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Do "local rules" rule?


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#1 Paul Lindewall

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Posted 19 October 2020 - 09:14 PM

How many HO racers have more than one track to race on? I know there are a few groups of racers that travel from track to track, and I also know that some of the groups utilize "local rules" for their racing classes. This can, IMHO, discourage racers who would otherwise like to travel to compete, but would have to build a "one of" car to meet that particular ruleset, and would obviously be at a disadvantage by not knowing the tricks and tips needed to get that "hot setup" that the locals have had time to work on. 

When I built my track, I thought it would be logical to create a class structure based on a national organization, so I joined HOPRA this past year and looked over the rulebook to help determine which class(es) I would like to host at my track. Spec Stock looked good, but the body rule (basically, three legal bodies) changed my mind when I tried to find/purchase an AFX Ford GT body for my Viper chassis (with clip.) YIKES! The only source I could find was the online auction site, and the ones offered for sale were outrageously priced (typically more than a RTR car!) It seems those that have them know they are an item you would need, and are charging accordingly. 

Another issue I ran into was the need for a HOPRA approved gauss meter. Again, only one model was approved, and it is no longer in production. Same issue - if you're lucky enough to find one used, you're going to pay through the nose for it. Supply and demand, y'know. 

I settled on offering 3 classes: an IROC style class, where I supply both cars (Wizzard Storm Extremes,  which are HOPRA legal for Spec Stock) as well as controllers for all racers. It pretty much eliminates the need for tech, since all the cars are stock, remain in my possession, and all I do between races is clean, oil, and replace pickup shoes. We run the stock hard body, so that eliminates that issue. 

 

Viper Racing offers an open wheel, unpainted body that snaps onto their V1 chassis, as well as a BSRT 'G' series chassis. I took the HOPRA Spec Stock rules, and altered them so only chassis that fit that body are allowed, and that is the only body allowed. Other than that, mods legal within the Spec Stock class were adopted.

Spec Racer class at the track closely follows the HOPRA rules. The main difference is, of course, the gauss readings. Since the meter is not available, I purchased a Sloan Downforce Meter. Cars are checked prior to racing, and if someone tries to sneak in something other than a Level 4 magnet, it shows up. 

 

I guess my question is, are rules established by national HO racing organizations pretty much only used at large Regional or National events? Are there any "home tracks" that follow them to the letter, or do most, like me, have their own set of 'track rules'? 

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#2 NSwanberg

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:04 AM

The HOCWNN has an extensive rule set with the fray class based on the Ferndale Fray rules and others based on national HOPRA rules. Other classes are our own.

 

For some reason I cannot upload the Word file.

 

Rules for the H.O. Club With No Name

Revised 2020-07-23

 

1.0        CLUB DESCRIPTION

1.1        The mission of the HO Racing Club with No Name is to provide reasonably priced HO slot car racing competition. 

1.2        Events are scheduled on Saturdays from late fall through early spring. 

1.3        Each event consists of three different races with race class and body theme chosen by the event host.

1.4        Although most tracks are located in club members’ homes, racers do not need to own a track to participate.  A track owner is not required to be a race host. 

1.5        Racing is for fun and the joy of competition.  No race or club fees will be collected, no cash or merchandise prizes will be awarded, and standings will not be kept.

1.6        Participation and membership in HOCWNN are by invitation only.  HOCWNN is not open to the public.

 

2.0        EVENT RULES

2.1        Standard racing times are Saturday 9:30 AM practice, 11:00 AM first qualifier, last race ends before 7:00 PM. 

2.2        The RC racing format will be used at all events.  Racers will be seeded into the A, B, C, etc. mains based on qualifying races, but finishing order is determined solely on laps completed in the main (i.e. you can win the race by completing the most laps even if you’re not in the A main).  Qualifier heat length is typically two minutes, main heat length is typically three minutes.

2.3        Race classes must be organized as follows: Class 1 Qualifying, Class 1 Mains; Class 2 Qualifying, Class 2 Mains, Class 3 Qualifying, Class 3 Mains.

2.4        Timed heats with lane rotation is preferred for all races.  The round robin format may be used for races when the racer count is not an even multiple of the number of lanes.  There will be no move-ups.

2.5        The same car must be raced in the qualifying race and in the main race.  Tires, wheels, axles, spacers, gears, gearplate, gear plate clamp, bulkhead(s), armature, end bell assemblies, motor brushes, motor brush springs, pickups, pickup springs, and guide pin may be replaced at any time.  Motor magnets, traction magnets, chassis component, and body must not be replaced after the start of the first main.

