Race Day 101: What you should expect on race day

Cool – you’ve prepped your cars, you’ve packed all your gear, time to just hit the track and gun it when the light turns green, right? Well, sort of, but there are some nuances to how the day’s event is run and it may be a bit confusing for a newbie. That’s OK though – you’ll find all the details here on what to expect from the time you first get your car ready for the track, to the last run across the finish line.

In this section you’ll find information on everything from getting registered, driver-stand etiquette, how qualifying works and what to expect during the mains – and everything else in between.  We’ll also touch on marshalling a bit, but there’s a separate section all on that as well.


Before you can run on in a race – be it a club day or major event, you need to register all the cars you intend on running.  To save time and add convenience, this can be done online prior to the event through the Online Entry link on this website.  We encourage everyone to utilise this as it makes things run smoother on race day.  The sooner we can get everyone registered, the sooner we can get racing.  For major events, registrations will actually close prior to the race-day so you’ll have to do those online, in advance.

If you’re unable to register online for club days, though, no worries – you can do that when you get to the track in the morning.  Please have this completed by 8:30am on club-days, otherwise we may not be able to fit you in that day.  There are no day-of registrations for major events unless arranged with the club prior.

Payments can also be made online, or in person at the track during club-days.

Here’s a summary of what to expect for registration:

  • Register On-Line (on this site under “Online Entry” or the  KEORCA facebook page) or at the track by 08:30AM each race day (club days only).
    • You will need to nominate your class (2wd / 4wd / Truck / SCT) and which motor class you are running.
    • If you are starting out and unsure which class to run, nominate in novice which is open to all classes while you learn.
  • A transponder is required for lap time recording and is required for racing. Personal transponders can be permanently mounted and used at all tracks.
    • If you require a transponder, the club has transponders which are temporarily mounted. You need a 6mm diameter hole in the body and an R clip to hold in place.
    • You put it in immediately before your race and put it back in immediately after your race.
  • Payments can be made in advance through the website here, or on the day of the club race day.
    • We are trialing an EFTPOS system, so can now accept cards for added convenience!

Practice (on race day)

Practice on club-days is not a scheduled event, but will usually be available before the Drivers’ Meeting.  This is dependent on track conditions, but we make every effort to allow some practice runs before the qualifying starts.  Here are some tips to help you out during a practice session (or open-track, it’s not usually announced as a “practice session”).

  • Practice is open to all racers, and the track can be busy with vehicles of different speeds and abilities!
  • Setting down: Always start from the staging area at the end of the straight, then queue up at the drivers stand (Up stair).
  • DO NOT put your car on the straight while waiting for your turn – if a car travelling at high speed on the straight hits your car, both will be damaged.
  • Drive at the speed you are comfortable with. If a faster car comes up behind you in practice, drive your line (do not stop) and they will work their way around you.
  • If you crash and your car is stranded on the track, it is good practice to call out to the other drivers on the stand to prevent crashing (especially if it is in a high speed section or after a jump).
  • Marshalling is not compulsory in practice, but it is a good way to learn the track by watching other cars.

Drivers’ Meeting & Heat Sheet

Like in full-size racing, the Drivers’ Meeting is compulsory for ALL racers. This takes place as soon as registration is completed and we’re ready to start the day.  The club President / committee will ask if there are any new racers, outline the race format for the day as well as any other information. If you are a new racer, make sure you are known to the committee and they will assign a buddy for the day.

The first race is usually 5 minutes after the drivers meeting, so make sure your car is prepared to go before the meeting commences.

A heat sheet will be posted before the first qualifying session.  This shows the grid listings for qualifying and is printed just before the drivers meeting. 

The Heat sheet will show:

  • The order of races / classes
  • Which racers are in each heat
  • The starting order for Round 1
  • The transponder number for each racer
    • Check that your name is on the list and your class / transponder details are correct.
    • If there is a problem, see the race director in the timing hut.

The Drivers’ Stand

While there’s nothing difficult about going up and down the drivers’ stand, there are a few things to keep in mind to make it more enjoyable and fair for everyone up on the stand.  This section will discuss the process for entering the stand, etiquette while on the stand, and then exiting the stand.

