The Spektrum Off-Road Championships is quietly becoming one of the premier indoor off-road races in the country with MANY racers coming from all over! I am very thankful that it is held every year at my home track. Here is my run-down for both 2wd and 4wd modified buggy classes...
Friday & Saturday would consist of two qualifiers each day...Friday's round one started out unfortunate with a popped rear ball cup on lap 4. But thankfully, a turn marshall was able to quickly get it back on just to get me some (16) laps in.
Round two was better (17/5:10) but still off my typical pace. Trackside is typically a soft compound tire track, but with many practice laps (Tues. night club race plus Wednesday & Thursday's controlled practice) being laid down, the track did not have a visible "groove" but did have some enhanced grip. Clay compound tires were the talk of the pits and racers were scrambling for the pink, gold and MC compounds!
Saturday morning's third round would not favor a strong run again. I simply was not comfortable on clay compound tires on my newly built TRF201 XR. Last Saturday, the car felt incredible, but so far, grip was fair even with the newly found tire compound. Lastly, another popped ball cup would yield a long lap, so ZERO blame to tires, car, etc... I sent the car into a tube, so 100% driver error.
Well, I had one final run in order to make something happen. I was sitting 68th of 85 mod buggy drivers after the 3 rounds, so I was determined to get into or near the top half for Sunday's mains. A strong run of 17/5:04 would send me to 48th overall on Sunday. A rear tire change would increase grip and confidence. 48th was not quite above the "top half" of the field mark but the XR was the most comfortable it felt all weekend.
48th qualifying position meant I would start 8th of 10 in the E Main. After lap one, I was able to march ahead to 3rd, but I nosed it into a tube on lap 4 and went from 3rd to 7th rather quick! Reaching 5th place by lap 7, I would hold onto 5th after a real fight with local racers (4th) Steve Richter, (6th) Dave Bengston and (7th) Victor Vasquez.
Friday's round one would start horribly with a hard brush against the tube and popped ball cup on lap 4. The nearest turn marshall immediately put the car down but I cannot blame him. The incident was totally my fault and you're technically not supposed to repair a car while marshalling.
I was able to put in a fair 5-minute run in round 2 (18/5:13), so I was happy to at least get one fair run in both cars by Friday's end.
Saturday would prove to be the day for my 4WD. One early morning practice run with what seemed to be the correct rear clay compound tire would make my TRF511 into one fluid machine. Round 3 would be my fastest of the weekend with a 18/5:00.2 run. SO close to 19 laps!! Lap one was 17.1 with all remaining laps being 16 seconds with a fast lap of 16.3. Upon completion of the round and qual points in effect, I would get an 11 (11th fastest of 55 entries in 4WD mod buggy). I received a ton of positive comments on how good the car looked during the run, so confidence was high. :) The car was so easy to drive and drive fast!
The final 4WD round was nearly as quick with a 18/5:04 time. A few more long laps than round 3 (my best pace was 18/5:00.8), but still strong. So, as said, Saturday would be the day to pull my 4WD from a D Main to a mid-low B Main car. I would qualify 17th of 55... probably my best big race qualifying performance!
So, the B Main would start me 7th of 10 and I kept thinking before the start... "how many guys could I get around by the end of lap 1 or 2?" Wellll, that's pretty much what happened... By lap one, I would slide my car under and between overturning cars to make it to 3rd! I swear my rear wing nearly got caught under cars getting crazy mid-way through that first lap. Fast local driver Brad Shearer would bust out of the gate in the lead with Team Losi's team manager Kevin Gahan in 2nd and myself 3rd. A mistake by Kevin on lap 5 would allow me to roll around him and hold onto 2nd place by race end about 2-3 seconds behind race winner Brad. What a main and with a strong 18/5:01 pace to complete it!
I look forward to more drive time with the new TRF201 XR and continued success with the tried and true TRF511!
Thanks so much to my sponsors Tamiya America, TrakPower/Hobbico and 92Zero Designs for the continued support!
