When Should I Move Up to the Next Class?

When Should I Move Up to the Next Class?

Moving up in classes can sometimes be a hard thing to judge. Advancing depends mostly on your driving and wrenching skills but may also you may also have to take into consideration your competition or if you are moving from novice to intermediate or intermediate to expert. I will brush on both areas.

I wish to make this guide as universal as possible but factors may vary between electric and nitro racing as well as on and off-road racing.

As I have mentioned in many of my posts, consistency is key.  This is also the biggest factor when deciding to move up in classes. When you watch an expert race, the majority of the drivers will crash once if at all during a race. A typical novice driver may crash once per lap.  I think you may be catching on to where I’m going with this but i want to get a little more into depth with the topic.

Most racers start in “novice” or “beginner” classes. On a club racing level this is usually people whom are very new to the hobby and often, young kids. This class gives racers a chance to let their nerves settle a bit in a race environment and most importantly, learn the rules and format of racing.

When is it time to move up to the intermediate level?

This is usually the easiest transition among racers, as they get accustomed to completing laps without crashing. Here are a few guidelines to let you know when its time to move up:

  • Complete 50-60% of your laps in a heat race without needing to be turn marshalled.
  • Win 3 races.
  • Your final qualifying time would put you in the top 5 of the next class up.
  • Finish multiple consecutive races without breaking


Should I move up to expert classes?

The move to expert classes is a big jump. Many racers aspire to reach this level and some never do.  Some racers jump to this level prematurely and don’t find themselves having as much fun racing. Either way, here are some guidelines to follow if you are debating on stepping up with the big boys:

  • Finish the majority of your qualifiers with 2 or less crashes.
  • Your fast laps are within 5% of the fastest guys on the track (usually 1-3 seconds for off-road and much less for on-road).
  • Mechanic error resulting in DNF should become extremely rare.
  • Consistently finish in the top 3 in intermediate classes


The final thing to take into consideration is why you race. If you just enjoy running on the track in a mildly competitive nature, intermediate classes are the probably the highest you need to be. If you are very competitive and strive to be the best then your goal is likely to run expert. Most importantly, racing should be fun for you and the others around you.

I would love to hear from you guys on this topic! Leave a comment with your local track rules or if you have some other good guidelines for your fellow racers.




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Updated: July 20, 2015 — 3:36 PM
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