When I have an opportunity to attend races, I usually have questions on 'why is my car slower than others with the same motors and packs?' Fair question, and while there are many things you may improve, there are two 'hidden' power reducers not easily recognized.
- The first item is easily forgotten about as you use your RC race car. How much does your car weigh in relation to the competition? I love the great wraps on the cars, but do you know they add OUNCES of weight to the car? How about your pack size, and its weight? Can you use a lighter pack and still make your race time? I am not saying stop using car wraps or use tiny packs, but evaluate how your car stacks up to your competition. The most recent example for me was a sprint car in a restricted motor class and a driver who was not happy being second best every week! Changed motors, packs, ESC, etc. and still no improvement. Someone suggested looking at car setup, but that showed the car was 6 ounces heavier than the rival. Weight reduction = wins!
- Car setup is critical in all classes of racing. One setup issue is what is called 'push' or 'understeer', where the car continues to go straight in a turn instead of following the direction of the front wheels. I am not going to talk about how to correct 'push', as there are many racers who have the knowledge. But 'push' or 'understeer' is a speed killer when it is excessive, making your powertrain (motor, pack, ESC) feel like a brick! Another indication of 'push' or 'understeer' is how quickly your tires wear in relation to other cars. A car which is well balanced saves the tires!
- How do you have your ESC setup? If you have your throttle frequency out of step with you motor wind, or have added 'smoothing' or a form of 'traction smoothing' you can hurt acceleration and top end. Ask how I know!
Watch your car's weight and make the car steer, and you will be on the way to those wins. Good luck with your racing program.