2. Which Onroad R/C class is the best for beginners


I'm new, where do I start

You've probably had a few 'toy' r/c cars, you hopefully have seen the fun, close, safe racing that is had, and now you want to get involved. The classes quite varied and each required special skill sets. Here we'll take a closer look at each of the classes and rate their suitablity.

Another good consideration when working out which class you'd like to enter, is the class support. If the numbers are bigger, then you're more likely to have people at your level of competitiveness around you level. This helps keeping the racing fun, and the competition level, and driving improves.

 


Tamiya M-05 (Mini)

This class is often refered to as Mini, because it had traditionally used Morris Mini, and the modern Mini body shells. The chassis layout is front-wheel-drive, and while you might dismiss it based on that single fact, hear me out - the Tamiya M-05 should be on everyones resume. 
There is a lot of spec parts, and very little midifcations you can make. The front wheel drive factor makes you a better driver, you need to learn the basics of racing.  Driving smooth, being slow-in, fast-out, smooth on the steering and smooth on the throttle will see you moving up the results. Costs are low, fun factor is very high, and close racing is intense. 

p.s. the standard kits come with plastic bushings, we would recommend buying a bearing kit from Speedi Models at the time you purchase the kit. Then you only need to assemble once.

 

An example of some close mini racing, from 2011 NHRCCC's former outdoor track

 

 


Tamiya GT

This class reflects the worldwide popularity of GT3 racing, where all the cars look like their road-going versions and despite the varitey of body shapes - they all perform quite similar. This is a great touring car entry class. Where you can race a realistic body shell that reflects your personality. Many aspects of the Tamyia M-05 class carry over, where much is spec'd, the big difference is the four-wheel-drive layout. 4wd can hide some of your driving shortcomings, and with some extra hop-ups that you'll want, more setup tuning options, the Tamiya GT sits in second place on the beginner scale.

p.s. the standard kits come with plastic bushings, we would recommend buying a bearing kit from Speedi Models at the time you purchase the kit. Then you only need to assemble once.


Touring Stock

While it might be called stock, there are much less 'spec' items. There are currently 2 versions of Touring Stock, often refered to as 13.5 stock  & 21.5 stock. Here, I'll talk about both classes under the same umbrella. Chassis are open, bodies are now race spec aerodynamic, tyres are open (some regional races may have a spec tyre), speed controllers are open. The only limitation seperating these cars from full Open Modified, is the motor. In most cases the motor will be a spec NZRCA motor, but check with your local club first. At NHRCCC you can purchase your motor with a membership licence. Costs increase. Stock can be a frustating place if you're not careful. The tuning options with modern 1/10th chassis can be near infinite. Finding speed with driveline efficency combined with the thousands of setup options can be rewarding and heartbreaking. I would recommend a soild start ing M-05 or GT before taking on Stock. and the reason is, you'll have a better understanding of the car characteristics. So knowing whether the car is understeering on corner exit, or oversteering on corner exit is quite important. That being said, although Touring Stock has a steep learning curve with setups, and the initial cost is higher, generally the car can be upgraded with a new motor to become an Open Modified. 

 

 


Formula 1

Formula 1 is the entry level pan car class. It's called a pan car because back in the 80's they were as flat as a pan - with axles bolted to the chassis. Not much has changed, there is very basic suspension and solid rear axles. It brings a new level of driving ability. Rear traction can be overwhelmed, so throttle application is very different to driving a four wheel drive touring car. Alot of the setup comes from the diff, and tyres. Other than that there isn't much else to change. The motor is regulated to the same 21.5T as 21.5 Stock. This is a fun class, where racing is close, skill level win over budgets. Be smooth, consistant, and keep a clean pair of heels and you're on your way to being an F1 Champion.

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Touring Modified

This is the premiere onroad electric class. It comes in 6th, not last place where you might think the permiere class would. And here's why, if you don't like modified you can just swap a motor and go back to another Touring class; the driving styles can vary and setups can be adapted to how you like to drive it, and in some cases 2 very different styles can complete a lap in similar times. It's fast and it's a blast when it all goes well. Stresses on drivetrains means you'll keep a good maintaince schedule have spares on hand for when it goes bad. 


Pro12 & Pro10

Pro12 is one of the oldest classes in r/c racing history. And not much has changed other than higher battery outputs and big horsepower motors. Pro12 is sometimes refered as '1/12th'. It's a niche class because the skill level required is quite high. The solid axle, open motors, incredibly lightweight mixed with a short wheelbase makes the Pro12 the hardest car to pilot consistantly fast. Driving a Pro12 is like doing surgery with a scalpel, where a Touring car is like hitting a door with a sledge hammer. Pro12 is most far from a beginners class. 

Pro10 is a bigger version of a Pro12, its heavier, longer wheelbase, way more surface area on the body mean more grip. It's easier to drive, but numbers are few and far between, and over the years has been a poorly supported class. Thus becoming a lowly recommended class for a beginner.

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