Trinity CEO unhappy with rising expenses


Ernie Blog Worlds

When it comes to R/C car racing, there is no doubt the expenses on all skill levels are often a question. Whether it be equipment prices, race entry fees, travel costs, time spent, etc. The focus on these expenses is intensified when referring to events such as the World Championship. Trinity CEO, Ernie Provetti, has shared his most recent blog post found in his personal blog. Provetti discusses the upcoming IFMAR 1/10 Offroad World Championships in Japan, and his opinions of the $400 entry fee and expenses.

Courtesy of “Ernie’s Blog”:

“When I first started racing slot cars many years ago I did this for so long for two reasons. Fun and to achieve goals! I wanted to be a National Champion and a World Champion.

It seems to me that we as an industry need to rethink our philosophy on race events promoted all over the world. While the world economies all seem “shattered” and most people are living “day to day” to make end’s meet, our costs for attending race events seem like a run-a-way train and attainable only by the select-few who are sponsored or rich!

The organizations need to look at the present world-wide economies and “adjust to it” because the World Championships now have eliminated “the independent” from competing and has paved the way for just “highly sponsored racers” and the “ultra rich” to participate.

Is this what we want? Are these the goals we want to share with “any” youth movement that radio control “may have” or do we want to have achievable and affordable goals so people can enjoy R/C and stay in the hobby?

Case in Point: The upcoming Off-Road World Championships in Japan. With an entry fee of $400.00 (no that is not a mis-print), airfare exceeding $2000.00, hotel bills a minimum of $125.00 per night, food, time off from work (lost wages etc etc).

Then factor in the manufacturer’s issues with these events. Products have to be constantly submitted to a number of organizations with fees over and over again (duplicate work and cost) I can only assume because none of us can agree on “one set of rules” for the World Championships.

The Trinity D4 was legalized by R.O.A.R. (a bloc of IFMAR) over a year ago. We naturally had to submit the motors to R.O.A.R., pay a fee etc and wait for the approval. All completed. Most people around the world use R.O.A.R. rules.

Explain to me then why I have to resubmit these motors (which have been sold for over a year world-wide) to IFMAR for more money (and more samples)?

I spoke to one tire manufacturer who spent close to $30,000.00 to support his team and customers at a past World-Championships. These are run-a-way costs which the manufacturer will never get back.

I think the organizations “NEED TO RE-THINK” their position on the World Championships. Less and less racers and manufacturers means “less audience”. Less audience leads to less and less attendance at these events.

As a motor and battery manufacturer, we fall into a category that all of our items need to be teched and inspected (which come with a huge organization cost) in order for our customers to be able to use these products at an event.

Car manufacturer’s, speed control manufacturer’s, tire manufacturer’s do not have to follow these rules and do not have to submit to the organizations. Why? Probably because all these procedures were put in place in the 1980’s and have never been thought about again.

It’s a World-Championship for modified motors only…..why is there any tech? Why would a motor manufacturer run something they were not selling? Manufacturer’s are there to sell product on performance. There is a limit (which we have already approached) on over-powering the cars! No one is winning an off-road WC on horsepower alone. Yet it would cost every motor and battery manufacturer about $750-$1250 (tech cost, samples, air-freight to the UK) to have their products allowed to run in this event? That seems like a lot of money to me…………

My Proposals:

Entry Fees need to be lowered substantially. In the 80’s you paid $100.00 and received a World Championship USA jacket. Today it’s $400.00 and you receive a shirt

With the entry fees so high, why do the venues need an additional $25-35K in sponsorship money to put on an event at a permanent track?

I am all in favor of moving race events to different locations for more interest and to show the sport off but we should possibly also have our “premiere event” at the best track possible regardless of location

Eliminate motor and battery manufacturer’s approval fees unless every manufacturer is paying the same fees. At the very least, allow one bloc to legalize. No more multiple tech fees.

I think due to the economic times, paying people to fly to other blocs to referee, marshall or help run events should immediately be eliminated to save cost. Most racers I can tell you view this as just a free paid-vacation! WIth the money the venues are bringing in, they should be responsible for their own work-force

Eliminate sharing the entry fees with the blocs of IFMAR. Why? This is a volunteer organization? Shouldn’t the time be allocated by people who volunteer their time. Why does each bloc need to have proceeds from the WC entry? Entry fees could definitely be reduced if this procedure was eliminated.

Have meetings at the events to bring about change that include “YOUR RACERS”. Racers should be part of the process to make things better or have things change. Afterall the RACE SHOULD BE FOR THE RACERS!

Shorten the race! 4 days instead of a complete week, then someone could actually see Japan or some other venue in a week instead of just spending it at the track. Less time, less costs as well for those who do not want to do any sight-seeing and are just coming for the event.

Live broadcasts, magazines etc. should promote the people who sponsor the event for IFMAR or the PROMOTER or they should not be issued press credentials. Manufacturer’s spend thousands of dollars on sponsoring these events. In my opinion the magazines and websites have a responsibility to do this. We are all in this TOGETHER! Sponsoring a WC for a major amount of money and receiving “no promotion” at all due to the manufacturer not having additional budget to sponsor the website promotion to me is incredible!

All these duplicate and triplicate costs on racers and manufacturers in my opinion are killing the audience for the World Championships which none of us want. We need to come together, get everyone involved and promote our industry again as a whole. Leave no one behind.”

What are your thoughts and opinions on the upcoming World Championship? Do you agree with Ernie? Why or why not?


  • Steve Compton

    The comments are maybe 10 years late but someone has finally said it – people will argue that Ernie is a business not the volunteers who run each bloc – but both sides manufacturer/regulator need each other to function together

  • Paul Lynch

    Kudos to Ernie Provetti for stepping outside the corporate side of things to write a well executed point of view that I think everyone shares other than the money hungry business people who got into this for the money or dump a cap load of money and promises in a track just so they can profit off a high caliber race such as the worlds. 90% people do it for the love of it, 8% do it as a job and a pay check (the pro’s) but they still love it and the last 2% are the worst thing to happen to r/c and only stay in the hobby for 1-2 years then bash people on forums like they are veterans of the hobby and point out every negative thing they can think of or make up.

    Paul LynchMob
    My 2 Pennys

  • Edwin Hartman

    This discussion goes way beyond the WC event, even the entry fees at national and regional races are through the roof! I believe last year the entry fee for the nitro nationals was around $65-$70, this year it suddenly is $100…. What does the extra $30 give the racer over what was offered last year? Other races, like DNC and many others, have also a high entry fee that in my opinion is not justified. And the focus is more and more on big events, which is killing the turn-outs at local club races, or even the smaller regional races. Everyone suddenly wants to attend DNC, Silver State, PNB and others and in return they have to skip racing at a local level. Yes, attending a big event once in a while is cool, but I wished it wouldn’t have to hurt the local racing scene.

  • racers73

    Ironic that Ernie Provetti of all people has the nerve to say this, considering he and Trinity are almost entirely responsible for rising costs of electric racing with his $100 cheater 17.5 motors. Hilarious that people who don’t know any better are praising him for this “blog.” LOL! He’s the most “money hungry” RC owner out there! And how about the import exclusives he had on sub-C batteries for all of those years when he could set his own prices? Or the brushed motor business? Or when he stole Treadz from Richard Saxton? Or how expensive those crappy Trinity lipos are? Ernie has padded his bank account by strong-arming the industry for decades and shows off his Ferraris just to rub salt in the wound. Now that he’s on the other side, he chooses to cry about it? Give us a break!!!! Complain to someone who cares Ernie.