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What's new: Sunday, May 16th, 2010

RC Racing 101 #2- What To Ask About A Track by Tim Mohr

Last week, in the first installment of RC 101, I went over the best ways of finding a track to race at. All tracks are different, so installment #2 will focus on the top 3 questions to ask a track you are considering racing at. Typically these questions can be answered from a tracks website, but some tracks rarely update, and some don’t have websites at all, so it’s always best to call to get the most accurate information before you pack and head their way.

Here are the top 3 questions to ask a new track.

3. What classes do you provide? You might own a Duratrax Evader, but your nearest track might be carpet that only races touring cars and 12th scale. It’s important to know what cars they have classes for, and which ones they don’t. Many tracks have a rule that 3 cars make a class, so if they don’t have a particular class you are interested in, you might be able to round up a couple buddies and get to race.

2. How much does it cost to enter? Most local tracks charge between $5 to $20 per class for a local race, and from $15 to over $100 per class at a big event. Some tracks also require that you be a member of one of the rc sanctioning bodies to race, while others are club tracks that require a club membership. Membership fees are usually paid once a year and are available at the track, but can add significantly to the cost of your first race.

1. What pitting aids do you supply? Some tracks provide everything, while others provide nothing. Bringing all your rc gear is a no brainer, but you might also need to bring an EZ Up, extension cord, pit table, and chair to the track.

Until next week, see you on the grid.

What's new: Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Photo of the week:

HPI Savage catching some air during a hill climb competition. By gudfinnur.

Bad news: Remote controlled plane sparks Santee brush fire

Other news: Old fogey shakes fist at noisy neighborhood kids…

Event: Taylor’s Finish Line Festival – Featuring Kyle Busch’s Rowdy R/C All-Stars

NASCAR driver Kyle Busch has invited some of America’s top professional radio-control racers to join him for the inaugural Rowdy R/C All-Stars presented by NOS Energy Drink event that will be held as part of the Taylor’s Finish Line Festival on Sunday, May 23 on the grounds of zMAX Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Shopping around: Things on Wheels – A toy R/C themed racing game hit Xbox Live Arcade this week. ¬†Some are comparing it to the legendary Micro Machines, that’s a pretty good endorsement.

Video of the week:

So I just mentioned the RC Drag Racing event at the Hobby Town here in Illinois this Saturday, but I wanted to mention on Sunday there will be some regular parking lot racing. There is a timing system, but the first few weeks will just be testing to see if there is any interest. So they will see what vehicles show up, and go from there. My guess is there will be a decent amount of short course vehicles, so I know Firesprink182 will be bringing a few ramps. The track is laid out with PVC, and for the most part will be pretty trial and error.

Sunday will probably be more about working the kinks out of the system, and just going out and having fun, without a whole lot of emphasis on serious racing. So if your in the area, have a SC or similar vehicle, and want to count some laps with a bunch of bashers.. make sure to stop by!
15551 S. 94th Avenue
Orland Park, IL 60462
(708) 349-TOYS(8697)

What's new: Friday, May 14th, 2010

Traxxas kumho Keeping up with the realism theme, Traxxas now has replica Kumho Road Venture MT tires standard on the latest Scott Douglas Edition Traxxas Slash and Slash 4×4. They are also available separately in standard or S1 compounds, mounted or unmounted.

For more info check the Traxxas Website.

With a little help from the fine folks at Pro-Line, The KU EcoHawks Team Slayer took a 1/8 scale nitro buggy and added a parallel brushless motor to make a truck that will run from the nitro engine, the brushless motor, or both at the same time.  In addition to creating some special mounts for the engine, motor, and 3S LiPo, they also designed a special differential that balances the power output of the engine and motor when they are used together.

Pro-Line provided the wheels, tires, and body for testing and they have a complete article on their blog with more photos, video, and an interview with the team leader. ¬†It’s a very interesting read, check it out.

Pro-Line tansou

Aww Yea!! Looks like Pro-Line is looking for a little drifting action with the new Tansou 190mm drift body! (3331-00). Drifting is one of those areas of RC where your into it, or your not. But if you are, it’s hard core! The look, style and details are almost as important as the driving! This is our first sneak peek at the body. We will get you more details they are available. I recently picked up some drift tires for one of my on-roads, looks like I need to add a new body to the shopping list!

Check the Pro-Line website for more bodies.

RC Drag Racing Event Holeshot RC Drag Racing, along with Big Squid RC and Hobby Town of Orland Park IL. present Street Car Chaos – RC Drag Racing in the Hobby Town parking lot in Orland Park IL.

These street car events that Holeshot RC have been putting on are pretty much the events that brought RC Drag Racing to the Chicago area. Geno does a great job of bringing the people in. If you are looking to witness some of the finest trash talking, rc drag racing, anything goes event, this is the place to be! This is the first race in this lot, and I’m not 100% sure if it will be able to handle the true RC dragsters, but the street cars and trucks will be out in force! The event is Saturday May 15th, 2010.
If you are in the area, make sure to stop out at the Big Squid RC tent to check out the new King Squid II and pick up some stickers!

