Reflections on the Iconic Cup

Sometimes life challenges you at work.

Sometimes life challenges you in your relationships.

And sometimes, life challenges you in your hobbies…


As the car came off the track at West London

I’ll start with the positives from the 2017 Iconic Cup. I was racing with a great bunch of clubmates; it was great to see so many “scale” RC cars going around the track; and we were blessed with some unseasonably good weather.

But I had SO many problems!

Many years ago, I was (trying) to race a Kyosho Lazer ZX-5 in the North East regional series. I was well out of practice off-road, and the Lazer was not an easy car for the conditions. After getting thoroughly soaked at Batley, I gave up. It wasn’t fun.

I was moments away from giving up on the Iconic Cup on several occasions.

The biggest problem I had was with the drivetrain of my TT-01E. Many years ago I had a normal TT-01 and it caused me no problems whatsoever. This car was different.

It ran perfectly indoors with the 58T spur gear, but when I put the 55T spur gear on for outdoors, the problems began.

First race of the series was at Stafford – a track I have never been to. My first run was good enough for about 6th overall, but the car was slowing towards the end of the run. I spent the rest of the day trying to find some pace again, and realised that I had not located the pin into the 55T spur gear properly which had caused it to melt onto the spacer that is supposed to stop it from sliding off the pin. I repaired it as best I could, but didn’t solve my problems as I had cooked the Sport Tuned motor at the same time. Fortunately a racing buddy had a spare Sport Tuned, and I fitted that to have a bit of power for the final (having slipped down to 11th in the order). It was a fun race with a couple of late challenges making the win from pole feel all the sweeter.

Torque Tuned is the only motor I have left

Second round was at my “local” track of Cotswold. This is a power track for any class. Naturally, I melted the replacement spur gear and blew another Sport Tuned but chose not to replace it as I was already getting a bit fed up. I ended up last in the A.

For round 3 at Broxtowe, I rebuild the car with a new chassis, a new propellor shaft and input axles, a new spur cover and, naturally, a new spur gear. I tested the car indoors and it passed with flying colours. I even went to the track for Saturday practice as it is a long way from home and I decided to stay overnight.

I melted the spur gear in the first run.

I was about to go home, when another racer offered me his spare car. The generosity of his offer made me reconsider. Instead of taking him up on his offer, I kept running my own, damaged, car. After all, if it had melted and still runs, it isn’t going to get any worse. I had fitted a new motor for the meeting and surprisingly it had more or less survived, and I kept running for the rest of the meeting, ending up with my best result of the season with 6th. It’s a great track for the low-powered cars of the Iconic Cup.

With pretty low morale I turned up at West London with no intention of doing anything to the car. Before the day was out, my third Sport Tuned of the season had died, so I fitted the Torque Tuned that had come with the kit. A chat with a local suggested that the difference between the two motors was not so great, and he was right – I managed to finish 9th.

The melted spur spacer (2nd time around)

That was the main frustration. I have an idea for a part that my Dad could turn on his lathe that should cure the spur gear issue for good. Of course, that would be outside of the rules as they are written.

I also struggled with tyres and the body – my ancient Sorex 32s just weren’t hooking up consistently; and the Diebels Alt 190E shell (which received many compliments) simply doesn’t handle. I ended up running my tatty HPI Lexus GS (which I bought as a practice shell for my kids).

I haven’t ruled out running the series again next year, but I will have to think carefully about whether I can keep the costs (and the frustrations) to a minimum next time around.

5 thoughts on “Reflections on the Iconic Cup

  1. The series is a fun series and we are racing ancient old Tamiyas for fun. As the series is growing in popularity more people are racing and as such there seems to be call for it to get a bit too serious. There is no scrutineering as it is self policing (or meant to be). The metal motor mount is not allowed by the way the rules are pretty clear, ball racers, steering turn buckles, speed tuned gears, sport tuned or torque tuned motors. I ran a standard TT-01E with just ball racers, steering turn buckles, speed tuned geers and a sport tuned motor geared at 5.3 and used 1 motor all season. I managed 14th in the championship, which is good for me 🙂 and had an awesome time at every race. “Ancient old sorex 32’s” aren’t going to hook up surely, I used about 2 sets of new Sorex 32 for the season and they were fine, (terrible rear end of the TT-01 assides). If people want “serious” racing why enter this championship? There are serious events to enter like BTCC and Clubmans if that is the racing people want. The majority of racers I encountered are like the guy that offered to lend you a car. Would you get that at the BTCC or Clubmans?? I say leave John to run the event as he sees fit because as far as I’m concerned if it ain’t broke… This is not a dig or an angry rant, I’m just getting bored of people wanting to change the series from what it is…FUN. Drive a nostalgic old Tamiya round some great circuits and have fun.

  2. I don’t disagree with anything you say, and I certainly don’t want to take anything away from the huge effort that the organisers put in.

    The blog is just about my own experience. I had more car and motor problems than I have ever had before with an on-road car, and it took the shine off my own enjoyment of the series.

    It’s great that this series exists and long may it continue to bring scale cars onto the tracks.

  3. The TT-01 is a truly terrible chassis and has so much wrong with it but I found that one of the charms of the series, overcoming the poor chassis 🙂 I didn’t have as many issues as you though which I agree would have somewhat spoiled my enjoyment. I think I read your blog at the wrong time and was getting bored of people complaining about a great series. I regularly read and enjoy your blog so sorry if I came over a bit strong.

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