Running on Fumes Report 06.15.08
Traxxas Much like the paranoid survivalists that emptied out every supermarket in the country of 50 lbs bags of rice, rc’ers are now beginning to stockpile nitro fuel.
Rumors have been floating for months about no more 30% being produced and prices doubling by Christmas. The best part is, ask 10 guys that work in the rc fuel industry, and you’ll get about 10 different answer to dispel the rumors.
So just what are the “true” facts about the state of nitro fuel? It’s hard to fully trust anything coming out of the rc industry right now. Even those deep in the industry have not been given full disclosure by their suppliers, and others have other motivations to “twist” the truth. But it’s common knowledge that nitro comes out China. Cost of shipping from China has nearly doubled in recent months, and the Olympic games this summer will have big effects on how China is doing business. My best guess? I’ll go with common sense, expect nitro prices to be alarmingly high by this time next year. Of course by then, most people will already be running their new Losi 8BL’s and E Revo’s around their local track. But if you do plan on staying nitro, it just might be a good idea to buy a few extra gallons.
Reports from industry insiders continue to surface about just who is closest to putting out a mainstream 8th scale electric kit or RTR. Popular consensus? Losi, Losi, Losi!!! With Kyosho and Mugen expected to be closely behind. Associated is not expected to jump in till the year 2032.
Speaking of AE, they released info on their new RC10R5 this week. According to them, the “World GT” class is getting REALLY hot right now, and this is the car to fit the bill. In the real world, nearly nobody has ever heard of the “World GT” class, nor do they want an extremely hard to drive and hard to tune car that is basically nothing more than a stretched 12th scale pan car. Good luck on sales numbers for this one boys. Oh and thanks for adding yet another worthless class to the competition schedule.
This weekend I had the “pleasure” of witnessing something I had never seen before. A racer had his speed controller fry on the track, which was actually fun to watch, but even more so was what happened to his battery as it got dead shorted due to the bad speedo. This particular racers battery just happened to be a ROAR certified Li-po. Seems his pack didn’t like a dead short, went into thermal runaway, and burnt the whole dern stadium truck to the ground. Looked like a very miniature scene of Kuwait after Saddam set all the oil wells ablaze. When the pack went up, the fire ignited it’s ABS case rather well, and being strapped into a plastic chassis just tripled the fun/fire/smoke. I’m not sure who thought it would be a good idea to encase Li-po batteries in a butane, ammonia, and coal based plastic, but I have to say, they must have a flair for excitement! (or are just pyro’s at heart)
So immediately after this high priced bonfire, the pits erupted in speculation. What if this had happened in someones house and not on a dirt track? What if this had happened on a Paragon tire sauce soaked carpet track? Who was going to get sued worse- the track, the battery manufacture, or ROAR? If ROAR states in their rules that a Li-po can not go into thermal runaway to become certified, what are the ramifications when one of their “certified” packs burns down a carpet track and the building it was in? Is ROAR packing enough insurance to cover a few dozen racers dying in said fire?
At the end of the day, let’s just hope the fire I witnessed was a fluke, and that every other pack ROAR has certified actually passes their testing as specified in their rules.
I’ve heard from the man with the plan here at BigSquid that Bash-A-Aalooza went off with nary a hitch. And amazingly, that was even backed up by other people that were at the event! Seems the turnout wasn’t huge, but all the participants were awesome, the venue was one of the best in the world (Leisure Hours Raceways in Joliet Illinois), and the event sponsors kicked in major swag to put the event over the top. This type of event just might catch on- less pressure and more fun! Exactly what this sport needs.
After a long, drawn out, narcissistic phone call with BigSquidRC’s resident pro driver, he would not leave me alone about mentioning demo-derby. Seems when he not out pwn’ing people on the racetrack, said racer loves to bash hard, Really hard-full contact rc demo-derby hard. So if you are out there reading this, and would love to either compete in, or view coverage of the “RC Demo-Derby Nationals hosted by BigSquidRC”, shoot us an email. I’m sure we could come up with a venue and lots
of cool swag if there are enough drivers out there with big enough cojones!
That’s it for this week in our beloved sport. Quit jacking around reading here and support your local hobby shops and tracks!!!