistency appears. 

 

That really is fairly consistent overall judging from the qualifying sheet. If you factor in driver skill and set-up savvy, it was a very close race.


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-Mark

#7 MSwiss

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:08 PM

It sounds like the guys that were disappointed were the cubic $$$ guys, that will buy and buy, to make sure, they get to the deadman first.


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#8 Tim Wilkins

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:10 PM

Mark,

 

After competing in the Checkpoint Cup Can-Am Race this year, here's my observations:

 

1)  Some Fast 7R motors are out there and seem to run very consistent although sub-4 second qualifying times were down from the 2015 and 2016 events.

 

2.) Attendance was slightly down for the event from past years -  due to hand-out motors? Perhaps...

 

3) Even though I purchased three motors, due to vision problems, I was only able to try one motor in one car prior to tech inspection. I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem.

 

Therefore, if voted upon, I'd like to go back to the way it was. Anything goes on any approved JK Retro Hawk, TSR Falcon, or TSR motors. I'd rather be practicing on the track rather than scrambling with motor break-in and installation prior to the race.


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#9 Mark Wampler

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:21 PM

Good observations, Tim. From the time you get your motor(s), break them in, install and practice, your wits are pretty frayed. They tried handing out motors on Friday night, but that ended up in the drama zone. So that didn't work. 

 

SCRRA has tried everything to adjust for a smooth running hand out format and at best, it's very hectic!!


You can quote me.

-Mark

#10 brnursebmt

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:32 PM

From what I have seen so far on the Facebook discussion is that there were some dogs, some bullets, and a large number of motors that were the same.

 

Exactly. And it's always going to be that way. 

 

I've bought loads of all the FK style motors and they all varied just as Bill stated from a Facebook post, but we saw less of it with the TSR motor.


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#11 bbr

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:43 PM

Fast motor or not, the guys that get through the deadman to the lead-on the fastest are the contenders. And that's due to driving and car set-up.

 

A fast motor for the contender guys would make a difference though.


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#12 DOCinCocoa

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 08:56 PM

This is a comment concerning post #2 above. In any manufacturing process of any product, there will be the bell curve affect statistically speaking.

 

With the older versions of the Hawk Retro motor, the standard deviation was high; so you got some very good bullets that were very race-worthy and some dogs that you only practiced with.

 

However, with the 7R version of the Hawk Retro, the standard deviation has been greatly reduced so that you don't get the few killer motors. We ran the 7R version in the endurance flexi series in Florida last year. This was a hand-out motor program. The racing has never been closer. Of seven HRs that we tested before the race at Pinellas Park, the lap times were 4.67, 4.60, 4,67, 4.69, 4.71, 4.65 (this motor won two endurance races), and 4.67nsec (this motor won the endurance race at Pinellas Park). The 4.60n sec motor seemed to run hotter than the others, so we elected not to race it in the endurance race.

 

So, I think that hand-out motors is a very good idea. The R4 this year is going to have hand-out 7R motors in Can-Am. I am figuring that this will make the racing closer than ever.


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#13 MSwiss

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 09:15 PM

When a top racer gets hold of slow(er) motors that has to be a drag. You then can only rely on your set-up and expert driving skills to take on the lower ranks. 

 

Half of the B and all of the C and D Mains qualified in the 4.1s except the last qualifier in the D Main. So from the E and F main, the lap times fall off sharply. From a top of 3.912 to a  4.197 in qualifying will be where the consistency appears. 

 

That really is fairly consistent overall judging from the qualifying sheet. If you factor in driver skill and set-up savvy, it was a very close race.

 

You are correct, Mark. Qualifying was tight for hand-outs.

 

Exactly.  And it's always going to be that way. 

 

I've bought loads of all the FK style motors and they all varied just as Bill stated from a Facebook post, but we saw less of it with the TSR motor.

 

Sorry Bobby, but the data doesn't show that.

 

.251 difference, top 20 at the 2012 CPC, with handout TSRs, and .252 difference, 1-20 this year, with Hawk Retros.

