Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Acorn race RCC glenmarie, 24th October 2010 - a complete disaster.

When i just came back to TC in August 2010, i came back with all my old equipment, My Kawada Alcyon II, my Sp GT1.1 ESC (no turbo) and my SP 11.5R motor. i did buy some new 3E 4200mah 30C saddle packs. I was still using a one way, and at one time at titiwangsa track, i got my rear end to really stick by raising the rear wing. I then tried it al glenmarie, the car was hooked ! Eventhough my ESC didnt have any boost or turbo, but i was able to outcorner almost every car at the track during practice. I did manage to turn some heads in the process. I also was able to use the tyres until they tore, never losing traction. Of course with a one way, i couldnt brake, so i just had to let go throttle earlier then just turn in like hell. Even at a dual rate of only 50%, i had more than enough steering.
I used Yokomo white springs at the rear, which is second softest, and yokomo orange in front, the hardest. I practiced like this for a few weeks, and soon a race sponsored by Acorn batteries was coming to this track. Since i love this track so much, i decided to enter this race. My confidence in this car and my driving was on the rise becuase of its great cornering prowess. A day before the race, i practiced at the track with Hafiz, who was a former Yokomo sponsored driver, he quit rc in 2007 and just came back with a new yokomo BD5. He is a very nice guy, and helped me out a lot with advice, also a very laid back guy. I was there with him that day and with another guy, a newcomer, Mike Lim who drove a Team Magic E4RS. I easily overtook Mike with my car, in the corners, but in the straight line i was slow. Then i went up against Hafiz and his BD5, i was left behind in the straight because he had turbo, but in the corners, i was very close to him. It was difficult catching Hafiz, but i was close in the infield. In fact he himself was amazed that my car could keep up with his eventhough with such a handicap equipment wise. Hearing him say that, my confidence increased some more, and decided to try out for the race, eventhough the entry fee was expensive, and there was no tyre limits.
We were also talking about IFMAR body rules, and hafiz warned me about the wing rules. But i misunderstood the rules, just as he did too. That was the cause of my downfall the next day.
You see, i as many other people, misunderstood the rule which said the "wing must not exceed the roof height." Since my wing was inliner, i thought everything was ok.
In the morning i came to the track, all the old faces were there, and they were suprised than i am back into Rc, and they welcomed me. The body jig was made available, and i placed my car in it. To my horror the wing didnt clear the jig, by a LOT ! So i removed the spacers under the wing, thniking thats enough.It wanst.
I had to cut the wing, 3 times before it went under the jig, and whats more, i did what i saw everyone else was doing, lowrring the whole body itself, so that the roof and the wing was under the jig upper limit ! i found it odd, but since other racers were doing that too, i thought they must have known what they were doing. I had to slam the body lowest that i could, until the wheel arches were touching the tyres ! So were some other drivers too. This really affected the friction and handling of the car, cause the wheels were rubbing, and in the corners, could cause the outer wheel to slow down and lose traction. And that it did !, the car couldnt take the corners as fast as it could in practice anymore, i had to slow down drastically and it showed in the laptimes. In the sweltering heat, everything that could go wrong that day, went wrong. I ended up qualifying in the C main, about 4th. The 7th position was the last position that day. I only used 1 set of tyres that day, while other drivers used 6 to 7 sets, thats how poor i am. but i seriously doubt changing tyres would solve my problem that day. it was namely 2 things, the body rubbing against the tyres, and the low rear wing, singanlling a loss of rear traction. My car slid evertime i punched the gas out of the corners and had to feather it. In the finals, i dropped 1 position to 5th. its lucky i did not get last position !
After the race i was dejected, did the car let me down, or did i let myself down? Is it time for a new car?
I did some searching about IFMAR body rules, and went to rctech forums to ask around. Finally i found out that we used the jig wrongly that day, and we were even in violation of the rules!
You see, the roofline of the car, must touch the jig upper limit, that means the roof must be 115mm or more from the floor! And the wing must be 115mm or less ! On that day, both our roofs and wing were below 115mm ! And the stupid race officials didnt even know that ! If they explained it properly, could have saved me a lot of grief !
After that i knew what i had to do. i bought a new Protofrom MAzda 6 body, painted int white, and made it ifmar legal, the wing is now very low and at 115mm, while my body rest at comfortable ride height. i gave up on the one way and tried a ball diff in front. I still struggled to find traction at the rear with the low wing, and i found out why. The white yokomo springs which were the second softest, which i used for the rear, wasnt soft enough with the lightweight lipos i was using, in the old NiMh days, it was soft enough. my Answer came when i changed to Tamiya M chassis blue springs at the rear, i got the traction i wanted at the rear, but the spring was too soft, even with the thickest antiroll bar at the rear, the rear was bottmoing out too easily under acceleration and i didnt have enough steering. I looked thourhg my toolbox to find something a little harder.
It was the Kawada Alcyons original front springs rated at 196g/mm, it was harder than the Tamiya Blue, but still very much softer than the yokomo whites. This ended up as the final setup for my car as of february 2010. The car now is VERY stable at the rear eventhough the wing is so low. I even have traction to very last bit of tyre ! I am waiting for a chance to race it in the 10.5T superstock class now...

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