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Old 12-08-2005, 12:43 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by ddesros2
syndr0me, props to strating a really good topic!!

2. Always run a practice with a race ready car!! Pretend like your going to run your main. Stage your car, start the same way, drive like you want it. Along with this, have the lap counting system on. You will most likely know what the fast lap times are and work towards that.


That's a biggie. I see people frequently using "practice tires" and "practice packs", and whatever other sub-par stuff.

If it won't be on the car for the main, why the hell would you put it on for practice?!
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:00 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by syndr0me
So, when I practice, I want to practice smart. Even though I race foams on carpet, would it be more advantageous to practice with something that's lower traction so I get a better feel for the car, and how to get it around corners quickly without relying on the foam tire crutch, or other bad habits?
I don't think this is practicing smart. You'll just knock yourself out of the driving groove for the meeting. Better to keep practicing with a race-ready car as people said.

If you want to improve your general driving skills, try a couple of different classes. Maybe 12th scale or off-road. That way, you will learn a different kind of control and be able to broaden your driving skills, which can only be good for your driving.

One of the biggest improvements I made to my driving was running 2wd buggies as well as 4wd. The 4wd throttle control was too harsh for 2wd, but the 2wd throttle control worked out as fast or faster in 4wd!
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by loopedeloop
I belong to the school of " buy the best", that way it is only me to blame if it performs badly.

Trouble is I (re)started our club, and was the most experienced driver there though relatively new to racing .

My question is: how do I learn the best way to do things without a mentor.

I win regularly at home but when I go out of town get my butt kicked

I dont feel I am improving as I have no real competition locally.

How does someone such as myself grow in the hobby.

Sorry, I have no answers only more questions

Don't worry about competition around half a dozen of us boys from Albany and AMAC are going to organise a trip up your way one sunday early next year, prob not till after the international though


I must say the best thing I ever did for my driving skill is buy a 12th scale, they are the most difficult onroad car to drive, especially fast, and after almost a whole season just running 12th I got back into my TC3 and it was a cakewalk
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:48 AM   #19
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If u normally race in stock, practice with a mod...
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:35 AM   #20
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to me driving is mostly about timing. i disagree that switching from a high traction class to a low one will improve you're driving. i used to run dirt and carpet the same week and i always noticed my timing was a bit off when i got back on the carpet track. it took two or three packs to get back where i was the week before.now i just run one class and my track times have improved significantly.
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by syndr0me
Clearly, setup is important, but I find it hard to believe that I could take advantage of a great setup without refining my skills quite a bit driving first. It seems like, in the competitive aspect of R/C, and by that I mean the kind on the track and not the bench, this topic is greatly overlooked.

I think driving ability is a little more important that setup. I think a good driver can make an i'll handling car go fast, but a more inexeperienced driver cannot take full advantage of a good setup. This being said, I think the setup needs to improve with the driver. An inexperienced driver can "fight" an ill handling car not realizing it is an ill handling car.

Something I do is ask one of the fast guys to watch. Then I'll ask them about how the car 'looks'. Is it leaning too much, not enough etc. I'll also ask them about my line. I may be taking the wrong line because of setup and a small setup change may make it eaisier to hit the optimum line. I'll also ask the fast guys to drive my car and give me recommendations of things to improve.

Great topic.
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Old 12-08-2005, 06:48 AM   #22
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Start running the track slow.Keep tight on the corners,defining the line.Slowly,by that I mean not at full on race speed.Give your mind time to absorb the information.Slowly step up the speed to a slightly faster pace.Next,work the throttle in "exaggerated" motions for acceleration and braking.This connects the finger and the brain.Being sure to hit the throttle on/off,brake points as exact as you can.This should also be done at less than full race speed.Slowly build up speed.The biggest part of going fast is learning the track.Your on/off points etc.The idea is to give the brain time to absorb and process the information.If your immediately running at race speed...too many inputs to be propely processed mentally.None of them will settle and become comfortable.Try this over the course of 2 packs.The idea is to slowly integrate the information so it's more clear.Works for me.Thanks,Mario.
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Old 12-08-2005, 10:04 AM   #23
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This is a great topic, as it seems to be one of my biggest issues since I have returned to regular road racing. I have a different perspective on this, too, coming from real racing most recently, and having spent a lot of time in the last 20-odd years racing various types of R/C cars, then being away from it for a while.

