SlotForum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

· Registered
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So recently there has been some discussion of the possibility of handicapping a couple of racers at Archer Raceways. Does anybody have any ideas on how to go about this? We tried doing an entire championship using an IROC format, but it didn't make any difference...

· Registered
398 Posts
Well from when I was there (last Feburary) you guys were not running a set computer type pattern for races. It seemed that when some one came off, they were set aside and everyone started even again, till the time was up or only one was left or some such format. Which is fine if that is what you guys like to run. Hard to handicap unless you have staggered starts and restarts for the faster ones. You could mark the track off in even length sections and at the start, you set the fast guys back one, two or more marked sections. They then have to make up the distance by the end of the races. The other racers always start at the regular start finish line till they get better.

Other wise with timed lap and heat races you can set the computer to have a break out time set. That way anyone who goes faster than the breakout time does not get that lap counted. Viola a handicap! So they need to slow down a bit to avoid the breakout time set by the computer.

The breakout time would be determined from a qualifiying session where the average times of all are added up and divided by the number of drivers and and then a optimum lap time is selected to just give the average driver some room to improve but not allow some to go too far under that time with out a lap pentalty for the hot shoes who might be sandbagging.

Depends on your computer program and it's ability to do this. Other wise set them back a lap or portion there of and let them try to make it up before the end. Or add weight to them after each win. Ever heard of the term LEAD SLED? Just don't piss them of till they quit. Racing should be fun not anger producing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

· Registered
66 Posts
QUOTE It seemed that when some one came off, they were set aside and everyone started even again, till the time was up or only one was left or some such format.

Yes, we normally run 3 ten lap heats per lane. Crash and burn with the remaining cars lining up for a restart. We have been experimenting with other formats, but with the same results.

We tried 50 lap races in each lane with the power being cut every time somebody came out to get them out of the way, as well as every 10 laps to put everybody back on where they came off.

We've tried giving a point for every lap as well as points for finishing order.

We've tried IROC racing.

QUOTE Other wise with timed lap and heat races you can set the computer to have a break out time set. That way anyone who goes faster than the breakout time does not get that lap counted. Viola a handicap! So they need to slow down a bit to avoid the breakout time set by the computer.

Tried that too...but not recently...

QUOTE Or add weight to them after each win. Ever heard of the term LEAD SLED?

Hmm....can you say dead motors and spun gears? But an interesting idea nontheless...

The most recent IROC series was three ten lap races with no restarts and a staggered start in the opposite order of finishing. Approx. 1 - 2 seconds between cars depending on who was running the race. Points were 9-6-4-2-1 plus one point per lap. The winner always got 19 points.

We've tried other formats, but I don't remember them all off the top of my head...

For championship purposes we've tried average points and total points with throwaways. For the next one points will depend on how many racers we have each if there's 15 racers, the winner gets 15pts, second gets 14 pts, etc.
Hot time of the night on each track will get 2 pt bonus.

The basic problem is that since Duke and I got established in 1/32 scale racing, nobody else has managed to win much of anything. There has also been less guys coming out racing, but that could be partially because of summer too. Guys are starting to pop their heads in again now that the weather is more crappy.

We're happy to make things more competitive as it makes it more fun for us, we just need to figure out how...

· Registered
778 Posts
...try to add diodes to the controller of the winner and cut down the maximum current he might get - so there is a chance for the others to win. If you're running with 12V, reduce for the winner to 10,5V, second 11V and third 11,5V - this helps!

· Registered
5,404 Posts
I have VERY mixed feelings about handicapping.

It seems to be the norm in some sports - golf and horse-racing spring to mind.
But can you imagine the resulting consternation if the best high or long-jumpers were forced to stuff rocks down their pants to give the others a chance!

We race 'crash and burn' and I don't like it, but must accept the rules of the club.
My problem with this (apart from my own overly frequent crashing and burning!) is that just a few 'incidents' means that quite a lot of poor buggers only get a few seconds racing in an entire session. This is not conducive to long-term enjoyment.
But, what exacerbates this situation very badly, is the system of heats, where the top heat winners get to a final and the also rans do not race again in that class on that day. It definitely rubs salt into the wounds.

I would much prefer to see run-offs for the lower placings so that EVERYONE gets a fair and reasonable amount of track time . My guys are going to HAVE to consider this option if they want to have reasonable attendance numbers on a regular basis.
I would consider this before thoughts of handicapping, which, on balance, I don't like - it seems to be yet another area for arguments, which is usally bad for morale, no matter who wins the argument.

· Registered
376 Posts
I don't really see the point in handicapping myself.....

