Hobby Central's Racing History
Hobby Central has been hosting rc racing in Pensacola since 1999. We currently have the only onroad racing program in the Florida Panhandle. It all started at University Mall in Pensacola in 1999 when we decided to move our business into the mall. We initally started racing touring cars in the front parking lot of the mall on Sundays. In the early days we counted laps with golf clickers and started and ended the races with an air horn. It didn't take but a couple of months and our race program had grown substantially. We invested $5000 on a state of the art computerized lap timing system and race management system. By this time we had moved into the Sears parking lot, which had smoother asphalt. As the program grew we added a custom drivers stand. Racers couldn't get enough of the racing. Hobby Central added a 7000 sqft indoor carpet track that we used on Thursdays and Saturday mornings. Eventually we closed the indoor racing and built the only offroad track in Pensacola. We raced offroad every Saturday and onroad every Sunday. The land the offroad track was built on was sold to a hotel. The onroad racing was still booming and so we took the next step and designed and built a large permanent onroad track. The onroad track was one of the largest and smoothest purpose built tracks in the country. Unfortunately Hurricane Ivan devastated the mall and we had to relocate to Cordova Mall in Pensacola. We put the racing program on hold while we were located in Cordova Mall. In September 2011 we decided to move out of the mall to a new location at Tradewinds Shopping Plaza. As soon as we moved we restarted the Hobby Cental Race program. The race program has taken off and we average between 25 and 55 racers.
Hobby Central's Current RC Racing
Our rc racing is held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. Show time is 10 am with signup at 1030 am. We post on here if we are not going to be holding a regulary scheduled race. If you can't make it that early, just let us know you are coming and we will sign you up.
We race in the Tradewinds Plaza parkign lot behind Regions Bank. The address is the same as our store address: 6601 N. Davis Hwy, STE 5, Pensacola. Tradewinds plaza is located on the corner of N. Davis hwy and Burgess. If you come in from the Burgess Rd entrance and turn left, you can't miss us.
What We Race
We race several classes during each race event. A class defines what type of car/truck that is being raced and sometimes the skill level of the racer. Each class has it's own set of rules that will describe whether or not the vehicle can be modified and who can race in the class. Currently we allow anyone to race in any class that they choose to race in. In the past we have had novice and pro classes. On average we host 3 - 6 different classes based upon racer input. If you and your friends want to race something that we don't currently race, all you have to do is get 3 other potential racers to show up and form a class. Keep in mind we have to approve the class for safety etc., but that just takes you telling us want you want to race. Some of the classes that we race with their basic specs are listed below:
Attachment 339 This is a local class and is easy to get into. Any 2wd chassis, vintage Mcallister body, rubber tires, 10.5t motor limit. This is an oval class.
- U.S. Vintage Trans Am (USVTA)Attachment 344
Vintage Muscle Cars based on cars that ran in hte SCCA's original Trans Am series in 1966-1972. Basically it is an electric RC touring car with a scale body (Mustangs, Camaros, Javelins, etc), scale tires and wheels and a 25.5T brushless spec motor. This class is popular with both beginners and experts.
- Electric touring
Attachment 343 1/10 Scale 4wd electric touring cars. Four wheel drive touring car, 2 cell lipo (7.4v), 17.5t Brushless motor with boost or 13.5t brushless with ESC in blinky mode. Rubber tires only.
- Any 1:10 rally car such as the Losi Ten Rally X. We do allow the HPI WR8 rally.
- Late Model Short Course Truck (LMSCT) : Any 1/10 2wd short course truck, unlimited motor, Late Model 1/8 body, rubber tires and 2 cell lipo.
- Vintage Short Course Truck (LSCT) :
Attachment 341Attachment 342
Any 1/10 short course truck (2wd or 4x4), any 540/550 motor, 6/7 cell Nimh/Nicd or 2 cell lipo. Parma SCT vintage body and rubber tires.
How it Works
Each class runs in three races, two qualifiers and a main. The qualifiers are basically your practice rounds to get warmed up and get your equipment dialed in. The main is the feature race and the race that counts for winning gift cards etc.. The race schedule is real simple. Each class runs their 1st qualifier. if there are three classes that day, then there would be three 1st qualifier races (one for each class). Then there would be three more races for the 2nd set of qualifiers. We generally have a small break after the second set of qualifiers so that everyone can prepare for the Mains. The last races of the day are the Mains. When you are not actually racing you have to take turns marshalling/spotting. When spotting, you are standing out on the track and flip cars back over when they roll over or get stuck.
The basic steps are:
- You decide on what class or classes that you want to run in. Get your vehicles ready in accordance with the requirements for the class/clases that you have chosen. If your vehicle doesn't meet all the requirements of the class, check with us, a lot of times we make allowances to help you get started. Come by Hobby Central at Pensacola or Mary Esther where we can advise you on what to buy and what the basics items needed are. Our prices are competitive and the store hosts/supports the racing. Without the store, there wouldn't be any racing.
- The races are timed using a Mylaps/AMB lap timing system. For your car to be timed you need a personal transponder. We sometimes have them for sale in the store and they can be purchased directly from mylaps.com . For your first few races we can sometimes let you borrow a transponder or manually count you.
- Show up on race day at noon and signup and pay your entry fee. Entry fees are $15 for your first class and $10 for any additional classes. If you wanted to just race one class for example VTA, it would cost you $15. If you wanted to race two classes, for example electric touring and vintage, your cost would be $25.
- We have a drivers meeting before the races start. The purpose of the drivers meeting is to go over the safety, schedule and answer anyones questions.
- The race director types everyone into the timing computer and then prints the race schedule. You need to check the schedule to see when you race. You usually spot the race after yours and the last race spots the first race.
- Get your vehicle ready and show up at the start line when called by the computer. The computer starts and stops the race with a horn blast.
- The most important step is to make sure you are having fun, remember that is what it is all about - having fun.
- If you have any questions you can ask the staff in Hobby Central, the race director or most racers are eager to help newcomers.
We will add some more detailed articles about the various classes shortly.