Sometimes life challenges you in your relationships.
And sometimes, life challenges you in your hobbies…
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.
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.
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.
Some of the best racing I have done has been with “scale” RC cars, and in particular with the Tamiya Mini.
Unfortunately, the opportunities to do this can be pretty limited. My local club (Bristol Model Car Club) usually has a heat of Minis, but a lot of clubs don’t, and it is rare to find a regional or national series that supports scale racing.
So the Iconic Cup was something I just had to get involved in…
The series is effectively a time capsule dedicated to the Tamiya Eurocup which last ran circa 2005*. This means that only Tamiya on-road cars from this period are allowed to race.
Unfortunately I don’t own any cars from that era any more. Rather than buy an out-of-production car (and all the spare part issues that could cause), I went for the only car on the permitted list that is still in production – that Tamiya TT-01E.
The TT-02 replaced the TT-01 a few years ago, but for some reason Tamiya have revived the older chassis for their MAN racing trucks, and for this “Diebels Alt” Mercedes 190E which is quite easy to buy on eBay from Germany – mine arrived within a week.
The hop-ups that are permitted are limited in scope, but the rules are not as strict as the old Eurocup. I have all of them! The new purchases are pictured, and I will be choosing some oil dampers from my spares box. I’ll update the blog once the build is completed.
I have owned a TT-01 before, and they are a surprisingly good to drive. Considering the limited power from the Sport Tuned motor, I’m confident that my car will keep pace with the more adjustable chassis in the class. We’ll just have to see whether my driving is up to scratch…
*An honourable mention needs to be made for the Super Production Cup which continued the spirit of the Eurocup for a number of years, and which I entered in 2011 and 2012.