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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many of us race in regional groups & there are those who are simply better racers than others. Ok, so you're group is running a series & the better guys are so far ahead of everyone else in the points that it's really just a 3-way fight for 1st w/ 7 other cars "in the way". Can "handicapping" work to "level the playing field", or at least give the racers in the pack something to race for? If so, what kind of handicapping works?
In 1:1 racing you have weight additions. Will that work w/ slot cars? Sometimes the car w/ more weight runs better. Do you mandate that the weight goes high up in the car or in the rear or what?
What about mechanical handicaps; different tires or gears, lower rpm motor or even a lesser controller?
Or do we just let the big dogs rule & the rest fight over 5th-10th?
 

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A form of handicapping that works well at some clubs is works on average laps - there are variations on something like this.
Take the average laps each driver does in their best race in each class on their last 3 visits to the club.
If a driver is on average 3 laps behind the winner, give them a 3 lap start.
That way, if everybody drives to their maximum, they all end up in a very close finish at the end of the race with everybody having an equal chance of winning. In theory at least, that is what happens - in fact it often produces very close finishes, some unusual winners and the fast guys have to perform at their best to win rather than just cruising round knowing they can beat the slower drivers easily.
Mostly clubs run some nights on handicap and some not.
This proves popular at a number of clubs, but not all clubs will want to race that way.

All the attempts I've seen at weight additions or mechanical handicapping in slot racing have been unsuccessful, but maybe others have made this work?
 

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Rich Dumas
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One way to handicap the faster racers os to reduce the voltage to the lane that they are using. That is easier to do if the track has a separate voltage control for each lane. On tracks that have driver's stations it is easy enough to put diodes in the controller circuit to drop the voltage. Regular silicon diodes drop 0.7 volts each, Schottky diodes are good for about half that. Another method that I have seen is to program in a minimum read time when you set up a race. The minimum read time is normally used to keep riders from counting an extra lap, but it can also be used to handicap the faster racers. If a racer turns a lap time below the breakout he loses that lap. The racer can either run a fast car and take it easy or he can run a slower car.
 

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I find any kind of handicapping anathema, and that has nothing to do with being a winner or top racer, because I am neither.

I think instead it is better to direct energy towards having more winners on merit by whatever means.

But, if you must use handicapping be sure to make it sand-bagging proof.
 

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Nobby Berkshire
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Is this is a joke post?

Why cripple the best racers? Surely its the job of the poorer racers to get better? What kind of race cripples the winners? Can you imagine this years winning Le Mans team having to start 10 laps behind next year? Of the F1 champ having to race the next year with only three wheels?

Or if the best racers are simply using technology to lead the field, then use rules to restrict technology used so that everyone has a fair race.
 

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Circuit Owner
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Whilst I agree with Screwneck's sentiments - it is worth pointing out that British Touring Cars apply a weight penalty and a reversed grid in their meetings which run multiple champion ship heats. So where F1 might think it odd to handicap the winners the BTC don't think it so unreasonable. and counter-intuitively, I prefer the Touring Cars over F1 any day.

It is probably down to each club to decide what works for them. HOWEVER it is important to make the rules CLEAR at the START of a season and before any races are run. Otherwise you lay yourselves open to all sorts of accusations.
 

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Martyn
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Cream always goes to the top. isn't it better for the slowest drivers to get better,rather than penalising the faster drivers. Its a tough one, but you cant please everyone.

Athrlyth
 

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QUOTE (athrlyth @ 7 Jul 2012, 19:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Cream always goes to the top. isn't it better for the slowest drivers to get better,rather than penalising the faster drivers.
A lot of clubs run don't run handicap racing, a lot of clubs run handicapping very successfully. All down to what suits the club best.
Many handicapping systems favour the slowest drivers who are getting better, so perhaps you are in favour of that sort of handicap?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, Mr Modifier; much of the 1:1 club racing in the US uses weight penalties as well. It's a very similar situation, racing can always be won by outspending, handicapping on-track performance is seen as a way to level the playing field in order to keep teams interested in the series.
 
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