With the Gun Smoke Classic coming up this week Pres and I have been to IERC since the track change to get as much time on it as possible along with figuring out a better set up for the XM.
The track is much faster than the previous layout yet much larger by about 3 seconds per lap. The straight is much longer with an additional high speed sweeper. This alone has us changing the car to handle this section. The original set up was really good on the rest of the track but to compensate for the very high speed sections things needed to be moved and some things changed. This is what we ended up with:
We only changed the front end by standing the shocks up one hole on the shock tower. But for the rear of the XM we changed a few things. The camber link was lowered to the second hole from the bottom on the shock tower. The XB block was swapped out for the XA as well as an arm change. We drilled shock mounting holes on the 501x arms and did not dremel them. We installed them as is moving the wheel base to 282mm (+10). Also for the rear shocks we have swapped out the Yellow rear springs to the Blue to gain that stability and to keep the nose down on the sweeper on throttle. We have yielded a few 22.0's but mainly our averages are 22.3's. With a couple of World Champs running this track and have already thrown down some 21.9's I am very confident in the 201XM's ability to do very well this weekend. (I might possibly run the XR in 17.5......)
TRF drivers who are planning to attend this years Gun Smoke Classic at IERC Nov 15-17 please contact me before Tuesday if you would like to pit with the team. I am having a section reserved for us and need a head count.
I can be contacted at email@example.com
A few more weeks running the mid-motor car has taught me a few things: I noticed that to get rear traction there must be forward sweep in the CVD's and maintenance of the driveline is very important in this configuration.
Today I was working with different rear arm configurations and discovered a few things. I started by trimming 2mm off the front of the arms. I used the (#54142) High Traction rear arm and the (#51279) TRF501x R part.
#51279 Arm Reversed
The stronger 501 arm can only be used when the arms are reversed because the shock mounting holes are only on one side of the arm. Also be sure to trim the arm for clearance of the diff outdrives when the suspension compresses. With material being removed from the "rear" of the reversed arm, I can shim the arm back which gives a slightly longer wheelbase and a smaller CVD angle. This configuration also requires a 3mm shim between the arm and lower mount of the shock. Lee ran this configuration at the IFMAR Words in Chino.
#54142 Arm Forward
I wanted to try this to give something in-between. I used 2mm shims behind the trimmed arms shortening the wheelbase and added some CVD angle. This way gave more traction and a more efficient drive angle than the untrimmed way but not as much traction as the 501 arms. The driveline was noticeably quieter and more efficient because of the CVD angle. Other comparable mid-motor cars run a comparable CVD angles as this configuration.
Maintenance was the major reason that got me going on these tests. For the last few race weeks (50 battery packs), I noticed some extra noises and slop from the driveline. I rebuilt the diff with new outdrives, replaced all the gears in the transmission, installed new CVD's and replaced hub bearings to quiet the car. All the parts were still in serviceable condition and didn't fail but showed a lot more wear than what I have even seen in the past. I'm going to monitor these new parts over the next few weeks and see if the new setups help. My base setup is posted under my photo gallery.
Next I'm going to change my rear toe block from the Xa (3.5)to the Xb (4.0) like Jimmy mentioned and start the tests over again. I also will start some back to back tests with the XR in prep for the Reedy race in January. I'm also only a short few weeks away from becoming a dad so lots of changes a head!
Thanks to Tamiya USA for all the help!
Well I'm back into racing again! My husband became ill about 2 weeks before the IIC in Las Vegas. We had to cancel all our trip plans. Well 8 weeks later he is on the mend and I'm back into race mode. I'm looking forward to the upcoming 20th annual running of the Snowbird Nationals in Orlando, FL! F1 has defiantly stepped up it's level of competition with so many big manufacturers jumping into the game. So I'll be wrenching all the way up until we leave in January!