Entering the stand
  • Have your equipment ready to go around 5 minutes before your race. It is best to be ready when the race prior to yours is starting.
  • Place your car in the staging area, and queue up at the base of the drivers stand. At big events, you should queue in race order.
  • NEVER put your car on the track while the previous race is underway.
  • Be respectful of the racers driving in the previous race – do not shake the stand or talk loudly while you are waiting.
  • Do not enter the stand until the race before yours has finished. The computer will announce ‘ALL DRIVERS FINISHED’ and the drivers will file off the other end of the stand.
  • Take your place on the stand promptly. If there is a dispute about who is standing where, the person starting first has priority.
On the stand
  • Mobile Phones: Put on silent mode to minimise distraction to others.
  • Warmup lap: You will usually be allowed 1-2 warmup laps.
  • Do not enter the track until instructed by the race director.
    • Usually this occurs after the previous race marshalls are in position.
  • Talking: Chatter on the stand is OK during the warmup but do not talk during the race (at World level events, this results in a penalty). At the club level, communication between racers is OK (e.g. if someone is lapping you or if you have crashed in an obscure spot call out e.g. ‘ caution back straight – car stopped’ then ‘back straight clear’ once you have been marshalled.
  • Do not lean forward on the drivers stand, hit the stand if you crash or otherwise distract other racers.
  • Shorter racers (e.g. juniors) can stand on a milk crate / small stand to improve their view over the railing.
    • As a rule your waist cannot be higher than the railing. The club has milk crates available for junior racers.
  • If you have crashed and require marshalling, do not spin the wheels until the marshall has placed your car on the track.
  • If you are spinning your wheels the marshall does not have to marshall your car.
  • Do not call out to a marshall unless they clearly have not seen your car. In that case, call out to the marshall number where they are standing.
  • Please remember the Code of Conduct when you are on the stand. No swearing, yelling or aggressive behaviour is tolerated. Racing can often have frustrating times but you are expected to show self control.
Exiting the Drivers’ Stand
  • You must stay on the drivers stand once the race has started until all drivers have finished.
    • If your car has broken down, you should stay on the drivers stand as walking on/off the stand will distract other racers.
  • After your race has finished, safely exit the track at the end of the straight (DO NOT stop on the track) but stay on the stand.
  • Do not complete extra laps once your race has finished.
  • Once all racers have finished, the computer will announce ‘ALL DRIVERS FINISHED’. Only then can you exit the stand (via the ‘Down stairs’).
  • Quickly pick up your car, and put your transmitter and car on the table at the base of the drivers stand.
    • Go directly out to your marshalling point. DO NOT go back to your pit area. At some big events, you may be required to leave your transmitter and car on for scrutineering.

Race Format

While we think of driving our cars as “racing”, the “race” format actually is made of two events – Qualfying and Finals.  In Qualifying, you race against the clock (there are still other cars on the track) to determine how you place in the Finals.  In the Finals, then, is what most would understand to be a “race” – first one to finish the fastest wins.  In this section, we’ll break down Qualifying and Finals.  First, here are some more general details on the race format that you should understand.

  • 1/10 Electric races usually last for 5 minutes. The objective of racing is to get as many laps as possible in the 5 minutes.
  • The transponder counts your lap times (to the nearest 1/1000 of a second). At the end of 5 minutes, it then counts how long it took after the 5 minute counter to finish your last lap.
  • Generally there is a maximum of 10 cars on the track in each race.
  • The driver with the most laps is the winner. If 2 drivers have the same number of laps, it then goes to the driver who took the least time after 5 minutes to complete the last lap.
  • “Your race result will be shown as the number of laps / time taken to complete the race.
    • For example:
      – 10 / 5:01 means you completed 10 laps in 5 minutes and 1 second.
    • 10/5:15 means you completed 10 laps in 5 minutes and 15 seconds.
    • 9 / 5:01 means you completed 9 laps in 5 minutes and 1 second.”
    • In the above example, 10/5:01 is 1st, 10/5:15 is second and 9/5:01 is 3rd.
  • The race printout will also show fastest lap, fastest consecutive laps, and consistency.
  • In RC racing, almost always it is better to have less crashes rather than fastest time, so start by checking your consistency. At top level racing results can be separated by fractions of a second after 5 minutes, so minimising crashes is very important.
  • KEORCA uses the LiveTime system and you can check your race results online after you have finished marshalling. This also gives you a graph of your lap times through the race.  You can access this through the website link, or click here.
  • Racing consists of qualifying rounds to sort everyone into the starting grids for the finals. The top 10 start in the A final, the next 10 in the B final and so on. Qualifying is by time trial, while the finals are by grid start (see below).

