Let’s talk about Qualifying Racing!

I am always interested in discussing how we can run race meets differently.  I’ve take part in a few different ways of racing and qualifying over the years from Rocket Round qualifying to 10 minute EP Off Road finals (I really enjoyed this).   However for the most part there hasn’t been much change in 1:10 off road racing formats for some significant time.  This morning I saw an interesting perspective from Nick Daman from RC Racing TV about Qualifying Racing, and asked if I could reproduce that article here.  The article itself stemmed from the recent Inside EFRA L!VE where Nick Daman talked about his ideas for making qualifying more exciting, namely by turning it into racing! As it piqued my interest, I thought it may appeal to others, so I contacted Nick and asked his permission to reproduce the article here.  So over to Nick!


A Qualified success?

You’ve been away for 8 days – spent 6 long intensive days at the track, burnt through tyres and motors – you’re didn’t make the “A” final but you did well, you sit down on your sofa and then you realise you have actually only done 10 or so minutes of RACING in those 8 days…..🤷‍♂️

Sounds far fetched but if you compete in the EFRA 1/10th Electric Off Road Euros (both classes) and don’t make the “A” final this is a fact.

It’s not much better for I/C fans – If you don’t bump up you’re total of racing minutes for a week at the track is just 15-20.

And we are RC Racers who compete in RC Racing , Aren’t we?

Well no, at the moment we are RC Qualifiers, turning laps in splendid isolation dreaming of that clear run where we see no other car.

It’s dull, uninspiring  – awful to watch, impossible to explain to non RC’ers so why do we do it?

Any of you under the age of 50 will probably think it has always been thus, but those of us old enough to remember the time before AMB lap counters remember that every heat was a race, and every heat counted because of that.

This all changed in the mid 80’s and since then we’ve been trundling around trying to beat the clock whilst not involving ourselves in the other cars.

The only exception to this are the “Reedy Races” where everyone races everyone (sort of) and RCGP where the qualifiers are all races (though there is only one heat). Both of them produce much more interesting and exciting events than a qualifier, the drivers get more enjoyment from actually competing and they are exciting and make sense to those watching on.

Given that moving forward, we in the RC community need to work on recruiting as many new fans and racers as possible, shouldn’t we make events more fun and entertaining?

The easiest way is just to turn qualifying heats into qualifying races. It needs virtually no change to the current race event program won’t make the days longer or events not run to time and can be implemented with 2 strokes of the timing PC’s keyboard.

How will it work ?

At the moment we (at an EFRA Euro) have Controlled Practice and Timed practice where we then sort the heats – this will remain the same.

However once the heats start rather than being called off 1 by 1 or just randomly starting when you cross the start /finish line; there will be grid starts everytime -Heat 1 will be in qualifying order – subsequent heats in the finishing order of the previous round of that heat  (car numbers do not change and grid positions will be read out on the PA prior to each heat

Then you RACE either X minutes plus 1 lap (as now) or just a set number of laps (Which would be better – the lap number is chosen after practice to beat mimic the amount of time the heats have traditionally been.)

At the end of the race you have your result which will be in the usual format say 10 laps in 5 minutes 5 seconds – Your finishing time is compared against all the finishing times in all the heats (so you can still top the Q charts in any heat) and the same dropped scores apply.

Effectively this is the same except every time you hit the track you’re racing.

Every heat becomes a race making it way more interesting for spectators at the event or watching on remotely.

And at the end of the event you’ve done 5 times more actual racing.

So what is the argument for the status quo? It is theoretically the fairest possible way to set a qualifying time, it reduces the variables as much as possible and with a good referee helps the Faster clear the slower with minimal loss of time for either.

It will almost certainly result in less people feeling “hard done by” as on the whole 99% of the time if you mess up a qualifying run it is your fault – but in a race situation that isn’t always the case.


So what do you think – carry on as we are or do a bit more actual racing?

– Nick Daman, RC Racing TV


Original Article: https://www.efra.ws/lets-talk-about-qualifying-racing/?fbclid=IwAR3GGkr-dG8A-ZTESeKPJb9G6hMUATp8XZQzM-VkD8rqm1cmHO5e1rAFxzQ

Reproduced with permission from Nick Daman

New from Schumacher: Cougar LD2 and LD2 Stock Spec

Introducing the new Schumacher Cougar LD2 and LD2 ‘Stock Spec’ competition 2WD buggies. Yes Schumacher have released a new version of their popular Cougar platform.  This version seems to be more evolution than revolution, not that there is anything wrong with that.

The Cougar LD2 is the ultimate buggy for 2WD Off Road racing. It is fast, light, and now features an even lower centre of gravity for improved cornering speed.