This past weekend we had the On-Road Halloween Havoc race. My car was handling ok but definitely need some new kicks on! I was still able to end up in a respectable 2nd place, 8 seconds behind my husband Mark.
Recently, myself & Brad Krans attended the 13th Annual SIGP held at the world famous Competition Hobbies in Tucson, AZ. I will have a race report and results with set-ups shortly!
For the last couple of months Pres Ilog and I have been hitting the local track to get to know the 201XM and what it likes, doesn't like, quirks it has and improvements that it may need. We have gone from mid pack, to podium to owning the track lap record hands down.
One thing right away we noticed is that the XM didn't need anything over the top or radical to make it fast right away. We had a good suspension base line from the XR and with the weight bias change from rear to mid-motor we changed the springs accordingly and matched the feel of the dampening to the springs on the bench. The current set up sheet that I posted here a few weeks ago is still our set up for the most part on medium high to high bite clay. We move a camber link or battery position a few millimeters to get what we need for the current track condition.
On the XM we shortened the wheelbase by doing two things. One is by running the XB block. This not only sets the rear toe-in to 4.0 degrees but also takes 3mm out of the wheelbase. We also took 2 millimeters off of the forward surface of the rear arm at the inner hingepin. (We are now at +6 rather than +11) This has yielded a better rearward weight bias which has improved forward bite tremendously. By adding the 4.0 degrees of toe with the XB block we have increased the turn in and helped to stabilize the rear of the car from middle to exit of the corner.
Something else that we have to mention is the rear transmission brace. It takes a beating! The new chassis flexes a lot and with that stresses not only the side guards but also the trans brace. If you find that your XM or even XR for that matter has picked up some bad habits on the track such as turning better one direction or jumps odd or simply won't drive through the rough section like it used to its time to check to make sure that your side guards or trans brace aren't cracked or broken. Pres and I have worked out a solution that we should have available very soon.
As always if you have any questions or need help with your Tamiya/TRF cars please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Well it's been a while since I've been on here. Getting married in a weeks time and handling some personal issues. Indoor season is starting full swing around here and and I'll have plenty more updates to come, stay tuned!!
Wow.....summer flew by. Now that youngest is 2.5 years old and he oldest is 13 I find myself wishing there were more hours in the day. This summer I spent time between my small business, my family and cross country mountain bike racing. It was a great summer...but now it's indoor season here in the Midwest!
I just finished placing my order for the XR chassis, big bores, and the new alum steering rack. As well as a few other bits needed to freshen up the old work horse. As soon as the new prices arrive I will begin the painstaking process of breathing new life into my tried and true buggy.
My focus this season will be 17.5 motors. Last season I watched as a new surge of stock buggies hit the track, so I'm going to throw my hat in that ring. The best part about stock is the lack of abuse the car takes. Not that the Tamiya buggy can not handle the rough stuff but nothing really wears out. Also, the side by side racing is ultra competitive! One small mistake could spell certain disaster for an otherwise flawless run. Imagine 6 minutes of mistake free driving..... It sounds almost too good to be true. Stock racing has gone from a few drivers mixed in with the modified class to having several loaded heats of talent.
As always a huge thanks goes out to the TRF fans.......The Blue Nation lives! Also a big thank you the Tamiya USA for the continued support!
Follow along with the entire TRF Team as we close out an amazing year of racing!
This past weekend Pres Ilog and I set out to test and find a set up for the new "XM" Mid Motor chassis layout for the 201. We spent two days out in San Bernardino CA at Inland Empire Radio Control Raceway (IERC) and by the end of day #2 we both had not only laid down track record "Hero Lap" times of 19.062 (previously 19.3) but our 10 lap averages would be hovering just over the old track hero lap record at 19.55!
To say the least I think we are on target to do some major damage to the competition come race day this next weekend. :)
Our set up sheet for the XM can be found here: http://www.teamtrf.com/index.php/setup-sheets/category/33-trf201
(There seems to be a problem with the download so here is the sheet:)