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Old 03-09-2008
Jonesy Jonesy is offline
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Default Junior Drivers + EOS Locations.....

I'm not sure of the exact figures from the Junior Finals over the weekend but there were less than 10 in both classes on both days (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong).

To me this seems like our sport / hobby may have a bleak future despite numbers being at record highs over the last few years.

According to Southports website results from the same weekend as Eastrax (last weekend), they had 11 Juniors racing at a club meeting!!

When I started racing I had to qualify for the Junior Finals and remember travelling down to West London Model Car Club (1994 - I think) as a North West Reserve and not being allowed to race, along with other years when I didn't even make the event! I just feel that we need to look at bringing more youngsters in and getting them up to a competitive level. (That sentence is by no mean a dig at the Junior Drivers who made the journey to Eastrax)

I'm not saying Eastrax didn't deserve to host a National event because they produced the goods over the weekend and I'd be more than happy to go back there for a Full National next year BUT... The EOS finals need to be in a location where it is easy (easier) for all to get too IMO.

Now I know there are going to be pros and cons to this, Scotland were represented by Alan Hart only as an example over the weekend, and I'm sure if the F2s were in a more Northern location then we may have dropped some drivers who were more local etc etc...

I'm not sure what the solution is and with most things in life you are not going to please everyone.

Any ideas or does everyone feel the section will be ok in years to come??
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Old 03-09-2008
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I think it is great that the hobby has been thriving at National level, but clubs still seem to be suffering. I think that perhaps the best way to draw in the new champs is to promote the hobby at club level. Maybe raise awareness in schools or social clubs. Maybe have more local competitions aimed at the younger racers, give them more chances to win prizes throughout the year.
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Old 03-09-2008
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or even more incentives to race.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred5765 View Post
or even more incentives to race.
That's a tough one though...

When I started, EVERYBODY got a trophy at the end of a meeting but after getting 40-50 trophies you start to get bored of that and only keep the odd one where you have a cracking result!

You can then offer incentives for the overall winners and no young kid starting out is going to win so that is also a no go (It would be good for your regualr national champions, Pidge, Ellis, Neil etc...)

I don't know what incentives you could offer.....

I'm sure I've been to Model Shop sponcered events where vouchers or prizes have been given to the winners of every final, maybe that would work although I also appriciate that model shops can not afford to part with 'free' merchandise.
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Old 04-09-2008
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perhaps there could be incentives for the top none sponsered driver in each class at the EOS finals to pick up a b team drive from one of the big importers and have a different one sponser it each year,

more suport from the teams as well would be nice although having said that there was support from all the teams this year with notable top drivers there in the form of bradders, mossy, cockerill,yardy, preddy, sleigh, doughty and others all willing to help people of all ages and abilties which was really nice to see and gave massive encouragement, has been great to see all the thanks given from various racers at the event for the help given.

i know of clubs who have large amounts of juniours who just arnt prepared to even travel 20 miles to a regional let alone 3+ hours to an end of season finals, yet there are others who will travel to the end of the world for it, why is there such a marked change between regions in that way i dont know but its something we need to work on or there will be no next craggy or ellis to carry the uk mantle on.

anyone have anyother ideas as to how to turn this problem around
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Old 04-09-2008
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I still think the main problem is at Club & Regional level - Nationals being over subscribed every year looks great ont he surface but really is a problem as it's the only meetings people seem to want to do.

I think you should have to qualify to do nationals! I know you have to qualify for EOS finals but if you were to make people have to do regionals to get in for Nat's you'd raise the overall standard of Nationals but more importantly give clubs a far better chance of surviving due to having a guaranteed turnout at Regionals!

When i was racing at top level i'd still attend regionals as it was great practise and we used to still get really good drivers turning up - Even as we thought it was dying off a bit we'd still get 50-60 people at a Regional which was a great days racing without the stress of it being a national.

The way it's going there will only be around 8 clubs that can afford to keep going let alone have the interest to want to get up early and put all the effort into track maintenance / improvements.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Just to elaborate on what i was suggesting above, you could do the following format.

For example:

F1's for 2008 all gain automatic entry into BRCA 2009 1/10th National Series (So there's your first 40 drivers for 2 & 4wd)

Regionals could start earlier, i.e March and be run as a 3 round series with 2 to count towards National qualifying scores.

