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Old 05-18-2014, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default Need feedback on platform for Spec parking lot racing

I've been Running the Chicago Mini R/C club for 3 years and have had great success with the Mini-z platform. Very durable, cheap to maintain and run (4 tires, $10).

The thing is, nearly everyone who gives mini-z a chance will end up buying one and racing it. But there are folks no matter what, who are very stubborn, that will not give a car that small a chance. SO....


Formula used at the club right now. This has worked really well and these are factors I would like to KEEP.
  • Casual racing. Non-intentional contact is FINE. This includes contact due to poor driving of beginners. This means cars need to be durable.
  • LOTS of racing. We race, line up again, and race. Over and over and over. No mains, no qualifiers. Just line up and go. This means RUN time is important. We're spoiled with mini-z racing with 45 min runtimes.
  • Mixed skill levels race at the same time. Larger races we'll group by skill level but sometimes that bottom end can have a large variance of first timer vs beginner. Again, durable cars.
  • Allow folks who don't have big money to participate. The club purchases and maintains the cars. Provides batteries. You basically show up, pickup a controller, and race.
  • Allow folks who aren't interested in that CLASS to race. Sometimes you want to race but not frequent enough to buy into that class.

With those factors, I've been able to maintain $10 race fees and include a car for free if you need it. We do 4 minute runs and $10 with of tires will last 100 races. A $10 set of AAA rechargeable batteries will last me all year. In a field of 8 cars, running 4 minute races, for 3 hours. we'll break a $5 part once on average.

I've spoken to club members and clearly we all understand that for larger cars, a rental fee of sorts will be needed. I'd like to max that out at $10. So $10 to race, $10 to rent a car for the day.

So, I'm open to what people think is a good platform. I like VTA as the speeds are reasonable for a beginner but it's still fun for someone that has raced for a while.
Any feedback on running costs is most valuable. Cost of tires you use and how long they'll last.
I do NOT want classes of different cars. I might consider the following.

If I went with the Kyosho GT2 cars, a 4s lipo car, I could have beginners running 2s or 3s and then EARN there way to faster racing (or simply limit 4s to those who bring their own cars). I like these cars as they are plenty big and durable. But at $100 for a set of wheels and tires, what can I expect? Say 45 or 50 degree Sweep radials? How many 4 minute races can I expect?

I have concerns at 10th scale due to durability. However, this is a SPEC class. I'm not looking for the BEST platform, just the most durable. If that's Vaterra, great! Is it as good as an Associated platform? Don't care. We'll all be running the same car. Only class I have to exclude is Tamiya Mini. I fear folks would pass on that platform just as they do Mini-z for being too small.

Last edited by ChiMiniRC; 05-19-2014 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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ae tc4 club racer,plenty available and cheap to purchase,shaft drive is almost maintenance
free,shocks dont leak if built properly and an ideal vta car,and a tub chassis will protect electrics from accidental side damage
and if they are rentals why not put some sort of bumper all the way around the car,like a bumper/dodgem car
thats what i would call durable
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:09 AM   #3
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If you want cheap racing then why not go for TC4 racer kit, or SpecR, or Trinity? Remember the availability factor then go associated. As for tires I personally think Team Powers 35 Tires are the best. We get at least 18 runs on a set, and have been selected the spec tire in S.A for the 2014 season for all national classes.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:22 PM   #4
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Tamiya mini. Silvercan, or a spec brushless combo (orca spark).

Great universal parts support, simple enough to get beginners to wrench, enough advanced support to keep experienced drivers tuning and pushing the envelope. Fast enough to have fun races, but slow enough to be crowd pleasing and not break too often.
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:33 AM   #5
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The Tamiya TT01 is a hard wearing car, even in kit form.

The only bad side is that it's not ballraced - and the kit 540 motor may be too slow.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:28 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by (0000000000) View Post
Tamiya mini. Silvercan, or a spec brushless combo (orca spark).