 

3.0        ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

3.1        RACERS

3.1.1     Racers must not use vulgar or profane language, or act in an unsportsmanlike or violent manner.

3.1.2     HOCWNN members in good standing (the A list) are invited to all club events.  

3.1.3     Members must respond to each invitation with their intent to race (yes, no, or maybe) before 11:59 PM Thursday before race day.  The third time a member fails to respond, he will be removed from the A list.

3.1.4     Each racer is responsible for proving the legality of his car.

3.1.5     Each racer is responsible for disassembly of his own car when so directed by a tech inspector. 

 

3.2        MARSHALS

3.2.1     Marshals must stand while marshalling to provide the fastest possible response time.

 

3.3        EVENT HOST

3.3.1     The event host must serve as race director or appoint someone to serve as race director.  Host duties include selecting race classes and body themes, providing race invitation or race class and body theme information to the club servant for distribution, providing lunch, and publishing or asking someone to publish a race report with results for each class.

3.3.2     Only the event host may invite guests to his race.  Members may ask the host to invite a guest racer.

 

3.4        RACE DIRECTOR

3.4.1     The race director must organize the event so that racing ends by 7:00 PM.

3.4.2     The race director must resolve all race issues as they occur.

3.4.3     The race director may grant a track call for the following: debris on the track, simultaneous body/chassis separation for two or more cars, car inaccessible to marshals, marshal damage to car, inconsistent track power, inconsistencies with guide slot or rail.

3.4.4     The race director must not grant a track call for the following: one body separated from a chassis, controller incorrectly connected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.5        TECHNICAL INSPECTOR

3.5.1     Technical inspectors must be knowledgeable, and ensure that vehicles used in competition comply with all rules.

3.5.2     Complete teardowns must be used only when requested by at least three club members.

3.5.3     Tech inspectors must be appointed at the annual rules meeting.

3.5.4     The 2020-2021 tech inspectors are Kevin Marcy and Jim Rumph.

3.5.5     Tech inspectors must use care to prevent damage to a racer’s car or controller during any inspection.

 

3.6        CLUB SERVANT

3.6.1     The club servant must email race invitations to all A list members approximately two weeks before each event, email a race reminder approximately one week before each event, and maintain and communicate the expected attendance in advance of each race.

3.6.2     At races where a tech inspector is not present, the club servant shall carry out the duties of tech inspector. 

3.6.3     The club servant shall conduct a rules meeting at the last race of each season to discuss and potentially adopt changes to the HOCWNN rules. 

3.6.4     To limit the time required for the rules meeting, the club servant shall solicit topics for discussion or rules changes prior to the rules meeting so that an agenda may be prepared and followed to limit the time required.  Members may bring their proposed changes in writing.  The club servant shall facilitate the rules meeting and try to reach consensus for changes.  Voting will be used only as a last resort.

3.6.5     The club servant must rewrite and distribute the rules draft within a week of the rules meeting.  Final approval will be via email.  If that cannot be achieved, the remaining items will be addressed at the first race of the next season.  No rules changes will be made during the race season.

3.6.6     Any member may ask the club servant to confidentially inspect another racer’s car.  The inspection will be handled discretely and is recommended as a way to avoid confrontation and hard feelings.  A group of three members may also request a teardown if they prefer.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#3 idare2bdul

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 12:51 PM

Lots of luck. following a set of national or even region rules seems to be very rare. Track owners and in some cases local racers are to blame regardless of scale. One of my retirement fantasies was to get one of those motor homes that had a small garage in the back and go across country following the most interesting races. Even before Covid that would have required me to get to a track early enough to build a car. The only way to change it would be to get a major money injection and make it profitable to follow a given rule set. I'm sure getting a bunch of new people motivated by money would not change our current racing culture... 


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#4 Paul Lindewall

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:15 PM

Lots of luck. following a set of national or even region rules seems to be very rare. Track owners and in some cases local racers are to blame regardless of scale. One of my retirement fantasies was to get one of those motor homes that had a small garage in the back and go across country following the most interesting races. Even before Covid that would have required me to get to a track early enough to build a car. The only way to change it would be to get a major money injection and make it profitable to follow a given rule set. I'm sure getting a bunch of new people motivated by money would not change our current racing culture... 