 

Considering there were 50 (39% more) entries in 2012, vs 36 in 2017, the Hawk Retro hand-out gave you a better chance to qualify near the top.

 

When you see hot fingers like Jonathon Forsyth, and the late Jay Kisling, qualifying 20th, and 18th, a quarter of a second off the pace, it's pretty good proof your chances to get a top TSR were actually worse.

 

2017 checkpoint.jpg

 

P1220695.jpg


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#14 Jason Holmes

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 09:57 PM

If I had to go back to TSR-D3 I would just watch. The Hawk Retro is much better.

 

Jason


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#15 Cheater

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 07:43 AM

I'm gonna get my ass flamed off for saying this, but here goes anyway.

 

What's your personal goal?

 

Is it to build racer participation in support of a mostly-flawed US commerical raceway business model?

 

Is it to give guys who have superior budgets of time and money to expend on slot car racing (with no pay-outs and very little fame and glory, don't forget) an unfair advantage and a better chance to win or podium?

 

Is it your opinon that if you as a racer can't bring an unfair advantage to a big race, so you feel you have a better chance to podium, centrally involved in whether or not you can enjoy this leisure-time activity (which is all that it is, whether admitted or not)?

 

Again, I realize I am going to be shredded for stating this, but I really wonder about the lives of slot racers whose self-worth is seemingly so correlated and tied to whether or not they can win, or have a better chance than the average guy of winning, a slot car race. We all strive to be the guy standing atop the podium grinning down at the losers gathered around, but when it doesn't happen, does your life really change? No racer in any arena likes to lose, but every racer in any competitive endeavor is going to lose more than he wins.

 

If winning, or having a superior advantage as compared to the other competitors, is so important to you, please post to this thread explaining your reasoning for why that is that case for you. I'd honestly like to know why some racers feel that way.

 

I'm reminded about the most notable song (for me anyway) Peggy Lee ever recorded.

 

 

As many of you have heard me state, if you can't have fun in or enjoy this hobby/sport unless you win or podium, I honestly suggest it would best for everyone concerned (including yourself) if you would find another hobby to pursue.

 

When you young whippersnappers get as old as me, you'll probably be just as grumpy as I am. LOL...


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#16 brnursebmt

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:21 AM

Well, Mike, your data only represents one track, BPR.  I raced on many, many different tracks with different power levels back when we were racing with the TSR motor and it was a very popular motor because of what I stated. 

 

I haven't even come close to "bashing" any favorite product of yours. I stated what I have experienced personally here in the deep south with all the different tracks and powers we run on. And BTW, I don't own any TSR motors now, but somewhere around 50 RHs because they are faster.

 

Is this really what this thread was about anyway? All I did was make a garden variety statement and the lawyers line up!

 

Let's please get back to Mark's intent for this thread. 

 

And yes, I am in favor of hand-out motors for major races. But if not, I'll still race!


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#17 Cheater

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:24 AM

I've never been labeled a 'lawyer' before... LOL!


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#18 The Number of

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:47 AM

Comparing different motors by race results is on page 3 of recipes for disaster. There are so many variables involved and any one of them can skew the results.

The plusses and minuses of TSR vs Hawk Retro vs PSFK have been debated elsewhere to beating dead horse status.

Let's get back to pros and cons of hand-out motors and keep the lawyers out. :)
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#19 MSwiss

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:53 AM

Sorry, Bobby, but you brought up the TSR.

Since this post was started in reference to handouts at the CPC, it seemed that a comparison to it was the most pertinent.

The social media post that was referenced in the first and second post, made the same claim that you did, that the TSR was more consistent than the Hawk Retro.

It's easy to make an off the cuff comment without presenting real data or facts.

I just posted real data to debunk the "alternative facts" posted on FB.

This year their were 14 less entries, and the spread from 1-20, was virtually identical.

Add 14 more racers, this year, with seven of them the likes of Howie, Mike Isles, Jonathon, Haruki, etc., and needless to say, the spread would be tighter.

Mike Swiss
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#20 Wizard16

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:02 AM

Mark,

I can sympathize with your vision problems. Anyone who has seen me working on my cars in the pits knows I also have vision issues.

