Wednesday, December 30, 2015

25.5 in the USA

So 25.5 motor F1 has started to take hold in some parts of the country.  There seems to be some out there that feel that this is the wrong direction for the class.  The arguments range from "F1 should be hard" to "there will be a motor/battery war".    I'm not sure what class does not benefit from good equipment, but making a class "hard", and creating barriers to entry is not the way for what is a niche class for most.  

When the idea of 25.5 motors was first mentioned to me, I was ambivalent to the idea.  21.5 was working fine, and I didn't really see what the point was.  At the same time, I figured if it got more guys involved, that is a good thing.  There had been a slow decline in general F1 participation in many parts of the US, including Southern California, where UF1 started and built the class up.  The series was pretty much over there.

The remaining guys decided to try something at the club races: 25.5 motors.  Oddly enough, the same idea was tried in Cleveland Ohio at the Gate r/c club.  Both places found pretty much the same thing, that the cars were much more docile, but produced almost the same lap times.  Even more important, a wider range of skill levels could get the most out of the car, making better racing.

Bill Jeric and his Tuning Haus Scale Series in SoCal instituted the 25.5 motor, and they have increased F1 attendance. Both the Halloween Classic race at the Gate and the US Indoor Champs ran 25.5, and the racing was much better.  There was a lot more racing and a lot less hanging on.  Even at my home track, there is now a heat of cars weekly, where there was lucky to be any F1 racing outside of special events like the Tamiya series or UF1 MIDWEST.
I don't know if this is the answer for outdoor racing.  While a little less motor should make an easier to tame car on outdoor surfaces with less bite, the tracks are bigger.  There will still be a segment that will want to take advantage and go a little faster.

1 comment:

  1. I think once anyone tries a 25.5 motor in F1, they'll get it. I agree that it makes the cars easier to drive, which is good for class retention. If it helps attract and retain new drivers, that is a good thing.

    My only suggestion is that if you decide to go with the 25.5 motor for the USVTA F1 national points, make it like USVTA and spec a particular motor. That will make it less likely for the class to end up in a "motor of the week" situation.

    I'll be interested to see how the new CRC FT2 carpet affects the 25.5 situation.