Any R/C enthusiast who races regularly knows who I’m talking about, the rare breed of R/C racer who just drives you insane. I am relatively new to the racing scene, but not by any means am I new to the hobby. I recently started racing with my schools R/C club at a local track. Racing is a blast and for me is a culmination of all things good about the hobby. Picture the novice racer at his first race night experiencing some of the things I see too often at the track.
A track regular (we’ll call him “Racer X”) with an ego the size of the track itself, is standing front and center atop the drivers stand as a race begins. The race gets underway and the first sign of trouble involves Racer X. A string of negative commentary rains down from the drivers stand as the marshal frantically work to right the cars. As his car is tended to last, another barrage of choice words comes from above, this time directed at the marshal. Things proceed relatively smoothly after the first incident until Racer X comes up on some lap traffic. Yelling out leader as he whips around other slower drivers, Racer X is unintentionally blocked by another driver. The driver that blocked Racer X hears about it both the moment it happens and then again after the race.
In my short racing experience I have seen far too much of “Racer X” for my liking. I can see how a novice racer could go to the track for the first time and be on the receiving end of some negative comments and be turned off of racing for good. When I see things like this happen it really bums me out. One of the most detrimental things we can do for the health of the hobby is to discourage people from racing and participating in organized events.
Let’s be honest here, whether we like it or not, we’re all adults playing with toy cars. Therefore we should act like adults and play nice with each other. The racing scene should be one of respect and good natured competition, and almost everyone who is involved in the racing scene recognizes and follows those principles, showing respect and acceptance to everyone, even newcomers. It’s the few people who seem to think they can play by a different set of rules that can be very harmful to the hobby. People who are just entering into R/C or just trying racing for the first time are just as valuable to the hobby and to the atmosphere of the track as the guy with 20 years of experience. So don’t be intimidated by the Racer X at your local track, go out and enjoy the hobby! And for the love of R/C, don’t be “that guy”!