Matthew Higgins

Ask anyone at the track why they race and you’ll hear comments regarding having fun or enjoying the competition or the social element of hanging out at the track with some buddies. The inherent competitive aspect of racing will most likely get down played and the fun will be emphasized, but let’s face it, we all want to win and it’s really hard to have fun when you’re coming in dead last. Check out these 10 racing and setup tips and you’ll be far more competitive and, in turn, have more fun.

  1. Neutral Setup.The best place to start with your setup is with what is outlined in your manual. Go with the box-stock settings and install the popular tires at your track. Tires are the single most important aspect of setup–everything else is just fine tuning. When you do start making changes, make one at a time and see how it changes your vehicle. Keep in mind that many adjustments will hardly be noticeable to the average guy like you and me. What you should be trying to achieve is a neutral setup–not too much steering and not too little steering. You want a vehicle that steers but isn’t likely to spin out every time you touch the steering wheel. As you get used to the track layout and your car, slowly make your setup more aggressive.

  2. Benchmarks.Too many racers worry about where they finish, even in qualifiers. All you should worry about is improving over your last effort. After your race, look at your lap times. Since consistent racers are fast racers, you should concentrate on improving your average lap times. When your average lap times get closer to your fastest lap time, everything else will fall in place.

  3. Pass With Class. Drive your car as if it were a real car and you’ll be much faster. When  you approach a slower car, plan your pass. You’ll both be slower if you smash right into the car in front of you. In qualifying, slower cars should yield to faster cars, but that doesn’t mean they have to pull over and stop racing so you can fly by. Plan your pass and be patient. The exit of corners is usually a good place to pass because slower drivers often overshoot corners and go wide

  4. Stay Late. The majority of people get to the track early to practice, but the best time to practice is actually after racing is over and the track is in condition you race on. When you get to the track early, it is often dry if it’s off-road or dirty if it’s on-road.

  5. The Night Before.Being prepared is essential to being fast. Go through all your race gear the night before race day. Not only will you be less likely to forget something, but you will find problems when it will be easier to fix them.

  6. Bring a Buddy Racing. To experienced racers, most of this will be common sense. They should, however, keep two thing in mind. First, common sense isn’t too common. That’s an old saying for a reason. Second, common sense seems to get thrown out the proverbial window when competition starts heating up. One of the best way to get us all using our common sense again is to bring a buddy racing with us. This is because we often practice what we preach when we know someone is watching.
  7. Practice fast, Race Slow. This is one of our favorite racing maxims at RC Car Action. Go a bit faster than you think you can in practice to find your limits. You’ll build some skill when nothing is on the line and get a good idea what you and your vehicle can do. When you’re racing, slow down a bit and concentrate on being consistent. The fast guys are smooth and consistent. The slow guys are just driving as fast as possible from one crash to the next crash.

  8. Take Corners, Don’t Overshoot Them. This is how you execute a corner properly: approach the corner and move to the outside and slow down well before the corner, start turning to the inside before you get to the corner, drive along the inside of the corner and start accelerating and then continue to accelerate of out of the corner. Sounds simple, but many racers fly into corners, grab a lot of brake, slide or push to the outside, basically come to a stop and have to accelerate hard out of the corner. This might look fast since they go flying and and accelerate wildly out of the corner, but it is actually the slow way around a track

  9. Walk The Track.Don’t trust your perspective from the drivers’ stand. Walk the track. look for imperfections that will trip your vehicle up and study face of the jumps to see where you should be lining up for smooth launches.

  10. Have Fun. Having fun is really all about having the right attitude. Having the right attitude will also help you go faster. How so? Well, when you focus too much on beating the next guy or retaking a position you just lost or making up time after a crash, you often try too hard and end up falling back or crashing more
  11. Bonus Tip: When your vehicle is spinning out and you’re sure you have the right tires for your track, try a gearing change before tweaking the suspension. Install a larger pinion. This will smooth out your acceleration and make it less likely for your vehicle to break traction.

A rattling body makes your car sound cheap, and It can cause premature wear around the post holes. As a quick fix, find one of your sister’s hair bands, and stretch it from one body post to the other underneath the body clip. These bands are not expensive, so use two if you need to.

Tip by Jensen Porter

There are many ways to simplify body-clip removal. Here’s one that has never been submitted before. You’ll need a section of 3/4-inch diameter rubber tubing. Cut 3mm sections to make rings. Attach one to each clip, and you now have something to grip when you need to remove your car’s body clips.

Tip by Jerel Mudloff

Nitro Engine Storage

Greg Vogel 

While many engines always have a home in the vehicles that they are used in, there are a lot of drivers that may have a spare engine waiting to go, either for racing or as a back-up for a basher vehicle. For those that do, we hope you are properly storing that expensive mill so nothing happens to it while it’s waiting for its turn in the engine mounts. Here, we’re going to give you some simple tips to properly store your nitro power plant.

What could go wrong while an engine is in storage you ask? Plenty! If an engine is stored too long, there is a chance that unburnt fuel sitting in the engine or bearings can evaporate over time and, along with temperature changes, can start to turn the oils into gunk that can clog up and cause friction in the engine. Moisture is also a threat to any steel parts within the engine and finally, there is debris. You know, dust and dirt, which can make their way into any part of your vehicle, such as the engine’s carb or exhaust, and once in there can damage the engine when you fire it up. So lets talk steps to keep your engine protected.

OIL IT- The first step for engine storage is adding a number of drops of a good after-run oil. An after-run oil is much less likely to turn into that nasty gunk over time and it coats your engine internals to protect them. Add a few drops down the carb venturi as well and then add a few more into the exhaust port if it’s exposed. Or you can take out the plug, drop oil in the top of the chamber and replace the plug.

CAP IT- When you’re done adding after-run oil to the inside of the engine and you’ve rocked the crank back and forth a few times to coat the internals, it’s a good idea to ensure the oil stays in. Use caps, such as these shown here from TrakPower, to keep the oils in. Capping will also keep the debris out of your mill while it sits in your pit bag or on your bench. Cap the carb venturi, fuel nipple and exhaust port. If your exhaust is still fitted to your engine, add caps to the exhaust stinger and pressure nipple.

BAG IT- Now that your engine has been oiled and capped, its a good idea to place it in a plastic bag along with a silica gel packet and zip it closed to keep moisture and debris away from the engine.

GOING OVERBOARD- Looking for that extra bit of protection during storage? Consider an engine bag from Outerwears. This fabric bag with an inner liner keeps your engine neatly stowed and secured inside with its Velcro closure.

A few simple steps and a few neat products are all you need to keep your engine stored and safe. Take the time to care for your engine and it will be there, ready to go, when you need it!

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