We have also run IROC races in my club and yes the racing was closer but the top driver(s) still always won...... A good driver will always beat a poor driver....

But, I have to agree that track time is important to becoming a good driver.... We do not run crash and burn races so this helps somewhat..... But our race night is set up differently than most....

We run qualifying heats and the guys earn points for how they finish in each heat..... Then the points are added and then the guys are placed in the consolation races.

The top two qualifying drivers are placed in the A main.... The rest are placed in the different consolation races in the order they qualify....

The consolation races are set up depending on the number of people we have on that night.. and the number of lanes used ( ours is a 4 lane track ) The last 4 qualifiers are placed in the first consolation race and at least the winner ( more depending on the number of people we have) will move up into the next race...... This goes on till the last 2 open slots in the A Main are filled.....

In theory ( and I have seen it happen a number of times ) you can finish dead last in the qualifying and still be able to work your way up to the A Main and be the over all winner for the night.....

What this does for us is gives the slower racers more time to race and race against people with similar skills, and gives them a chance to move up in the field during the night.....

The "Top Guns" get less track time and keeps them on their toes......

Granted this type of system talks a bit longer to run, but we have found it to be fair and gives the slower guys more track time and more time running against guys of their own skill level..


· Registered
5,404 Posts
It IS a little complicated and time consuming but I LIKE it.
Yes, it's that track time that counts heavily towards having a fun day AND improving the driving standard. Our system automatically gives the best drivers ALL the advantages and is the most unfair and worst possible way to run that I can think of.
Thanks for the suggestions, Chris!

· Registered
376 Posts

It's not really all that complicated.... Run your regular race format and just add up the points.
getting the heats sorted out and learning how many slots to leave open in the consolation races so the guys can move up in the heats will depend on the number of racers you have on a give night.....
And yes, it does take a little longer to run......

Email me off list and I will show you the sheets we use and set up a mock race to show you how I do it.......

But your are absolutely right about the track time..... And that will not help some people :)
And that is one reason why I don't like and we don't run "Crach and burn" races..... One mistake or a little help from your friend in the next lane and you are done for the night.....

If your track design allows it and you have the people then running a marshaled race is a much better way to go.... And this alone will give people more track time.....

The only other way I can think of to handicap a driver is to make him use a different ohm controller.... If he uses a 25 ohm then make him use a higher ohm controller...... But the mitten idea is good too :)


· Graham Windle
5,009 Posts
We ran a crash and dash event the other night you know come off and run and put your own car on.
Absolute mayhem but funny as hell as it was free for all magnut night you can imagine the carnage Mick Lord started with a williams f1 and ended with something that looked like a reliant robin and he still won (only just ) from my scx cadilac Joe Browns parma armed scx porsche went up in a cloud of smoke and stank the room out.So come on scalex we want a new accessory ROBO MARSHALL
who stands there uncomplainingall night long, putting the cars back on while we crash them.

· Alan Tadd
4,044 Posts
It always seemed to me that handicaping was a waste of time, unless you are prepared to "rate" each car a driver is going to use. Performance is a car plus driver thing not just the driver.

We always found the best and fairest way to race was ensure that each driver runs on each lane for the set time, say 5 minutes and the total number of laps plus lap segments is counted and the driver that has completed most laps at the end of the evening is the winner. Simple and fair and each driver gets the same amount of racing time. Points are then awarded to drivers dependant apon their finishing position. (Similar to Formula 1).

It is very easy to run an annual or 6 monthly championship this way and it ensures that drivers turn up to your club on a regular basis so that they can earn points.

No matter what system you use the best car/driver combination will always win, what's wrong with that!.



· Rich Dumas
4,637 Posts
I have been racing for 38 years, both on club style home tracks and at commercial raceways. It has been my observation over that span of time that the people with the most talent, time and money will win most of the races no matter what you do. I guess that the best you can do is level the playing field somewhat. First off a very poor driver will never win any races, but if you have enough racers you can separate them into groups, like maybe Novice and Pro, based on their degree of experience and how they finish. Winning a novice race might bump a guy up to the pro class. You could have time trials and divide the field up that way. My group uses a round robin format for all races so everyone at least gets to run the same amount of time. The drawback to that style of race is that if you have a lot of racers you might not be in any of the same heats as the person you are actually racing. You can’t always tell how you are doing until everything is tallied up. Another thing that we have is a “winner says bye” rule. We always run three different classes at each meet and anyone that wins a race gets promoted to race director or at least corner marshal. I have done a fair amount of breakout racing and never cared for it very much since I tend to be one of the faster racers. It did keep up the interest level, however. I like the idea of an IROC format race, especially if the cars are supplied by the race organizers and stay with the lanes rather than rotating along with the drivers. I have seen IROC series that allowed the drivers to run their own spec car, but that put the time, money and skill factors back in the equation.

