First race meeting with the TRF418

Gave the TRF418 its proper race debut at the CWIC today.

First run was a bit erratic, immediately decided to swap the kit springs for something more conventional (ARC White front and Yellow rear, equivalent to HPI Pink/Silver) and to thicken up the rear diff to #2000. I was disappointed to find that the rear diff was already almost completely empty of fluid from just sitting around. This is a bit of a concern as the ARC diff never leaked once. I’ve orders the red o-rings (#42259) and will have to find a way of making the gasket form a better seal too.

The car was greatly improved straight away in the second round although quite edgy on turn-in, as the tyre came in the car was quite driveable and I was 6th in round (I think) from a field of nearly 50 in 17.5 Blinky.

I tried the warmers for round 3 but it didn’t make much of a difference, and as the track grip came up the rear end became more locked in, perhaps too locked in. I messed about with my steering linkages a couple of times during the day because I wasn’t convinced I was getting even steering both ways.

For rounds 4 and 5 of qualifying the car felt pretty good, but as ever I just lack the ultimate pace of the top drivers in the class so qualified 7th. Before the finals I dropped the front end down to ARC Yellow springs too. Results were a 4th (after a lucky start) and a 9th (after one of the biggest first corner crashes I have been in, which knocked the fan out of the car and dislodged the sensor wire, fortunately a marshal noticed the problem and I carried on, a lap down). The car itself survived the shunt and drove just fine.

Apart from the diff concerns (the #2000 didn’t seem to leak excessively during the day), I also broke one of the blades on the front spool, and also broke a 3Racing replacement. I’m weighing up the benefit of switching to a non-bladed spool outdrive (made by Roche). The Lipo mounts were also a pain, because my decision to trim them meant they were prone to twisting around.

General driving impressions was that the car had a lot of turning ability but with a stable rear once the grip came up. A smoother drive than the ARC which always had an edginess indoors, However I couldn’t say it was any quicker as I qualified where I would normally qualify and finished where I would normally finish! Perhaps more consistent though, managing 0.3s difference between average and best in some runs whereas the ARC was rarely below 0.5s. The full-size LiPo may well have helped to stop some late-race power fade too.


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