This past weekend at Round 5 of the JBRL in Palm Desert, Ca. saw temperatures over 100º! Here are a few notes that we recommend for the palm desert RC Track or racing in the higher temperatures.
- Surfaces was rough and grooved in areas.
- Watering was every other heat throughout the day and before every main event.
- Most base line setups start with the weather between 70-80º F. for myself, I will generally start with 40/35 Shock oil in my TLR 8X 2.0. with temps over 100º, I decided to start with something a little heavier, going with 47.5/42.5. Through practice, I felt the car was a little too stiff, so I went down 45/40. this change felt better but, a little too numb for my liking. Garret Parker would stay on this setup for the rest of the race weekend. For myself, I went down to 42.5/40 and felt the most comfortable there.
- For the diffs, I tried something a little different with my car when I first built it. Dakota's Setup used 7/7/4 and from the cars that i had driven prior to building mine, I felt like it could benefit from thicker oils(8/8/5). At our test track, the car was pretty good, but for palm desert is seemed to be fighting itself through the tighter corners. in order to have a decent pace, i had to push the car pretty hard. for the main, I made a few changes, to the diffs. With some input from our team, I prepped the car with 7/5/3 diffs. This change really brought the car to life. I was able to carry a little more roll speed and push the car less to go the same speed. This is something I would recommend paying attention too if you are fighting the car. Whether you need more steering or less, take a look at your diffs.
- Front diff - Thicker fluid mellows the car out, makes it a little easier to drive, but hurts you're off power steering. Thinner front diff will allow the car to turn in and get through the corner faster but, you may lose a little drive coming out of the corner.
- Center Diff - Thicker center diff is more drive tot he rear tires and less power bleed to through the front. in rougher conditions, it make be beneficial to go thinner in the center as it calms the car down and makes less twitchy as the car drives through bumps and ruts.
- Rear diff - Thicker rear diff will again mellow the car out and track straighter out of corners. it will also give more drive to your outside wheel which will help power through corners. If you roll through corners, it can hurt your corner speed. This is because the car wants to continue driving straight. running a thinner diff fluid will help the car rotate through corners but, too thin can cause the car to over rotate on exit and require more corrections. if the track is tight and your base setup is the 4-5k range, try going down to 3-4k it should help get the car to rotate for you.
- To me this was the most important change to figure out right away. Tires are the first thing that come in contact with the dirt, so finding a tire that you like is crucial. For myself, I used S3 Hole Shots, S4 Fugitives, S3 Convicts and S3 Blockades. Each tire had its benefits but, some did less good than bad. to start, the S3 holeshot is my general go to tire for Southern California tracks. on the track it felt really good, but in some of the rougher sections, it be a little too edgy. I thought this could be a great Qualifying tire, but for the main it would probably be a little too difficult to hang on to while battling for 20mins. Next up was the fugitives and the convicts. while both tires were really good in the rough, they both lacked the side bite and overall grip I was looking for. Lastly, i tried the S3 Blockade. This tire had good forward bite and side bite but was also really good in the bumps and ruts. I decided to run this tire fro qualifying and eventually the main. The only change I would have made if it were available to me was to switch to an M3 compound for the evening. As night came around the track started to hold the moisture in and the S3s lost a little pace. I think the M3 compound would have been a little better fit.