Both of these appear on many forums, with loads of threads and masses of “finger pointing” on a regular basis, so I’m sure I’m not covering new ground here. But, if you are new to RC racing or just reading this because you’re bored at work then hopefully the pointers below will help – either when attending your first few meetings or in killing some time, respectively.
I will begin by saying that I am no Saint! So, if you have the misfortune to meet me in person or share a track with me racing then I will state upfront, now, that I do not proclaim to have always lived by these 110% without ever faltering. Simply because we are all human and when the competitive red mist descends most of us can make a snap judgment in error that we aren’t proud of when looking back with hindsight:
With that in mind, though, we can all strive to be considerate, aware and fair when on the track so that everyone participating has an enjoyable and even handed time while racing regardless of the level – club, regionals, nationals or worlds (if you’re lucky or dedicated enough to get that good!). So, when I have been in the wrong, I’ve always been gracious to apologise when I’ve realised my mistake:
• When on the rostrum please don’t use bad language or verbally abuse marshals or other drivers as there are still many parents who don’t want their children to persistently hear foul language or abuse when trying to have fun.
• If your car decides to post a DNF then just step back on the rostrum, but please don’t step/jump down from it, especially if it means muscling past the other drivers as it could be very distracting for them.
• During qualifiers remember that you are racing the clock rather than the other cars on track, so if someone is lapping faster than you, please move over at a safe point on the track to let them by as it will be quicker for both of you.
• “Rubbing is racing” as a great man once said, but rear-ending someone is a road traffic offence! All most all forms of motorsport is technically a non-contact sport, including RC racing, but everyone is realistic that sometimes a little scuffing occurs, just don’t take it too far and deliberately nudge someone off the track as it’s not sporting and most of us pay for our spares/repairs so it could also get costly for both involved.
• If you do wipe out another car due to a poorly judged overtaking move, or a fundamental lack of talent, then please wait until they are marshalled to restore the pre-collision positioning between you both, so you are not benefiting from an unfairly gained advantage if you are on your wheels and they are on their roof.
• When you’ve finished your 5 minute run, others may still be on it so you still need to be fully aware if you are trying to get an extra practice lap after the heat is finished. Some clubs will designate pull off areas that you must park up in after the finish, but if not and they are happy to let you get a cool down lap, please try to avoid any accidental tripping up of those still finishing.
Sorry – Wrong type of marshal!
Oops – Closer but still not quite right
That’s better – right one this time
• I know this can be hard, especially if the racing is fierce and exciting, but when marshalling don’t watch the race, please stay focused on your area of track. You are there to help the drivers competing, not to get a closer view of the action, so make sure you’re paying attention to the cars racing through the area you’ve been assigned/asked to cover.
• Place the cars back on track, please don’t throw or flip them! The idea is to get the cars back racing safely so if you throw them you could damage them (trust me I’ve had this happen) and “flipping” them back on their wheels regularly just rolls the car right over back onto its roof.
• Try to be mindful of obscuring other parts of the track when marshaling. If you’ve heroically leapt across a couple of sections of track to superbly marshal a stricken car but can’t get back to your marshal point, you may want to duck down while checking the way is clear to return.
• The best phrase to keep in your head when marshalling is to “marshal how you would like to be marshalled” as this way you should hopefully receive good karma and receive good marshalling back in return.
That is pretty much it.
The only other thing really is try to remember that everyone is out to have fun when at a meeting – regardless of how fiercely competitive others can seem – so relax and enjoy the evening, day, weekend (however long the event is) and watch the action packed races as much as you can between your own heats.
At the end of the day we all just want fun, fair racing.