Following this week’s meeting of the Launceston R/C Inc committee, there are a few pieces of important news to share. We’ll announce these at the next couple of club events as well.
Click through for news on:
- Transponder lap counting (it’s nearly here!)
- Double Jump (Shockpopper) Safety Changes
- Other Track Changes
- Half-Year Memberships to 30 June
- Upcoming changes to 10th Buggy Class
- Saturday Racing – Touring Car & Family friendly
- Short Course Truck Tyre list
- Launceston Duck Race
- Launceston Cup Trophy Day
- Volunteers Needed
- NWRCCC Invite
It’s a lengthy article…but the news is important…please click through and read on.
Transponder Lap Counting Nearly Here!: We are very excited to announce that we now have the necessary funds to purchasing the hardware necessary to implement fully automatic transponder lap counting. For those new to the system, each car is fitted with a small transponder (powered from the receiver), and a loop fitted to the track identifies the car each time it passes the start/finish line. Lap Counting will be far more accurate, and it enables race control officials to both (a) enjoy the evenings without being constantly punching in numbers; and (b) to keep an eye on other aspects of the racing.
The implications of installing transponder lap counting systems are that each car will need to be fitted with a transponder. These are a one-time purchase, and will last years. We’ll be arranging a bulk purchase for those who need to buy a new transponder, with likely cost approximately $100. In the meantime, second hand transponders are routinely available, and cost in the vicinity of $60-$90 and if you’d like to go that way, you should start looking now. Over the next few days we will post full details, including photos and model numbers of transponders that will suit our system, and links to a number of second hand sale forums.
At this point it is our intention to purchase and install the new system in time for the start of our Winter Season on May 26th. We will also purchase a few transponders which the club will own and hire out. These will be prioritised to new or visiting racers. We understand that the cost of purchasing a transponder is not insignificant, but the benefits are substantial. Please start saving now so that you can purchase a transponder. We’ll have full details of our bulk purchase in the next few weeks.
Double Jump – “Shock Popper” Safety: We’ve become increasingly concerned about safety aspects related to our spectacular “Shockpopper” jump. While big jumps are an important part of R/C offroad racing, the small confines of the track, and height and length of jumps being achieved off the shockpopper are a little too much. We are mostly concerned about the safety of marshalls, with cars travelling at great speed and dangerous heights. We will make changes to the jumps as soon as we’re able, but need to manage the safety of marshalls in the meantime.
Therefore effective immediately the Shockpopper must be taken as a two individual jummps. Jumping from the first jump onto the top of, or over the second jump is not permissable. We’re asking everybody to abide by those arrangements. There will be a one-lap penalty applied for cars jumping onto the top of, or over the second jump (for each time it happens). Obviously this mainly impacts on the 8th Big Bangers class, and a few of the Tenth buggy guys…but the rules will stand for all classes (yep…even you Tourer guys!) until we can modify the jumps.
Other Track Changes: We’ll see a couple of tweaks to the current track layout in the next few weeks. We’ll be adjusting the “Crows Foot” jumps (three individual jumps around a hairpin towards the end of the lap) a little, and installing an “outside” barrier on the main straight – to keep the race track approximately one metre from the driver’s stand. If you have sources for heavy shipping rope, or used fire hose (or anything similar), please let us know.
Half-Year Memberships: Now that we’re into the second half of our membership year (memberships run on financial year basis) we’re offering half-year pricing for new members. Half-year prices (for membership through to 30/6) will be $30 for individuals and $50 for families. Members who have joined since 1/1/2011 will be reimbursed the difference between full year and half-year prices. Note that we still have to pay the full year’s amount to our insurance arrangements, so we’re not able to do a full half-price deal.
Race Classes – 1/10th Buggy: With 1/10th buggy growing this year, and a number of drivers looking for a little more control in terms of motors, we want to let you know what we have in mind with this class. As numbers, and race time allows, we’ll split 10th Buggy into 2wd and 4wd classes. Initially these will be Open 2wd and 4wd, but the long term aim is to establish the 2wd class as a controlled class with motor limits. The national standard for 2wd spec class is 17.5 turn ROAR approved brushless motors…and this is our long term aim for our 2wd class. 4wd will remain an ‘Open’ class.
Saturday Racing – Families and Touring Cars: We’re very conscious of two emerging issues at Launceston R/C. The first is the number of new and quite young children enjoying R/C Racing. We want to encourage this, and make it possible for families with particularly young children to participate without the late nights being a factor. Alongside that we’re seeing difficulties with our Touring Car class. The track surface has not proven very suitable to the Tourers, and low grip combined with chassis damage has seen the number of drivers running in the class decrease markedly.
To address both these issues, we’re looking for a venue where we can run some day-time races, on a surface more suited to touring cars, and at a time that is more ‘family friendly’ (perhaps Saturday afternoons). This might be a monthly, or bi-monthly event. We have identified three potential venues in the Launceston area and will be negotiating with the owners/managers of those sites over the next few weeks. If you know of other suitable sites, please let us know.
Short Course Truck Tyre Rules: With a number of new trucks being released with standard tyres that don’t fit within the spirit of our tyre limited rules, we’re going to implement an “approved tyre list” rather than the current rules which state that any standard tyre plus the Proline Switch tyre are acceptable. The Team Associated SC10 Factory Team edition, for example, is supplied standard with soft compound race-tread rubber not within the spirit of our tyre rules. We’ll develop the approved tyre list over the next couple of weeks, and announce it when complete. Approved tyres will continue to be those supplied in the RTR versions of SC Trucks (HPI Blitz, Traxxas Slash, Team Associated SC10, Kyosho RB5-SC) but not the race oriented tyres. Short Course Truck rules are on our website in full (hit the “Short Course” link at the top of the page). We’re continuing to try and keep the Short Course Truck class tightly controlled in terms of tyres, bodyshells, batteries and motors to enable and encourage close and affordable racing. It’s been a success story for Launceston R/C so far and we hope it continues that way.
Duck Race: We have a space to run a demonstration event at the annual Launceston Duck Race on April 9th. We have a bitumen area, approximately 30 metres by 8 metres and plan to mark out a simple track, and run a series of demonstration races. Your help to promote our sport and club will be very much appreciated….plus we’ll have a heap of fun. Full details to be announced soon.
Launceston Cup: It’s our intent to organise and run a full day major trophy race event at our Rutherglen circuit some time in the middle of the year. We’ll be locking in dates shortly, but expect a full days racing with 3 or 4 qualifiers, and a triple-leg finals. We’re hoping to attract competitors from throughout Tasmania. Stay tuned for more news on the Launceston Cup (for reference…we’ll probably run this event after we have transponders up and running).
Volunteers Needed: In order to continue developing as a strong club, we need your help. We’d like to train a number of people in the running of race meetings. We’ll pair you with an experienced race director, and introduce you to the Alycat race management software, and the various tasks involved in running our club events. Even if you can only offer yourself once every couple of months….that’d be awesome! Please see Scott or Paddy if you can help.
NWRCCC Invite: The new executive in place at the North West R/C Car Club are very keen to encourage visitors to their track, and are wanting to encourage electric racers to go and try. NWRCCC race the first and third Sunday each month. We’ll be negotiating with NWRCCC to arrange a club exchange. That will involve a nominated date where as many of us as possible all go and visit and race with NWRCCC, followed by a return visit from NWRCCC members to our club. It is a fantastic race track, and a good day out….give it a try sometime.