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The Basics

Here you will find some introductory information into the world of RC racing

What is RC?

RC is short for radio controlled (or some may say remote controlled).  Essentially the driver holds what is known as a ‘transmitter’, which sends a radio frequency to their vehicle to make it accelerate, brake and steer.

Vehicle scale

Radio controlled vehicles come in a range of scales (size) from the tiny 1/32 scale through to 1/5 and larger.  RC racing is generally done with 1/10th or 1/8th scale vehicles. At Chargers, we race 1/10th scale only.

Off-road vs On-road

As the title suggests, there are two categories of RC racing being either on-road or off-road.  On-road is generally done on a completely flat high-grip asphalt track consisting of long straights, tight bends and chicanes.  Racing is fast paced with hard braking and tight turning.  RC Drag racing is another form of on road racing consisting of a long flat straight.

 

In comparison, off-road racing is generally done on a dirt track, with jumps, tabletops, berms and overpasses.  Racing is fast but grip is lower and greater skill is required to keep the vehicle pointing in the right direction.

 

While the track at Chargers is sealed with Sic Surface, it is considered an off-road track.

Electric vs Nitro (fuel)

RC cars are either electric powered or nitro (fuel) powered.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages and both offer a different racing experience.

 

Electric powered vehicles have a LIPO battery (usually 2 cell or 7.4v) and are quiet, light, clean and responsive.  A fully charged battery will generally last around 15 minutes of racing before needing to be recharged.  Electric cars are less expensive to purchase and maintain.

In comparison, nitro vehicles are more like a 'real engine' and require a high degree of maintenance and tuning to keep them running at their best.  A nitro vehicle can run a lot longer with regular pit stops for re-fuelling.  Nitro vehicles are generally 1/8th scale and are noisy - but that is the attraction for many who race them.

At Chargers, we run electric vehicles only.

Vehicle types

The vehicle types for off-road racing are buggies, stadium trucks, truggies and short-course trucks.

Buggies are the most common vehicle type and will be either 2WD or 4WD.  Of these types, 2WD's are a lower cost vehicle to purchase and maintain, but arguably more difficult to drive and master as understeer can be an issue in cornering.

In comparison, 4WD buggies are more expensive to purchase and given they have front and rear diffs and a centre diff, are more expensive and require more time to fix and maintain.  However, they are an easier vehicle to drive as you have all 4 wheels pushing and pulling you through corners and being a heavier vehicle, will be better planted to the track.

Stadium Trucks and Truggies essentially run on the same chassis as a buggy, but with wider front and rear arms and larger tyres.  They can also be either 2WD or 4WD and are a larger more robust vehicle to drive and have different dynamics to an ordinary buggy.

Short -course trucks are different breed altogether and run on a larger chassis, with 'spongy' suspension and a larger shell.  Generally 2WD, they are a lot of fun to drive and difficult to master.

At Chargers we run all vehicle types described above, with 2WD being our most popular class.  In our Novice class, you can run any vehicle type.

Stock vs Modified

Within the types of vehicles, there is also classes and you will often hear the terms 'stock' or 'modified' used when describing a 2WD or 4WD vehicle (mostly buggies).  The only difference between the vehicles is the type (or turn) of motor used and the ability to alter the timing of the motor electronically through the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC).

Stock vehicles will use a 17.5T motor for 2WD buggies and a 13.5T motor for 4WD buggies.  For competition racing, motors must be on the ROAR approved list.  The ESC must also be set to ZERO timing, otherwise referred to as 'blinky' mode as the power LED light on the ESC will blink to indicate to officials it has ZERO timing active.

In comparison, modified vehicles can use any motor and alter the timing of the ESC to get high RPM output from the motor.  Often racers will use 10.5T motors or lower, giving the vehicle high top end RPM (meaning more speed).

At Chargers, we run both stock and modified race classes in 2WD and 4WD buggies.  Our stadium truck/truggy class is combined and racers will generally have a 'modified' setup.  In Novice class you can race anything.