Category Archives: Team Durango

Pro teams Wax and Wane

It seems to be a roller coaster for many of the Professional RC racing teams at the moment while the silly season driver changes are happening, and Team Durango and HPI/HB are two who seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

HB (Hot Bodies) seems to be increasing their number of drivers exponentially signing Reno Savoya and David Ronnefalk and confirming contract extensions for Ty Tessmann (they would be mad not to), Andy Moore, Tanner Stees, JJ Wang and Teemu Leino.  This really takes HPI/HB form a fairly small team, to a fairly large one with some bug name drivers.

On the other hand, after announcing that it was dissolving it’s professional team, Team Durano’s drivers have all headed off to greener pastures with the exception of Travis Amezcua who was announced as the TD North American Technical Representative. I had to go and look at the release to see precisely what that meant, but it looks to be in line with the theme of strengthening local support, notably “Travis will be traveling from his SoCal base, around the US, bringing expert track-side support to local club racers and Team Durango fans.” So TD are focusing on you, the local racer instead of it’s professional team.  A good thing for the local racer but will it work long term? Let’s look at Traxxas, the No.1 selling RC brand and their professional team, except that they don’t have one do they, they focus on what you the consumer wants.  So while some are saying that TD’s decision is insane, there is not only a precedent, but a successful one.  Another paragraph of the press release caught my eye as well:

Travis will work closely with our newly appointed, Champaign based, Hobbico Field Communications Manager, Brad Brucker, in the US. This new support team for Northern America will allow our fans to gain race-day support, whilst also feeding back important ideas and issues to our design engineers

Travis will also be scouting for new talent, in all racing classes, allowing us to build a base of local racers who will contribute to how we design new race machines.

Expect to see these guys travelling across the US to meet as many of you as they can at your local events.

Stay tuned for more news on how your local racing scene will benefit from regionally appointed Team Durango Trackside Representatives very soon.

So reading between the lines, the change comes after Team Durango was sold to Hobbico.

Also i would say that we will see more local Team Durango Technical/Trackside Representatives, which lines up with the rumors we are hearing from other quarters.  We will probably also see more drivers with minor sponsorships in busy areas as well, anther plus for average joe racer at the local track.

Source: http://www.team-durango.com/blog/2014/11/21/team-durango-%E2%80%93-strengthening-local-support/
Source: https://www.hpiracing.com/en/news

Postie arrived with a Team Durango Present

photoI was lucky enough to catch the postie this morning before heading to work.  Lucky because he arrived bearing gifts for me, my new DESC210R kit from Tower Hobbies. I know there is probably a new V2 version on the way, but as I have the original DEX210 the parts commonality will be helpful, as well as the price on tower being a staggeringly low $160 USD. Why so low, well as I said before, a V2 is on the way! Talking to local Team Durango Driver Leo Lorenzen, Tower sold out of the cheap kits less than a week after I ordered and they have been marked as Discontinued (although not on the TD website yet), for once I was able to take advantage of a good deal which I normally manage to miss out on.

I suppose it’s a little bittersweet as this purchase marks a transition for me from being in the HPI camp, to my race vehicles all being Team Durango, but it’s not such a bad thing really as I ave been very impressed with the one Durango I have.

So keep your eyes peeled for photos from the build, and later on a report of how it goes on the track etc.

Team Durango disbanding Pro team and changing direction

The big news this morning is the news that Team Durango is disbanding their Pro team to focus on racing at a local level.  It’s an unusual move in the industry, and one that I hope pays off for them.  However only time will tell if removing the pros from the equation will help or hinder their sales.

Other news was the announcement of 5 new vehicles coming in 2015 so interesting times at Team Durango.

Team Durango – Re-Focus & Exciting Future Plans

Dear Customer,

It’s the time of year where we review the season and plan for the future, so we would like to share with you our strategy for 2015 and beyond.

2015 will be a massive year for Team Durango; we have several important and exciting product launches on the way. So it’s more important than ever to make sure we support our racers and our fans.

The race scene is changing and that requires a change of strategy to best meet the needs of our hugely valued customers.

Local racers are getting more sophisticated, more knowledgeable, local racing is getting tougher, the thirst for knowledge at this level has never been higher; social media and information sharing between our customers is now the norm. At the same time the big national and international events are often becoming less relevant to our customers.  We all love to watch the Pros battle it out at the big events, but do these one off races help us make a good product for you?  Upon reflection we don’t think so; testing, analysis and hard work do.