New – Front end, enables zero and minus five wheelbase lengths, without the need of an additional chassis.|
New – 2.5mm aluminium chassis, (Mod) with sensor lead wiring channels.
New – 90° phased lightweight steel CVD driveshafts.
New – Easy access battery fitting system with multiple fitting options.
New – Low drop wing mount.
New – Class leading front suspension geometry with durable components and a range of optional alloy parts, offering more adjustments to set up your LD2 for all track conditions.

Is Extreme E the big RC of the car racing world?

I’ll start with the caveat that Extreme E is probably unknown to many, and in honesty I picked up on it for 2 reasons.  1) I am a rally Fan, and 2) I saw Australian rally driver Molly Taylor taking part (and winning) in the series. First, the video from the latest round (and yes, not rc, but electric off road racing)

It’s hard to deny the similarity in noise to the electric rc cars many of us drive, and i am unabashedly a rally fan, so I need one of these, maybe in 1/8 scale please …. any manufacturers….anybody?  I love the driver change aspect of the race as well, but that’s generally not an rc thing, with the exception of the odd endurance race where a team of drivers share a car.  But not tin sanctioned racing.  Still it is a compelling look at electric off road racing, and where things could progress to for RC racing in many ways.

Outsiders RC

After spending too much time on facebook one evening, the name Outsiders RC popped up in a topic somewhere.  The name didn’t ring a bell, but the post about Australian made bodies piqued my interest.  So I go in contact with them to ask them a few questions.
ARCN: What made you decide to start Outsiders RC?
OutsidersRC: When my boys started racing RC buggies they were 5 & 8 years old, they were breaking a lot of wings as beginners do. I would go to hobby shops to buy wings and many times they had none in stock. So I would put an order in and suppliers would have no stock. So I started making my own. I saw a hole in the market where there is a great demand and very little supply. Unfortunately in Australia we are very limited in what comes in that is affordable for the low budget/ family racer. Hopefully I can help to reduce there costs in racing
ARCN: Making moulds for wings and bodies can’t be easy, how do you go about starting that process?
OutsidersRC: Making bodies and wings is a long process. This is secret information, if I told you I would have to kill you 😂
ARCN: What plans do you have for moving forward? Any new products or lines that you are contemplating? and when are you doing bodies and wings for the XB2 2017 so I can buy one to test?
OutsidersRC: Currently we have many projects on the go that are in testing. These include new designed aero bodies and wings for AE, TLR & X-ray. Outsiders RC will have many other products available in the future for the budget minded racer. The mould for Xray bodies are currently in development a long with rear wings. If all goes to plan they should be available by the end of July if not sooner.
ARCN: With the rise of rock crawling as a popular area of rc, any plans to make Crawler bodies?
OutsidersRC: Yes crawler bodies and touring car bodies will follow down the line plus other accessories like crawler inner guards and possibly down the track will look at interiors. But that is down the track.
ARCN: Where can we find you and your products?
OutsidersRC: Currently Outsiders Rc can be contacted via Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Outsiders-RC-105762751670087/), emailed on outsidersrc@tpg.com.au, items can be purchased from EBay – outsiders Rc and soon from our website which is under construction- Outsidersrc.com.au. And hopefully in the future through a hobby shop near you.

Australian R/C Events

We have tried in the past to keep up with what events are happening around the country, but , well I’m not good at keeping up with them all in honesty.

However thanks to and amazing list for Victorian Drivers put together by Ray Munday I have put a few major meetings into our Events page now. The list itself is reproduced below.

So if you have a major event coming up, but it Drag Racing, 1/8, rock crawling or Touring Car, let us know on the form below.

Traxxas goes drag racing with the Drag Slash

Traxxas have joined the dragster race with the new Drag Slash.  Yes I know Traxxas has had dragsters for a while in the form of their Funny Car, but the Noprep dragsters becoming popular are all SCT based beasts, and some of the rule sets for noprep racing in Australia categorise all these SCT based vehicles together, and I don’ think that’s a bad thing at all.

Now lets face it, these cars look amazing, and this is no exception.  With the recent focus on scale looks in RC circles, this body looks awesome. I mean the Chevy C10 has always been a personal favorite, but this looks well detailed, and available in a fabulous set of colours.  The vehicle itself has some interesting features too.  The TSM (Traxxas Stability Management) has a drag mode now, there is a stronger transmission to take more power, there is even a transmission brake now so you tan hold the brake and let rip when the lights turn green.

This car definitely raises the bar for street dragsters another notch, and is absolutely worth adding to your list if you are in the market for one.

Source: https://traxxas.com/products/landing/drag-slash/

Element RC Enduro Ecto trail truck RTR

Element RC is hitting the trails once again with a new car, this time their Ecto Trail Truck.  Now don’t go thinking that there is a Ghostbusters crossover here, there is no ECTO-1 Body on this truck. Rather a vintage Dodge Power Wagon style truck body  on top of their Enduro platform.

