Hey, you hit my car!

An often discussed topic and something that often leaves me gawping with astonishment whilst racing, that is crashing and racing etiquett...

An often discussed topic and something that often leaves me gawping with astonishment whilst racing, that is crashing and racing etiquette both on and off the track.

I have chosen to write on this subject since it is something which is so common where I race and also a contentious subject where everyone has their own views.  For that reason I will do my best to write this article delicately and make you aware that it is likely to contain my own views.

Racing these small cars is not easy, especially if you are trying to go fast.  The tiniest error can see you hitting the barriers and being bounced back into the track.  A mistake with your set up can leave you with a car that is a pain to drive whilst those around you are comfortable with their control.  All this should be a given, I don't know anyone, starting out, who has just been able to put down any car and do well without practice and experience.  However after discussion with some local racers it's almost like some believe that if there is a chance you will crash you shouldn't be on the track.  This is one thing that leaves me gawping, how can anyone reach a point and suddenly forget what it was like to be learning the ropes or to drive a car that is a pain?

For me the track has always been an organic beast.  Where I race we have a temporary track laid on carpet, often if someone hits a barrier hard enough it moves and the track layout changes slightly.  More to this point when cars crash they become extra obstacles to avoid.  I see the best drivers are able to adapt to this, see problems down the road and react accordingly.  Too often I see someone crash into an already crashed car and blame the person who crashed first when in reality there was plenty of room and time to avoid the accident entirely.

Now there certainly are times where I see people driving without proper care most notably when rejoining the track after a crash.  However this is something I rarely have a problem with because I've always found it easy to deal with simply by speaking with that person after the race.  No need to get in an argument normally all I have to say is "Hey, you hit my car!".  This is something I think can help a lot, not just in this example but whenever you feel someone has wronged you on the track.  Don't get angry just talk to them and you may well find yourself smiling again in no time.  Still feel like the situation isn't resolved?  Speak with the officials and let them deal with it, forget it and carry on with your racing.

For me it's all about respect, dignity and perspective.  At no point during a race is anyone likely to be hurt or killed, I have far more important things to worry about than crashing my RC car like where my keys are or what I'm having for dinner.  I also don't think I have ever come across someone in a race who is trying to crash intentionally or maliciously alter the outcome of the race so it's also my opinion that all crashes are accidents and should be forgiven as just that.

Finally I think all of this is easily solved by being reasonable and behaving like adults.  After all if you let these accidents upset you and bother you then you aren't likely to enjoy your racing.  If you start throwing your toys out of the pram and acting like a child you are likely to be treated like one.  But if you can brush these things off and carry on with a smile then this will likely show in your results.

So I leave you with this advice next time you feel yourself getting angry because someone hit your car take a deep breath and put it in perspective before taking action.  Remember why you chose to come racing in the first place and speculate on why the person who hit your car chose to race too...

Racing 2556173293705823519

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  1. Ah, the BTCC was epic in the 90's and accident heavy ones were normal. I agree that some people are a bit immature when it comes to track etiquette, but given the behavior I seen with adults are youth sports events be it Little League Baseball/Basketball/Football or on your side of the pond Youth Football (Soccer) it shouldn't surprise you that people behave this way.

    I see accidents as opportunities, seems to me there's always a mistake made and you're racing many times with unknown talents, while you know what to expect from other drivers.

    Mine you, I have never raced R/C competitively, but I just apply what I see in 1:1 racing to 1:10, it makes complete sense to me...



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