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axman

Pro Am Racing At Nationals

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Years ago when I ran my raceways I had the pleasure of introducing a great number people form all walks of life to Slotcar Racing. Best of all some of the racers I coached and showed how to prep a car would go on to win at both club and national level and some are still racing today.

 

I had a formula that worked.. Pro/Am racing - certainly not a new formula but one that has been used in 1/1 racing for years to keep racers on the track and a great way for new talent progression.

 

Early days at a new raceway are the best.. no one is a pro, everyone is learning and its the best feeling when I hand out a trophy so someone thats never won a trophy for anything ever before.

As the racers mature and start to win on a regular basis I would boot them into pro class. This gave the other racers a chance to get on the AM podium. This kept up the AM guys interested and they didn't drift away from slotcars because they felt they had no chance of winning.

 

These day's every class run at the APC and MCN is going to be won by a "Pro" so any Am entering the event know's their chance of winning anything is minimal, so I salute them for at least having a go.

 

I would like the sponsors of the MCN and APC to consider running an Am class in Aussie V8's, Mini Z and Scaleauto sprint events. The race format and cars rules are the same, and, with time constraints there is no separate final but the highest placed Am's get something for their efforts.

 

To get get a Pro /Am listing shouldn't be hard.. Basically anyone that has reached the podium in past MCN / APC events is a pro... At least this way a lot more AM's may consider entering these events and come away with experiance that may see them up with the Pro's one day.

Edited by axman

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I have to agree Axman.

I had a little play with the Plafit guys a couple of years back and although they were all great guys and really helped me with getting set up with a mini-z, which I loved thrashing around I would have classed myself as the most amateur of amateurs.

It was great when Poppas was open (for that very brief time) as it was relaxed and I felt I was learning a lot with the help of others there offering advice, but with no real racing so didn't really know what to expect.

I then went a couple of time to Gary's & up to Red Racer once which was an awesome experience but I did feel a bit out of my league and Red Racer was a bit far for a Friday night, traffic wise.

Going to the above two places I saw what real racing was like, as soon as the lights go out it was full on, great to watch but I felt WAY out of my league finishing dead last and a couple or more laps down on the next best.

I sort of gave it away not only due this, but time/distance constraints as well.


Cheers Grant

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I take your point and that sounds good in a club event, but as one of the 1st year Am's from last years APC, I feel that the measure of an AC is the Champions and trying to match or beat the likes of Paul, Jason, Simon, Greg and others is the Prize. At my age Trophies and gifts are not as important as acknowledgement from my peers and challenging my mechanical and driving skills against the best guys around, only then can you measure up. I had an expected rookie showing finishing in the last to 2nd last heats in my events but I've cut over 1 sec p/lap on all my cars since the APC because I had a reference and listened to advice given. Maybe a Best Performance(most improved) in each of the categories that would leave the top 6-8 out of the equation. I'm not in favour of a Best of the Worst prize or credit for finishing 13th, we are talking AC's here. I think that kind of leniency would be better suited to state and club events. Sorry to go against the grain, just my thoughts.

Cheers

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The biggest problem with getting new people into racing is the level of competition.

 

No matter what track you go to in Brisbane you're up against some quality opposition.

 

On the North side you have Andrew and Simon at Narangba and Jason and Paul at Red Racer. On the South side you've got 3 tracks with Jan and myself. Throw in all the local track specialists plus Kim, Noel, Werner, Lucas, Rick, etc, and it's near impossible for a newcomer to get on the pace. A couple of us have talked about introducing handicaps or gradings but it's hard to work out a fair system.

 

In an attempt to make it a little easier for new racers I've introduced a Mini Z class with a 20K motor, 13mm wide tyres and any available "Model Car" chassis (no sprung motor boxes), so we have a class that's a bit slower and doesn't require a highly specialised set-up to be somewhere near the pace. I can build at least 3 cars from my old bits and pieces (a couple of Plafit 1700s and a Scholer with 1 McLaren and 2 Audi R8 bodies) so I can have a couple of decent "Club Cars" for anyone interested in having a go.

 

If anyone has any other suggestions on catering to new racers I'd be happy to hear them.


Cheers,

 

Garry J

 

Slotworx_Logo_Small.jpg

 

Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill

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You're thinking the right way Boltz.. just improving your lap times, staying on the track and having the ability not to get tangled up with faster or slower cars is all part of the learning process. The big plus of course going to a prestige event like the APC or MCN is most of the Pro's are happy to show how you to improve your car...

Bottom line is we're all different.. you have to be pretty thick skinned to continually put in the effort year after year and coming away with nothing.

