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Old 08-30-2005, 04:12 PM
  #1951  
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Ok... Cal me a noob, but I've never raced RC. My first RC car was a Frog, a birthday gift way back when. I've had my hands on Sand Scorchers, Rough Riders, Tamtechs, CS series, F2 cars and so on, but have never even -attended- an RC race.

But after all this time, I'm having this recent desire to actually have a go at RC racing! I thought that the spec-like aspects of the TCS series would keep costs under control. But, reading through this thread, it seems that even at this supposedly amateur level there's quite a hefty outlay of cash required to compete. 300 bucks in tires, 300 bucks in batteries? sheesh... I know guys who run RotaxMax karts on a budget like that!!

So, my question... What would it take to be 'in the mix' at the local level (Fremont, CA, in my case)? What batteries are folks currently using? I have no aspirations of making it beyond that level, just want to go out an have a good time racing... Any FAQs floating around out there to look at? Any good tips on class choices (I'm thinking either Mini or using my current TT-01)?

Best,
dave.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:22 PM
  #1952  
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If you're looking for a fun, laid back way to race TCS, the Mini or Spec classes are perfect for you. They are more about competing than the end results, where many of the other classes have gotten to be about the end result. I know I had a ton of fun watching my son run the Mini and Spec classes; almost more than I have running GT1, GT2, or GT3.

As far as the expense, just remember there's a lot on the line if you win. Yeah, I spent that much on packs and tires, but like I said I generally use these packs until next June! I just buy my packs for they year at one crack. it also sucks that I spent that much on tires, but the ones I needed to run I couldn't get my hands on ahead of time to practice with. I was basically forced to buy that many sets because of limited availability of the other compound.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:31 PM
  #1953  
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Originally Posted by Aparatchik
So, my question... What would it take to be 'in the mix' at the local level (Fremont, CA, in my case)? What batteries are folks currently using? I have no aspirations of making it beyond that level, just want to go out an have a good time racing... Any FAQs floating around out there to look at? Any good tips on class choices (I'm thinking either Mini or using my current TT-01)?

Best,
dave.
Dave,
I don't know of any FAQs floating around since TCS is constantly changing. You don't need a huge budget for a fun regional race. Last year in Fremont, Juan won two classes with tires soo old that the belt was showing through. Nobody that I know of buys new batteries for a regional event. I never had new tires or batteries for a regional and I was more than competitive. The only reason you see the insane expense at the national level is the huge prize for winning.
I live in Fremont. I won't be racing regionals anymore, but I'll be at that race to hang out and help out. Most likely, I'll lend out all my chassis and have my friends duke it out. I'll be more than happy to get your chassis setup.
-ling
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:47 PM
  #1954  
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The handout idea is a great way to keep things equal. The way they ran the past champs this year and last year provided 2 sets of spec tires, a spec motor and handout non matched batteries. The 2 spec motors and 2 spec batteries were sold to us for about $100.00. Sure I bought a couple of CS27 tires for practice and a couple of practice batteries, so the cost is more like $200.00 but still very cheap compared to most races. In japan we used handout batteries and motors as well. In Canada we used handout spec motors which worked well...I would like to see handout batteries in Canada as well. Last year in the past champs Novak provided the brushless motors to us. I liked that arrangement the best because there is not much you can do to improve the performance of a brushless motor, so you spend more time on driving and setup. This year with the 23 turns I spent too much time and money (brushes) trying to get the motor to perform. The ironic thing was that after all the experiments with timing the brushes, I found a full endurance brush to be the best all around performance. With a full brush I would get about 30K RPM at 7.2v. With a timed brushed I could get 42K RPM at 7.2v, but no torque. I found gearing up and going with a motor with more torque was stronger for the full 8 mins than the timed brush.
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Old 08-30-2005, 04:53 PM
  #1955  
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Originally Posted by Aparatchik
Ok... Cal me a noob, but I've never raced RC. My first RC car was a Frog, a birthday gift way back when. I've had my hands on Sand Scorchers, Rough Riders, Tamtechs, CS series, F2 cars and so on, but have never even -attended- an RC race.

