Reno 300 Pylon Racing
The Pylon course.
Reno 300 is a class of racing speciffically designed to be low cost, club freindly, bags of fun and for funfighter sized models ( although not exclusively for our funfighters ). Below you will find a link to the ratified rules drawn up and approved by the BMFA.
The Funfighter display team decided to started to build their models in the style of Reno Racing aircraft, partly to distinguish the models as there were a lot of them in the air at once and partly to make them more appealing to the crowd. Before long a good freind of mine and co owner of Bumpy Green, started producing vynil decals for the Reno racers and some of the designs were incredible and at a reasonable cost.
All of these things combined, to inspire us to develope a racing class, as Mike Mayne and his freind Alan Brown (designer of the Boomerang jet) used to be involved with Sport 40 pylon racing some years before.
We sat down and discussed it over a beer or six!! and finally came up with a viable setup and a set of rules. We hired a field and there began a series of race days. Once a month, 15-20 of us set up a course and had a real blast.
We went to the BMFA with the rules and before we new it we had an approved competition at the Nats. It is this very competition that I would like to reintroduce to you all.
Many people beleive that racing is a noisy sport, this is not always the case. Reno 300 models use only off the shelf 25-38 sized two strokes and so are completely club freindly. We are also looking into an electric class.
Also, in addition to this. Racing is a great way to bring together, both club members and other clubs alike.
So what is Reno 300 Pylon racing ?
Model pylon racing is flying around three poles (pylons), set out in a triangular course, for ten laps in the shortest possible time. At the start of the race, each pilot is given one minute to start their engine and have their model ready to launch. After the minute is up the starter will drop his flag once for each pilot with one second intervals for each pilot (to avoid collisions at launch). Each pilot must have a caller / helper to launch the model and tell the pilot when to turn (indicated by a coloured flag as the model passes the pylon), a timekeeper to time the ten laps and two marshalls to log any cuts ( turning inside the poles and shortening the course ) and raising the coloured flags.
The Pylon course.
When an aircraft has completed ten laps, The time keeper will notify the caller by raising that pilots coloured flag and calling "finished".
Someone will then record the pilots time in seconds for that heat. Usually six heats are flown for each pilot and then the pilots and helpers swap jobs with the marshalls, so that they have thier turn to race.
At the end of the day all the time are added together including any penalties for cuts and DNF (did not finish) and the fastest four times are the winners in that order. Each pilot is awarded championship points based on how many pilots fly, for example if there are 15 pilots, then 15 points are awarded to the winner, 14 for second place, 13 for 3rd etc.
To read a full description of the rules please click the link below.
So what do you need to race other than the aircraft and pilots?
As a minimum you will need to make the 3 pylons. Thes are made from 11/2" and 13/4" white plastic drainpipe, one inside the other and secured with gaffer tape or similar. Next apply bands of red tape around the poles to make them more visible. Drill holes about half way up the pole to attach guylines which are then pegged into the ground.
You will need to make four flags of each colour: Red, Yellow, Blue and Green for the marshalls to signal cuts and finishing the 10 laps.
Up to 4 pilots may fly in any one heat but you may wish to start with only 1 or two to avoid collisions. In anycase you will require a stopwatch for each pilots timekeeper.
The starter may use a stopwatch and call out the countdown of the minute to start.
Each pilot and helper and all marshals must wear a hard hat these are about £5.00 from any local builders merchant.
Each marshall should have a fold up chair to sit on (trust me a stray model doing 120mph can be a worry). Standing up is a bad idea.
Some sort of printed form to record times, cuts and Championship points for the pilots.
Fuel: The fuel specified for racing is "Model Technics Contest 10" This should be supplied by the meeting organizer and is to be used in all models. Most race organisers charge a small fee for the day about £10-15 depending on numbers racing. This usually covers the cost of fuel, Tea and coffee etc. You could organize snacks or even a barbeque for lunch to make the event more interesing.
Finally, If your budget will stretch to this, walkie talkies can prove a great asset, one for each station of marshals and the starter. These are not essential but can save time and effort getting times and questions from a to b.
I am currently looking into running events alongside Club2000 meetings in Northamptonshire. So anyone who would like to come along and have a go, or just see how it's done can contact me by email (see contact page). Initially you would need to get in touch first to keep numbers in check.
1 minute to start.