March 4, 2013

Nightmare on ROAR Street

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Written by: Derek Buono

Rules are in place for reasons, and if you break the rules you should be disqualified. A very simple line to draw in the sand. ROAR and Trinity have engaged in an EPIC battle (waka waka) about a recent reversal of the legality of the Trinity D3.5 motor (and all of those who use it as an OEM). ROAR decided to retest this motor after pressure from outside sources, and came back with results contradicting prior testing. Internet muscles went wild, and eventually Trinity threatened a lawsuit. Now emails are being sent with more information about this LOSE/LOSE situation. Will the truth ever be known? We doubt it. Rumors of payoffs, scandal, bullying, lego and breakfast have been thrown around, but now Trinity is asking everybody to post his OPEN letter, and emails from ROAR officials.

All we know is that this has been a PR nightmare for all. The racers lose, and the other manufacturers lose. If the wire is over the limit, but now legal do all other companies have to now move to this “magical” wire? Does Angry Birds have anything to do with this? All we can do is shake our heads. Here is what is now being circulated on the internets.


An open letter to Chuck Klienhagen, owner of the BRL and my other critics (handles no names on RC Tech Etc)

We have never met each other so I will not say anything unkind about you. Rather I respect you for promoting and building oval racing in the United States through the “BRL”
I am perplexed though that you constantly “side and support” an organization ROAR who not only “does not recognize your own organization” but simply seems to view Oval Racing as an annoyance to their fold.
I also am perplexed on where you receive your facts from. Not blaming Chuck. This is am emotional topic and both sides seem very passionate about their stance. What I would like to do is very simply go over the FACTS!

Trinity submitted the D3.5 to Bob Ingersol, the Independent Lab around March 2012.
It was legalized by Bob Ingersol who has had more experience testing and tear-down brushed and brushless motors for ROAR and IFMAR ‘using the supplied testing data” for the past ten years.
Upon Ingersol’s and the ROAR Executive Committee’s ratification we produced the D3.5
Bob used the “testing equipment ROAR has used for the past 10-15 years”, he was not requisitioned to go find a piece of new equipment “regardless of cost” that would render the D3.5 illegal.
It was the best selling motor in R/C without question and I would like to bring out one very important point…there is more to making a fast motor than wire gauge. Trinity does not put a sticker on a Chinese motor and sell it is as their own like so many others do. We have an expensive program which we have used the past 30 years where it is widely accepted that we have had the fastest stock/spec motors in the industry…hands down!
It has been confirmed by ROAR and Steve Pond (who re-tested the motor) that Trinity has never changed the motor from the original archived samples that have to be submitted with every motor that is submitted to ROAR for approval.

Which leads us to the inevitable question: “What would make Steve Pond, whose term as President was over” and is not qualified as a motor expert (Steve has been the past Editor of Car Action and has worked in the promotional and web department of Kyosho Corporation…I think most would say this does not qualify him to be a motor expert any more than any random racer who races an r/c car) “take on removing Trinity’s D3.5 motor from the approved list”

Chuck I have been compared to “Lance Armstrong” by Steve Pond, have been labelled a cheater and more recently been villainized as making ROAR spend the “membership money” to fight this legal case brought by Trinity against ROAR.

If you do me one favor…..please when you read the next paragraph, try and remove all your pre-conceived ideas about me and my company and try to understand how you would feel if you read this ‘sitting in my chair’. You have done nothing wrong and now are forced to spend your own money to fight a case that ROAR forced your hand to bring and obviously was in collusion with 3 of your biggest competitors to put you out of business….

Read on….

From: Steve Pond

Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2013 11:24 PM
To: ‘Steve Merk’ ; ‘Hill Ed’ ; ‘Ron Schuur’ ; ‘Jason Mackanick’ ; ‘Clarke Denise’
Cc: ‘administrator’

Hello Steve and the rest of the executive committee,
After a discussion with Ron this evening, I’m starting to question whether or not this action with Trinity is worth any more of our time, and spending any more of the members money. Ron had a discussion with Jim from Tekin, and many of us have had ongoing discussions with Bob at Novak, Jim at Thunder Power, and various other motor manufacturers. What’s become abundantly clear is that ROAR is being left to stand alone in this dispute with Trinity. Despite all the lofty rhetoric from most of the manufacturers when it was discovered that the Trinity motor was simply too fast and was probably illegal, every one of them offered whatever help was necessary should we decide to reverse the approval of the Trinity D3.5 motor due to the oversize wire. Well, now that we are on the verge of engaging in legal action with Trinity, we’ve been left to stand alone by all the aforementioned. Tekin has even gone so far as to insult ROAR by suggesting “it’s no good.” Needless to say there are a lot of raw nerves on the part of many involved in this process, but the complete lack of support from the other motor manufacturers in the industry, and especially those that were most vocal about the fact that the D3.5 was improperly approved, has significantly diminished my motivation to defend our actions on their behalf.

Our decision to remove the D3.5 from the approval list is a principled and correct decision. The wire is too big, verified by his own attorney. On that basis alone I feel that ROAR has a very strong case against Trinity and would more than likely prevail. It appears now that we’re fighting a potentially costly and time-consuming battle on behalf of people that will not stand in our corner.

It’s therefore my recommendation that we reconsider this action against Trinity, restore the motor to the approved list, and work with Trinity on a schedule to phase out the motor on the basis that it still remains illegal. The affiliated manufacturers have a right for their complaints to be heard, and to expect us to act upon those complaints. But, if we are not going to have their support, then I don’t see the need to pursue any further action. It’s taking up a lot of the time and could potentially drain many of our resources that can be used for much more positive purposes. I’m interested in everyone’s thoughts on the subject. If there is a consensus for this course correction, then I think we need to act upon it quickly. Steve M, the decision of how we go forward is ultimately up to you and if you decide you want to continue with this action, I will invest as much time and energy is needed to defend ourselves. But at this point I don’t see any need to continue to waste our time and resources to defend manufacturers that will not support us.

Best regards,

Steve Pond

NOTE: Our attorney has never said in writing or verbally that our wire gauge is too big. It simply is not. We are dealing with a supposed overage of .001 (less than a hair follicle) which if it is (we have seen no ROAR report) could be lead by user error (due to temperature concerns when the epoxy was removed, causing expansion and how the wire kinks were removed in order to measure). Again I am not saying anything negative about Steve Pond, other than the fact that he is in no position to challenge Bob Ingersol’s ruling and is by no means a “motor expert”. How many Secretary’s of an organization have taken on the role of a technical inspector?

*This email is now a matter of public record in our lawsuit.

Chuck in closing…I do not blame you or anyone else for the statements you made toward me and my company but I do ask you to “remove the blinders” and see what is happening here. ROAR is “supposed to be” an independent company which is not biased toward any racer and or manufacturer affiliate.

ROAR should not be influenced by any manufacturer to try and destroy another person’s company.

What you think about me personally or not is certainly not the issue here. We have built a company over 32 years and sure we have made some mistakes but we have also brought a lot of good to this hobby. I am certainly not going to stand by and watch 2 Executive Committee members ‘who have a personal axe” to grind conspire with three (3) manufacturer’s to try and put my company and employees out of business and I do not think any of you would either.


Ernest N. Provetti

Managing Director

Trincorp, LLC

About the Author

Derek Buono
Derek Buono– Started in the industry as an assistant editor at RC Car Action where he spent 2 years before being recruited by Xtreme RC Cars Magazine. For the past 10 years Derek lead Xtreme RC Cars and helped double the circulation, improved editorial quality and helped lead the market in design and creativity.



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