Great universal parts support, simple enough to get beginners to wrench, enough advanced support to keep experienced drivers tuning and pushing the envelope. Fast enough to have fun races, but slow enough to be crowd pleasing and not break too often.
Tamiya Mini is out.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by benTC5 View Post
If you want cheap racing then why not go for TC4 racer kit, or SpecR, or Trinity? Remember the availability factor then go associated. As for tires I personally think Team Powers 35 Tires are the best. We get at least 18 runs on a set, and have been selected the spec tire in S.A for the 2014 season for all national classes.
18 runs. How long of runs are we talking?
And after 18 runs, are we talking about a lack of great traction or simply unusable? For the MIni-z racing, we don't replace the club car tires until the cars are hard to drive. They may be losing a second a lap but the car is still easy to drive.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by (0000000000) View Post
Tamiya mini. Silvercan, or a spec brushless combo (orca spark).

Great universal parts support, simple enough to get beginners to wrench, enough advanced support to keep experienced drivers tuning and pushing the envelope. Fast enough to have fun races, but slow enough to be crowd pleasing and not break too often.
^^^This is probably your best choice, given the format you're proposing. TT-01s equipped with bearings might be a good choice too (I've witnessed many TT-01s endure a 24 hour torture test, and live to tell about it).

Not sure why you're not considering the Mini (specifically the M05) - most tracks in my area with a "rent a ride" program rent M05s; they are easy to maintain and drive, and they are durable. Run $15 silvercan motors, and old brushed ESCs - it's a winning formula, provided you find a way to keep the Silvercan voodoo from entering the equation. While the cars are small, a long wheelbase Mini and a standard TC differ in wheelbase by only 19 mm - that's 3/4 of an inch.

Another neat feature about the Mini - more often than not the car marshalls itself in crashes, provided you're not stuck againast a board.
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:42 AM   #9
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First let me apologize for the lengthy post I tend to get wordy.

I've raced with you at Berkeley and once at Orland. I had to stop because of changing priorities but I did enjoy your racing format.

I had a whole reply asking you to reconsider the mini because I think it would work well but I will suggest something else. If you change your mind let me know. But it seems that others are voicing the same opinions on it. Plus another thing to consider is the size of the track as well. Minis will be able to race in smaller spaces.

For your racing program and format I feel the Tamiya TT01 would work well. There are many bodies available with a wide range of styles for all tastes. Muscle cars vs imports or modern vs vintage, the choices are out there. The body is what catches people's eyes and finding something they can relate too will help them stay.

They are also built like tanks so it would be good in the hands of beginners. Ball bearings are a cheap upgrade. They use the 5x11 size in most spots so buy them in bulk to save money. Other than that they don’t need much in upgrades. With the low speeds the plastic driveshaft would be ok. Just upgrade to the aluminum if they ever break. These aren't meant to be serious race machines so you don't need the adjustable toe and camber or even oil filled shocks. More adjustability just makes it harder when stuff breaks. Since both ends of the car are the same you could easily put foam bumpers front and back to protect against crashes. I make my own from the foam gardening kneeling pads and they only cost $3 and could get about 10 sets worth from one.

They carry decent speed with a silver can and the 20t pinion and for your step up class you could do the Speed Passion Brushless Combo set which is $50 right now for motor and ESC or the Hobbywing set. If you want slower speeds based on the size of the track, consider high turn crawler motors as well. They run around $10 each but don't know how long they would last but I would guess at least the full parking lot racing season.

Flysky GT2 transmitters are $20 and simple enough to use for beginners. They are about the same as the Kyosho transmitters in level of functionality. These won't need high speed or high torque servos so a Futaba 3003 would work and is only around $9. Definitely need a servo saver though to protect against smacking the boards.

