In recent months the debate concerning certain World Championship venue allocations has heated up to a gentle simmer. The ‘main’ is the 1/10th EP Offroad & 1/5 Onroad Worlds, to be held Sept-October in Pretoria, S.Africa. Many of the top 10th Offroad drivers have voiced their opinion on this, ranging from anger, surprise to sadness and disappointment. Many car manufacturers appear to have taken the decision not to send drivers, deeming it unsafe, and as a result questions will be asked as to IFMAR’s wisdom of venue choice.
A World Championship is run to find ‘the best‘ driver every two years.

This debate has been on-going for many years; the 2006 Worlds in Jakarta, Indonesia caused large divisions in 1/8 Offroad, and next year the Worlds head to Pattaya, Thailand – a small town known for it’s nightlife in a country that experienced a Coup less than 3 years ago. The other side of the argument comes from the venue owners and organisers; who are surely the best judges and most knowledgeable when it comes to the surroundings and safety ?
Click Read More for an excerpt from the Australian ‘Racing Lines’ magazine – discussing this subject in their eyes.
We’d like to hear your views on this, leave a comment

Article from Racing Lines magazine (Australia), May 2009. Author, David Smith.


ONCE AGAIN we’re hearing moans from Europe and USA regarding the venues for three of the upcoming IFMAR World Championships during 2009-10.
The events are the 1:5 On Road Worlds and 1:10 EP Off Road Worlds, both due to be held at the TRAP facility in Pretoria, South Africa and the 1:8 GP Off Road Worlds at Pattaya, Thailand.
The complaints, mainly from Europe, regarding the 1:5 Worlds venue, is that South Africa will mean incurring excess luggage costs.
That is true but laughable. No matter where the 1:5 Worlds are held excess luggage costs will come into play (except of course, Europe, where the complaints are coming from).
‘Extra costs’ complaints from the people who have chosen Lostallo, Switzerland, to host the 1:8 GP On Road World Championship.
Lostallo, one of the most expensive places in Europe and in the middle of nowhere.
That’s fine though, itís in our own backyard, who cares about the rest of the world seems to be their attitude.
The moaning from USA in particular regarding the EP 1:10 Off Road Worlds to be held at TRAP the week following the 1:5 Worlds is nauseating.
‘Do we have to travel outside USA?’ seems the most regular question from their officials, followed of course by ‘it’s too dangerous’.
On what basis they claim the latter is unknown, they have never been to these places but we guess perception is reality.
IFMAR is made up of four regions and each region has, in rotation, the opportunity to host a World Championship.
Anyone who has visited Thailand and, in this instance, Pattaya, knows they are as safe there as they are at home.
Our first hand experience of South Africa leads us to the same conclusion.
Leading into the 2006 IFMAR 1:8 GP Off Road World Championships the Americans in particular were vocal about the Indonesian venue – one ignorant magazine editor even suggested a boycott of the event and holding an alternative Worlds in the USA of course.
As Mark Pavidis’ one of the few USA drivers who did venture to Indonesia to compete and who won that World Championship said afterwards of those who didn’t attend, ‘they missed the best World Championship I have attended’.

The hory old excuse ‘it’s a dangerous place’ is specious. Sure, South Africa can be dangerous but then again, so can any location.
Let’s not forget USA executed one of its own citizens for blowing up a building and causing the deaths of more than 200 of its citizens.
And there was the Atlanta Olympic Games bombings.
How about the late 1990’s IFMAR 1:10 EP Off Road World Championships in Los Angeles with its muggings and seedy neighbourhood?
The point is every city in the world has dangerous places where you are best not to go.
Keep away from the danger spots and things should be fine.
Critics raise the example of one high profile driver being pulled over while driving and robbed when at the 2002 EP Touring Car Worlds.
It happened and was undoubtedly traumatic for those concerned, however a few golden rules of travel were broken in that misadventure and really, simply invited trouble.
Traveling to other countries outside your comfort zone can challenge you, however the rewards in terms of experiencing different cultures, sights, sounds and food while all the time joining everyone else in doing what we like to do best – racing RC cars – is priceless.
TITC at RCS, Bangkok, Thailand, is a perfect example of this and is why it is so popular.
We hope IFMAR has the balls to tell those complainants that the FAMAR and FEMCA regions are entitled to host their World Championships and the events will be held at the venues chosen.
Arguments against the venues are specious at best and should be treated as such.
Some believe FAMAR should not host any Worlds or be included in one of the other regions, however that is an argument for another time.
As IFMAR’s rules stand, South Africa and Thailand are entitled to host these events and objections simply display the ignorance and/or selfishness of those making them.