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Word of Wheels: ‘illegal’ Stock Motors
July 31, 2014 – 19:47 by Mike Garrison

While stock class cheating is an age old topic in the R/C racing world, over the past month or two it’s picked up in popularity with the release of several new “illegal” stock motors to the market that join the collection of “outlaw” motors already available.

These new motors do NOT meet specifications of sanctioning bodies such as ROAR, IFMAR, EFRA, etc. They are specifically designed for tracks that do not offer tech inspection for stock class racing, and do not abide by sanctioning body rules. I have been asked over and over again my thoughts on these motors, and the drivers who choose to use them.

I’ve never really expressed my true feelings toward the matter (as I primarily race the modified classes), however, today I have “sat down” (figure of speech…I’m ALWAYS sitting) and put together my thoughts and opinions to the most frequently asked questions regarding the topic non ROAR approved motors at club races.

First and foremost let’s discuss the number one question thats asked about these motors: How are they considered illegal if its not a sanctioned or tech inspected event?

By technicality there’s no such thing as ‘illegal’ in those circumstances; however, in my opinion they represent poor sportsmanship, and are still considered illegal in my eyes. The idea of stock class racing is NOT to see who the best cheater is, and it is NOT to see who can buy the biggest, baddest, most expensive motor.

The idea of stock class racing is to provide fair, equal, and close racing of all skill levels. The stock class winners,in my opinion, should be decided by driver skill and talent, NOT on the fact their whether they are running a motor that is illegal to use at 9 out of 10 tracks. If there is no sanctioning, and no tech inspection, what is the difference in cheating using 13.5 in the 17.5 class as opposed to running an “illegal everywhere else” 17.5? Not much in my opinion.

This brings us to the question, “Should ALL tracks have mandatory tech inspection?” My answer to this is “Yes” AND “No.” Once again based upon good sportsmanship and racing morals, I don’t believe it should be mandatory.

Racers should take pride in their success by knowing they are competing with equal equipment, and winning on talent, not because of a faster motor. If racers did in fact do this, then tech inspection would not be mandatory. Is this the case? No. Unfortunately in the quest to go fast and win races, many racers cross the line of cheating. With this being said, In order to offer truly fair, fun, and organized stock class racing, I believe tracks do need mandatory tech inspection (even for club racing).

The next question is “Should all tracks and racers have sanctioning body membership?” If you consider yourself a serious racer or track, then “Yes” I believe so. Sanctioning bodies are the government of R/C racing.

Whether you agree with their laws and decisions, or not, they are still the organizing committee that makes up R/C racing. With that being said, I feel as though we should support the sanctioning bodies who support us as racers by joining AND abiding by the rules. Am I saying that all of the rules are perfect, and I agree with everything that the sanctioning bodies do or say? No. I don’t always agree with my mother’s rules or what she says, but I still love her.

It does cost money to join most sanctioning bodies, such as ROAR, for both tracks and racers. If the budget is not there to join a sanctioning body, it does not mean sanctioning body rules can’t be used and enforced to ensure fair racing.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Why do companies manufacture these motors if some people frown upon them?” The reason these motors are manufactured is simple. There is a market for these style of motors, and manufacturers see that. The manufacturer’s are doing nothing more than good business by tapping into the market of “illegal” motors.

As I mentioned above, racers will do anything to win, and if rules aren’t enforced, they will gladly pay the extra coin for illegal motors to do so. Whether you agree or disagree that this is cheating, I also think this market of motors is hurting the stock class. One guy spends the big bucks to buy an illegal motor, and the rest follow.

In the end everyone is back to running the same speed motors (exactly as they were following the rules by running approved motors), BUT the expense to join the class has sky rocketed. Motors such as these make what was intended to be a budget friendly, close racing, and enjoyable class far more expensive, spread apart, and frustrating just to be competitive.

So in conclusion, “What are my overall thoughts on these ‘illegal’ motors?” While I am not out to hurt anyone’s feelings, argue, or upset anyone, my thoughts on the topic are pretty straightforward. I believe that these motors are uncalled for, and killing the stock classes. If racers and tracks simply followed and enforced the rules set by the sanctioning bodies of R/C, no matter where or what type of event they are running, there wouldn’t be a need for these ‘illegal’ motors, making stock class far more enjoyable, and taking it back to what is designed for.

Many times entry level racers want to race stock to be more competitive, but after finding out the cost of what it takes to keep up, they turn to mod. Mod is 99.9% of the time cheaper, BUT for entry level drivers they get frustrated with hard to handle vehicles and professional competition.

In turn they quit R/C all together. If you want to go faster than the approved 17.5 class then run a 13.5 or a modified class instead. Don’t cheat (yes I said “cheat”…as I feel these are cheating motors whether tech is enforced or not) with overpowered motors, ruining the enjoyment, and the class for others.


Courtroom detail with a gavel and scales of justice in the background


In breve:
alcune case stanno mettendo in commercio motori non regolari con le specifiche delle federazioni riconosciute (ifmar, efra, roar….) cosa fare?
io aggiungo al problema le gomme, le batterie, gli esc, i giroscopi, gli additivi per gomme e tutto quanto può soffrire del medesimo problema.

– Alle gare club quando si dice tutto libero per non organizzare in pista delle verifiche tecniche complete… vale veramente tutto o è meglio attenersi a dei vincoli commerciali sportivamente adeguati anche se non specificati nel regolamento locale?

– Cosa fare e come considerare alle gare club i motori (e/o altro materiale) non riconosciuti “regolari”? Sono da considerare comunque regolari o è meglio non usarli? Come trattare i piloti che si procurano e/o usano questi prodotti non regolari? (sono imbroglioni, furbi, o sprovveduti? Non ultimo caso al recente Campionato Svizzero di Chiasso c’è chi è stato trovato a non usare l’additivo unico per le gomme fornito dalla direzione gara… come comportarsi?)

– Concordiamo sul fatto che le categorie Stock dovrebbero essere semplici e si sta facendo di tutto per far si che questo non accada? e che se un pilota vuole andare “più forte” può farlo semplicemente cambiando categoria? (a già…. ma se non imbroglia magari non vince….)

…Buona riflessione…


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