· Registered
398 Posts
Yes handicapping etc. is not the best way to go for the hot shots. If
they take it as a challenge though to their skill, then it can work out.
But most see it as a way to hamper them in their quest to trash everyone
else properly each and every race night.

The reality will hit when they walk into the track some night and no one is
there to race with. They have all been run off by the trashing they have
taken week after week.

I have mentioned I have been racing slot for many years and most of that
time the first 25 or so I was very competitive to the point of running
out of anyone to racea couple of times, with but a couple others like me,
no fun racing just three guys everyweek commercially.

We used to run 1/24th hard body, scratch chassis Nascars back in the
late 60's and between three tracks in the area we could get up to 60+ entries any
weekend. Great racing for myself and three of my friends. After about
six months It got to the point though, that when we would get to the track
to practice. There would be less and less entries and some who saw us
come in, would pack up and leave and ask for their entry fees back.

Well we saw the handwriting on the wall eventually and managed to have
problems of some sort or the other intentionally. And then got some of the
others into the winners area.

We also decided that racing tricks we knew, had to be shared with all, for them to catch up.
So we set up "how to" sessions before the races to show how to build a
chassis right, how to set it up to be fast and bullet proof them against falling
apart. We talked the tracks into allowing them more free practice time to get
them time to practice. The racing got much better after that and we
all had a better time of it. It's hard to race against nobody!!!

Since then that has been my way of racing. Winning is not the "end all
to racing", unless you want it to end all your racing with others.

Getting the snot beat out of you each week is not condusive to keep
coming back for more. Racing against those who can do better with help
is a lot more fun. Then winning means something, not just a easy hollow
victory. Maybe I am weird or just old but it has been more fun for me ever
since. And I still get to win a tough one every now and then.

Winning too easy is an empty victory. imho!!

· Registered
66 Posts
Well, there seems to be a lot of discussion about A mains and B mains and all that which I don't think is a good way to race in a club environment. We base our winner on points gained in the normal rotation. Everybody gets the same amount of running every night. When we create the lineup for the night the good guys are grouped together, and the bad guys, and the inbetween guys etc. The point is of course to have fun racing slot cars.

I kinda like that glove suggestion, but I don't think it would make much difference and the heat would be unbareable. I'm also fairly competitive left handed, and I don't think it would be long before that wouldn't make any difference either.

When we run IROC the cars stay in the lanes. On the track the cars are closer together, but at the end of the night, the points are further apart.

Well Larry, I am the hotshot and here I am looking for creative ideas to challenge myself. Duke and I have repeatedly shown our secrets to the other racers, but most of them chose to say "Oh, that's neat" but don't do anything. There are a couple of guys who have taken to our suggestions and they're much more competitive then they once were. I've been running my slower cars some, makes things more challenging for myself, but of course I can't help but tinker, and then they get better. We need a way to handicap the two of us, because between the two of us is a fierce competition which drives us further in development but leaves many behind.

Hmm....thumb brakes....wrong resistors....

Oh, and for the record, I probably have the least money of all the racers, being a 21 year old living on his own and having been unemployed for more than a year. At least half of my cars have been created from second hand wrecks, and the others won or purchased at an extreme discount.

· Registered
66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·

QUOTE Hmmm 21
Faster reflexes ,better eyesight



QUOTE unemployed

Have had job for past 2 months now...

As for...

QUOTE more time to practice, and tinker .

No and Yes...

I don't have a home track, and only get as much track time as anybody else at the club. Yes, I tinker a lot, but spend a lot of time on things that I can't use (like my first scratch built chassis, or my rally car). I can also safely say, having driven other people's cars, that mine are not the best.

· Trevor Gordon
1,446 Posts
For fun, I think handicaping is great, for money or glory(championships) then let the best man car win. When I play chess with lesser people
I like to give them the option of everytime I win, to take a piece off my side before win start(some reason they always take my queen). Then i have to think hard to try and win, better for me, better for them. If I still win then they get 2 pieces, until I lose then I get 1 back, etc.

The point is it is win win, I get to play as hard as I can, and they get a chance to beat me. i've not met anyone who doesn't like it.

On my track( all 4 days of playing with it) I am better than most who come along(for about 10 mins), but during that time, I start a lap back, untill they start getting the hang of it.

I just don't see the fun of beating people who are no competition.
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.