The purpose of this article is to help prepare for and to improve your chances of winning radio controlled car races. There are two main types of RC car and truck racing, on road and off road. Then within each of these main types you have further variations of stock and modified classess of short course and regular course rc car and truck racing, raning from indoor carpet racing, outdoor pavement, outdoor dirt tracks, regular course, and so forth. In addition to track classes, you also have vehicle classes such as stock and modified RC touring cars, pan cars, short course racing trucks, straight track drag racing, and even drift cars are starting to become popular with RC racing. Depending on which track you visit, will probably determine what RC car or truck model and class is most popular in your area. The most popular stock models to race in my area at moment is the Traxxas Slash 4x4 and Slash 2wd stock in the off road short course truck class and the Team Associated and HPI Pan cars for the indoor car class, however this is largely dependent upon which track you visit.
1. The first tip is to know your track! This sounds easier than what it really is. Knowing your track means understanding its traction abilities (it’s surface traction/looseness), the sharpness of the curves, the length of the straight aways, the type of material being used on the surface, the suspension requirements needed (are there any jumps or bumps involved), and whether it’s wet or completely dry on the day of racing. Knowing the track is such an important consideration, that all the adjustments and tips below are most dependent upon your tracks type and condition at time of racing.
2. Upgrade Your Tires – Obvisiouly on road warrants a more smooth tread on the tire and off road requires deeper groove tread to handle difficult terrain and loose tracks better, however there are other important characteristics to the tire. For example, the type of tire compound also makes a huge difference on your RC car or truck’s traction on the track. For carpet, foam tires are typically the winner, whereas rubber is almost always the clear winner on outside on road pavement and off road dirt tracks. However all rubber compound isn’t equal. How sticky is your rubber compound? Is it medium, soft, or extra soft rubber compound? What size tires are you using, the tread design, and the compound of the material makeup are all greatly influential to your cars handling and acceleration on the track! Unfortunately, not every tire is the best for every track; this is where knowing your track is very important.
3. Tweaking Your Ground Clearance – This is often misunderstood or perhaps worse yet, not even thought about. There is a reason why most RC cars and trucks have built in suspension, arm, and other minor height adjustments. Unfortunately, these adjustments only take you so far, as the vehicles clearance and center of gravity is largely dependent upon the chassis it’s built upon. Generally the “lower the better” in an effort reduce center of gravity and with much and air drag as possible without worrying about your “bottoming out” on the track it s driven on is the best! Off road buggy’s and trucks almost always require a higher ground clearance to handle better for the terrain they re designed for, however this also reduces top speeds, control, and the turning of the vehicle at high speeds without flipping over! On the high speed on road tracks, you may be surprised to see these RC cars are less than a quarter of an inch off the ground!
4. Adjusting Your Cars Suspension Your suspension is partially related to your vehicles height, but it’s also more than just that. The 3 main adjustments here are travel limiters/clips (typically included with your vehicle), your spring size and shock oil also control handling of the car. In addition to changing from short and longer travel shocks, you also have stiff and soft springs that work better or worse during various tracks. To add to this, you also have shock oil weight that controls how gradual or fast your shock movement reacts as well! Using a heavier weight shock oil makes the shock travel more sluggish and resistant to fast movement. A heavier weight oil and stiffer shocks are generally better for on road racing and heavy rc car ramp jumping (known as bashing). A light weight handles smaller bumps and off tracks better in most cases.
5. Last Main Tip Practice makes perfect! Okay this one is a given, however it should be reiterated that often it’s not the speed or handling of the radio controlled car or truck that wins races, it’s often the driver’s own abilities and skillset. Practicing only makes perfect!
We have just scratched the surface here, however with these major keypoints, we hope to accelerate your RC racing learning curve and success at the racetrack!
The author both races short course RC trucks and Pan cars and also writes reviews on the Traxxas Slash 4x4 and other top RC cars and trucks for sale on his webpage at http://www.rccarsforsale.org/Traxxas-Slash-4X4.html. We hope our article has provided you with some easy to do tips.