But I practiced motor changes at home, a lot, before going to the race. I used the same philosophy as the top drivers use for driving. What tools do I need? Can i modify a tool to make a task easier and quicker? What is the best sequence in breaking in and soldering the pinion and measuring pinion distance from the motor? Plus the practice helped my soldering speed with the pinion. It helped me break-in, install and practice with all three motors. I had a choice of two motors that seemed to be the best.

I picked one and it never got any faster even though it had picked up steadily during practice. I don't blame that motor, it was my evaluation of the motors that was faulty. Hopefully at the R4 I'll recognize speed potential appropriately.

To me the motor hand-out process is another area where I actually might gain an advantage, just like the 1:1 racers do in the pits.
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#21 MSwiss

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:11 AM

Well, Mike, your data only represents one track, BPR.


Bobby,

Here's data from another track, Tom Thumb, that used the TSR as a handout.

GTC at the R4/2

52 entries and only one racer broke 5 seconds in the race (no qualifying)

Coincidently, a slot car lawyer. LOL.

And despite 24 minutes of running, only 10 racers managed to run in the 5.0s.

PS: My BP reference/comparison is better, as it's more of a motor dyno.

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#22 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 09:28 AM

Here's my 2 cents. I have not traveled to many Premier races but if I am going to spend a lot of vacation time, money, and prep time at a distant event I don't want to be counting on the luck of the draw to be competitive.
 
I would want to use my own motors which may not be jets but at least I know what I have.


My feelings exactly especially when it is for the Premier class.

 

I have no problem with hand-outs in one of the lesser classes. But why do we need more stress within a limited amount of time when it is not necessary?


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#23 mgerbetz

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:26 PM

One hand-out motor class is plenty.

 

This is racing.

 

Mikey


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#24 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:41 PM

The famous coach Herm Edwards said "You play to win the game." That is why we race. The comaradery, etc., comes before and after. Slot racing in itself creates that. 

 

Many feel if they do not have a chance they stay home.


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#25 gfox

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:46 PM

Greg, here's some insight...

 

The whole premise behind 'race' is it declares a winner; I want to be that guy. And I'll never understand anybody that says they don't care where they finish; they just want to have fun.

 

Flame on!!! LOL.


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#26 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:52 PM

I have to disagree. When the fun goes away, so do the racers. The track owner sets the tone and atmosphere accordingly. We have fun at our track. We encourage new racers to advance and sharpen their driving skills. I can tell you, if our track falls out of the fun zone, the doors will close.
You can quote me.

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#27 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:53 PM

One thing I really appreciate about SCRRA is that racers do have a voice and not just the first string players.  

So, this was an experiment revisited and it went off well. With eight top qualifiers of 4 second fast laps or better, 14 racers in the 4.1s plus  the 14 lowest qualifiers is a good spread of entries. 

There is still plenty of choices of racing a Buena Park and other tracks.  If not Retro Can-Am, then there’s hardbodies, Womps, LMP and Wing racing.

So the hand-out format is a very small slice of the big pie. Out of the three major events, if one of these is set aside to do this, it’s at least an invitation for visitors near and far to have a chance for glory.
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#28 MSwiss

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:06 PM

The whole premise behind 'race' is it declares a winner; I want to be that guy. And I'll never understand anybody that says they don't care where they finish; they just want to have fun.


Talk about thread drift (started by Cheater - LOL)

Trying to dictate/suggest what one's end game should be from racing slot cars.

But I do disagree with gfox on everyone caring where they finish.

Dave Borntrager once told me with a straight face that he raced slot cars "for the art." I don't remember if that was before or after he finished second to me at the '88 World's and USRA Nats. LOL.
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Mike Swiss
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Chicagoland Raceway
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#29 Cheater

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:15 PM

The famous coach Herm Edwards said "You play to win the game." That is why we race.

 

The whole premise behind 'race' is it declares a winner; I want to be that guy.


And just exactly how does the hand-out motor format make it completely impossible for either of you to "win the game" or to be that winning "guy"?