I would say to go NiMH batteries because of the types of users you will get but Lipo will be cheaper now. A 5000mah battery should give you around 40 minutes of run time with a silver can.
The stock Tamiya tires would also work in most parking lots. I've bought tires and wheels from ebay for $10 for a full set and they've also held up decent. They are not as sticky as actual race tires but good enough for this.

I'm not going to deny there are other good options out there like the Sakura Zero or the TC4 Club. But I believe the Tamiya TT01s or TT02s would fit your format well and still be reasonable in price. I apologize for the length but hopefully I have given you some good ideas.

Last edited by x3inchesx; 05-19-2014 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Paragraph spacing
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Old 05-19-2014, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3inchesx View Post
First let me apologize for the lengthy post I tend to get wordy.

I've raced with you at Berkeley and once at Orland. I had to stop because of changing priorities but I did enjoy your racing format.

I had a whole reply asking you to reconsider the mini because I think it would work well but I will suggest something else. If you change your mind let me know. But it seems that others are voicing the same opinions on it. Plus another thing to consider is the size of the track as well. Minis will be able to race in smaller spaces.

For your racing program and format I feel the Tamiya TT01 would work well. There are many bodies available with a wide range of styles for all tastes. Muscle cars vs imports or modern vs vintage, the choices are out there. The body is what catches people's eyes and finding something they can relate too will help them stay.

They are also built like tanks so it would be good in the hands of beginners. Ball bearings are a cheap upgrade. They use the 5x11 size in most spots so buy them in bulk to save money. Other than that they donít need much in upgrades. With the low speeds the plastic driveshaft would be ok. Just upgrade to the aluminum if they ever break. These aren't meant to be serious race machines so you don't need the adjustable toe and camber or even oil filled shocks. More adjustability just makes it harder when stuff breaks. Since both ends of the car are the same you could easily put foam bumpers front and back to protect against crashes. I make my own from the foam gardening kneeling pads and they only cost $3 and could get about 10 sets worth from one.

They carry decent speed with a silver can and the 20t pinion and for your step up class you could do the Speed Passion Brushless Combo set which is $50 right now for motor and ESC or the Hobbywing set. If you want slower speeds based on the size of the track, consider high turn crawler motors as well. They run around $10 each but don't know how long they would last but I would guess at least the full parking lot racing season.

Flysky GT2 transmitters are $20 and simple enough to use for beginners. They are about the same as the Kyosho transmitters in level of functionality. These won't need high speed or high torque servos so a Futaba 3003 would work and is only around $9. Definitely need a servo saver though to protect against smacking the boards.

I would say to go NiMH batteries because of the types of users you will get but Lipo will be cheaper now. A 5000mah battery should give you around 40 minutes of run time with a silver can.
The stock Tamiya tires would also work in most parking lots. I've bought tires and wheels from ebay for $10 for a full set and they've also held up decent. They are not as sticky as actual race tires but good enough for this.

I'm not going to deny there are other good options out there like the Sakura Zero or the TC4 Club. But I believe the Tamiya TT01s or TT02s would fit your format well and still be reasonable in price. I apologize for the length but hopefully I have given you some good ideas.
You know where I'm going to thanks for the feedback. The large selection of bodies is worth considering. You have a valid point regarding getting something someone can relate to.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #11
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Check out the following link for a 24-hour r/c race using Tamiya TT-01's (http://www.redrc.net/2012/05/anderna...e-race-report/) This event has been running for many years and has been using the Tamiya TT-01s. This should speak for the durability of these cars.

Tamiya also has the TT-02, which is an update to the TT platform.
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3inchesx View Post
First let me apologize for the lengthy post I tend to get wordy.

I've raced with you at Berkeley and once at Orland. I had to stop because of changing priorities but I did enjoy your racing format.

I had a whole reply asking you to reconsider the mini because I think it would work well but I will suggest something else. If you change your mind let me know. But it seems that others are voicing the same opinions on it. Plus another thing to consider is the size of the track as well. Minis will be able to race in smaller spaces.

