School of R/C: The Ethics of R/C

As we continue to grow as a club, and learn our way around the R/C hobby, perhaps it’s time to think a little about ethics for R/C racers.

R/C is like any sport in that there are some guidelines which enable all of us to enjoy our hobby more.  Here’s a few that we want to encourage at Launceston R/C:


R/C is essentially a non contact sport.  For sure there will be racing accidents (like there are in any motor sport), but we’re not doing demolition derby.  The intent is to race cleanly, to pass cleanly, without crashing other driver’s off the track.

If you’re trying to pass another car, the responsibility lies with you to make it a clean pass. For sure push, probe, look for opportunities, but the car in front has the right to their racing line, and you have the responsibility to wait for the opportunity.

If you do crash into a car while trying to pass, racing ethics are to wait until the car you’ve hit is back on track and back in front of you (even if you have to wait for a marshall to intervene).

If you’re lapping the car in front, all the same rules apply – it’s your responsibility to find a clean way past.

The difference here is that if you are the car being lapped, it’s also your responsibility to make space for the car trying to find a way past.  V8 Supercars and F1 have blue flags to tell  drivers that they’re being lapped. We depend on each other to do that job – and the commentator and race-system will help let you know.  Letting a lapping car by is better for both of you than racing against them and trying to keep them behind.

The track boundaries are there to mark the race track. If you accidentally cut across a corner (even if it’s as the result of an accident that’s not your fault) you need to drive back to where you came from, or at the very least to wait to ensure you don’t get an undue advantage.

Driver Behaviour

R/C racing is a unique motorsport in that we stand side-by-side while we race.  If you’re in a V8 supercar, or a sprint-car you can yell and curse as much as you like, and nobody can hear you (except maybe your pit crew on the radio!).  If you start yelling and cursing on the Driver’s Stand at Launceston R/C, everybody can hear you.  Abuse of drivers, officials and marshalls is just plain unacceptable.  We discourage bad language so that we can keep Launceston R/C a great place to race for families of all ages.


It’s a standard system in R/C all over the world that you marshall immediately after you race. If you run two classes, you marshall twice.  We all make mistakes on the race track, and we all want to be marshalled quickly and efficiently – so each of us needs to take that approach to marshalling.

Within the bounds of your physical capability (remembering that some of you are nearly as old as me, and we don’t move so fast!), marshall well.  Watch your part of the track. Get to crashed cars as quickly as you safely can, put them back on the track as quickly (and safely) as you can.

Much as we all like to chat about our race, have a drink, something to eat etc, while we are marshalling just isn’t the time for those things. Marshall the way you want to be marshalled.  Fast and safe.

We’re a Club

Launceston R/C is a club. It’s not a business that belongs to someone.

The track, our gear, our racing belongs to all of us, and depends on all of us.  If you see something needing doing (whether it’s fixing the track, building a website, printing some brochures), then we need you to step into the breach and make it happen.

We have a committee elected to lead us (and we’ll be doing that election again at our AGM later this month), but we are a club, and we depend upon each other to make this a great place to race and hang out.


Those are just a few of the ethics of R/C, of making your club an enjoyable place to go racing.  Now, its over to you….


About scottg

Scott Guyatt is husband, father, brother, son, friend, disciple, runner, cyclist and story-teller
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10 Responses to School of R/C: The Ethics of R/C

  1. Alex says:

    Just a point for the AGM. There are people from Hobart that would like to come and race, however the current format (late finishes and work the next day) makes it difficult. Could be something to brainstorm at the meeting to try and allow even more people to get along to LRC.
    I’ll try to make it to the AGM if I can.
    Cheers, Al

    • Damien says:

      I am up for more track time could we may be get a Saturday or Sunday in calendar dates for other clubs would have to be thought about, and the guys who play the big parts (the organisers that set every thing up, top job guys.)

  2. ian says:

    well said scott

  3. Rocket says:

    Great write up Scott 🙂
    Clears up several small problems the club has been experiencing recently 🙂

    Alex , not sure how we could finish the meetings any earlier, short of cutting classes or cutting the amount of racing , or starting earlier even, all of which i am sure that no one would like to see. Its hard enough getting there for 7pm starts on a week night for most people who work late.

    The club has grown beyond anyones expectations in a short period of time. RC is going through a boom period in the north at the moment , with the amount of people coming out to race it unfortuently pushes the meetings out past 10pm most nights.

    Maybe some weekend meetings scheduled through the year, or in between each series to cater for the south and north west members who want to race at our great venue might be a solution?

  4. Part of the reason that we have been so successful is that we don’t loose a whole day of the weekend that we could spend with family to racing, yet still get to race quite often. Certainly if we raced weekends like the NWRCCC I probably could not race during winter, and only sporadically in summer. Weeknights (even late ones0 means that I can race almost every meet (And I am loving it)

    With any luck we can have slightly ore regular weekend meets, but it took a lot to organise the Launceston Cup, but I hope we can hold a couple of events like that throughout the year.

  5. Marc says:

    Nice write up on the ethics Scott, if followed it will make for some fantastic r/c racing action.
    It may have already been suggested in other posts, but would it be possible to run different classes on different nights? A Tuesday or Wednesday night for buggies, bangers & beginners, whilst keeping Thursday night for Short course & road racing?

    Either way, I’m loving the racing so far & really think the club & track are extremely well set up & organized, Well done to all involved.

  6. Alex says:

    Actually we’ll probably have some interclub events between LRC and GOMCC once we are a bit more established down here. For example something like a 4-6 round championship with rounds held alternating between both clubs with one meet per month. I’m not suggesting anything radical take place! Just a point for discussion…

  7. Andrew Mackenzie says:

    Good write up Scott. If everyone works towards putting the above into practice, I’m sure it will make it a more enjoyable experience for all.

  8. Andrew Mackenzie says:

    Just a few thoughts on the idea of splitting the racing due to time constraints and increasing numbers:
    Any splitting of classes to different days would need to consider availability of Rutherglen and that there are enough people at each meet to cover rent. There would also need to be enough people to cover marshalling duties in each race. Any such change would also involve additional work in running an extra race meet. Those involved in the organisation and running on Thursday nights do an exceptional job but cannot be expected to pick up any extra load. Those of us who are able should assist where we can.

    Depending on which people have weekend commitments or run into problems with late finishes and which classes they race in, would one option be to look at making Thursday nights a shortcourse night combined with one of the smaller classes and run other classes on a Friday night or a weekend?

    SC seems to be doing well with numbers and combined with a few of the trucks currently running in novice we would be getting close to running three heats and C finals of SC. If combined with one of the smaller classes there should still be enough people to cover rent/marshalling.

    Running the remainder of classes on a Friday night or Sat/Sun might be easier for kids or those who work/travel and enable both meets to finish at a reasonable time or maybe even get in an extra round of racing. Alternately it would also allow for future growth in the novice and tenth buggy classes which are getting close to needing two heats. By not running all classes we could also complete a race meet in the morning or afternoon so that those with other weekend commitments do not lose the whole day 🙂

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