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Running and Racing Your RC Car

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Proper maintenance of your RC vehicle is the key to achieving the best possible results. While the car may still perform while not in its best form, you can be assured that keeping it up will make certain even better results. By keeping your car clean, well-tuned and properly maintained, you can be sure you’ll get the top performance out of your RC.

Before you head out to the track, there are a few suggestions you should follow to make sure everything goes smoothly on race day:

·Mark your initials on all your car’s parts.

It’s frenetic and exciting in the pit, which means in the haste of repair, refueling and racing, it can be very difficult to tell which parts belong to which racer. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that a lot of parts from different makes and models look remarkably similar. Avoid confusion by marking all your car’s parts with your initials and take care to keep track of those parts on race day.

·Mark your initials on all your tools and equipment.

Use a marker to write your initials on all your tools and equipment to avoid mix ups and losses. Over time you’ll spend a great deal of time and energy completing the set of tools and gear you need for your car—so be careful with your equipment. Marking your name on your tools makes it more likely you’ll get them back if you lose them, and prevents confusion in the event that several racers are using the same tools.

·If you have a nitro RC—always use fresh fuel and bring plenty extra.

Model fuel should not be stored for extended periods of time since the nitro methane it contains can degrade over time if exposed to air or water. Old fuel should be disposed of properly, and you should always race with fresh, clean fuel. Make sure you use a brand you are familiar with in competition: a race is not the place to test a new type of fuel. You’ll want to know how much running time the fuel you’re using produces and bring plenty extra to re-fill your car’s tank.

·If you have an electric RC—your batteries are the most important thing on race day.

How your electric car does on race day depends entirely on your battery packs. Be sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly condition your batteries to extend their life and get maximum performance from them. When you’re racing, you’ll want to have several battery packs so that when one runs out, you don’t have to wait to recharge it. You need to know your car’s running time per battery pack in advance so you can count on how many battery packs you need to bring, and whether your charger can charge them up quickly enough between races.

·Develop a race-day checklist for your car’s systems and your tools.

Well-prepared racers go through the same list of checks on their car and all its systems every time they race. Develop this list at home when you prepare your car for race day and include important reminders like securing fuel lines, checking gaskets, testing the glow plug, making sure the gas tank isn’t rattling. Test runs will help you know what to look for, and what to double check on the day of the race. Remember to add any equipment you need to fix these day to day problems to your tool box on race day, just in case you need them.

·Be respectful of other racers in the pit and on the track.

There is nothing like the roar of an RC race—but excitement and exhilaration are no excuse for poor sportsmanship. Always be respectful of other racers and their equipment. In the event of an accident, remove your car from the track as quickly as possible. If you have complaints or disputes they should be brought to the race officials immediately and all judges decisions should be accepted as final. In the pit be courteous to other racers by keeping track of all your tools and equipment. Labeling your gear and keeping track of all of your belongings while you’re racing and marshaling will ensure that there are no problems with other drivers and their equipment. Remember space is limited!

About the author:
Mike Lindsey runs the RC Cars site, about buying and racing Radio Control (RC) Cars

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