With the World Championships behind us, the new season and exciting product ahead, it’s time for Team Durango to re-focus on product development and helping you win at your local track, rather than having paid Pro racers competing for national and International titles.

The following plans will take us all into an exciting future.

  • We will re-focus on local club racing; we will help you be part of a supportive Team Durango community. This will mean over the next few months we dissolve our Pro race team and replace it with a new race team program that helps support local racing.
  • We will ccontinue to improve our parts support over the coming months to allow you to get everything you need, exactly when you need it
  • We will increase our community support through social media and public RC forums to give you access to everything you need, to get the very most from Team Durango products.
  • We will increase the opportunities for you to stay connected with other Team Durango racers, sharing your experiences and learning new skills from like-minded racers.  We will overhaul our local team driver program; expect more news on this soon.
  • We will release 5 all-new Team Durango cars over the coming months, including our exciting and innovative Patent Pending 1/8 Electric and Nitro Buggy platforms. These exciting vehicles further cement our commitment to a solid future of racing and development for Team Durango.
  • We will stay committed to creating high-quality, cutting-edge, RC racing products, which always look cool and are always hot on the track.
  • We will continue to develop all of our cars via ongoing testing and user feedback, as we have always done, but more so. We will maintain a strong line-up of precision racing machines that cater for the most popular RC disciplines.

Stay tuned for more news, the future for Team Durango is going to be more exciting than ever.

read the release for yourself at http://www.team-durango.com/blog/2014/11/03/racing-towards-the-future-with-you/

Review: 2nd hand DEX210 Buggy

So following on from the article about Taking our own Advice, I now have a quite nice DEX210 from Team Durango to drive, and so I thought i’d review it for others interested in this vehicle.  It’s not the first or last vehicle that i’ll be reviewing as I will have another buggy to review after next week. So in Taking our own Advice we left off after my first race with the, new to me, buggy.  So what have my impressions of the kit been since then and have I finally painted that new body?

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Continue reading Review: 2nd hand DEX210 Buggy

What 4wd Buggy to race for 2014

I have written a couple of “What to Buy” type articles before, and with the release of the B44.3 I thought I would add a what 4wd Buggy to the list! We won’t separate into RTR or Kits because there are very few competition level 4wd buggies that are available as RTR’s. Mid mount or rear mount motors, well there are variations to positioning, but in 4wd they are all mid mounted. I may have missed out some, but I think I have most of the major models in the 4wd game at the moment.

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Team Losi / TLR

TLR had a bit of a gap in their lineup until recently when the 22-4 was added to their range.  A development of the older XX-4 (not the XXX-4 that replaced that) it is unusual in that it sports a triple belt drive system rather than the driveshaft arrangement found more commonly in other 4wd Buggies.  Featuring an alloy chassis that is the current trend in buggy chassis it follows the norms there, but the forward motor, triple belt drive system certainly makes it look a bit different under the hood.  Ball Differentials at each end to provide drive and a cab forward body finish off what is an impressive package.  TLR even throw in two sets of wheels for the 22-4! Battery wise, it is Saddle packs here, although you can accommodate a few different sized packs.
http://www.tlracing.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=TLR03005

Team Associated

The newest player on the 4wd block, although with a revised rather than all new car, is the Associated B44.3.  The B44 platform has been no slouch, and the .3 iteration adds some important updates.  An Alloy chassis being one notable feature update for this model along with a floating motor and servo mounts. Weight distribution is also a key flexibility with the ability to run a Front motor, rear saddle battery pack configuration, or flip it all around to with a rear motor configuration with a shorty pack on the opposite side. Gear differentials are a new feature to cater for the current generation of high grip, and/or indoor tracks, however the previous generation ball differentials are compatible.
http://www.teamassociated.com/cars_and_trucks/B44.3/Factory_Team/

