Originally Posted by KDagh1
As for the 1987 video, I am amazed that it still exists. While they may not be as quick as today's cars, if you watch up close, you can actually see that they handled very well. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those guys could take that exact same equipment and win at a club race against modern equipment.
The video fools you into thinking that the cars handled. I was in that little caravan giving the race commentary, and the effect you see (of good-handling cars racing each other) is solely down to the skill of the drivers!!
The tyres were hard as nails, the shocks hadn't heard of silicone shock oils, and the suspension geometry was suited to chassis with quite flexible GRP parts, compared to the stiff moulded tubs we use today. On tyres alone, they would be several laps behind today's cars.
No one had heard of Hirosaka-san in 1987, and he was anonymous in the 2WD event. Come 4WD he was up there, and he caught everyone's attention by doing a practice run on foam tyres!! Between the heats and the mains, he first demonstrated his party tricks (drive with the Tx upside down, with his feet, and doing a lap with the car going backwards) and then proceeded to show us he could race, by winning the 4WD Title. One down, thirteen to go...!
I think he was the one thing that made everyone else raise their game - both drivers and manufacturers. No history of RC can be written without a Chapter on the World's winning-est driver.