Just thought I'd chime in on my new TB03 and give you it's first race report.
I built the kit using all the same style Tamiya hop-ups you'd find in the TA05-R and TA05 IFS-R kits, such as low friction turnbuckles, aluminum suspension blocks, TRF Special Black Coated Dampers, etc. Basically all the goodies, and every option part Tamiya currently makes for it like the universals, modified driveshaft, one-way diff, sway bar kit, etc.
When it was all said and done, the ride height was absolutely rediculous. Way too high in the front. Based off my buddies reccomendation to use the optional short springs in front and the 1mm down spring retainers all around, I was able to completely dial in the height as needed.
So today was its first debut race. Here in Okinawa Japan, they had a special race this weekend. It was a Super Taiku 2 hour endurance race based on the normal "GT Tune" race rules, which is a plastic chassis kit, Tamiya GT Tune motor, stock gearing, Tamiya Racing Radial tires (no slicks)and in this case, any body you wanted (normally it would have to be a Tamiya scale body).
I had just finished building the kit the morning of the race so I didn't have time to paint the Garaiya body it came with. I used my Tamiya Lightweight prepainted NSX body as it fit perfect.
The 2 hour race called for a beginner driver to race the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes, with anyone on your team racing between. I could only conjure up two team mates for this short notice special race, both new to touring car r/c racing. I was the only non-beginner driver on my team of 3.
I got there super early so I could try my hand at the new car. Right away I noticed the top speed of this car. It was a rocket. The final drive is lower than the TA05-R using stock gearing (which was a concern) but it didnt matter. This car moves. I ended up ripping out a kingpin in the first two laps due to cold tires. It's a new car and I didnt have any spare parts, so I was going to use my TA05-R for the race.
I told the race coordinator what happened (who is also the owner of one of the best hobby shops on the island), and he basically said the knuckles on the TB03 are weak soft plastic and they rip out easily. The reason I never had a problem with the TA05-R is because they are made from the Carbon Reinforced plastic.
He says hang on and reaches in his box and pulls out a set of TFR 416 Carbon Reinforced knuckles, C-hubs, and a florentine coated kingpin set, all brand new in the Tamiya packaging. They are inter changable with the TB03. He gives them all to me and says I could pay him the next time I was at the shop! AWESOME!
I was back in business. I changed out the parts and never looked back. I finished scrubbing in the tires and was all set.
I qualified 2nd overall for the starting grid. I was excited because it was the very first time I've driven the car. I tuned the set up and ride height based from my previous expierences at this track, and it paid off in spades. From the get go, the car was dialed.
After the first 5 minutes with the beginner drivers, we were down 3 laps at the driver change. I took over and made up some ground on the leaders. The track layout was changed a few weeks back and this was the first time I drove on it. It fit my driving style perfectly. I quickly took the lead. Since all the other teams had multiple expert drivers to switch out, I was going to stay in the race the whole time except for the first and last 5 minutes since they had to be raced by beginner drivers. Well, my pace was so fast I was up a number of laps and held the lead for 35 minutes straight and decided to let my other team members have a go so I could rest. They did a great job.
Even though they lost some laps, we were still up by many. When I took over again they actually handicapped me. Instead of racing from the driver's stand, they had me stand on a box at street level so I'd loose some advantage (they did this to all the fast drivers because the stand was so crowded).
We had lost about half our advantage at the driver change, but I was able to quickly gain it back in the hopes of not loosing so much at the last 5 minutes with the beginner drivers.
Our strategy worked. At the end of the 2 hour race, we were up by either 6 or 11 laps (can't remember), and my team, "Tarmac Faction" took home 1st place!!!
It had to be the absolute best time Iv'e ever had with an R/C car.