Kyosho

The new ZX-6 Buggy is the natural choice for a Buggy form Kyosho which comes as a kit as with the B44.3 and 22-4 above, however there is a 2nd choice from Koysho.  That 2nd choice comes in the Ready to Run Dirt Hog Buggy which is a fraction of the price of the ZX-6 Kit.  Yes, it is nowhere near as competitive as it’s big brother, but as a vehicle for somebody wanting to try out 4wd Buggy for a smaller slice of your hard earned dollars, or a younger driver getting in to the hobby.  Based on the Fazer platform it comes with a 2.4ghz radio, slipper clutch, 27t brushed motor and ESC, NiMH battery and charger.
http://www.kyoshoamerica.com/Dirt-Hog-Type-1-Orange-4WD-Bug_p_23265.html

Let’s talk about big brother now, the ZX-6.  Like the B44.3 the ZX-6 has a configuration that can be altered from a shorty battery on the right or left, through to a saddle pack layout, although the ZX-6 has a few more configurations available than the B44.3.  Alloy chassis is the name of the game here as well, and the shocks are the quality we have come to expect from the ZX line of Kyosho vehicles.  Ball differentials at both ends and an aggressive cab forward body finish off what is always a high quality product.
http://www.kyoshoamerica.com/LAZER-ZX-6-4WD-Kit_p_23216.html

Traxxas

For the most part Traxxas is a Basher brand, not racing.  This is illustrated by them not having a 1:10 4wd Buggy in their lineup.  So if you are a Traxxas Fan, move along, nothing to see here.

HPI / HB

The much hyped, and long delayed D413 is the still hard to get Buggy from HPI/HB. It’s layout is a little different to the norm with it’s designer, Torrance Deguzman focusing on strength first to give the driver confidence to push on.  It has a very similar layout to it’s predecessor, the Hot bodies D4 and D4 WCE with a Carbon Fibre chassis, but very different front bulkheads/shock towers, with a triangular arrangement with front and rear arms bracing the arrangement.  Gear differentials x3 (front, centre & rear) are another defining feature.  This is something normally reserved for the big 1:8 buggies, but has been packed into the small D413 platform.  Another unusual feature is monocoque suspension arms with adjustable stiffness plates.  A Saddle Pack or Shorty configuration are also battery placement options along with Front or Rear motor placement options.  Whilst one of the more unusually configured buggies, it has proved itself at the 2013 Roar Nationals at the hands of Ty Tessmann where he took the win in the D413.
http://www.hpiracing.com/en/kit/112723

Xray

Xray are no strangers to off road racing with their luxury, and very competitive, 8th scale buggies, and now they have a fighter in the 10th scale ring in the form of the XB4, with the XB4 2014 being the latest version of the Buggy.  A key feature of the XB4 is the composite chassis frame with separate front and rear chassis plates allowing the entire rear suspension to be mounted in the standard position, or directly to the aluminium chassis with some optional parts. The front and read differentials are bevel gear types for lifespan and reliability, however optional ball differentials are available.  Saddle pack batters are the only battery configuration option here.
http://www.teamxray.com/xb4/

Schumacher

The CAT series of 4wd Buggies from Schumacher are legendary in their home country of England, and the latest version, the CAT K1 Aero is no exception. Sporting a Carbon Fibre chassis, nut guards on the shock towers to protect them from damage, gear differentials front and rear, twin efficient belt transmission and awesome black anodised parts, it is a car that looks as good as it performs.  Not the cheapest car with all the carbon fibre, but one that can perform on any world stage.
http://www.racing-cars.com/pp/Car_Showroom/CAT_K1_Aero.html

SWorkz

Bolstered by the addition of Atsushi Hara to their ranks of racers they have suddenly shot into the limelight.  It’s not that they are new, they just had a much lower profile in the west until recently.  In 1:10 their platform is the S104 EK1 which is a little hard to find much information about from their website, and to be honest, i’ve not seen anybody in Australia racing one, but it’s an option none the less.  I have seen a Kit and RTR version in different places which is unusual for a competition 4wd buggy.  It comes with two different bodies as well, one for salle pack configuration and a different one for shorty battery packs. Alloy chassis and shaft driven it’s layout is fairly conventional with maybe the exception of the 14mm wheel hexes.
http://www.sworkz.com/s104_EK1.html

Team Durango

Now onto it’s fourth version, the DEX410 V4 is an affordable car that is well engineered and proven itself on a range of race tracks around the world.  Stronger gear differentials and a narrow alloy chassis are features of the Buggy. The saddle pack battery configuration is a little different with the rear driveshaft running over the top of the batteries, and removed in order to change them.  The car comes with an almost bewildering range of adjustments, which means it can be made to work well on any circuit.
http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex410v4/

