After many years of stalemate, the last couple of years has finally seen some development on the ISTC bodies scene. To answer the much tougher competition, long-time market leader Protoform has recently launched the new Type-S body, available in lightweight and pro-lite versions.
The Type-S is certainly a very aggressive and fairly extreme interpretation of the ISTC GBS body rules. Perhaps the most extreme released so far, from any manufacturer. It’s really refreshing to finally see new ideas and development on the bodies we run. But with this the apparent direction of development from other manufacturer’s as well, is it perhaps time to take a look at the ISTC body rules again, as the bodies are now really starting to remind us of the extreme bodies which finally led to the GBS rules being introduced many years ago?
Taste is personal, but to my eyes the Type-S and many recently released bodies from all manufacturers are certainly no beauties. In reality, ISTC bodies have not been good looking for the last 15 years already, but perhaps most people don’t care? Would it be a good idea to restrict more, or perhaps the opposite and let the body manufacturers go even further on aero development with less restrictions? I have no answers, but personally I world prefer much more realistic bodies, but then that is no surprise to regular readers! 🙂
Anyway, the details of the Protoform Type-S should be fairly visible in these photos.
Yes, it is true, I finally made a Facebook page for the blog!
Don’t worry though, the blog ain’t going nowhere, all content will be on here as it has been since 2005. Based on inspiration and time, activity is more or less, just like it has been since the start. Did you know this has been around for 12 years already?
Anyway, please follow the page if you want to, if you are on Facebook.
Found these chassis pictures, and many more of all top drivers car, posted by Yatabe Arena from the Japan round of the AOC (Asian Onroad Championships) taking place this weekend at the Yokomo owned Yatabe Arena.
And once again I ask myself, why can’t we even get simple chassis pictures like these from the ETS races, even with an official media partner covering each race?
Anyway, enjoy the look at many different cars for once!
Atsushi Hara’s Mugen MTC1.
Alexander Hagberg’s Xray T4’18.
Akio Sobue’s Infinity IF14.
Jan Ratheisky’s Xray T4’18.
Jin Sawada’s Destiny RX-10.
Lucas Urbain’s VBC D10.
Naoki Akiyama’s Yokomo BD8 2018.
Ryan Maker’s Awesomatix A800.
Ronald Völker’s Yokomo BD8 2018.
Viktor Wilck’s Serpent Project 4X Evo.
42316 TRF419XR Chassis Kit
★ The latest evolution of the TRF419 focuses on cornering speed and steering response.
★ Double-deck chassis has refined 2.25mm thickness lower and 2mm thickness upper deck components for an optimized roll point.
★ Center pitch stiffener allows adjustment of pitch rigidity.
★ Front and rear stabilizer bars are secured with ball bearings for precise, repeatable setup changes.
December 16 release in Japan (only?).
Meanwhile, here are the new TRF419XR related parts with part numbers:
42317 TRF419XR Conversion Set
9803068 TRF419XR Stiffener Post
9803042 TRF419XR 740 Ball Bearing
9803041 TRF419XR Stabilizer Rod Stop
3450891 TRF419XR Center Weight
3450890 TRF419XR Center Shaft
3450888 TRF419XR Cooling Fan Post
3450887 TRF419XR Servo Mount A
3450886 TRF419XR Lower Bulkhead B
3450885 TRF419XR Lower Bulkhead A
3450884 TRF419XR Motor Mount B
3450883 TRF419XR Motor Mount A
3404074 TRF419XR Center Stiffener
3404073 TRF419XR Upper Deck
3404072 TRF419XR Lower Deck
1424500 TRF419XR Logo Sticker
Here’s the pre-production prototype aluminium chassis for the MTC1 from Mugen themselves.
As you can see it seems they have not yet decided what colour it will be. Personally I like this one in the two first pictures more than the black one.
Also nice to see some manufacturer taking the first steps away from just a simple chassis cut out from a straight piece of 2mm aluminium sheet, with the properly chamfered edges on the bottom side. Next step is someone machining away all the excess material under the downstop screws to get rid of this part scrubbing the surface of the track.
Obviously this chassis is very heavily machined. It remains to be seen if this is how it is released, and how it will perform, but as it is an original Mugen part fit and finish should be perfect.
The ETS organisers published some interesting statistics one week ago, gathered at the opening round of the 2017/18 ETS season.
The Euro Touring Series is without doubt the biggest electric touring car race series worldwide, and definitely the most important one for manufactuers. and consequently the biggest trendsetter in this class of RC racing.
As the first round of the ETS last year (2016), was the last race with a factory TRF (Tamiya Racing Factory) team, and there are some interesting numbers in the statistics published, I thought now would be a good time to look back at what has happened after the pullout of the TRF team and following the announcements made around one year ago.