While racing real SCCA open wheel formula cars over the last few years, we learned that with a properly setup (read: baseline) car, the largest progression in the whole process comes in sheer track time. Nothing special, no testing of setups or fancy changes to get "faster."

The biggest jump in lap times and race performance gains came with just plain old laps, getting comfortable with the car at speed. Here's the biggest thing we learned in practice: without comfort, there is absolutely no way to be consistent. Consistency is the key to being fast. The more laps you turn, the more comfortable you are with the car, be it a 150-mph formula car or a 6-cell radio-controlled touring car, the faster you are going to be on a regular basis.

Right now, this is my biggest issue on a carpet track. I have no consistency, or at least, definitely not enough to be fast with regularity. With high-end equipment and very detail-oriented setup and preparation, I put myself in a position to be fast right off the bat, but can't get any consistency on the track when it counts.

I need practice. I need a Saturday test & tune day to get in like 300-laps of just driving the car, and learning how to take lines and corners again. I need the opportunity to drive the car and build up that muscle memory on the track.

A few weeks ago I drove home from a race depressed that I apparently have none of the skills I possessed 15 years ago when I was racing a lot, and at a higher level. I've been back at it since August and the skills are not returning. I'm having a tough time judging distances, my depth perception is off, and my peripheral vision is much narrower than I remember. I was frustrated that I have to face the fact that I'm just a mid-packer now, and I should just go out and have fun.

Then I realized that 15 years ago, I was single, had a LOT of disposable income, plenty of free time on my hands, and I raced just about every weekend, if not more. It's all about the track time. The more track time you have, the more you know the car, and know how things you do to it will effect the handling.

I know that I need a full day of practice (at least), with nothing but track time. I'm a firm believer that just large amounts of raw laps will improve most drivers drastically. When you can get 98% out of yourself behind the wheel, then you can dial in that last 2% out of the car, and see what it takes to be REALLY fast.



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Old 12-08-2005, 10:22 AM   #24
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Doug, you hit it on the head about consistency. That is the biggest key to going fast in racing. I know personally there have been many times where I haven't had the fastest lap(s) at a race meeting, but had some of the most consistent, and that fact kept me near the top.

And you're also right about track time. This being my first semester in college, 3 hrs away from home, only being able to race once every few weeks, I've noticed my driving has suffered a tad. After a practice pack or two I brush off the little bit of rust and am able to drive well. Sadly enough, I got more track time racing at the Indoor Champs this year than I have in any two consecutive race weekends this semester. Track time is key and it does make you faster. In a little over a week, I'll be home for a whole month in which I'll be racing at least twice a week ...getting ready for the Novak Race

On the topic of a pure driving standpoint, there is a huge truth to what Barry had to say about driving lines and smooth inputs that are FORCED when you have low traction. Foam tire racing especially gives you that crutch that allows you to not drive so smooth and get away with it. Don't get me wrong, I love foam tire racing and it's what I do 95% of the year, but I do tend to like to race some rubber tire during the summer months to have some fun.
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Old 12-08-2005, 11:56 AM   #25
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I think driving ability is a little more important that setup. I think a good driver can make an i'll handling car go fast, but a more inexeperienced driver cannot take full advantage of a good setup. This being said, I think the setup needs to improve with the driver. An inexperienced driver can "fight" an ill handling car not realizing it is an ill handling car.
This is a tricky one. We have a guy at our track who used to be a mobile chicane that you never knew which way it went. Every time you would come up to lap him it was a lottery whether you would get past untouched. After he got a new car and some of the better guys helped him out, to get the car to handle, he was much better. He didn't have the experience or knowledge to set the car up to suit himself and it was a handfull for him.
Now, he still gets lapped, but not as much, and you hardly notice he's on the track because he can control the car enough to get out of the way.
I will quite often drive around a small setup problem because I can, where as a less experienced driver would benefit more from a car that is set up very well. Then it is only learning to drive better lines and throttle control they have to worry about, not whether the car will spin out or not.
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Old 12-08-2005, 02:26 PM   #26
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Recently I've had the priveledge of racing with a "fast guy" and he has made me realize 2 important things about getting "fast", both of which have been mentioned.

