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Never a more true word spoken? – Andy Nancollis

Evening all, I read this post over the weekend on the Mendip RC Raceway’s facebook feed and thought it was so good that I had to share it all with you.

For those of you that don’t know Andy Nancollis he is one of the driving forces behind the fantastic on road and off road venue in Weston Super Mare called Mendip RC Raceway.

What may you ask does that have to do with Micros? Well, he is also part of the committee of Caldicot RC Racers, a club that some of you know is very close to my heart and also a venue on the Micro National circuit not to mention the fantastic MicroX event and he has also competed at many national events with a bodged together Carisma GTB which he made his first National A final with at Silverstone in 2014.

What makes this almost rant of a post so good is the way he has been able to really to put into words something that many people who run clubs or race events have often thought but not been able to communicate eloquently enough and I do believe that all RC racers be them club racers or even national a finalists can take something from this.

Andy here…and a Looong post about driving standards. Sit back…and take a moment. You might agree or you might not, but think about your own race craft at the very least as it’s an ever present issue for guys trying to run clubs fielding criticism of driving standards when it’s (mostly) not even us doing the driving!

I’ve looked, and there are actually very few black and white rules when it comes to this. Even the BRCA handbooks and rule books are extremely vague, offering nothing in terms of factual guidance on race craft.

The only thing the RC community actually has is etiquette based on experience, and at Mendip we’ve created a set of guidelines based on this which are on the wall in race control, and we try to remind you of them during drivers briefings too by way of training and encouragement.

I’m not going to bore you with those here as well, and maybve that’s not enough, but in addition to them….and having seen some of the best drivers in the world racing I would like to suggest considering the following:

Clean overtakes (both lapping or overtaking) take BOTH cars to be aware and leave space or slow down when needed. The “If he’s really faster he’ll have to come past if he wants to get past” or “I keep letting him past, and he keeps crashing so I’m not letting him past again” simply doesn’t work, these types of theories increase the risk of both cars crashing and needing to be marshalled. Being on your wheels after an overtake manoeuvre has been completed is the best chance you have to maximise your race result, either by continuing your race if you were lapped, or to fight for position again if you’ve just lost out.

FACT: If you don’t crash in to other cars your race time will be faster!

There is a natural human instinct that means you drive better around the people you like or respect the most. We all know respect is earned and gained for many reasons, experience, fairness, familiarity, unfamiliarity, reputation, frankly it’s a complex topic, but essentially karma will get you one way or another. You would probably all agree that you react quickest and leave the most space for the cars/racers you respect the most. Your treatment of others is dealt back to you often subconsciously! So it stands to reason that the drivers who drive with the least respect for others are instinctively treated worse on track and will most likely suffer worse race results.

FACT: Drive and race respectfully of EVERYONE, and your race time will be faster!

Next thing, restraint! Firstly take a look at what you’re doing: Your standing on a platform 2m of the floor starring at a car which these days has probably got far more power than the track needs, your car is only 300mm long and is anything from 5m to 30m meters away trying to go around the track as many times as possible in a given time. It’s difficult! Made many times more difficult when 2 (or more!) of you are trying to share the same piece of track. That competitive streak your exercising makes you instinctively selfish, that part is human nature….so remember what you are doing….and try to restrain yourself and remember the guys stood next to you are only doing the same thing! The lower down the heat list you go, the more the racers drive outside their limits trying to go faster. People driving beyond their limits are driving with less control more of the time, making wheel to wheel racing even harder, and crashes more frequent, so be aware, be tolerant and leave more space!

FACT: Driving slower and within your limits will make you faster overall.

And finally….just to remind you of a couple of basic points for the newest/least experienced racers. We always advise sticking with a sensible slower motor. Fast motors will make your car harder to control, which means you’ll crash more and harder, making you break the car more often when your enthusiasm exceeds your skill level!

A skilled driver with a slow motor will compete right up in to the top heats easily if they can keep the car on its wheels for the full 5 minutes. Work on consistency and not crashing to begin with (being marshalled slows you down far more than a slow motor does!), this will improve your race times to begin with. You’ll then find that your lap times will improve naturally once you’re not on your roof so much.

Food for thought at least I hope….as you were :)

So what do you think? Do you agree? Head to the forums where there is a thread if you want to discuss.

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