Yokomo

Yokomo also has a player in the 4wd game with their B-Max 4 III.  I’m afraid to say I know little about this platform, although I have seen a few people racing them.  Shaft driven, Gear differentials, Saddle Pack battery configuration and an alloy chassis all look top notch quality, and up to date in terms of their design.  It is just a manufacturer that we don’t hear a lot about.
http://www.teamyokomo.eu/yokomo-europe/eshop/1-1-Yokomo-Chassis/0/5/1649-Yokomo-B-MAX4-III

Tamiya

A big name in RC Cars, but one that you don’t often see on the tracks with their TRF503 4wd Buggy.  Perhaps it is the price, nearly double some of its competitors, or maybe it is the …… no, really it;s the price that puts it out of reach for the average racer and for that much more over some fantastic other buggies in this sector that cost less, it’s hard to justify.
http://www.tamiyausa.com/items/radio-control-kits-30/off-road-buggies-36450/rc-trf503-chassis-kit-42275

Taking our own advice

I have a terrible affliction when it comes to RC Cars.  Not only am I a dreamer, but I am always wanting more RC Cars, and I have a VERY tight RC budget.

I had been toying with the idea of another RC car for racing, as when it comes to big 2 day events like the Launceston Cup event that my club holds, one car just isn’t enough racing as my RC “garage” currently contains one raicng vehicle, a HPI Blitz ESE as well as a XV-01 Rally Car.  My racing skills are about average, so a buggy to run in 4wd Mod was probably not ideal, and much as I love stadium trucks, the numbers seem to wax and wane.

So 2wd Stock looked like a good idea.  I didn’t like the TLR 22 because it couldn’t easily take a normal battery in mid mount configuration, i’ve never been an Team Associated Fan, Schumacher only had ball diffs (ball diffs and I don’t get along),  I didn’t mind the Durango DEX210 and HPI/HB haven’t had a production 2wd buggy for some time.

The DEX210 ready for delivery to me
The DEX210 ready for delivery to me

Then along came the release of the Schumacher Cougar KR, and I like that a lot, but as I race indoors on carpet, a mid mounted car would be more suited to where I race.  And then came the Schumacher Cougar KF, and I was in love!  A truly mid mounted, belt driven design on a carbon fibre chassis with a sexy body.  And if anybody knows indoor racing, it is British brand Schumacher.  I spoke with Scott at Action RC and got prices, and set a target to save enough money to buy one as all that sexy doesn’t come cheap.  After some months of slowly saving I was getting closer to the kit, but it would take some time to save for ESC, motor, tyres, receiver and a servo. One day sitting at work I had an epiphany, the KF would be great, but in the time it would take me to save for it I could have been enjoying a less expensive buggy for some time.  So I went back to Team Durango and their latest version, the DEX210 V2, and I liked what I saw.  An optional gear differential and I would be away. So a more modest target was set for a new DEX210 V2, or an original DEX210 if I could find a good 2nd hand one locally.

While I was thinking about that, I sent another racer at my club, Leo Lorenzen of the Durango Fansite fame, an email to keep an eye out for any good 2nd hand kits.  The response was that Leo had one for sale himself, and after some discussion what can only be described as a fantastic deal was struck.  A DEX210 with Tekin ESC and motor, Savox Servo, Spektrum Rx, a couple of sets of tyres and rims, an unpainted Pulse RC body and a few upgrades and spares for somewhat less than the cost of a Cougar KF kit alone. I was ecstatic as I had only $30 left to scrimp and scrounge to meet my target, and a few weeks until I saw Leo next to collect the purchase.

