RC Cars and Trucks

Newsletter / Ezine

- RC Racing Tips I

Racing Tips Part I, Die-Cast
Remote Control Cars

RCCARTIPS.com Newsletter / Ezine

Reading Time ~ 3 minutes

Vol 1, Issue 39        Subscribers: 2,500+        May 6, 2004


* Racing Tips Part I
* Tamiya Tamtech w/ Die-Cast Body
* Remote Control Cars



Hi there!

Recently I've been watching an anime show called Initial D. Its
about young teens racing their RX7s and Mitsubishi EVOs. But
the star of the show is a young driving beating better cars using
a weaker Toyota Trueno AE6. Its nice to see that winning is
more of driving skill than having expensive cars.

Watching this show has somehow awaken the part of me that
desires to race, whether real or r/c cars. And that is why, for the
next few issues of the RCCarTips Newsletter, I will be writing
about racing rc cars. Hope you find it helpful.

Ok, before I start, just want to share with you my racing history.
I started joining rc races back in 1981, racing off-road models.
Then in the mid 80s I joined a few big on-road races. I remember
there were about 180 entries in my category alone, and those
races ran until midnight.

Then in the 90's I started to get into off-road racing in New York.
It was a good experience for me as I learned a lot from the very
fast drivers.

By 1998 to 1999 I was back to racing on-road, which is really
my favorite. I joined a few Tamiya Cup races, and some gas car
racing. I remember winning a couple of big races in 1999 (the
Neo Cup and Futaba Cup), then stopped racing.

But now, after a 4 year break, I have the desire to race again. I
intend to join the Tamiya Cup running in the Mini category. This
is for electric rc cars using the Tamiya mini chassis.

The car I intend to race is my old Tamiya Mercedes SLK, based
on an outdated M-02L chassis. It will be hard competing against
the newer M-04 chassis and the very fast local racers, but I will
try to have fun and win at the same time.

So onto the tips. Rather than give specific racing tips, I will just tell you
what I do from now until the time I am racing. Hope you pick up
some useful info.

Ok, first I want to setup my car to handle as good as possible. You
cannot drive fast unless you have a properly setup rc car.

So last Monday I went to the rc track to tune and setup my car.
First thing I did was to note my current settings (e.g. tires, ride
height, shock absorbers, springs, etc). Then I do a series of 5
laps, and use a stopwatch to time myself. It is important to use
a stopwatch, do not rely on your gut feel.

Without changing anything on the rc car, my first runs resulted in
a 5-lap time of 1:30 (1 minute and 30 seconds). This was done
using my preferred smooth driving style.

Next I tried a more aggressive driving style, trying to hug the curbs
during cornering. This lowered my times to 1:27, around 2 seconds
faster over 5 laps by simply changing my driving style.

Still not satisfied, I drove even more aggressively by using the
brakes on some corners. This resulted in faster times in the 1:25
range. At this point I am faster by 1 second per lap simply by
changing my driving style.

Note: Aggressive driving style may be faster, but you will be more
prone to making mistakes. So I usually try to drive using a smooth
style, and only resort to aggressive driving if I am falling behind
in a race.

As I could no longer improve my lap times based on driving style
alone, I changed the rear tires to a harder compound, hoping that
the car will oversteer more and get around the corners quicker.
It seemed that way when I was driving, however the stopwatch
showed that my 5-lap times were again in the 1:30 range. So
I went back to the original tire.

Note: There were times when I felt I was doing very fast lap times,
but the stopwatch proved otherwise. Hence it is important to
rely on the stopwatch than how you feel.

I ended my day of testing after 5 battery packs (around 100 laps).
For my next testing (maybe this Saturday) I will be changing the
friction shock absorbers to oil-filled shocks, lower the front ride
height a little (to get more front end grip) and test again. 

So until next week!


P.S. When changing items on your car, do only 1 change at a
time. Then time yourself. If faster, keep the change, if slower go
back to the original setup and try changing something else.



In 1994 I bought a Tamiya Tamtech Lamborghini, which is a 1/24
rc car from Tamiya. Due to age, the white plastic body started to
discolor to a dirty white look.

I was thinking of painting the body, but I noticed that the price
of hobby paint was almost equal to the price of a 1/24 Die-Cast
scale model of the Lamborghini from Bburago.

So I bought the die-cast model instead, which has a very realistic
looking body. I took it apart and tried to fit the die-cast body
onto the Tamiya Tamtech chassis.

Here is the result:





As you know, I am building web pages comparing real sports cars
versus its remote control car version. Here is what I have done
so far.

Dodge Viper GTS-R
Enzo Ferrari
2004 Ford F150 SVT
Lamborghini Murcielago
Mazda RX8
Nissan 350z
Nissan Skyline
Porsche 911
Subaru WRX STi

You can see the pics and reviews at:


Thanks to those who have emailed to me pictures and suggestions.
I will try to get to them as soon as I can.

Many thanks.


P.S. If you love the Sports Cars page, please pass it on to the
R/C community (e.g. forums, other webmasters, yahoo groups).

P.P.S. In doing this project, I noticed that the only rc companies
who are replicating real cars are HPI, Kyosho and Tamiya. Their
model car bodies are usually licensed replicas of the real cars and
thus look realistic.

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