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Its been the topic on everyones’ lips in the last few months as the questions and scrutiny mount with only 5 months until the 2014 IFMAR Worlds is due to get underway at the ‘urbanised’ Giardini Naxos track in Sicily, Italy. The lack of any official published information for travelling drivers raises doubts about the event as well as the organising hosts’ credibility.

Very little information is coming out of EFRA (the European host bloc), under pressure internally to deliver an event worthy in scale of being called a ‘World Championship’ – something that those who attended Argentina ’12 would question.

Ever the outspoken underdog, Joseph Quagraine has captured a bit of the industry zeitgeist with his ‘open letter’, asking the questions which remain unanswered…

OPEN LETTER TO RC COMMUNITY

Hello,

I am writing this as JQ the RC Driver, JQ the Pro RC Driver, and JQ the RC company owner. The more I think about this, whatever position I think of myself to be in, the end result is the same. Something is wrong right now, and we have to fix it. We, as in the people actually racing at these events can do so, if we just voice our opinions together!

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So what is the problem, it is pretty simple. I wanted to book my flights for the 1:8th Offroad Worlds, but I realised that I do not actually know which days the event is going to be! I have heard that the worlds will be extended, running for 12 days instead of 7, I have also heard it is just a proposal, I have heard that it will be just one week because “everyone complained”. But the point is, I have not heard anything official, and I would really like to book my flights and hotel!

THE Problem

It had been decided that there would not be any Worlds Warm up, or extended practice sessions at the Worlds venue in an effort to save costs. This sounded great, until Ifmar announced that the race would be extended by 4 days, for more practice. How this is supposed to save costs I do not know. 4 days more hotel, rental car, tyres, fuel, and most importantly, 2 weeks off work, instead of one. This is a HUGE mistake in my opinion. The reasons are:

- Additional practice, for what? No one I have spoken with wants more practice. We already have enough (too much).

- It is hard enough for many people to get 1 week off work, now they have to get 2 weeks off? In addition the added cost, it is not good for the average racer. I have heard drivers say they won’t go because they would have to miss the practice, and feel like they will be at a disadvantage. Is this the idea of a WC?

- Added costs for the manufacturers will be substantial, fuel, tyres, parts, and all on a track that wears out tyres in 1 run? How will a person paying for his own stuff afford to go?

Why would 4 extra days be GOOD?

I tried really hard to think of reasons, these are the only two reasons I could come up with:

- Someone wanted a longer all expenses paid holiday.

- Someone has struck a deal with local hotels. Count yourself how much money 4 extra days bring the hotels…..(Disclamer: This is based totally on speculation, as I said, I tried really hard to think of reasons :-))

So, people, if you agree with me that you don’t want to spend the extra money, you don’t want to take the extra time off (or on), and you don’t want to spend 12 days at ONE EVENT, please let’s stop this from happening!

I love the Worlds, it is the best race, but after Argentina, now this? We can do better….

And let’s leave these other problems for another time shall we?

- “No worlds drivers will be driving on the track before the worlds” Oh really? So no Italians are going? I seem to recall that the Italian nationals were recently held on the same track.

- The track layout/surface needs to be renewed by at least 60% – The organiser themselves told me nothing would be changed.

- The surface needs to be at least 50% natural soil. – It is apparently 100% concrete and carpet.

#facepalm

THE Future

Let’s try to remember why we race RC Cars, it is supposed to be fun! Let’s make these events affordable and enjoyable for everyone. Let’s visit locations with a large local RC scene, easy access for everyone, and great facilities. Let’s promote the event locally, and involve local media. Let’s shorten up the program, and cut costs. Why don’t we do this so that the RC scene can grow! Racing at remote locations, for almost two weeks, is not a step forward. The manufacturers, or the sport in general gains nothing.