Not going to bother to dredge up the quotes, but I know you have said numerous times, Noose, that same small bunch of racers will be the podium regulars in hand-out races as in non-hand-out races. And I agree that seems to be the case. If we agree on that premise, doesn't that fact suggest that hand-out motors don't actually have a notably negative impact on the racing?
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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#30 Cheater

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:19 PM

Talk about thread drift (started by Cheater - LOL)


Guilty as charged.

I told you guys I was pretty grumpy today, after nearly three days and about four hours on hold trying to get my damn health insurance company to make a very minor change to my policy info.
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#31 Wizard16

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:20 PM

It is a hobby - Webster's Dictionary: "a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation." I enjoy working on the cars, building chassis, and trying to improve. I don't have to prove anything to anyone or to myself. Been there and done that. If your philosophy about "playing" to win was rampant then you'd be lucky to get 10 racers. Very shortsighted IMO. Quote Vince Lombardi if you want a win quote. Herm Edwards was losing short career coach.
 
On the flip side I'll never understand someone who has to win at toy cars. Why doesn't the IRRA® promulgate rules for an IROC race class? Everyone runs each car on each lane. Matters not what motor, chassis, tires, etc., it's all about the driver. You lose, it's all on you. 

 

In another vein, you want real competition then do things where there is an actual consequence of failure. 
 
They write cartoons about people who say do it my way or I'll take my ball and go home. Sheesh.


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Diana Dyckman

#32 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:20 PM

Yes, I have said that and it has also been said why make it harder than it has to be. 

If there are cheaters, no pun intended, then ban them. Plain and simple. Let others prepare properly. Not have to succumb to a ridiculous timeline when it is well known these motors take time to break in. I'm cracking up over the water break-in pics shown and yes, I have done it, too. Now if they were in the package one might turn it over and see that it says do not water break-in as it shortens the life of the motor. Ahh, what the heck for it right.
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Joe "Noose" Neumeister
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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#33 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:26 PM

Diana:

Winning is also what people want it to be to them. The person who never made it out of the E Mains before wins the C main and is in his/her glory for that. 

What is important is that they had a chance to do so within the rules which BTW, for the IRRA®, have been pretty damn good for 10+ years. Taking unnecessary actions by going to more hand-outs creating more of a burden and thus taking the fun out of it for some is not what it is about.


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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#34 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:27 PM

Why doesn't the IRRA® promulgate rules for an IROC race class? Everyone runs each car on each lane. Matters not what motor, chassis, tires, etc., it's all about the driver. You lose, it's all on you.

 
IROC racing rocks. Rare to find them. Enduro races, yet another venue hard to find these days.


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#35 Cheater

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:44 PM

Taking unnecessary actions by going to more hand-outs creating more of a burden and thus taking the fun out of it for some is not what it is about.


And others may in fact feel that hand-outs add more fun into it. Who's to say whose opinion is undeniably right?
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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#36 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:46 PM

No one. Entry levels do. Added costs too on having to buy more motors.


Joe "Noose" Neumeister
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The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#37 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:57 PM

The case for hand-outs can be made by the fact that the tech table doesn't have to bring out the can gauge to see if there are collapsed motor cases. No need to carefully examine the endbell tabs or any other dark secrets associated with tampering.

While numbering and registering the motors adds to the burden, there is far less drama at tech in. Everyone knows these are legit motors.


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#38 Wizard16

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 01:59 PM

Good point, Noose, that the definition of fun for some people is not fun for others.

 

However, I disagree that taking the hand-out action is unnecessary. There is a perception that the 7R7R7R7R motors are slower than the R motors. Perception is reality. I have yet to find a 7R7R7R7R motor that is as fast as my top 4 R motors and I've bought a lot of motors. And my fast R motors are not as fast as some of the others I've run against.

 

I would not have had a problem with only 7R7R7R7R being legal and you could bring your own. But that would force people to buy motors and increase costs.


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#39 bbr

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:00 PM

I run Retro 1/24 for fun. If I want to win I run 1/32 or HO. In 1/32 and HO I seem to have more talent and expertise, LOL.