There is a few suspension changes as well as the ability to change the rear axle drive ratio with their Stealth(R) X gearbox.  So really it is aimed at a buyer who wants better performance from heir truck.  All in all it looks great and is an excellent addition to the lineup at Element RC.

Source: https://www.associatedelectrics.com/element/cars_and_trucks/Enduro/Ecto_Trail_Truck/

Open Source RC Cars

Recently I had the pleasure of having access to a Prusa 3d printer at work, which led to  a lot of interesting discussions about just what you can do with it.   From cookie cutters to vases and figurines, what you can do is in many ways limited only by your imagination, as long as you have a bit of  technical knowledge about the printing as well.  I can assure you it isn’t as straightforward as it looks!!!

So naturally applications in R/C formed the basis of some of my searches, and what a lot of things there are, from scale accessories, to witches hats, trailers and more.  But then  I wondered how far you could go  when  I saw some 3d printed r/c rims and tyres (not in  actual  rubber, but a substance with similar properties).  A little bit of searching found Daniel Norée’s Open RC project.  Yes an entire Truggy that you can print from your very own home. Now this isn’t just a few bits to  add other rc bits into, all the parts are printable, even printable versions of shocks are available for  some cars.  There is also a touring car and F1 car that can be found in a variety of places,  but i’ll list the thingiverse links below.  Now not every 3dmodel is available, although  the community sharing files is quite astounding.  Some models you pay a small fee for, but the results are truly worth it.  While looking for a Land Rover body to print for my Trailfinder 2 I stumbled upon a small model available for free from Prusa  themselves (Manufacturers of the 3d printer that started me down this rabbit hole).  Now whilst it  was too small, and the wrong model for what I was after, the article was about the team at 3d Sets.com who, for a small fee, have  quite a variety of rock crawler kits available for you to  print, Chassis, wheels, bodies, the works!! Not only that, but the quality and detail were astounding!

So I have to say, that my mind is blown somewhat by some of these amazing, home grown projects out there.  It also reminds me of another article I have not printed about this as well, oops. These are also some amazing rock crawler bodies, and ground up models out there as  well.  There is a trailer that I want to try my hand at personally.

Now as I mentioned, don’t presume that these are quick and easy, from failed prints,  different filaments, different print settings and modeling mistakes to out of whack tolerances and sheer number of hours of printing needed, these are a labor  of love no doubt, but they are a fascinating addition to our hobby.


Open RC Project: https://danielnoree.com/

Open RC Project Links

3D Sets.com: https://www.3dsets.com/

Team Associated SR10 Dirt Oval

It seems that following on from their recent DR10 Drag / Street car (based on the SC10), Team Associated have looked at the platform and said, what else we can do …… Dirt oval is gaining some popularity, lets do that!!!

And so the SR10 Dirt Oval car is born. Yes, it’s still a tarted up SC10, but is that such a bad thing?

The body looks great, and under the hood they have kept it simple with minimal changes (which also means parts commonality) I have to admit this would be fun as a rally car with a different body too, might have to try and get one…

Source: https://www.associatedelectrics.com/teamassociated/cars_and_trucks/SR10/RTR/?fbclid=IwAR1HUkZfzJ9A9mLda2cZSnD_XYjyZrPKvZMfIl9Zxkq6jWeKZY7hJ3gIzxY

New Traxxas Hoss 4×4 VXL

Traxxas have just released details on another fast4x4 monster truck called the Hoss.  Yes, it looks like  the new Maxx truck. It purportedly has a bulletproof drivetrain (like the Maxx) and is capable of 60mph + (like the Maxx) on a  3s battery (the  Maxx needs a 4s battery for this)

Unlike the Maxx this seems to be base3d on a beefed up slash 4×4 platform, but with a big 540XL brushless motor which appears notably longer  than a standard motor.  the “Big Block” motor if you like. Now while on the surface this model seems to  be cutting the grass on the Maxx, or even canablilising it’ sales, it is priced at a full $70 USD cheaper than the Maxx, so a more budget friendly (ish) variant.

I am digging the reinforced, and quick connect  body, but it’s not exactly a new innovation any more.  Stability control etc is becoming expected on these kinds of models now, but it is a welcome addition to the truck.  All in all I  suppose it’s aimed as a fun, fast, cheaper monster truck since the Maxx is a little more on the expensive side these days.

For more details visit Traxxas at the link below.

Source: https://traxxas.com/products/landing/hoss-4×4-vxl/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Hoss%20Launch%20-%20CSM&utm_content=Hoss%20Launch%20-%20CSM+CID_b545a090d4b741d0a397157ba14dcf26&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor%20E%20Blasts&utm_term=Share%20the%20Excitement%20First%20Delivery%20Models%20Shipping%20June%2023rd