The next race meet came, payment was made and a very happy Richard was in possession of his first Buggy.  Leo had even included a couple of batteries that I was not expecting, but was very thankful for. In the coming week I had time to look at it more closely, and it really was a peach in excellent condition.  First thing to to was charge a battery and give it a try.  No dice, some research revealed that my Spektrum DX2.0 was not compatible with the SR3100, so a quick swap was done with another Racer/Drifter/Crawler Shaun and I had a SR300 installed and it was alive, I could run some laps of my garage! Next job, cut out and paint the body.  On this time defeated me before the next race meet and I didn’t have a body to race with.  However a quick message to Leo and I was able to borrow one of his spare bodies for the meet so I could run the DEX210 instead of my usual Blitz ESE.  And what a difference it was to drive, responsive, nimble, quick and full of grip.  It was exhilarating to drive and responded well to being pushed.  Obviously the setup Leo had done on the car for me suited the track, and my driving style, but whatever the case it left me with a grin from ear to ear by the end of the night. The icing on the cake was and winning the B final after only 2 qualifiers and 2 finals of driving a buggy at all!

Ready to Race last Friday night with a borrowed body, and the Pulse RC body in the foreground ready to be cut and painted soon.
Ready to Race last Friday night with a borrowed body, and the Pulse RC body in the foreground ready to be cut and painted soon.

The moral of the story, you don’t need to have the latest and greatest kit to be competitive, and certainly not to enjoy it on the track.  One in the had is always better than two in the bush (or the newest version in the shop window). So it seems that taking our advice on Aussie RC not to discount 2nd hand kits paid off for me in a big way.  A bit thanks to all those involved along the way, and those that offered advice and setup help along the way, Scott, Leo, Shaun, Sam and those I have forgotten to mention. I will update you all with the progress of the body and the rest of my fleet as changes occur.

Team Durango Releases from Nürnberg

It looks like the Team Durango stand at the Toy Fair has some interesting goodies, first and foremost is probably the DETC410 Touring Car.  The Lit page is now online at the durango website http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/detc410/

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Also of interst, the new Team Durango entry into the competitive 2wd buggy market, the DEX210v2.  Whilst spy shots have appeared here and there, photos of the real deal are now online.

Source: Area52.cc http://www.area52.cc/news/4593-toyfair-2014–team-durango.html

Jarred King takes double at Sydney JConcepts Clash

New Team Durango Australia signing Jarred King has returned from the Sydney JConcepts Clash with a double first place finish, and an overall TQ in 4WD for his brand new DEX410v4.

jarreddouble2013

Jarred was extremely happy to take the double winners crown at his first major race meeting since joining our team driver roster last month. The 100 strong field of racers battled hard on a dry and dusty off-road track near Castle Hill in Eastern Australia, as the regions fastest drivers raced for supremacy.jarreddex410v4

Jarred piloted his DEX210 Buggy to a convincing victory in 2WD, despite losing a tyre during the ‘A’ main finals after clipping a track pipe in the final laps of his victorious performance.

Jarred then went on to prove the awesome performance of his new DEX410v4 Buggy, by setting a TQ pace in 4WD on the loose dirt track. Jarred flew home to take first spot and reported that the DEX410v4 was perfectly balanced, with its new Two-Way Slipper Clutch system bringing added handling capabilities on the dusty surface.

Jarred is keen to highlight that the DEX410v4 is very easy to drive fast straight from the kit box, with consistent lap times being made easier by such refinements as the new UJ Centre Drive Shafts.

We send our congratulations to Jarred for a great result, and we welcome him to the team for the 2014 racing season.

Explore how the upcoming DEX410v4 can put you on the podium now: http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex410v4/

Learn about the range of option parts that you can access to make your DEX410v4 a unique racing machine:  http://www.team-durango.com/parts.php?p=1&pp=200&so=&partNo=TD102030&type=OPT&mcat=&scat=&show=

Stay close to Jarred King and all the Team Durango team drivers by hitting the ‘Like’ button here: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTeamDurango

Source: Team Durango http://www.team-durango.com/blog/2013/12/12/jarred-king-team-durango-australia-double/

Team Durango DEX410V4 details released

Team Durango has released details of it’s freshly updated DEX410V4 off road buggy.  The changes are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but the changes reflect what appears to be a solid increase in strength and ease of maintenance.

  • Front & rear gear diffs
  • Harder diff cases
  • Ultra-Slim aluminum chassis
  • Premium carbon fiber parts
  • Universal joint center drive shafts
  • Two way slipper clutch
  • Revised a-arms
  • Low friction shock o-rings & updated pistons
  • New Dimec X spec ball cups
  • Cab forward body
  • Larger body clips & captured hinge pins

for mroe details check out the kit page on the Team Durango website http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/dex410v4/