But after all this time, I'm having this recent desire to actually have a go at RC racing! I thought that the spec-like aspects of the TCS series would keep costs under control. But, reading through this thread, it seems that even at this supposedly amateur level there's quite a hefty outlay of cash required to compete. 300 bucks in tires, 300 bucks in batteries? sheesh... I know guys who run RotaxMax karts on a budget like that!!

So, my question... What would it take to be 'in the mix' at the local level (Fremont, CA, in my case)? What batteries are folks currently using? I have no aspirations of making it beyond that level, just want to go out an have a good time racing... Any FAQs floating around out there to look at? Any good tips on class choices (I'm thinking either Mini or using my current TT-01)?

Best,
dave.

dave...your in good hands. you have juan, george and a national champion with ling. not to mention ej evans (2nd place at the 03 Nats before he went TRF). those guys will get you pointed in the right direction set up wise. for the Fremont TCS..all you'll need is a set of A tires. you can run forever on the Mini tires too ask john (rcracenut). he's a mini guy.
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Old 08-30-2005, 05:46 PM
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There seems to be a general consensus that TCS has gotten out of hand. Living here in Michigan I can tell you that it is not just TCS, it is racing in general. I have witnessed one guy putting on new tires every round for a club race, you would have sworn it was the IFMAR worlds or something, also this same guy runs new brushes every round, out of control. I think TCS has gotten away from what it used to be, buying a Tamiya kit building it to the instructions and racing it. It is still about that , but IMO it more closely resembles a pro level series. Dont get me wrong, I take it seriously and try my hardest to win, but it is taking alot more work to be competitive these days. Also I believe (and have for a while) that there should be more separation between GT1 and 2. For the average guy watching from the sidelines there is virtually no difference. I would propose that GT1 be limited to the GT bodies and GT2 run the more sedan oriented bodies, higher center of gravity more lean, more scale, a little more difficult to drive. To me that is what always separated Tamiya from the other guys, the scale realism. Seriously, TCS would be way cool if it was like SPEED World Challenge and had two distinct classes. I like the idea of spec stuff, I think it would put the field closer together. Also just a quick comment about some of the earlier posts, lack of tires is not always about lack of preparation. I have ordered Tamiya parts up to and sometimes over a month in advance of a race and have come up empty handed. I usually keep a pretty good stock of spares on hand but I have waited up to 8 weeks for parts to show up at my LHS, and tires seem to be the item that is hardest to obtain. As far as the sponsorship scandal; where do you draw the line, pretty soon the only way to compete in TCS would be to pay full retail and have reciepts for proof, bottom line good for Tamiya bad for the hobby.
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Old 08-30-2005, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Martin Crisp
Sure I bought a couple of CS27 tires for practice and a couple of practice batteries, so the cost is more like $200.00 but still very cheap compared to most races... This year with the 23 turns I spent too much time and money (brushes) trying to get the motor to perform. The ironic thing was that after all the experiments with timing the brushes, I found a full endurance brush to be the best all around performance. With a full brush I would get about 30K RPM at 7.2v. With a timed brushed I could get 42K RPM at 7.2v, but no torque. I found gearing up and going with a motor with more torque was stronger for the full 8 mins than the timed brush.
Martin... congrats on the past chumps win! Rod almost took your crown, but way to go in A3!!! Awesome awesome run. But reading your post above... I know now why you won 3 yrs in row, you take this semi-seriously... just kidding! Can you release a special limited version of your setup guide just for us past chumps? I'm hoping to benefit from all the speed secrets instead of simply charging (3.5amps) and discharging(10amps) my unmatched stickpacks(probably 1.14v average)...

