If there is one thing I hate, it is injustice. You can see it in any topic I get into, be it how you get thrown in jail for weed possession if you are a lower class nobody, and you get nothing if you are rich. Or how if you can afford the right lawyer you can quite literally get away with murder. The same trickles down to smaller things. RC Racing for example.
Alfonso Pineda was the Spanish race director of these Euros, and he is quite universally seen as a cancer of RC racing. I don’t mean to say that he is a bad person, but he has an ego problem and no common sense whatsoever. He has for example called the police on me at a Spanish national many years ago, with the result that the race was stopped for an hour, and the police eventually concluded that I had done nothing wrong. He did this because apparently as a non Spanish citizen I was not allowed to be in the pits during the race. Absolutely incredible.
Now I am all for rules, racing in America is a joke compared to Europe, and I appreciate the Europeans adhearance to rules and schedules, but at some point we have to all take a step back and remember what we are doing, and let common sense prevail. Let me tell you a story of the past year of Max Mört, a now 15 year old driver racing EFRA Euros, and after that let’s take a look at Alfonso Pineda’s complete hypocrisy.
Last year Max won the Euros JR final, only to be denied the European JR Champion title. Why? Because apparently even though he won the final, there was a JR in the main, who even though he did not race the final won it. Ridiculous rules if you ask me, but it is what it is. Setback nr 1.
Euros 2016 qualifying, Max makes a mistake in the woops, and ends up wide in the dust, he stops to let another car through, before rejoining. He receives a stop and go due to stopping on the track. This is not allowed after 1 minute has been called. Absolutely ridiculous call, even according to the driver who passed Max in that instant. Juraj Hudy also got a penalty due to slowing to adjust his radio trim. Wake up EFRA.
Finals, unfortunately the Finish team manager did not inform all drivers about the marshaling procedure, and as Max had to marshal the first race of the day, no one had checked this in time. The speaker in the pits was also off so no one in the Finish team heard the calls for a marshal. Very unfortunate, of course as the race director said, “rules are rules”, and yes, in the end we had to accept this. Max was not allowed to race his final. A 15 year old boy from Finland had driven from Finland to Spain, a 4 day drive, spent thousands of Euros on equipment, hotels, etc, and was not allowed to even race his final. We even got all the drivers in the final to agree, that the officials should let Max race, and the final was delayed a few minutes as the officials held a quick meeting. In the end, “rules are rules”, Max was not allowed to race.
GET THIS, exact copy of the EFRA 2016 rule book:
General rulesIf competitors are required to marshal Finals, then failure to marshal in a Final willresult in being placed last in the appropriate Final. Failure to marshal is clarifiedas: not being at the correct marshalling point 30 seconds prior to the start of acontrolled practice, qualifying heat or final
If the story ended here, tough pill to swallow, but at the end of the day, the punishment was extreme, and wrong, but the mistake, it was the Finish teams, team manager/driver/father, all to blame. But the thing is, it did not end here.
After the A semi final Martin Wollanka’s car was in the pits. Apparently the scrutineering had for some reason handed out some cars without them going through the inspection. Martin’s mechanic did not remember the rule and brought it to the pits. The wheels were off, and the battery was charging as far as I can tell, when Mr Pineda showed up. Now the rules clearly state that cars have to remain in scrutineering until the other semi final has finished. What was Pineda’s call? “Use well, the information please”. What does that mean? Cover my ass, I made a mistake? Apparently the fact that Wollanka’s car was in the pits for 10 minutes meant that he had to leave it in scrutineering for 10 extra minutes after the cars were released. I thought rules were rules Pineda? This guy is a complete joke and does not deserve being a race official at our races. RC racing should be fun, and Pineda has forgot that. If rules are rules, then at least know the damn rule book. Use common sense and make the best call for fair racing and fun for all. We race RC cars because we enjoy it.
P.S. I like Wollanka, from VRC to real RC, from zero to hero. Nothing against him, this post is dedicated to Pineda.