1 Regional run on the same date in each region say 1st March, 1st April and 1st May (again for example)!

I don't know how many regions there are, but you'd have to allow for a Percentage based on the amount of attendee's as it wouldn't be fair to say Top 10 from each region when some regions only get 8 people turn up! So say the top 10% qualify to compete at the Nationals.

I think Nationals should be limited to 100 people per class, allowing for more run time on the day (which seems to be an issue with a lot of people, even with 2 practise rounds it seems you don't get enough track time) - So how about 3 x 4min practise sessions followed by 4 rounds of qualifying and finals to continue as they are now with 3 Legged A finals.

When it comes to Regionals i think it would work if F2's are automatically seeded in their region to go into the top heats, followed by F3's, F4's and so on.

This allows for similar racing to Nationals and you could introduce a more National like format with timed practise, 4 rounds of qualifying and then finals.

This could allow you to then run say just 4 Nationals to allow room for Euro's and Worlds, and they could be run June, July, Aug and Sept.

I know this probably isn't ideal but it's just an idea :-)

I just think the only way you're going to notice any changes are to dramatically shake up the current system and accept that it needs to change!

If it doesn't work, it's easy enough to go back to normal for the following year so why not give it a go one year

There could also be an incentive for F1's to compete at Regionals as practise for the upcoming nat's by seeding them for the Top heats at Nat's - so for instance the Top F1 from each region automatically goes into Top heat (Heat 10) and so on..... I'm sure there would be a way to get the F1's racing at regionals anyway but this was just another idea i had.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Don't forget its a big investment for juniors (and parents) time and money, soon as racers are working they can commit there own money and time, if they want to drop it as a hobby they can. Jordan's mates are in the local footy teams and stuff but they have nothing like kit to the value of our stuff, and most of its secondhand and iffy.
We have done the juniors for the last few years, always a low attendance, this year we were on holiday - well its school holidays - when else can we go, but just doing regionals, and the odd club meeting is a lot of time, 2009 is exams, so less time for racing. (but we would still like to do the juniors in 2009 if we can).
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Old 04-09-2008
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I like that idea nick, like you say its not perfect but it has a good base to work from, Less nats would encourage more regionals. the other thing we dont have in the summer for off road is a distributor/manufacturer run series. i know time is tight for meetings in the summer but prizes attract kids.

Schuey did it in TC so that the winner of each final get put into a raffle and they are drawn at the end and the driver chooses a gift, there were options of top end speedo`s and cars etc.

Factory drivers were not put into the raffle regardless of if they won the meeting, it went to the next highest placed non sponsored driver.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee View Post
I like that idea nick, like you say its not perfect but it has a good base to work from, Less nats would encourage more regionals. the other thing we dont have in the summer for off road is a distributor/manufacturer run series. i know time is tight for meetings in the summer but prizes attract kids.

Schuey did it in TC so that the winner of each final get put into a raffle and they are drawn at the end and the driver chooses a gift, there were options of top end speedo`s and cars etc.

Factory drivers were not put into the raffle regardless of if they won the meeting, it went to the next highest placed non sponsored driver.
Yeah i just think the key thing is that it needs a major change to what we've all got so used to and comfortable with otherwise it's just not going to happen for us.

It's nothing against anyone but Nationals are still generally full of the same faces that have been doing them for 5 / 10 years plus which is great for keeping it competitive but it's in danger of becoming very enclosed and not really providing room for new blood to come up through.

Club racing and Regionals need to be where the focus is - I don't know the best way to do it but what i've said above is certainly a start to what i think would help?
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Old 04-09-2008
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totally agree with Nick on this point, and always have done
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Old 04-09-2008
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what about!
f1's get in auto, f2 from nats the year before also, f2-f5 at regional pre qualify from the year before at regional level and say top ten from each region, then if theres any gaps, first come first served,there the incentive to race at club level is two fold,
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Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred5765 View Post
what about!
f1's get in auto, f2 from nats the year before also, f2-f5 at regional pre qualify from the year before at regional level and say top ten from each region, then if theres any gaps, first come first served,there the incentive to race at club level is two fold,
Forgive me, but isn't that pretty much what we do now.
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Old 04-09-2008
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for me, as a dad with two sons racing, it's a matter of cost.