Click the flyer or the address and details.

Tower Hobbies Vee
New from Tower Hobbies is the Tower Power Vee RTR boat. This boat is completely designed for beginners. If you have batteries and a pond, your ready to go! It has a water cooled 550 motor and 30A ESC with reverse. Price will be well under the $150 mark when it hits the streets!
Check out the Tower Hobbies website for more info.

What's new: Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Another new car making it’s debut at the Shizuoka show is Tamiya‘s latest vintage F1 car. ¬†Modeled after the Wolf WR1, which started it’s career during the 1977 Forumla 1 season, Tamiya’s 1/1o scale version is a mash-up of their newer F104 chassis and their older, but still competitive F103 chassis. ¬†Among some of the distinctive features are extra large rear tires and smaller fronts for a true scale look, a resin bumper under the front wing, and a full decal setup to mimic the full scale’s looks. ¬†It would go great on the shelf next to the Tyrrell P34 six wheeler.

This is going to be a limited edition kit, so if you’re interested keep your eyes peeled.

Check out the Tamiya Canada site for all the info in english.

Hot diggity dog! The hep cats at Traxxas are gammin’ a new Nitro 4-Tec combo that’s now togged to the bricks with their TQ 2.4 GHz radio system. ¬†Now that ain’t no line, this get up really is the cat’s meow.

It should be hittin shelves soon, so put on your stompers and hoof it on over to your local hobby shop to check it out.¬† But that ain’t the whole megillah see, you should be keen to hit up Traxxas’ web site, twenty-three skidoo! Else you be all wet.

More news from the Shizuoka Hobby Show. ¬†Kyosho is showing off a new version of the well known Inferno MP9.¬† The T.K.I. 2 is going to be Kyosho’s new flagship 1/8 scale buggy, destined to be sitting atop podiums around the world. ¬†There isn’t much other info about this new buggy yet, but it will be available in a kit form and as a RTR “Spec A” option that is preassembled and then quality checked by master driver and head of Kyosho’s 1/8 scale buggy department Yuuichi Kanai. It will be interesting to see if the MP9 TKI 2 will have the impact that the original Kanai version did.

Thanks to Hobby for the info.

“Hey guys. I‚Äôve had this idea for many years now. Why don‚Äôt you see if you can team up with the X games to get some e-monster trucks (no oil spills now) going off the mega ramp. You could mount cameras on them and trail the competitors off the jump or you could use them as entertainment between events. You would reach a huge number of young to middle aged men. Perfect exposure for our sport!
Keep up the great work with the website!
Well hello Billy, thanks for the kind words.

I like how you think. While some in our hobby prefer for it to stay small, I’d much rather see it go mainstream. Maybe it’s because I like to dream big, maybe it’s because I hate seeing my friends in the industry not getting paid jack for working their asses off. Maybe it’s because I just want to see more people enjoy the hobby I love.

X Games is as corporate/commercial as they come. It is, and has always been, nothing more than a great marketing tool for companies into “xtreme” sports. With that said, ESPN is very critical about what makes it on air. If you’ve watched it over the years, gone are many sports, while all the “big air” comps pretty much rule the evening prime time slots. Mommy and daddy mainstream are glued to their sets for one reason- they might be lucky enough to watch someone die tonight! The problem for us rc guys is- jumping a 6S HPI Savage Flux over an 80 foot gap isn’t going to result in any fatalities. No potential fatalities = bad ratings = no chance of rc making the big show.

In years past rc’ers have organized events in the parking lots at X Games. That was cool and all, and even exposed our hobby to thousands upon thousands of prime audience, but it’s nowhere near the exposure of being in the stadium and being broadcast into the mainstream living rooms. While X Games would be fantastic to be a part of, I think the ESPN people aren’t too keen on rc going prime time, at least not quite yet.

BigSquidRC has talked with the people from MTV, OLN, and ESPN about possible rc projects for their networks, and I’m certain we aren’t the only ones. HPI has been working with SPIKE TV for a while now, which is fantastic exposure for our hobby and they deserve huge props for that. As our hobby moves closer and closer to the mainstream I think you’ll start seeing unprecedented coverage of our hobby on tv, I think it’s just a matter of time. HPI, Traxxas, Associated, Losi, Axial and others are working their asses off to get tv coverage of our hobby, so it will happen, it’s just a matter of when and which channel. :)

(Click here to read the next question about ESC’s and batteries!)

agama a8 evo For those looking to get their hands on a Agama A8 Evo, VP-Pro USA is now the official distributor for the 1/8th scale buggy here in the US.
VP-Pro USA is becoming quite the online retailer lately, they have a ton of products, so go check it out.