What happens at a race meeting

This is a short guide (adapted from a guide written by Coastal Model Car Racing Club) for new racers to explain what happens at a club meeting. Bigger meetings follow roughly the same format, but you will be made aware of the details by the race director for that meeting.

Track opens 9AM.

Before 9AM (if possible), you may want to get your pit table set up (either under the covered pitting area or in the ‘outer’ pitting area which will be pointed out by the members or committee members present). Then make your way to the Race Control hut to book in. What we need to know from you is your name, what class you wish to race in, what crystal you are using (if using 27Mhz/40Mhz radio equipment) and your personal transponder number. The race director will collect racing fees at this point.

Practice takes place between 9.00 and when booking-in closes. Please do not place you car onto the pit straight. Please use the pit lane to make your way onto the track. Be aware of faster or slower cars on the track; let faster cars through and be patient with slower cars. Practice is open to all.

After booking-in has closed, drivers will be sorted by class and by ability and a heat listing will be produced. The heat listings are posted on the results board on the rear of the rostrum. If you are using 27Mhz/40Mhz radio equipment, make sure that you are using the crystal you specified when you booked in. Then wait for your race – you can tell what heat is currently on the track by looking at the timing board on the front of the Race Control Hut.

A few minutes before your race, plug your battery in, and check your car over to make sure everything is connected and ready to race. You should only switch on your radio and car when the previous race has finished and all cars have left the track. The procedure is radio transmitter on first, then your car, car off then transmitter off. Your radio should not be switched on at any other time.

At club meetings, we generally run 3 qualifying rounds and 2 finals, although this can vary depending on the number of racers attending on that particular day. At larger meetings the race director will advise you of the qualifying/race format. At the start of your qualifying heat, the race control software will call your car number (as specified on the Heat Listing) and your qualifying run will start. Remember that you’re qualifying, so there is no need to race your competitors, you are racing the clock! Allow faster cars to pass, you’ll gain respect from your fellow competitors for good racecraft.

After you have finished your qualifying session pull off into the designated area (if you’re not sure where this is, ask the race director) or in a safe place. Turn off you car, then your radio. At larger meetings you will need to leave your car in the scrutineering bay (generally behind the rostrum) then prepare for your marshalling duty.

Generally, you will marshal the race following yours. Go to the marshal point that corresponds with your car number. Please note that to be able to race and marshal you have to have BRCA membership. Please see a club official at Race Control if in doubt.

When marshalling, observe the section of track in front of you. Do not watch the racing. Only go onto the racing surface when it is safe to do so, do not walk out in front of oncoming cars. Do not run. Be careful when picking up overturned cars, they may be hot and have spinning wheels. Drivers of cars that have stopped should not rev their motor when being marshalled.

If the car you have marshalled is mobile then place it back on the side of the track where it left the circuit and pointing in the direction of racing. Do not place it in front of oncoming cars! Look at what cars may be coming to judge when it is safe to return the car to the track, and only return it to the track when it is safe to do so.If the car will not run then remove it to your marshalling point, place it on its side and if possible switch it off or unplug the battery. Continue to marshal your section of track.

Stay at your marshalling point until the last car has finished, you may be requested to marshal the following race but otherwise return to collect your car from scrutineering (if required) and prepare for your next race.

After your qualifying sessions have finished you will be sorted into finals depending on how quick you were in qualifying. You will probably have a different number (and frequency if using 27Mhz/40Mhz equipment). Check the final listing (on the results board on the rear of the rostrum) for your name and details.

Remember, when you are racing to allow quicker cars past when you are being lapped; you will only slow yourself down and the race director will be watching for poor driving!

The procedure is the same, race, marshal, race, marshal. If you fail to marshal when called you will lose your best time of the day

If you have to leave before the end of racing please advise the race director.

If you have any questions please do hesitate to ask, racers at Cotswold Model Car Club are friendly and more than willing to share advice and help. The main objective is to have fun and enjoy your day. Good luck!