I need to make my racing as cheap as possible, so this year I abandoned ni-mih cells and purchased Li-po's. This was better for me, i have not had to replace cells midway through the season etc. as the Lipo's have not deteriorated etc.,(don't want another lipo debate, I'm just qualifying my decision) but this meant that there were two less drivers who may otherwise have entered the EOS finals. If Lipo are eligible next year, then we will probably be at the EOS finals.

I think the main issue with youngsters in the hobby is cost.
Most parents who come to watch at Southport with there youngsters are all keen and enthusiastic to join and let their children race - until they find out how expensive it can be. As a club, we always recommend a "newbie" gets an RTR B4 to start with and build up from that. Sometimes parents do just that and come back the next week. BUT when the car breaks they often don't return - having said that Southport has quite a "healthy" junior section, and for the past few years the club as a whole has been seeing a steady upturn in the membership as a whole.

I would guess that the majority of youngsters driving these days are the children of racers that have been racing for a long time.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Originally Posted by _sleigh_ View Post
Forgive me, but isn't that pretty much what we do now.
so what your saying phill is unless you finish top ten in your region, and your a f3-4-5 you wont get in for the nationals, thats news to me,
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Old 04-09-2008
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I think the 27t std class used to attract youngsters too, it made the cars easier for new people to drive and also be the same speed as others. This helped many drivers progress to the modified class and have been racing for years after. How about a completely stock out of the box heat at regionals? b4 rtr's as somebody mentioned?
The welsh regionals are very low on numbers thus giving some who qualify as f2 no chance to race against people of thier own ability at the f3'4'5, taking the fun away for them. Not sure how this could be sorted mind??

Last edited by GRIFF55; 04-09-2008 at 12:42 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burgie View Post
.....
I would guess that the majority of youngsters driving these days are the children of racers that have been racing for a long time.
YOu might find that the same of the 'mid' age group of racers that are racing now
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Old 04-09-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred5765 View Post
so what your saying phill is unless you finish top ten in your region, and your a f3-4-5 you wont get in for the nationals, thats news to me,
What I'm saying is, we currently have a system very very similar....

Currently....
Preference is given to the higher license grades (i.e. F1 -> F5), with a 2nd preference given to those that enter at least the qualifying number of round (4+) and an overiding preference is given to date of entry (first come, first served). This method is even used for reserves...

So if you look at your suggestion (assuming we're thinking of drivers that are entering 4 or more rounds - remember this is a championship so they should get priority)


f1's get in auto - That happens
f2 from nats the year before also - That happens
(if everyone from the previous years National enters, then thats around 60 drivers)
f2-f5 at regional pre qualify from the year before at regional level and say top ten from each region - That happens, as the higher license grades are given priority.
then if theres any gaps - That happens (as not all regioanl drivers wish to race Nationals)
first come first served - That happens.

So yeah, we do that all already.
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Old 04-09-2008
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Agreed Phil, that is how it works Lion-O in reality.

I am also worried about the lack of 'new blood' into the sport and have been thinking what I can help the clubs in my region do to generate new members

Any suggestions would be great.

G
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Old 04-09-2008
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I think the main reason why young drivers dont know is because of advertising and mis conseptions, when i first started i was 14 i went to club nights and i thought i would only be able to race at club level until i was really good then i could go to regionals and then maybe nationals. I think if we advertised the EOS finals a bit better and regionals. Maybe it could be arranged where a letter with a callender for the year attached sent to all F5 drivers. Exsplaining that every level of racer is welcome at regionals and the EOS finals and its not all serious. There have been a few young drivers at oswestry who have been keen to progress but they only find out about the up and coming event a few days before which in most cases is just to short notice for parents. So maybe a letter to there address with a callender exsplaining that it is good fun and your not going to bethe only 12 - 15 year old there. And its not all about the racing i know that James and Callum at our regionals once they have finished doing bits and bobs with there cars they go and play football and swap football cards. And if they recieve it at home there parent will more than likely see it and say o well if you want to go we can arrange something because there given plent to time to get organised.

A

P.S. I hope that made sence.
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