TeamSC10 Short Course Race Day Preparation
Here are some good tips for any beginner short course truck racers out there. These tips will help the beginner SC10 owner get ready for a race.
1. You need two batteries to participate in most local races. A typical race day will consist of three 5-minute qualifying races, followed by a 5 to 10 minute Main. You can’t afford to waste time charging your battery after each round (assuming you have a AC/DC charger) and you don’t want to risk losing juice during one of your Quals or Main.
My typical two battery routine for race day goes like this: Use Battery A for practice and the First Qualifier. Charger Battery A immediately after First Qualifier. Use Battery B for the Second and Third Qualifier. Use fully charged or nearly full charged Battery A for the Main Race.
If you have access to three batteries, run Battery A for practice and First Qual. Run Battery B for the Second and Third Qual. Run Battery C for the Main Race. No charging necessary.
Note on charging: Always charge your batteries on the same day as the race, if possible. Batteries discharge at a slow rate when they are just sitting around. If you charge up a battery days before a race, you could see some significant decreases in run time.
2. Plan your tuning and adjustment strategy. You don’t need a written plan but you do need to have some kind of idea of how you will change your setup based on track conditions. Sometimes a race director will water the track before the race starts and other times they will keep it dry. You can’t predict how the track will setup, but with some preparation you should be able to do some quick tuning adjustments to get the car running the way you want.
Some easy adjustments that you can make at the track: Battery Position, Tire Type, Shock Positioning, Shock Springs, Shock Pre-Load Spacing, Motor Gearing (pinion gear), and Adding/Removing Lead Weights. Experiment with all of these and check out the R/C Handbook to get your tuning strategy dialed in.
3. Get Your Tool Box and Back Up Parts Together. For beginners, you at least need a cardboard box to hold all of your SC10 parts and tools. Get some zip lock bags and designate one bag for your tools, one for parts, and one for lubes/oils. If you want to spend a little money, go to WalMart and buy a cheap tool or tackle box. Tackle Boxes work well because they have many compartments made for small parts – ideal for RC.
Here are some basic things you should have in your SC10 tool box on race day:
Tools – Hex Drivers, Nut Drivers, Phillips/Flathead screwdriver, Pliers, Hobby Knife or Scissors, and any other RC tools you own.
Parts – Ball End Cups, Different Shock Springs, Extra Washers/Nuts, Red O-Rings, Extra Pre-Load Spacers, Backup AA Batteries for transmitter, and any other parts you have accumulated.
Other Accessories – Extra Shock Oil, Extra Diff Fluid or Black Grease, 3 in 1 Oil, WD-40, Tire Glue, Motor Spray/Comm Drops (for brushed motors), and a Rag for cleaning.
4. The best thing you can do to prepare for a race is spend time at the track. Time spent practicing is what makes us better drivers and tuners. When at the track, you need to practice two things – driving and tuning.
Being able to put up consistent lap times with few mistakes is what you should be focusing on. Marshaling is your worst enemy during an RC race so focus on staying on the track during practice sessions. Slower is faster. Also, you need to learn your local track. How does your track perform after rains or watering? Are there spots on the track that you want to avoid? When was the last time the track was groomed? What jumps are you going to hit, and which ones do you roll? If you spend time at your track you know the answers to these questions and you will be more prepared to race.
Every time you go to the track you should at least change one thing and see how it affects your speed and handling. Your SC10 setup will continuously change until you find a couple surefire setups for your local track’s varying conditions.
There are setup sheets on RC10.com that you can use to get an idea of what the pro’s are running on different surfaces. Go to the Setups Page and select the SC10. You will see setup sheets for low, medium, and high traction tracks. Use these sheets as a starting point, then experiment while you practice to find the unique setup that fits your driving style best.
If you have your own tips for getting ready to race an SC10, please leave a comment below!