A new racing organization is in the works. Most of what we know about Radio Control Racing Association of America (RCRAA) has been learned from the press release/mission statement shown below. RC Truck Stop, of course, also followed up and got some addition information for you racers. The founders of RCRAA are Robert Smith, Buddy Hodge, Lance Forhon and Dave Vance.
When asked about plans for insurance, Robert replied, “We are looking into the insurance aspect now; while we know that ROAR has insurance, most tracks have to carry their own insurance anyways. It is still be decided.”
While the organization was just announced, the organizers have ambitious plans to get official racing started soon. Robert states, “We are working on a schedule for this year starting in the summer.”
ROAR, the current counterpart to RCRAA, has evolved and grown tremendously over the years. I asked what the scope of RCRAA will be in terms of classes covered and if there is a plan for a national championship format. Robert said, “Yes, we will have state, regional, and national events as well as an “all-star” race. We plan to maintain racing in electric and gas/nitro for on-road and off-road classes–which cover all, including oval. We are also currently working on 1/5-scale rules as that class is growing–better to start with some rules for a few than to try and make them late in the game for many.”
Robert describes the founding group as dedicated RC racers who have been involved in the hobby for numerous years. All four also have full-size racing experience. In explaining how the idea of RCRAA came about, Robert explained, “So as of late many are asking ‘So how do four guys decide to start a sanctioning body?’ Well, we were involved with sanctioning bodies with our full-size racing. We had talked about the current RC sanctioning body about a year and a half ago and a couple guys lamented how it seems the sport that we enjoyed as a hobby was dying. Upon further investigation, I found that there were a lot of issues with the overall operation. So much so that I could find complaint after complaint, but no one really saying how smooth or successful it was. Then they also were complaints of the management of the current sanctioning body. We had decided that we could probably do a more proficient job by not being directly involved in RC as a manufacturer or on that end of the business. And, as racers, we know what it is we like when it comes to smoothness of operation and tech.”
Most racers know that ROAR is entirely run by volunteers. Robert says, “I think, as do the other guys, that the volunteer aspect from an administration level is where things can go wrong. What we will do–at least the plan–is to look at IFMAR rules; that way there is some standard. Then we encourage all motor manufacturer to join, mainly though to have a voice. As a collective group, rules and innovation can be handled better. We dont want to come out of the gate saying that all current motors are wrong; that is not the goal at all. Rather it is to create rules and guidelines, even best practices that all manufacturers can work with. By using third party labs also will ensure that things are fair for all.”
When asked about how manufacturers and sponsored or pro-level racers fit in with RCRAA’s plan, Robert added, “No, the organization will not be made up entirely of volunteers. Manufacturers and pro drivers won’t have governing positions because it is too easy for someone that is sponsored to have their sponsor try to push them for something that is only good for their sponsor. It also removes any wonder of ‘Well maybe he cheated because he is on RCRAA.’ We want fairness and trust by all racers. Same with manufacturers. We plan to ask manufacturers for insight on a new rule or change and get an overall consensus, however, we don’t want one manufacturer to be able to unfairly influence or even be perceived as being able to influence a decision.”
To explain what racers can expect to be different when attending a RCRAA event, Robert promised, “Overall smoother events, more streamlined and also consistency. Clear and easy to understand rules. And rules that are followed. Too many times in competitive sports mainly motor sports where there is no consistency you lose trust and walk away with the impression that it isn’t fair. We want to avoid all that. Through the events, we will try to promote the local races and states races to get more club racers involved and able to race bigger events. By making things smooth for the racer this should help grow the racing side of RC.
It appears RCRAA’s goals go beyond rules. Robert said, “Our track assistance program will be targeted to new tracks or tracks that may need assistance. The only way you have competitive racing is by having a track to race on. Getting new ones involved will be the goal of the reach out team whether it is creating after-school programs for tracks to use to help get kids in the door or by overall promotion of this family friendly hobby through marketing, social media and local programs.”
Robert sates that dues for individuals will be $20 per year.
RCRAA Press Release:
Here is the idea behind the RCRAA:
Create a more transparent governing organization that works for the rac…ers with the manufacturers to develop a standard and specifications for racing and r/c in general. The mission is to develop racing programs to progress the sport of competitive r/c racing for the Americas, Canada and Mexico.
We will use third party independent labs to test and verify the manufactures follow the detailed specifications outlined in the rules. We will do our best to not have gray areas. We will listen to the racers concerns that support the hobby and develop a moving forward approach with manufactures to progress the hobby. Race programs will be run efficiently, on-time and non-biased.
It doesn’t matter if a manufacturer owns a race track or a racer is a world champion, all races and racers will follow the same rules.
We wont turn a blind eye just because they are a big supporter. We wont allow someone to bend a rule, while everyone behind them has to abide by it. We want racing to be fair for all. Racers, Manufacturers and onlookers.