For your racing program and format I feel the Tamiya TT01 would work well. There are many bodies available with a wide range of styles for all tastes. Muscle cars vs imports or modern vs vintage, the choices are out there. The body is what catches people's eyes and finding something they can relate too will help them stay.

They are also built like tanks so it would be good in the hands of beginners. Ball bearings are a cheap upgrade. They use the 5x11 size in most spots so buy them in bulk to save money. Other than that they donít need much in upgrades. With the low speeds the plastic driveshaft would be ok. Just upgrade to the aluminum if they ever break. These aren't meant to be serious race machines so you don't need the adjustable toe and camber or even oil filled shocks. More adjustability just makes it harder when stuff breaks. Since both ends of the car are the same you could easily put foam bumpers front and back to protect against crashes. I make my own from the foam gardening kneeling pads and they only cost $3 and could get about 10 sets worth from one.

They carry decent speed with a silver can and the 20t pinion and for your step up class you could do the Speed Passion Brushless Combo set which is $50 right now for motor and ESC or the Hobbywing set. If you want slower speeds based on the size of the track, consider high turn crawler motors as well. They run around $10 each but don't know how long they would last but I would guess at least the full parking lot racing season.

Flysky GT2 transmitters are $20 and simple enough to use for beginners. They are about the same as the Kyosho transmitters in level of functionality. These won't need high speed or high torque servos so a Futaba 3003 would work and is only around $9. Definitely need a servo saver though to protect against smacking the boards.

I would say to go NiMH batteries because of the types of users you will get but Lipo will be cheaper now. A 5000mah battery should give you around 40 minutes of run time with a silver can.
The stock Tamiya tires would also work in most parking lots. I've bought tires and wheels from ebay for $10 for a full set and they've also held up decent. They are not as sticky as actual race tires but good enough for this.

I'm not going to deny there are other good options out there like the Sakura Zero or the TC4 Club. But I believe the Tamiya TT01s or TT02s would fit your format well and still be reasonable in price. I apologize for the length but hopefully I have given you some good ideas.

+1....and if the "Track/Club" can become a Tamiya dealer, I know that Tamiya has Blow Out sales on kits all the time.
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:19 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by IndyRC_Racer View Post
Check out the following link for a 24-hour r/c race using Tamiya TT-01's (http://www.redrc.net/2012/05/anderna...e-race-report/) This event has been running for many years and has been using the Tamiya TT-01s. This should speak for the durability of these cars.

Tamiya also has the TT-02, which is an update to the TT platform.
Ok, THAT is definitely a strong piece of evidence on what direction to head.
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:03 PM   #14
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I can vouch for the durability and utility of the TT01. Our club has used the same three TT01's in our free loaner fleet this past four seasons. They have gotten a TON of use and stood up to the abuse. The spare parts you'll likely need are front end stuff: knuckles and the little plastic parts. They're not fragile, but they will occasionally break when hammered repeatedly.

Stick with the silver can. Cheap, ubiquitous, slow, and functional.

Also, I'd argue for using regular grip touring tires. They handle better, and at the slow speeds they last an age. For asphalt, 36's on a durable rim will serve very well.
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by chasingthepack View Post
ae tc4 club racer,plenty available and cheap to purchase,shaft drive is almost maintenance
free,shocks dont leak if built properly and an ideal vta car,and a tub chassis will protect electrics from accidental side damage
and if they are rentals why not put some sort of bumper all the way around the car,like a bumper/dodgem car
thats what i would call durable

The only bad thing about TC4 are their weak CVD's. You will break them, it's not if it's when and when is usually in days. Figure another $20 per car for aluminum CVD's on the front wheels at least, $40 for all 4 wheels.

At a minimum you would want an RPM Nitro bumper to protect the front wheels as well. I just got my TC4 Friday and I've already sunk another $100 into it in the last several days just fixing things like that and getting it to a reliable state.
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