Where the Tracks At?
Chances are you’ve already scoped out the local scene, but if
you haven’t found out yet where your local track is, just look
up our Track Directory at RCCarAction.com. Click on your state,
and you’ll see all your racing options, complete with phone
numbers and links. Not all venues offer the same types of
racing, so check out what classes are offered at the tracks
within driving range before you gear up. Also confirm what
amenities the track has; some are permanent facilities with AC
power, pit spaces, and lighting available as part of your race
fee, while others are temporary or semi-permanent tracks,
requiring you to bring your own table, chair, or even power—such
as a generator or car battery—so that you can charge batteries.
If you’re near Chico, California,
you can hit up Silver Dollar
Raceway. Lucky you!
ON;ROAD OR OFF;ROAD? Which excites you more: on-road or o;-road?
;en that’s the one to choose. O;-road can be more challenging since it adds
jumps and varied terrain to the mix, but that doesn’t make on-road “easy.”
Anyone can get around an on-road track, but getting around it the fastest is
the real challenge, and on-road racing is arguably the most intense form of RC
competition. As for terrain, don’t assume o;-road means “dirt.” Many “
o;-road” tracks are actually concrete and wooden obstacles covered by carpet
or artificial turf, or they are made of hard clay. O;-road tracks are the most
popular, so the odds are that that’s how you’ll race. If you’ve got a choice,
check out both. And don’t be surprised if, eventually, you wind up racing
on-road and o;-road. Racing is, after all, addictive.
The Two Big Decisions
No matter what type of racing you get into, it’s going to fall into one of two
power and surface categories: nitro (engine) or electric power, and o;-road
or on-road racing. Your power and surface choices may be determined by
the local track; if the only spot within driving distance races indoor electric
on-road, then you’re going to be an indoor electric on-road racer. But if you’re
lucky enough to have multiple tracks and classes to choose from (and you
don’t have enough time and money to race ’em all), then you’re going to have
NITRO OR ELECTRIC? If you’re already skilled at tuning and maintaining a
nitro car, there’s no reason not to jump into nitro racing. One caveat: Nitro
racing includes pit stops for fuel, so you’ll need a pit man to assist you. If
you’re not already hitting the
track with a buddy, you’ll have to
recruit someone when you get
to the track.
If you’re not only new to racing
but also new to nitro power, you’ll
have a lot more fun racing an
electric class. If you’re bummed
out because nitro sounds faster
and more exciting, don’t be;
electric cars are as fast or faster
than nitro models. ;ey’re also
cleaner and quieter, and require
less maintenance. If your track
is indoors, then you’ll almost
certainly be racing electric—
although there are some indoor
tracks out there that run nitro.
Fuel power or battery power?
Unless you’ve already got
nitro experience, it’s easier
to get started with an
On-road racers don’t mess around—
the action is intense.
Everybody likes to get down in the dirt,
but “o ;-road” tracks can be carpet or