By Tyler Hooks
Rumors have been swirling regarding the use of gyroscopic aides during racing here at The Dirt Nitro Challenge which prompted the race direction crew to release a statement saying that ROAR rules are being enforced, and specifically gyros are not allowed. There will be pre-race tech inspection before the mains in an effort to stop cheating.
Before we, as a community, rush to crucify any drivers this weekend for their actions; in my opinion I believe we should give everyone the benefit of the doubt. All the drivers in the Pro A-mains are incredibly talented drivers, and no one has made the main who shouldn't be there. In my opinion as explained later in the article, if they are cheating they will be the only ones who know, and they can live with that.
What is it: A gyroscopic aide is a device that can in the right conditions help a driver gain traction as well as stability specifically on low grip, or bumpy, rutted out surfaces. They are extremely small, and in most cases were intended to be plugged into the auxiliary ports on a standard receiver.
Why run one: With the track being as rough and inconsistent as it is, the use of a feature similar to traction and stability control in your full-sized car could be a major advantage to smoother faster laps.
Why tech is irrelevant: Anyone who is using a gyro on an event of this caliber knows that it is frowned upon and garners an extremely negative reaction; not only that, but use in EFRA or ROAR events can lead to multi-year disqualifications. If they choose to ignore these warnings, then you would assume they have a plan to not get caught. Gyros are small enough to fit inside battery cases, servo cases, switch cases, receivers themselves, and can be hard-wired to servo connections or receivers without any external wires showing. They also can be wired to a toggle switch on the drivers radio to allow drivers to turn the function on and off. Ultimately, in my opinion, the threat of tech will stop no one brave enough to actually try using a gyro on the top level.
If tech does work: If tech actually works as it is actually intended, then we should see one if not more drivers fade to the back of the pack during the main, but there are no promises. Forty five minute mains mean anything could happen, so I think it will be extremely tricky to actually figure out who was using one if someone is.
What does this mean in the future: Either we need to find a way to definitively catch anyone using such a device, or work on technology that prevents it. Until then, it is almost impossible to enforce the rule. Or you could allow them which stops all need to enforce stopping them.