Above is David Groose's
By John Sandy, Safety Coordinator
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Black Horse Lake RC Club Newsletter
Welcome new member: Kris Gilles
RC Car Driving Tips
Improving your RC Car Driving skills is top of the agenda for beginners. As a beginner myself, learning about RC cars is interesting and tough. So let me share with you my findings that have benefited me.
What is the best way to improve your RC car driving as a beginner? There are a few great ways, such as understanding driving lines, for electric car owners carrying batteries half way charged rather than full and mastering how to use peripheral vision is key to master RC car driving.
For someone who is just starting out, it can be intimidating however many steps can be taken to ensure the smooth and flawless running of your car before during and after the race to help you, to insure you have the fastest RC car, in this article I will explain all of them to help you.
Quick Beginner Driving Tips
Here are some of the best driving tips for you:
Following the instructions from the manual about your car. It may seem obvious and redundant but every car is different, and the maker knows the best way for the car to run.
Pay attention while driving. Like actual driving keeping your eyes on the road is very important.
Keep your hands on the wheel at all times. Just because you arenít in the car physically does not mean you canít get distracted and cause a crash.
Peripheral vision is key. With such a vast area your position can really give you an advantage.
Carry batteries half way charged rather than full. Fuller batteries are at more risk to explode when travelling with them.
Throttle control. Keep your car stable enough so that when you hit full throttle, it does not spin out of control.
Driving lines. Learn how and where to keep your car when driving in between lines.
Keep momentum. Continuity is everything. Momentum will get less battery consumption and optimum speed.
Practise smart. Practise after races when the path is already beaten up, cause that is how a real race would be.
The first and most crucial part of improving your car driving is to have control and knowledge of your car. Read the instructions provided by your car; this will improve your understanding of the vehicle, making it easier to regulate.
When driving there can also be a lot of distractions from bumps and potholes in the road or listening to someone beside you talking. Attention is vital. Without being completely focused on your car and keeping your hands on the wheel, you can end up crashing your car.
Peripheral vision is another essential thing to keep in mind while driving. Pay attention to your own vehicle is very important, looking out for other cars and behind and in front of you will also ensure smooth driving whether it being a cruise or a race.
Keeping in check of your surroundings will aid in avoiding a lot of unwanted mishaps, e.g., driving into the car behind you who is attempting to pass you. And a traffic jam in front of you. With your peripheral vision, you can also find which routes and lanes to travel (Click here to see the best way to travel and store your RC car) in to achieve a higher speed.
When practising for a race drive a little faster than you are normally comfortable with. Practices allow you to experiment and leave your comfort zone to try riskier speeds so test and the limits of your car and how much you and your car can ultimately handle in an actual race.
When in an actual race drive slower that limit by doing this you have complete control over your car. Races are more about going at a constant momentum and maintaining the speed and rhythm you have instead of speeding way too much and losing control over your carís functions.
One more tip to use on the track is that an RC car is much like a sports car where you drive slow in between lines and accelerate on the turns. Going straight is harder with RC cars and can spin out, and corners are the safest place to speed up.
Maintenance of Your Car:
With the techniques in hand, all you need to worry about is keeping your car in top shape for the race. Glue specifically AC glue will be your best friend. While most adhesives are not durable, this glue is a bit more potent and sticks anything together and keeps it there (careful with sticking your fingers together).
When practising or using the car, parts are more than likely going to break with glue you can fix everything right back up and make it good as new for the next time.
Another vital part of racing your RC car is the clean up after the race is over. With it being covered in mud and dirt it gets left in pretty bad shape. So do yourself a favour and clean it before you pack it to take back home.
If the car is fuel powered, you can hose down the mud and dirt till it looks nice and new. However, if you are using an electric car, itís probably best not to ruin the entire by hosing it down and should probably stick to using a wet rag to clean the dirt which will work just as well.
Donít Give a bath to an electric car. Though not always but every once in a while you should also oil the bearings when you clean the car since the water in the bearing causes it to rust and ultimately cost you your performance.
One of the most common and frequently asked questions is concerning the batteries. What type should they be? How to take care of them? The battery choice is mostly up to you it depends on what you want out of your car.
However, taking caring of them is mostly the same. When carrying the batteries, donít keep them fully charged. They have a higher pressure built at that point and increase the chances of a meltdown.
Keep them half way charged to be on the safer side. Also, invest in a good kit to carry your batteries and other equipment (pack it up). When you decided to spend a lot of money and research to buy the very best, itís pivotal that you spend a little bit more to get a higher quality kit to keep the items safe.
Adjustments to make before a race:
The condition of your RC car is reflected in your race a lot. One thing that beginners often neglect is that even though your car may be new, some adjustments to it before a race or in general can make the performance from 50% to 100%.