 

I like Garry's intro class. At club level If the Pro's are racing in the base classes ( Mini Z, Aussie V8, Scaleauto) how can the newbies ever win without getting experiance in a training class.

Edited by axman

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just my thoughts and this is club level. i think the way we have run it at Andrews is good. have 3 classes.the good,the bad,the ugly for want of better names.have a lap time or number as the limiting factor,as these improve you progress to the next level.if you win the lower class for a season you then automatically go up to the next class for the next season.one thing that needs to be observed with this system is that guest drivers dont count in the results and drivers using other peoples cars dont count either.by all means they can race but they cant count in the results or it defeats the ranking purpose.i think this system works well as long as rules are adhered to.

my 2c

cheers

warrick

 

note:

good = beginners

bad = intermediates

ugly= pros

 

ps:thanks for the mention Gary, your too generous.

Edited by warrick

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Chris Osborne regularly runs a "Pro-Am" style enduro events a Thunderbird. Mixed teams of Div one club racers with new comers from his "rookie" scaley group on a Friday night. Always run with fun and a intro to the people who run the more competitive side of slots. Well supported by "pros and ams" alike.

Its a great concept Axman

 

Regards Mick

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Mick,

 

At the end of 2015, we ran a bunch of those type enduro's at BVR, Birkdale and Ecurie. We teamed up top drivers with newbies and also runners in Scaleauto, Slotworx V8's and OAPR LMP's. It was some of the best racing we had for the year and in most cases the newbie or also runners car were used. This gave the top guys some idea of what these cars needed and how to assist these drivers with advice and performance pointers.

 

Rick, I have witnessed your and Andrew's format and I have to say it is a great concept that produces lot's of enthusiasm and excelent drivers.

 

Garry, your new concept will no doubt get tested as from March when we race at Brikdale again.

 

Kim, stop spreading your wisdom and get back to racing....we are missing you.

 

ZeGas, come race on the coast, any Wednesday night.....you are welcome.

 

Cheers,

 

Jan

Edited by Springbok Racer

'The older I get the faster I was.'

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Yes Please!!!

 

Love the concept. We run something similar at Armchair at the moment with our Host Class Enduro. The top seed driver goes with the bottom seed driver, then we work our way to the middle. Monday's results were real close as the top 4 teams were only separated by 6 laps after 1.2 hrs. By the way i like driving with the newbies. makes it fun for all.

 

Brooksy.


Brooksy

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Sounds good Brooksy... Years ago I had a similar "big brother" approach to getting Am drivers more competitive. A bit like the Armchair formula but instead we had a Pro drivers adopt an AM driver.. and their car! To be competitve the Pro driver then sat down and helped the Am driver get his car up to speed. It worked really well and got the new guys up to speed a lot quicker. This can work well with small numbers.. lets face it .. even if you have only 6 or 8 regular racers it is usually the same 3 or 4 that win each week so make them mix... Jans been doing it for a while at his track but often the Pro guys are a bit reluctant to hand over their pride and joy to an AM to possibly destroy.

Edited by axman

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I liked a early comment about driving the new racers cars in the pro am races . It does then give a good guide to there car set up and being able to then pass not only the driver tips but the set up tips . You need both to get completely competitive in this racing . Plus it takes away that ugly feeling of passing over a car that you may have spent hours on developing. We run a pro am like Brooksy has said at Dapto at the end of every series of races . The blokes in the middle of the pack are also to often forgotten, not new but not good enough to make that ever so close podium. This type of race teams the middle with the middle and quite often it's a first time podium and gives them that tast of things to keep working towards . Our club has always had the fast blokes only to happy to pass on tips on cars and driving . We are very lucky to have such humble champs .

 

Cheers Pagey

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Likewise at Carrace in Canberra. Same method for enduros, mix fast/slow cars as the drivers want, but only in pit stop/fuel racing. Also require a driver change at each fuel point outside the last 30 sec per heat.

For sprint races, a few of us will 'adopt' a new is until they break through. It good fun.

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Every Friday night we spilt racing into A & B gives everybody the chance to race for a win in their ability range. Also gives our fast guys a chance to watch the new and upcoming guys, pit for them and suggest changes for their cars and controllers. Jason and Paul have been fantastic giving their time for time for free and have helped a few guys make the step up. We have been doing this for months and it has built a great atmosphere every Friday night. It also means we now have a pair of regular kids racing.

 

Monthly Saturday Race meetings are also split, at the GT Masters last Year a new car was presented as a prize by Ace Hobbies to the winner of B grade.

Edited by redracer

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