Jump to content
Mrowka

A racing thought experiment

Recommended Posts

We all know that a competitive modern off-road racing buggy is very different from a competitive buggy from the 1980s.

Not only that, but today's offerings have less and less resemblance to anything like a full sized off-road race car.

How would you design a racing class that would reverse this trend, without venturing into nostalgia class racing?

For instance, a low-slung cab-forward design makes sense on a smooth high-grip carpet track, but might be almost undrivable on other surfaces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good question. I think these days it comes down to what will 'sell' rather than what looks 'scale' accurate. I personally would like to see a touring car class that actually resembles 'real' touring cars rather than generic aero looking bodies.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Mrowka said:

How would you design a racing class that would reverse this trend, without venturing into nostalgia class racing?

Since I live under a rock and haven't seen the outside world of full-size off-road since the 80's, I had to google what a current, say Baja 1000, buggy would look like today. They are quite different from the Rough Rider-looking buggies I remember. At any rate, off the top of my head, (considering we are avoiding nostalgia racing) we'd need buggies that emulate current full-size ones and (wait for it...) actually run them on normal dirt. Novel concept it may be, but that's what drew my to off-road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, toyolien said:

Good question. I think these days it comes down to what will 'sell' rather than what looks 'scale' accurate. I personally would like to see a touring car class that actually resembles 'real' touring cars rather than generic aero looking bodies.

Unfortunately, today's r/c buggies, racers and bashers alike, look like they were designed by WWE enthusiasts for Bros.

I didn't have a buggy when I was a kid and I am not nostalgic for my youth. That's why I don't have much need for vintage racing, per se. On the other hand, I also don't have much use for Marvel Comics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Saito2 said:

At any rate, off the top of my head, (considering we are avoiding nostalgia racing) we'd need buggies that emulate current full-size ones and (wait for it...) actually run them on normal dirt. Novel concept it may be, but that's what drew my to off-road.

I have a feeling that track surface would be key. Full-sized off-road race buggies would probably look very different if they didn't have drivers and they raced on astroturf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For off road racing I think dirt/grass tracks are hard to maintain unless they get a lot of recovery time between meetings, especially in wetter climates - and increased car maintenance might put people off running on dirt/grass/mud all the time as well, so I think any new off road class needs to work on astro (at least in UK). 

In terms of surfaces I think astro is good as it's pretty consistent and all weather + its clean, but the high grip level pushes up the cost and complexity required to be competitive IMO - so I think the answer lies in always picking a decent control tyre that can last a good amount of time but also provide less traction than we're used to - this can really help level the playing field and increase the enjoyment of a large chunk of competitors I think, as running super fast motors and having the latest 'high traction' version of your choice of competition brand car this season matters a lot less when cars are traction limited in a big way. 

 

Trucks of all kinds appear hugely popular now compared to 10 years ago so I'd focus on something with scale looks for those who care, but still capable racing on offroad tracks (gearing permitting!). 

So if I was designing a new class today Id go with some kind of 1/10 4wd off road truck/pickup class, with regulations specifying solid rear axle, wheelbase and width to fit decent scale looking bodies if desired, 2s lipo with maybe 13t to 17t motor limit, minimum weight around 1.5kg and a max weight around 2kg. Something appropriate to Tamiya CC-01/02 really - but with racing centric hopups required for the speed and power. It would be like a narrow body 4wd version of the shortcourse truck classes that were popular a few years ago I think - though probably not as capable on the jumps... 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cab forward design these days, is to allow for a mid motor layout, if you want to have any kind of, modern speed and handling, there's not that many body designs, mind you need 3 clear windows for number stickers too.

Pure outdoor tracks, grass (that turns to dirt by the end of the day), are brilliant, and all we have in Scotland atm. Unfortunately, that means you need a heavy head count to look after it, the grass needs fertiser ,mowed ever few days in summer, and the track moved at least once a week (depending on the amount of meetings that week) , otherwise the grass dies in the heavy braking / throttle / corner zones / under track markings , and you have a job on your hands getting back in shape.

The other downside ,is car maintenance,  this is my car after just one heat race, and is like this every time it comes off the track, so 5 times in a single race meet, and I run 2 classes (ran 3 on that day.....😳😩

2020-11-10_01-13-58

 

Indoor and carpet is the best for hassle free racing, roll out the carpet, position some jumps, and off you go. Finish your race, Marshall, batteries on charge, have a natter and a laugh, throw the batteries in and off you go again for your next race. Astro turf is the next easiest, once all the hard work is done laying it (finding it's not just a case if ,throwing it down, all the drainage needs sorted, soil samples and other ground works ain't easy...), they do lack the "off road feel", but it's so much easier!!! 

Realistically, the only way you'd get enough for a race, (more than 6 ) would be to have vintage/ Re re races, usually on carpet or Astro,  as you find people don't want to have to strip and clean after each race.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At first, I thought that carpet was sort of a decaf or neutered version of off-road racing, but the tracks and cars are certainly easier to maintain.

One thing that I am wondering is how removing track marshals would change things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2020 at 6:52 PM, Mrowka said:

At first, I thought that carpet was sort of a decaf or neutered version of off-road racing

There's loads of features, but do lack the , natural degregation ,of an off road track ,ruts forming in corners etc. Carpet racing for us is in the winter months, indoors, high grip, super quick.

The EOS - 

 

On 11/14/2020 at 6:52 PM, Mrowka said:

One thing that I am wondering is how removing track marshals would change things.

And what, leave the rostrum, run across the track, and Marshall your own car? It would make it stupidly hectic and pretty dangerous tbh (for us mere mortals anyway! 🙄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, more like if you crash and can't recover, you're out. Perhaps they could have marshals to remove crashed cars, but that's all.

Something more like 1:1 racing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...