Btw, Mr. Ling Kang Tong... I never saw your "probes"... Chris said they were dialed!
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Old 08-30-2005, 05:58 PM
  #1958  
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Originally Posted by Hebiki
dave...your in good hands. you have juan, george and a national champion with ling. not to mention ej evans (2nd place at the 03 Nats before he went TRF). those guys will get you pointed in the right direction set up wise. for the Fremont TCS..all you'll need is a set of A tires. you can run forever on the Mini tires too ask john (rcracenut). he's a mini guy.
I you have the extra money, get one set of A tires and one set of B3 tires. Normally, it's cool enough up there, where you would run A's. Last year, CoBroRa drove up there for the first time, and as a result, it was unseasonally warm and dry for the races. Seems we brought our SoCal weather with us that weekend.

As far as car kits go, you would probably be better off with a TA-05, TB-02, or a good, used TA-04. Mini is fun and less expensive to run, but unless there's a big following at the local circuits, TCS might be the only time you can actually race the car. Same goes with the "spec" class, only TT and TL's chassises are allowed. With a TA-05 or TB-02, you'll be able to have fun with it at races other than the TCS series. It may not have all of the carbon fiber and aluminum blink, but they are good cars for your money. With the new TA-05's out, you could probably find a good deal on a used, fully hopped-up TA-04 also.

JM2C

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Old 08-30-2005, 06:04 PM
  #1959  
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The only thing I would add to these suggestions is...a true Masters class! For those of us well on the far side of 45...OK,OK, well on the far side of 50...being able to race against people in your own age group might be a lot of fun. Plus,let's face it- we've got the bucks & the vacation time. I'd even go for the same format as Past Champs, although some of us might fall asleep on the stand before the 8 minute mark! It might also bring in some of the older guys who think they don't have a chance against the younger guys at a big race. Something to think about.

Like Tom, I've also stuck with Mini at the Nats the last four times because of the racing cost- especially tires. Yes, I bought a couple of those high dollar battery packs again this year, but at least I didn't buy 63 sets of tires (or was it 72?) like Chris did. In my opinion, a new set of tires every round is just...crazy.

I like Brad's idea about body styles for GT1 and GT2- sounds cool and they would indeed handle differently. Again, something to think about and way easy to put into the rules.

Later
Doc
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Old 08-30-2005, 06:07 PM
  #1960  
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Driver Eligibility
"Factory Team" drivers (drivers who are, or have ever been, employed or supported by a factory, manufacture or distributor as part of a factory racing team) are not allowed to compete for prizes or awards.

Addendum:
"Factory Team" drivers (drivers who are, or have ever been, employed or supported by a factory, manufacture or distributor as part of a factory racing team, this includes sponsorship that entails monthly salary and paid airfare/ accommodations to racing events) are not allowed to compete for prizes or awards. If the host site deems it necessary, they may also bar these types of drivers from participating. This will depend whether the host site believes that sponsored drivers may take away the spirit of the event being for the average hobbyist. It is further at the discretion of the host site to determine which racers fall under these criteria. Tamiya America can not possibly know every individuals claims of being a sponsored or factory driver and therefore needs the judgement of the host site to weed out the factory sponsored driver that does not meet the average hobbyist criteria. Host sites must be careful not to confuse racers that get a deal from their friends that work for so and so "motors R us" as being sponsored. There will always be racers who will try and get a deal of some kind. This can not be avoided and therefore ask for a balance. We ask that the hardcore factory sponsored driver not participate. An example of a racer that Tamiya America would not allow to compete would be the Jimmy Jacobson's, Barry Baker's and David Jun's of the RC industry. These types of drivers are clearly supported by a factory and would not be eligible to compete as Tamiya America supports their racing careers in all the above mentioned points. Racers that have won the "GRAND" prize, (a.k.a TCS National title) are eligible to participate in regular season TCS races. They are also eligible to win the first place trophy, however they are not eligible to win prizes that are associated with first place. All former TCS national title winners are eligible to participate at the TCS North American Finals under the "Past Champions" grudge match class.
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Old 08-30-2005, 06:16 PM
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The temp S-chicane was thrown in there to mess up the locals. Believe me when I tell you that they moaned about it. Some of them who shall remain nameless called me at work and said "Are you kidding me" My response. "Sorry about your luck.
Look at this years Reedy Race. No Local won! Peter Robinson smoked all the 19T guys who run on this track alot. He was prepared.
Things will be different next year, have some things in mind and I will post it by October, but I assure you that people will still moan at me.
Can't win
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Old 08-30-2005, 06:21 PM
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Fred,
Is your blood boiling yet? That was a pretty heated reply (LOL). Dont take it too personally, I think that most are acknowledging that you and your staff do a hell of a job presenting the series every year. I still believe in what I posted above, but TCS racing is worse than a drug addiction and I dont plan on givin it up anytime soon.Hard believe its been 11 years since I started.
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Old 08-30-2005, 06:30 PM
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I had a blast at my first TCS Finals, and hope to participate again. I've seen the track many times but this was my first chance to run on it. Thanks Fred for what I thought was a great weekend of racing. HOT? Remember, it was a dry heat.....and coming from the deep south I know that makes all the difference!

