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Noob getting into racing

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Hey racers,

I have been thinking far to much while being stuck in lockdown and now fancy getting into racing. What advice would you give to someone that is thinking of getting into the racing scene?

I have always only really ever done bashing and speed runs but fancy a new challenge. I was swaying more to the buggy side of racing but not fully committed yet. Any good but cheap starting chassis? 

Thanks in advance

Marc

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The advice usually given to starters is to find the club/venue that they are likely to be racing at, and see what the most popular chassis are. This will make it easier to learn setup tips from the more experienced racers, and local parts support is likely to be stronger. It is also often said that getting a 2nd hand race-grade chassis is better than getting a newer, more basic one for the same money.

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Yep what @TurnipJF said. Check out the club first. When i got back into it i visited the local clubs, expecting to race indoors onroad, and ended up racing outdoor offroad. The vibe at the clubs was so different. I bought some onroad cars later to be able to race when it rained and only went a few times as the club was weird. I think the committee has changed and its much better now, and intend to go back.

As for gear, you may have a bunch already thats suitable like battreies, servos etc, or may not. Racing is much harder on everything and if you have some cheap servos then they may not last long. I also found I needed more batteries and chargers than if I wasn't racing. I have a battery and charger per car now (and race 4 cars, as my son comes too).

Onroad yoy can buy some cheaper kits like the Express XQ1S which works well out of the box. You don't need the latest full carbon car. Onroad clubs usually have a class like M 05 or TT02 as well which is a cheap way in. F1 is also a cheaper class. For electric 10th scale I find I need to run 2 classes, otherwise its a lot of waiting around as there can be 8 - 10 rounds on a busy day.

Offroad there aren't really cheaper options new, but there are always some near new cars you can buy secondhand for a lot less. I've had 5 secondhand offroad cars and only one has given problems, the others have all been great. The new cars I've bought have all been flawless though and you get a season or 2 before lack of maintenace becomes a real problem.

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Critical that you go to the local club or track and ask what people are racing!

I'm coming back to the hobby after a very very long hiatus. Where I am, hands down the most popular format is....SCT, something Tamiya never elected to get in on. :( Stadium Truck I'm told is on the rise (again), but Tamiya seems to have lost interest in that as well. Of course there always seems to be a least some 2wd buggy action, but that was never my thing.

So very important to find out what others are racing, lest you find yourself with no one to race against. :)

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I've been racing on and off since the late 90s, I would definitely suggest checking out the local club once they re open. My main mistake that I always did was not to keep up with the latest technology. I would always keep up with the race chassis in either touring car or buggy, but i kept the same electronics each year. In the late 90s, early 2000s i was let down by batteries as they would only just last the 5 minute race, if i was unlucky i would run out of power on the final lap. I used to have to strip the motor and clean on a com lathe after each race with new brushes. Now the batteries are very good, and brushless is great but it's quite expensive to start up, but I think it's cheaper in the long run. 

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We do carpet racing and once you have got the kit, assuming the racing is clean and not too smashy (and you can avoid hitting too much yourself!) its all actually quite reasonable. We budget for new tyres on a regular basis, tyre conditioner, and a shell every now and then. On the whole its been quite reasonable once the kit is in your grubby mitts.

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As far as costs go, the cheapest class I have raced in so far has been F1.

If collisions occur, the wing is typically the point of impact. The wings on RC F1s are usually moulded out of tough, resilient plastic that can take multiple hits. The shells thus typically last far longer than they do in closed-wheel classes where they are more likely to bear the brunt of any impacts.

Also, because the open-wheel cars are highly prone to being unsettled by any contact, the driving is a lot cleaner than in most other classes. Unlike full-contact touring car racing where it is said that if you finish with an unmarked shell you aren't trying hard enough, both sides lose when two F1s come together, so both the faster and the slower drivers tend to make more of an effort to pass/be passed cleanly. This results in fewer collisions and fewer breakages.

It is also a class in which driver skill plays a larger part than most, and having the latest kit doesn't confer that much of an advantage. You regularly see 20-year-old designs finishing on the same lap as this year's model for example.

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