 

Precisely why I started the IROC class at my track. Anyone can walk in, and they know they have the correct chassis, body, and controller to race. And, it doesn't cost them a dime. All the cars are pretty much equal (as equal as can be) so it comes down to driving. 
Still, I have a hard time drawing people in to race. It was my intent to use the IROC class to build interest, and hopefully others would then purchase their own cars to race the other classes. Hasn't worked out as planned. :-( 


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#5 Dallas Racer

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:46 PM

I think many tracks race whatever rules will get local racers to race. An occasional out of town racer is not a concern.

 

Here in N. Texas there is THOR, Texas HO Racers, or Racing, I'm not sure. They seem come up with their own rules, which I think may change depending on the series.

 

You might try reaching out to any tracks within a 100 miles or so of you and see if you can get some series racing going.


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#6 mdiv

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 04:45 PM

IROC is awesome.  So are the Nerds! :D

Mikey


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#7 John Streisguth

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Posted 20 October 2020 - 06:04 PM

The clubs I was involved with in the NJ area ran strictly Ufhora rules.  Back then the rules were nearly identical to HOPRA.  But we had maybe 6 different tracks on our schedule.  If you're flying solo, and unless you have people that may get involved on a national level, just go with what work for you.  A lot of people are running all kinds of different stuff and having fun doing it


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#8 bbr

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 12:29 AM

Having a track, private or commercial, gives you a lot of power in determining your choice of rules.
You can dictate or be democratic. It's your sandbox.
That being said. Hopra has been around for awhile and still regarded highly, at least for the status of being a national champion.
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#9 Paul Lindewall

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 08:16 AM

Having a track, private or commercial, gives you a lot of power in determining your choice of rules.
You can dictate or be democratic. It's your sandbox.
That being said. Hopra has been around for awhile and still regarded highly, at least for the status of being a national champion.

 

IMHO, private and commercial tracks should determine what classes of cars would be raced, however, the rules for those classes ideally would follow some national structure so that others could bring a car to race, and know they were legal and competitive. 
As I mentioned in my first post, I was considering HOPRA Spec Stock as a class. The body rule squashed that idea, when I couldn't even find a reasonably priced 'legal' body for a Viper chassis. Enter "local rules". Limit the class to a $5 body from Viper, and narrow the chassis choices to the two brands it will fit. Other than that, the rules are in line with HOPRA, so if someone did have a HOPRA legal Spec Stock car and wanted to race at my track, all that would be required is an inexpensive body change. 



#10 cuda man

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 09:26 AM

Back in 2000, when the old Thunder Road Tour (a Southeast-based touring series with events spanning from DC to Florida) began, the track owners who hosted races were allowed to dictate the classes and rules they wanted.  For locals racing at their home track/club, that was fine.  However, for racers visiting (many taking time off work and considerable time and money to travel), this meant building new cars or changing parts from existing cars to be competitive. And without knowledge of newly-built/configured cars, they were put at a disadvantage out of the box.
 
The next year (and used till the demise of the series), the TRT created rule package which host tracks could choose from.  Many of these were based on the "like cars race with like cars" (Tyco with Tyco, SG Plus with SG Plus, etc.), which were adopted from Stillwell Racing Enterprises' club series in Marietta, GA.  Each class had a themed body-type, and I believe one or two allowed rear gear changes, sponge-silicone rear tires and independent front ends.  Mostly, the cars were pretty much stock with rear slip-on tire changes.  There was a T-Jet class ("TRT-Jet") and an IROC class with TRT-provided Wizzard P2 cars.  
 
The idea was that each racer SHOULD have at least 1 or 2 box-stock cars in their box.  For traveling racers on a budget (which I was), that meant no major investments in building new cars or buying parts.  The local racers at the host tracks still had an advantage, but visiting racers had a fighting chance.  One of my proudest moments was winning the Tyco Stock Car class at a TRT race at Hobbytown in Virginia Beach one year against very good competition.  
 
I'm building classes and rules around set rules from the likes of HOPRA, HOCOC and MASCAR with modifications/changes that would be best for our area.  I tried to cater to some of the off-the-shelf and readily available cars and parts at the local hobby shops and chain hobby retailers.  I've also adopted the brass-weighted cars, since some of our old racers have taken an interest in them.  I also wrote my own rules for a ceramic-magnet class, as I know the core racers still have old Tycos, LLs, SG+s and Turbos in their boxes.      
 
Basically, rules should be up to the track owner/host.  However, while not being too loosey-goosey or being hard-handed, it's good to find a balance, especially when trying to attract racers.  The national series do provide excellent bases for rules, which is why I used them, but I also added/changed/took away to fit my track and my goals for building a racing community.    

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