1. Driving Line - this not only includes the fast line around the track, but also lift points and throttle control. Overdriving the car is my biggest mistake.

2. Consistency - once the car setup is close, he told me not to change a thing (setup) until I could run a weekend without hitting wood. Run pack after pack until I can duplicate the fast line (#1) for 5 minutes.

I'll probably never change my setup again.
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:12 PM   #27
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I've been racing for about 12 years and feel that once you get to a certain level of racing, it all comes down to consistency. Qualifying times and even finishing main event times are usually only separated by a few tenths of a second for the top drivers at my track. This means that you need to have a near perfect run with lap times only varying about .3 seconds/lap with most of the laps on the faster side of that variance. For example, the fast lap times at our track are low 7's and high 6's, so you would need to have a run with lap times only varying from say 7.0-7.3 (with most being around 7.0 or 7.1).

If, during a race, you can get yourself into a state of mind where you can become consistent and in control while still being fast, you've mastered rc racing. I've found it very hard to learn this skill as I usually find myself getting distracted when I'm getting into a groove. I think this happens because my brain starts to get bored because it's just doing the same thing over and over, driving the same line, around the same track, for the entire race. It will manifest thoughts and pop them into my head, usually about my line, the other competitors, etc. I find that if you can rid your mind of thoughts and just concentrate on driving and going fast, you will become consistent.

When I practice, I try and get my car as fast as possible while still being consistent. I'm constantly checking my lap times or even having someone call them off to me during my practice run, this way I can try different lines and different driving styles to see whats faster all on one run. I'll make changes to my radio, my setup, body, etc. all during a run to make my car faster. I think practice is all about pushing yourself to improve your times. My strategy is to find out what the track record is for an individual lap and try and beat that by at least a few tenths. Always set your sights extremely high and never be satisfied, always wanting more, or else you will always be a B-main driver and never TQ.
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Old 12-08-2005, 04:39 PM   #28
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You need to break down the activity of driving an RC car into its fundamental skills and practice and perfect each skill independently. Last summer I went to a motocross training camp and we did NOT bang out lap after lap after lap. Heck we didn't even ride the track till the end of the day. There was a progression of skills that needed to be practiced and perfected. Before the camp there was a 45' jump out of a corner that I could not clear. But during the day we worked on accelerating properly, braking properly, cornering, and jumping. All practiced independantly off the track. At the end of the day we got to ride the track and boom, I easily cleared the jump I was having trouble with.

So back to RC. Although I've been driving RC cars for 7 years I still hit the driveway or the basement with a set of cones and practice accelerating, braking, cornering, and even jumping(skateboard ramps are great for jumping touring cars). So figure out what you're have trouble with and practice that till it becomes natural. There's no time to be thinking about how to turn or brake on the track, these things need to be automatic. Once you have all the skills perfected then your consistency will get better along with your speed.
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Old 12-08-2005, 04:49 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by slow
You need to break down the activity of driving an RC car into its fundamental skills and practice and perfect each skill independently. Last summer I went to a motocross training camp and we did NOT bang out lap after lap after lap. Heck we didn't even ride the track till the end of the day. There was a progression of skills that needed to be practiced and perfected. Before the camp there was a 45' jump out of a corner that I could not clear. But during the day we worked on accelerating properly, braking properly, cornering, and jumping. All practiced independantly off the track. At the end of the day we got to ride the track and boom, I easily cleared the jump I was having trouble with.

So back to RC. Although I've been driving RC cars for 7 years I still hit the driveway or the basement with a set of cones and practice accelerating, braking, cornering, and even jumping(skateboard ramps are great for jumping touring cars). So figure out what you're have trouble with and practice that till it becomes natural. There's no time to be thinking about how to turn or brake on the track, these things need to be automatic. Once you have all the skills perfected then your consistency will get better along with your speed.
jumping a touring car?
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Old 12-08-2005, 04:58 PM   #30
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jumping a touring car?
What else is there to do with last month's outdated and obsolete TC. Beside my son finds it more interesting to jump a sedan than his TMaxx.
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