Well guys, I just got back from the race and the results are in...I'm faster with shaft drive, and I have the hard data to prove it!
It was a long day for sure, but I'll give you the Cliff's Notes...
First off, I should tell you that I have about 6 months track time with a pair of TA05-R's in the 23T class and the GT Tune Class (25T).
As for the TB03, I've only raced twice in the GT Tune Class, and once in the 23T class, which happened today.
Here are the results...
23T Class Data:
TA05-R best lap ever = 19.060
TB03 best lap ever = 19.070
TA05-R average lap = 20.239
TB03 average lap = 19.790
This tells me that I'm much more consistient with the shaft drive, but I did have one good lap in the belt drive car. Again, I've been driving the belts for 6 months, and today was the first time I drove the shaft car in this class. Winner - shaft drive.
GT Tune Class Data:
TA05-R best lap ever = 23.080
TB03 best lap ever = 22.720
Again, I was faster with the shaft drive, but I don't have the average lap times on this one so I can't tell which I'm more consistient with but my guess would be the shaft drive. Winner - shaft drive.
Also things to note between the TA05-R and the TB03...
The TA05-R is a STRONG car. The only thing I've broken on it was a kingpin, and also the screws that hold the gear on the front one-way all but dissapeared when I was driving, leaving me with only 2 wheel drive. This was after racing the car as is for over 6 months.
The TB03 on the other hand likes to eat the teeth on the front one-way gear and on the small gear on the end of the driveshaft that it meshes with. I'm on my 3rd set in only 3 races (but the car has seen some serious abuse in those races). My LHS tells me it's because the gearboxes are made of soft plastic and aren't rigid enough. Good thing Tamiya is releasing carbon reinforced versions in the coming month or so. That may help cure the issue.
He also said the TB EVO 5 MS doesn't have that problem because the gearboxes are aluminum. Awesome! Since that's the case, and I'm faster with shaft drive based on the above numbers, I went ahead and had him hold the TB EVO 5 MS for me. I pick it up next week. The out-the-door price was $405. Not too shabby considering what it comes with. It even has a front one-way already in the kit. I don't have to buy ANY hop-ups except for the Titianium screw kit, which I had him order today.
Hell, the hop-upped TB03 I have cost me like $350, so considering what I'm getting, this is a steal!
I'm excited, cause this will be my first ever carbon chassis car!!!
So there you have it folks...in my case with identical conditions, components, tires, batteries, course layout, etc, I am in fact faster with the shaft driven TB03. I always thought I was faster with a shafty, and now I can prove it.
TB EVO 5 MS here I come!!!