Speed Secrets: Car Tuning – the R/C Handbook

There are many secrets to going fast, and the fastest motor is far from the answer in 99% of cases.  Going fast is somewhat of a black art made up of 1 part car preparation, 1 part equipment, 1 part car tuning, 1 part driving line and 1 part driver. I once asked Scott Guyatt to watch me drive one day to see what I could do better in car setup and driving line to go faster, and his answer was to go slower.  I was simply hitting corners too hot, and losing time and not making the best racing line as a result.

At the time when I did not understand what to change on my car, it was the one thing that made the biggest difference over any other. For me more often than not, trying to go fast is still my biggest failing.  However today we will talk about car setup, and hopefully we can help you understand what you need to do on the track to make your car work for you.

Now for a disclaimer of sorts here, what works for one person to go fast on a race track, will not work for another.  The dichotomy of my brother’s racing style in Short Course Trucks, and my own is a good example. I like my truck to be stable, and fairly responsive to turn in with a little give in the tail if  go in too hot rather than rolling over.  My brother on the other hand (who incidentally is much faster than me) sets his truck up to slide around corners in an almost drift style, but that works for him.

Now I am certainly no expert on setup, and I won’t preach here to pretend that I am, rather I will refer you to the same bible that I use, a well written document available for free written by the aforementioned Scott Guyatt. Originally written for touring cars the 2004 version is on this page of Action R/C http://www.actionrc.com.au/?page_id=14

A more general version penned in 2005 can be found on petitrc here http://www.petitrc.com/reglages/RC_HandbookV3-4.pdf

I have a copy of the 2005 version printed and stowed safely in my pit back because I can never remember the right setup change to make!

The R/C Handbook is well written and encompasses most tuning options and conditions that you may encounter, just look up what you want to change, see what you need to and make a small adjustment at a time to see what effect it has on your car, for better or for worse.  This is where keeping track of your records can help find what makes you faster, but the feel of the car is the biggest difference for me.

So now you know my secret to getting the right setup change, I hope it helps you de mistify what you need to make changes to on your RC car.

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