The ETS Rd1 stats reveal that Tamiya (TRF) is the third most populat chassis in the biggest class (Pro Stock). This is perhaps somewhat surprising, but at the same time it is known that once the TRF419X was released, sales and popularity in Europe went up. As always, a good car will always draw drivers, and the 419X has been a great chassis. It is still a great car, so popularity has remained.
What is perhaps not surprising, but still most definitely disappointing, is the lack of TRF factory support at races outside Asia. After all, Tamiya promised under a year ago in an official statement to… “In 2017 TRF will look to provide Tamiya R/C fans of all abilities across the world with even more comprehensive support. We will be present at….events around the globe…”.
Now, if the ETS is the biggest and most important TC race series, and TRF cars are the third most popular car, why have we not seen any factory race support present at any ETS race during this year? One would think this should be an important market.
Following this big announcement of better support around the globe, the only officially published info of any Tamiya factory support has been at the TITC in Thailand and some Japan national races.
So Tamiya, at which ETS races will you be present this season with your comprehensive support? Please answer by the end of November… 😉
Yes, my first run with the Mugen MTC1 was a shakedown, test, and race, all at the same time, at the first nationals race for the 2017-18 season.
My last carpet race was exactly 3 years ago, and because of no local carpet track I had not run the MTC1 at all, so I had absolutely no expectations of any result of any kind. Instead I had viewed it as a chance to finally test the MTC1 already when I decided to enter. The other reasons were that this particular annual race has a good reputation, has always had track layouts I have liked, and is the only race on ETS carpet in Finland. So I saw it as a chance to finally test all of these things as well as the car.
The race however turned out to be much more of a struggle than expected anyway. The carpet was interesting to try, the race was exceptionally well organised, and the track layout was very good. Even with me not on any good form, the biggest struggle was to get the MTC1 handling consistently.
Now, it is not 3 years since I run on carpet, though my last race on this surface was indeed 3 years ago. During the last two winters I did quite a bit of testing on carpet with other cars, and obviously I have run TC’s on carpet since 1997 🙂
As you will have seen in previous posts, I had prepared with the 7075.it alu chassis, Mugen’s one-piece upper deck, and Hiro Seiko ti/alu screw set, to have options to set up the car so that it would be suitable for carpet.
Even with these options available I struggled big time with the car. I have never wrenched this much at any race previously, as I wanted to try everything I could during the two race days. As I considered it a test in race conditions with no thought on the final result, I never was conservative in making changes. I really tried everything possible; alu chassis, std carbon chassis, std upper deck, one-piece upper deck, diff oil, springs, roll-bars, flex, bodies, roll centres, toe-in, weight distribution, track width…you name it!
The car was obviously better and worse, depending on set-up, but the big thing was that I never got the car to handle consistently and easy to drive. In chicanes or quick direction changes I struggled whatever I did, just as I struggled to find confidence on power.
I brought along my TRF419X as a back-up, as I have limited spares for the MTC1. To answer some of my own questions, I decided to run the car for one run at the end of day one, even though you are only allowed to race one car ( I offered the race director to disqualify me from that race so no harm done! 😀 ). So for this one run, I put the same tyres from the MTC1 on the 419X, the same body in the same position, the same motor etc.
I had not touched the 419X since I last run it at the end of February, so the same setup, same damper and diff oil in the car and everything. No prep. The result? The 419X was much easier from the first warm-up lap, and the places I struggled with the MTC1 were no longer an issue. This was on the last run on Saturday, but for Sunday’s race I still stuck to my original plan of seeing it as a test for the MTC1, still trying to improve the car. But as I already wrote, I never managed to make it good.
Now, this might sound as I totally diss the Mugen and say that it is no good car. That’s not the case. With the TRF419X I tested quite a bit last winter so it already has a good setup, while this was the first two days of running with the MTC1. The Mugen is a completely new car so it needs time.
The car of course still has a lot of positive aspects and great design features touched on in my build of the car. And those 20 years of racing TC’s has teached me that no car is perfect from the start when a new generation, or a car from a manufacturer new to the class releases their first car. However, with all the things I tested during the two days, my personal opinion would be that there is still something missing with the MTC1 on carpet.
This is also consistent with the feedback from other racers around the world, as the overall picture you get listening to this is that people are struggling slightly on carpet, while really liking the car on asphalt. Perhaps it is also consistent with race results we have seen on these two different surfaces, and perhaps it was therefore a “mistake” that the car was released just as the carpet season got under way.
Maybe it is just that the right setup has not yet been found. With the TC’s of today, small details make the difference, probably more than in most RC classes. Hopefully Mugen are already investing the required effort to really fine-tune the MTC1, and will support all their customers who have bought this unique and beautiful car by quickly coming up with a good carpet setup, even if it might require small changes to the car.
Hopefully I can work more on the car later this winter. As always you’ll be able to read about it here 🙂