I took Doc's advice and ran mini for the cost control factor. I was going to buy some wiz-bang batteries for the Finals but that deal went south, so I was stuck with my 1+ year old packs and still managed 5th in the A-main. I was stoked! It's hard to get everyone to agree on a class that levels the field or controls costs, but I still think the TCS format is as close as you can get. Congrats to Devin, Tom, and Jerry.......you guys were a blast to race against (you owe me Jerry ).

Thanks also for the California hospitality from my pit buddies, Stan and John.

Hope everyone made it back home safely. I had to trade my boarding pass in for a rental car in Atlanta, but it was dialed through Hurricane Katrina.

Bill D.
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Old 08-30-2005, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the quick and insightful posts, and for the offer to help out, ling! Looks like the Bay Area has its share of top level talent available to pitch in on a moment's notice.

I have a TT-01 already, which I had really only planned to make into a overly realistic M3 (still trying to figure out how to design a 3-way switch for separate RC headlights and brights, if you know what I mean). The Mini chassis has always appealed to me because of the bodies as well (still have a NIB Abarth and Alpine somewhere)...

I suppose there are some clear advantages to getting a car that can be run in other local races. Two problems I see... : I wouldn't know where to race (easily solved), and I'd probably be much too tempted to buy into the rat race and want to go all out on the hop ups, tuning, batts, etc. (I've lived with myself long enough to know that character trait)!

Maybe it's an idea to get a couple of decent batteries, a good esc and hotter motor and run some local races with my TT-01, and then tune it down to Spec level to run the TCS?
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Old 08-30-2005, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Aparatchik
Thanks for the quick and insightful posts, and for the offer to help out, ling! Looks like the Bay Area has its share of top level talent available to pitch in on a moment's notice.

I have a TT-01 already, which I had really only planned to make into a overly realistic M3 (still trying to figure out how to design a 3-way switch for separate RC headlights and brights, if you know what I mean). The Mini chassis has always appealed to me because of the bodies as well (still have a NIB Abarth and Alpine somewhere)...

I suppose there are some clear advantages to getting a car that can be run in other local races. Two problems I see... : I wouldn't know where to race (easily solved), and I'd probably be much too tempted to buy into the rat race and want to go all out on the hop ups, tuning, batts, etc. (I've lived with myself long enough to know that character trait)!

Maybe it's an idea to get a couple of decent batteries, a good esc and hotter motor and run some local races with my TT-01, and then tune it down to Spec level to run the TCS?
There are a lot of hop ups that very tempting but at the end of the day, if the car is 90% there, just drive the last 10%.

I managed to catch the 'i just gotta have the ti-axles flu' on Saturday. I took some 'gotta run the steel axle syrup' on Sat eveniing and felt a lot better.

The cars are solid and with some insightful tuning and even aluminum screws you can do some wonders. Ling, Juan, Mark M. and Jimmy B can help dial you in. One thing about the TCS series and Tamiya owners, they manage to help when you need it the most and least expect it.
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