FINALLY! I finally kept my shit together enough to win a club race in 2wd at OCRC. For anyone who hasn’t been there, I can tell you, that it’s not an easy task! The locals are super fast here, and specially in 2wd. It was a great race too, 5 lead changes, 3 different leaders, and check out that sweet inside move for the lead at 1:50 or so. How do you like them apples?
If you have been reading this blog, you know that I started it by saying that I want to see if it’s possible to go from average to above average by dedicating more time to driving practice, and having a thoughtful approach to improving. One of my goals was to improve in 2wd in America, because it’s a hard class to do well in here. When I arrived I was getting lapped by these guys, and now just over a month later I can hang with them. There’s still 1 month until the Reedy Race, so let’s see if I can find some more speed for that. One good thing this year, is that the drivers I am racing against now, have in past years been completely unbeatable for me. I’m talking a lap faster in 5 minutes. So some improvements have been made, that’s obvious. The PR Racing car is working well too. I have been running the standup gear box MM version, but now I will be trying the lay down FM version to see how that performs. Everyone else is running lay down cars, so I might as well give it a try.
LiveRC have recently updated their websites results viewing section, and after hating the damn thing at the worlds, I am beginning to understand it. I still click on the wrong link at least once before getting to see the results where I get to check my lap times, but this version clearly has a lot more potential than the previous one. One cool feature I didn’t even notice until today was that you can watch all the races on the results page, at least from OCRC. The results page for the above race is here.
Not bad, not bad at all. Now just make it a bit more simple and clear to use, and it’s a winner! And fix the glitches, I mean there still isn’t a results sheet from the Worlds in Vegas….
Recently I have managed to get a bit faster with 2wd, and I’m closer to the top pace. Where before I was over a lap off the pace, now I’m about 10 seconds off the pace on a 5min run. That’s a huge improvement for me. This means that when club racing with drivers who I was basically just in the way of before, I’m now actually somewhat of a legit threat if they make a mistake and I don’t.
So racing is a lot more fun now, as I am racing better drivers. This means that when you have a club race at OCRC with Cavalieri, Hartson, Thielke, Denney, Thayer, Waffle Stomp Walnutz etc, I need to be perfect, and I’ll be in the mix. This sort of practice is really good, and exactly what I need right now.
Today I was doing really well, trying to push a bit more, and I made mistakes every run. It really pisses me off to crash, even in a club race, but right now I have to go faster, so I am going to crash. I can’t back it down, I need to go even faster. More practice, and the mistakes will go away.
Another thing, the mental game. I started 5th, 2 guys ahead of me tangled, I almost got by, got clipped, flipped, dead last. Mentally I just blew out right there. I made a couple of more mistakes and that was it, I still finished 5th but I should have been 3rd in that race. No matter what happens, you should always keep your focus, and not blow out and give up subconsciously. So, next race, back at it, and try and improve. It’s not easy trying to improve, but it seems like it’s possible. Skills, technique, car setup, mental game, there’s a lot to it.
Below you can find the setup I am now running on my PR Racing mid motor standup gearbox 2wd buggy here at OCRC Raceway. This seems to be a pretty good setup for a clay off road track. Some notes for what I found today.
I’m back from the East Coast, and with my cars still somewhere between South Carolina, and South California, I’m back at it in 1:10th scale with my PR Racing cars. OCRC has a killer new layout, and tonight I ran my cars there for the first time. There’s a big triple, and a huge quad, and you really need to be on your game to do consistent laps out there. Tomorrow I’ll go back there and work on some things on the V3 2wd, and post my setup for OCRC. I feel like it’s a good starting point for dirt tracks. I’m running the mid motor MM V3. Here’s a video of Cavalieri on the new layout:
Above you see a few laps from today’s race. Nothing special, but there is something to learn there. How to not do what I did, and fly off the track. It has to do with roll centres.
Lowering the roll centre of the car, by raising the link on the inside, has the effect of making the car feel more “in” the track. It feels less “tippy” and softer, more stable, and less aggressive. I did this on my 2WD today to try and make it easier to drive, and it worked, I went faster than before. Sounds great right?
Well one of the downsides of running low roll centers is what happened to me here with my 4WD. In fast corners the car will roll and stay low, but if you don’t keep the throttle on, and the car stuck to the track, BOOM, it may or may not snap up and fly off the track. If I hadn’t let off the throttle there I would have made the corner nicely, but I wasn’t concentrating and I ended up in the wall.
To conclude: When running low roll centres the car is easy to drive, and less likely to flip over, but at high speed, you need to remember to keep that throttle on!
Below you see the PR Racing V3 front end. I only raised the links 1mm front and back.
After yesterday’s JBRL 1:8th scale racing, I headed to OCRC in Huntington Beach, 20 minutes or so away from where I am living here, for some Sunday afternoon club racing. They race from 3-8pm or so on Sundays, with practice before that. 2 qualifiers and a main is what we run. Anyone into RC cars, living in Southern California is so lucky to be able to race at awesome facilities almost every day of the week!
I had new tyres, but quickly learned that new tyres really suck! So I ended up running my old ones. The local cool guys, led by Barry Baker were making fun of me on my first run of the day, as I was double singling that big triple, going as far as to announcing in the loudspeaker “JQ, that’s a triple not a double single….still a triple.” Then later when I ran my 4wd and messed up and double singled “It’s a triple in 4wd too”. Why do people always make fun of me? Reminds me of this song.
However, once racing started, I got my act together. What I’m looking to do is dial in both cars, and then I will share my complete setups with you. The cars are already good, with me running basically what I ran in Spain for the Euros, but I’m sure I can improve them further. I did TQ and win 4WD, and somehow I got 2nd in 2WD. That was cool I thought. The American’s are so fast in 2wd it’s ridiculous, so to do well in 2wd here is tough.
Ok, after 3 days at OCRC, I have worked on the setup on the 2wd, and am really happy with how it’s going. I’m actually on the same second as the fast guys. Amazing for me, that’s for sure. The 4wd was awesome from the start, I haven’t even made any changes to my setup! I am just running it for now, getting used to running 10th scale.
Yesterday I went to OCRC Raceway and got my PR Racing 10th scale buggies up and running. It’s been a while! Last time I was in America I ran the Schumacher cars, so this was the first time I got to run the PR Racing buggies on a US indoor clay track. I’m running the S1 V3 Mid Motor car with the stand up gearbox for 2wd, and the SB401 4wd.
Yesterday I didn’t get to practice at all, as there was a club race in the afternoon, so I got my 2wd ready and threw it out there! I was only about 2.5 seconds off the pace, per lap! And that’s on a 20 second lap time! The car felt super stable and really easy to drive, I just didn’t have steering!
So today I went back and tried a few things. I also got my 4wd on the track. The 4wd felt really good immediately. I just raised the ride height from 21/21 to 22/22, and punched it! I’m not sure what the lap times are supposed to be in 4wd, but I feel like I am close, probably about 0.5s off, but I should be able to figure that out.
For the 2wd I laid the front shocks down to the middle hole, outside on arm, I used the optional front arm holder that moves the arms back, I lowered the car to 21/21, and it was a lot faster. Now I am only 1 second off the pace! These American’s are ridiculously fast with the 2wd buggies. I will be going back club racing on Sunday, so let’s see if I can do a bit better. Hopefully I will soon have some good setup advice for everyone running PR Racing cars on dirt!