What is control line "Racing"?
Dale Gleason- Sport Goodyear/Polecat
Control Line Racing is one of the most exciting forms of Control Line activity! Three pilots, three models all circulating rapidly, passing, pit stops, EXCITEMENT!
Racing is what happens when one flyer says “Mine will go faster than yours!”. So put them in the circle together and let's see! It's all about getting from here to there the quickest!
Center action in F2C. Jason Allen (green) with Leupold from Germany
and Orvos from Hungary. 2006 FAI Control Line World Championships
Racing was first formally established in the late 1940's in Southern California. It grew over the years as all of Control Line grew, and is likewise holding its own now. Racing is a TEAM effort requiring both a pilot and a pitman. All racing events require at least one, perhaps more, pit-stops to be made during the course of a race. The pilot must bring the model to the pitman where the pitman must re-fuel and restart the engine. A very fast pitman can do that in as little as 5-6 seconds, but most are slower than that.
John McCollum-Sport Goodyear
There are several forms of racing officially recognized in the AMA rules. Events such as Fast and Slow Rat, Scale Race, and 1/2A Mouse race. In addition there are several events which have national attraction that have been formalized by NCLRA, the National Control Line Racing Association. These include NCLRA Quickie Rat (profile Rats with limited performance engines), Fox Race (models required to use a stock Fox 35), NCLRA Clown Race (models must be a PDQ Clown), B-Team race (models built in the spirit of the 1950's), and so forth. Many locales have their own local events that meet the needs of the local flyers.
Quick Pit-Sport Goodyear
Internationally, the one FAI event is known as “F2C” or “FAI Team Race”. This is the “Formula 1” of Control Line racing and requires immense dedication by the team as well as finely honed skills by both the pilot and the pitman.
Three Up Goldbergs
The NCLRA is the official AMA SIG and if you are not a member, you should consider joining. NCLRA offers benefits, most notably is the fine newsletter, the Torque Roll. You can join online at the NCLRA website by following the link provided at the bottom of this page.
Quick Pit in Quickie Rat
Rules for all NCLRA events may be found on the NCLRA website. Rules for the AMA events may be found in the competition section of the AMA website.
And they are beautiful planes too, here's a B-Team Racer by Vic Garner
There's something for everybody to enjoy in Racing, if you'd like to pursue this exciting hobby/sport a subscription to Control Line World would be a great first step. You'll be introduced to Racing and all the other disciplines of Control Line Model Aviation, and at the same time receive a wealth of information about building, engines, testing, trimming, flying, and much more. You can also follow the links below, one of which will take you to the Academy of Model Aeronautics webpage, the internationally recognized organization of model enthusiasts in the United States, and the other to NCLRA, the SIG (Special Interest Group) for National Control Line Racing Association webpage.