Qualifying format

As mentioned earlier, Qualifying is where you race against the clock to determine where you start in the Finals.  The better your results here, and the closer to the front you’ll start.  You’ll also be on the track with other cars, so you’ll still need to drive with traffic, just like in the finals.  The one thing that trips up new racers fairly consistently, is how to start during qualifying.  For information on that, and other details, check out the details below.

  • Qualifying is racing against the clock, using a staggered start system (often called IFMAR qualifying).
  • In this system each driver starts ~ 2s apart, and your time starts when YOU cross the timing loop.
  • Starting: All drivers line up behind the loop after their warmup lap, and you are called by name 1 by 1 to start (usually with about 2 seconds between each car).  Do not go on the tone – wait for your name to be called.
  • When you are called, you begin your race and your 5 minute race time starts when your car crosses the loop.
  • Your starting position for round 1 will be according to the grid listing posted. For round 2, you start in the order you finished the previous round.
  • During the race, you are all racing the clock. If a faster car comes up behind you, you must let them past. Generally its best to do this running a little wide at one corner – that way you both lose very little time.
    • If you tangle, you both lose a lot of time. If you are a faster car coming up on a slower car, do not barge your way through.
  • Each time your car passes the loop the timing system will sound a beep. The tone is slightly different for the leading car.
  • Every 2 minutes the computer will call out the top 3 at that time. As each car starts at a different time, it is possible for the car starting last to win without passing all other cars on the track.
  • Keep driving until your name has been called by the computer as ‘finished’. As each racer is running against their own clock, some racers may be called finished (as their 5 minutes has expired) while others may have just passed the loop before their 5 minutes has expired, so they have another lap to finish.
  • Always keep driving until you hear your name called.
  • Once your name has been called, pull off at the end of the straight. Do not stop on the straight, as other cars behind you may still be on the clock.
  • After each round, the race times from each class are combined and you receive a ranking based on your overall finishing position in the round.
    • For example there may be 3 heats of 2wd 17.5 , so all 3 heats are combined together for the overall ranking.
    • First gets 0 points, 2nd gets 2 points, 3rd 3 points and so on.
  • The finals are ranked by taking your best qualifying score from the 2 rounds.
  • In the case of a tiebreak, the racer with the fastest time will come out on top.
  • At bigger events there are more qualifiers. Victorian Drivers series has 3 qualifiers, with the best 2 counting. State and National titles have 4 qualifiers, with the best 2 counting.

Finals Format

When most people think of “racing” they think of the heats in the Finals.  Heads-up racing, driver against driver, first driver to get the most number of laps in a 5-minute heat wins.  There are changes in the grid listings, so it’s important to take note of that, among other things, when it gets to the finals.  This is for all the marbles, so here’s some helpful info to make the most of it when it counts.

  • Following qualifying, an updated heat sheet will be posted with the race order and grid listings for each of the finals.
  • Be aware that sometimes your race number will change, the total number of races may change and if you are using a club transponder the number may change.
  • The Top 10 racers in each class run in the A final, the next 10 in the B final and so on.
  • In Finals, the grid will be marked starting positions 1-10, and you start in that grid position for all finals.
  • In Finals, all racers start at once and you are racing for position (like full size racing). You do not need to let anyone past unless you are being lapped.
  • The computer will countdown the time before the start of the race. After the final 10s countdown, you are not allowed to move your car (including wiggling steering) and it must be behind the line of your starting box.
  • When the start tone sounds, all cars start together and continue racing until the 5 minute timer has been reached. You then continue until you have past the timing loop to determine your position in that final.
  • For each final, you receive points for your finishing position. 1st is 1 point, 2nd is 2 points etc. Usually 3 finals are run, with the best 2 counting and tiebreak based on fastest time.
  • Sometimes 2 finals are run, in which case single best result / fastest time tiebreak is used.
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