Friday, March 16, 2012

The Sweetness of Fail

So I had a hard time at last week's TCS race at The Track @ Harbor Hobby.  It's my home track, so I thought I would do a little better than I did.  Basically, I had a hard time getting my car to work in very, very high bite conditions.  From what I saw, the fastest lap in actual racing was a 8.5, by Erik Whippler.  His car was really good as the bite came up, as I could see it did turn a lot.  What was frustrating was that I could do 8.6 seconds laps Friday in practice, but as the bite came up my car struggled.  The biggest problem was keeping the car from feeling like it was stuck "in" the track, like was screwing itself into the ground.  It was pushing, and I tried quite a few things, but nothing really helped a whole lot for the race weekend.

As an aside, it appears that a few things are worth mentioning as I think due to the new 21.5 BL rules, some of the conditions have changed.  First would be my recommendation of the small Mini Revo style 1800 mAh packs.  Monitoring how much charge we were putting back into the packs, it was anywhere from 1400-1500 mAh.  Typically, I would put about 1000-1100 mAh with silver can 540 motors in similar conditions, and the car would also work better with less weight.  It appears now that not only has power consumption gone up, but also higher speeds tend to favor more weight in the car.  My car worked better with the heavier packs.  I used a 2700 mAh ThunderPower @ 168g, and also an Orion 3200 at about 190g.  I would say at this time, this is the minimum size to work with.  Also, the "shorty" packs are also worth trying in terms of adjusting weight bias in the car easily.  I know several of the front running cars were using these type of batteries.  Typical weight is a little over 200g.

I did have my buddy Kevin running one of my cars as well.  Kevin is a very good driver and tuner, and he helped me with some of the things like the battery comparison.  One thing that I did find odd was that while my car made a ton of traction no matter what tires/setting I used, his car had a very easy to drive and "free", on top of the carpet feeling that I really could not duplicate.  I have to measure everything on the car, but I was amazed at how far apart the cars were, despite how closely they were set up.  Kevin changed very little on the car all weekend, in fact he was able to rebuild his 416 while racing!

Anyway, I will have a longer rundown later.  Here's Kevin's car...