Cleaning your car is key. Remember the crucial step always to clean your car after a race. Use a brush or a dry towel to remove the dried out dirt and mud stuck to the car. If you can somehow get access to compressed air, it would do the job much more efficiently.
Itís easy, fast and keeps your car in good condition. Try your best not to take your car home dirty. If you take it home dirty, you will forget about it till the next time you use it, and by then the damage would have been done.
Check the screws on your car. Have they loosened? Usually, shock towers, shocks and the screws on the bottom are the first to get loosen. Keeping an eye out on these towers would really improve your speed and your average speed in 5 min.
It is bound to remove a few seconds from your overall time. What some people might not know is the silicone rubber tubing can billow and lose its shape due to the silicone shock oil. Try and change the oil whenever possible and when you have a little extra money in your monthly budget.
Pro-drivers tend to get the silicone hats replaced pretty regularly with the oil change. And while you arenít a pro driver who can manage to change them at every oil change, changing them once a month should suffice and improves speed and control of your car greatly.
You should always tweak your car, personalise it to your needs and preferences. If the car isnít tweaked, it is neither fun to drive nor is it easy to drive. Check to see if the body of your car is damaged? If yes, donít try and carry on with a beat up body.
Try to replace the body as soon as you can. Low bodies are inclined to get damaged and overworked fairly quickly. By replacing the body, you get a better, more resilient exterior. Try and replace your body as soon as you feel like its taken damage. Changing your car body will also give you a couple of seconds of lead in every race since its newer and will have less air resistance.
Keep an eye out on the electric wiring of the car, make sure no wire has been damaged and that the wires are not rubbing together. If the wires are rubbing together, they can cause it to short circuit. And your car stopping in the middle of a race due to a short circuit is never a good look.
Analyse your driving
There is no point practise driving all the time if you arenít learning or improving from it at all. Try to figure out where you are going wrong, where you are losing time and places where you can speed up to reduce time. Hug the corners; this will make your racing line as straight as possible and maximise your corner exit speed.
It can become increasingly wearisome to conceive where your time is being lost, as a beginner without someone experienced to tell you. One way to practice alone or when no one experienced is available is to you can make a makeshift track for yourself.
Start by acquiring traffic cones places them on the corners of the track, where you make your turns. Place them close enough that your car should be able to go through them. One on the start of the corner and one at the end practice getting your car through these corners.
If you can speed through these cones without an issue, you are pretty much set. If you need to slow down your car to get through then, you need more practice. Keep practising until you are able to manoeuvre past them without any complications.
At first, the lap times will be slower but as you keep on practising you will require fewer moves to hit the gates, once that start happening the times will automatically start reducing. One day worth of practice is sure to make you an expert on at least one type of corner turns.
Another way is to get a friend to make a video of you driving your car. Ask them to make the video for at least 2-3 laps so you can get into the rhythm of the drive and reach your peak for driving.
Afterwards, sit down and review your driving. While driving, you are way too focused on the car itself and its difficult to correct yourself or see the error in your ways but seeing your errors on video really makes you judge yourself from an objective point of you.
If you still have trouble recognises flaws in your driving, let another driver see the video. Let then point out mistakes or things to improve. This way next time when you are in the track you will remember the pointers, they will exist in your consciousness so youíll try not to make them again.
When you think you have done all you could and you are done at improving, allow a more experienced driver, someone who has probably dome is a lot longer than you have to give it a try. The 5-minute set result and how much you actually still can improve.
A better driver driving your car will let you know if the car is the issue or if itís your driving that still needs work. Comparing the time between you 2 will give you an idea of where you stand. A similar time as them means that you are probably okay.
The difference in lap time of a pro racer and you and hobbyist racer is bound to be 0.2-0.3 per lap. Keep in mind, they have had a lot more training and are years ahead of your in their game plan. Hence, a minute difference in time is not a big issue that you can fix, and you haveprobably done your best. It isnít much you can improve your driving skills to improve lap time.
If the difference between your lap times is more than that, e.g., 1.0s or 1.5 s that tells you a lot about your driving and which means there is room for you to improve yourself. If you have improved all that you could. You can try and get someone to change the track for you so you can learn a different track if that too is not possible, then the last option would be to improve your car. Adjust the speed, get a new battery pack, get the car into a better condition.
Another great exercise is to try to run at a certain pace. For example, your best lap is at 9.0s, and your average lap is a bit slower at 9.2s. Try to run each lap in 9.5s. It will help with consistency, and you will know that you have to do that exact same thing in each lap. In the actual race when you pull no stops and race it will greatly affect your results, improving speed sharply