I don't see myself on the A Main podium of a Retro race, but yet I like running on the BPR King the most.
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#40 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:02 PM

The recent race data we see does not agree with that. I have posted these results too and have shared data with Tim from JK.  More 7Rs are on the podium these days. 

 

These same people with 7Rs are now being forced to buy them as hand-outs, increasing the cost to attend the race and then be limited in prep time.


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#41 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:10 PM

The recent race data we see does not agree with that. I have posted these results too and have shared data with Tim from JK.  More 7Rs are on the podium these days. 

 

These same people with 7Rs are now being forced to buy them as hand-outs, increasing the cost to attend the race and then be limited in prep time.

 

So... once a year race. That big of a sacrifice?


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#42 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:14 PM

I run in more than once a year major race. Four to five a year for me. Yes, it's a big PITA that does not need to be there. 

 

Might also be since I also do a lot of other work at these and already sacrifice enough time to get that stuff done. 


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#43 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:26 PM

I would be the last to say anything about any particular group of racers as being linked with cheating. But... knowing human nature and weaknesses to be tempted, I like the idea of keeping honest racers honest. 

 

Another case for hand-out format. The notion that cheating is non-existent is to be in denial. 


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#44 Jeff Bonanno

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:26 PM

I agree with what Noose says especially for premier events as far as hand-outs are concerned.

 

Maybe make GT Coupes hand-outs since they are similar to Can-Am. Just a thought.



#45 MSwiss

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:30 PM

On the flip side I'll never understand someone who has to win at toy cars. Why doesn't the IRRA® promulgate rules for an IROC race class? Everyone runs each car on each lane. Matters not what motor, chassis, tires, etc., it's all about the driver. You lose, it's all on you. 

 

Part 1:

 

Along with most Premier events not having much extra downtime to hold such a race, cost and time.

 

Who is going to pony up $2,000(?) for 12(?) cars, along with spending the time to maintain them?

 

Since the IRRA® doesn't actually collect any money to maintain a website, along with the "honor" of getting second-guessed here on Slotblog, and getting verbally abused on Facebook, I don't see us doing it. LOL.


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#46 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:43 PM

How about some beater cars :crazy: ?  There's enough scrap parts to put together a junkyard race easily. I could get into it.
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#47 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:44 PM

Maybe make GT Coupes hand-outs since they are similar to Can-Am. Just a thought.


Jeff, at IRRA® Premier races the GTC classes(s) are hand-outs. It was done to help the raceway and the manufacturer. 

 

The class is split to GTC-FK and GTC-Pro. You race in GTC-FK unless you make the "List" which means you won the GTC-FK race or made a podium in Can-Am or F1 at a Premier race.


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Joe "Noose" Neumeister
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Noose Custom Painting - Since 1967
Chairman - IRRA® Body Committee - Roving IRRA® Tech Dude - "EVIL BUCKS Painter"

"Team Evil Bucks" Racer - 2016 Caribbean Retro Overall Champion
The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#48 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:48 PM

Between the guys at my local track, we could put together some beater cars for an IROC race. Another thread for that!
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#49 Wizard16

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 03:22 PM

Mike,

Basically a nothing comment to emphasize that there are many ways to define competition. I was trying to indicate that removing all the variables would be the purest competition. I tried to start a Retro IROC in South Texas. I built four cars on my dime - no interest. One can surmise many reasons but my guess is that some people want the chance for the "unfair" advantage.
 
Mark, the Zimmerman and the Boola may have time for another class. That would be classic! You'd be able to see who was fastest in what lane very easily. You don't have to have identical cars because, as you know, they stay in only one lane. Make it a one and done format. Everyone has to qualify with the same car with no practice.
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#50 Mark Wampler

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 03:26 PM

Diana, 

Thanks. I only attended one IROC race at BP. That was put on by Team Zombie, the "Jeffs." It was called the Crazy 8s. All NASCAR rides on the Flat track. It was a hoot.
 
I think another thread should be opened.
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