It’s that time of year again! Professional RC racers are swapping teams, signing new contracts, dumping old sponsors and picking up new ones. For some of you, this makes for an exciting game of pro driver roulette.
What I find interesting is the number of drivers who leave teams only to wish they had never left in the first place. Over the years we’ve seen this happen several times. And no, I’m not going to name names right now…but let’s just say that many drivers who were at the top of their game 5 or more years ago with solid sponsors are now floundering around with B and C-level manufacturer sponsors. These are the guys who gave up top tier equipment to pursue the irresistible “bigger better deal,” or BBD, thinking that different equipment wouldn’t make a difference. More times than not, the BBD turns out to be a minor form of career suicide.
Is chasing the money such a bad idea? Not really, when a pro can still perform and win races. The problem seems to be that money causes many drivers to forget what got them there in the first place. Whether it’s the chassis, engine, tires or fuel, each of these components contributed to the driver’s success. Changing these variables often means a change in performance. So is chasing the money worth it when it means you may not win as often or ever again? If I had the answer, I’d tell you; too bad I don’t. The uncertainty in this game of pro driver merry-g0-round is what makes it so fun to watch and follow.
2012 will be an interesting year for 1/8-scale professional RC racing. The competition is tight, and there are no clear front runners leading into the 2012 IFMAR Buggy Worlds. Will the ’12 ROAR National Champion win the ’12 IFMARs? Or will someone new step up their game? I can’t wait to find out.