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Basic Driving Skill
 

OVAL COURSE 1
This is the simplest course using two pylons.  It looks simple at first sight to drive a car along, but it will require some practice to achieve quick and sharp turns.  Practice both ways, clockwise and counterclockwise, until you can make both rounds in the same period of time.  A figure “8” exercise can also be done in the same track.

 

ROAD COURSE
When finishing course No.1 and No.2, you have mastered the basic driving techniques.  Now you should proceed to complex courses.  Build a road course with the pylons, from basic figure “T” and “L” courses to more complicated circuits, assortments of figure “L” and hairpin curves, high-speed curve and slaloms.

 

 

OVAL COURSE 2
Have two or three pairs of pylons forming gates and run your car through them as accurately as possible.  You will find it much harder than the oval course No.1.  For the first period of time, arrange the pylons with a wide space, narrow them gradually until the space is one meter.  Practice in both rotations, clockwise and counterclockwise.

 

CAR STEERS OPPOSITELY?
If you are a novice driver and not sufficiently accustomed to R/C car driving, you may feel as if the car steered oppositely to the transmitter movement when the car runs towards you.  To solve this problem, try to imagine you were driving in the R/C car.  As you repeat the basic exercise, you will get used to this way of thinking and control the model smoothly.

 

WHERE TO LOOK WHEN DRIVING
When you drive a car, it is important what you keep your eye on.  Suppose the squares described are the field of vision.  Put your point of sight on the forward part of the area of vision with the car placed at the back.  If your point of sight is on the car itself, you cannot keep clear of obstacles ahead because it would be too late to notice them.  Corners would also be difficult to see.

Practicing on a Circuit
Operating an R/C car in an open area is one thing, but running it on a closed circuit is entirely different.  Even though you are not competing, and only practicing, driving on a circuit will improve your driving skill.  You can also observe techniques used by experienced drivers running highly tuned cars at the circuit.

 

1. CORNERING TECHNIQUES
No particular skill is required for driving a car just straight, and the drag speed is limited by the car’s own inherent performance capability.  However, at curves, your finesse of taking corners affects the result even among cars of the same performance.  Especially in speed races, the cornering technique is one of the decisive factors.  After becoming accustomed to the car, try to practice smooth, speedy and stable cornering.

 

“Slow-in and Fast-out” is a golden rule in controlling speed in curves, and “Out-in-Out” instructs how to steer a car.  Briefly, you should control speed in “slow-in and Fast-Out” manner and steer a car in an “Out-in-Out” manner.

 

WHAT’S “SLOW-IN AND FAST-OUT”
Decelerating when entering into a curve and picking up the speed after the apex of the curve is the technique.  In the case of entering bends without reducing speed, the car is forced to slow down before finishing corners to lose speed and stability.  In the worst cases, the car might spin or run off the course.  It also gets the car moving too late to pick up speed.  As a result, “Slow-in and Fast-out” is the fastest way to take corners.

 

WHAT’S “OUT-IN-OUT”
It is, as illustrated, a way of turning curves from the outside line of a course into the inside line to which the car will come closest to the apexes (clipping points) and finishing the corner back to the outside line, thus making the longest possible turning radius.  By utilizing the full width of the course, the car will make an easier turn than the actual curve.  This will allow the car to run through the turns faster. 

*Set the clipping point after the Apex

In some cases, it may be advantageous to set the clipping point a little after the apex because it allows easier later half cornering and enables the car to accelerate out better.

 

ACCELERATION DURING THE LATTER HALF OF A CURVE IS IMPORTANT
Both “Slow-in and Fast-out” and “Out-in-Out” techniques are established from attaching more importance to velocity in the latter half of cornering than the first half.  This has to do with the acceleration of a car.  A car increasing speed in the latter half of a turn can take the lead in the successive straight track, provided the cars should have the same pickup and maximum speed capability.  This principle is true anywhere except in a very wide road where you are not required to reduce the speed at all.

 

WHEN PERFORMANCE GETS BETTER, THE DRIVING LINE SHOULD BE ALTERED
When your car’s top speed becomes faster, by using a higher performance motor, etc., more deceleration will be required when entering corners.  Not only the speed, but the handling characteristics, tire grip etc. will influence the driving line a car should take.

 

 

THE LAST CURVE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT IN A CHAIN
The last curve is the most important in continuous curves.  In successive bends of a road, steer your car so that it will make the easiest turn at the last curve.  Then you will be able to accelerate as soon as you reach the straight.

 

CONSIDER COMPLEX CURVES AS ONE
Consider complex curves as one integrated compound curve.  In the case of complex curves with different radii, you can manage to get through by considering them as one curve.

 

TAKING THE INSIDE LINE ON GENTLE CURVES
Although the “Slow-in, “Fast-out and the “Out-in-Out” rules are basic for cornering, if the curve is gentle enough, there is little or no need to reduce speed.  Naturally, it is advantageous to use the inside line throughout the curve, when possible.

 

OBSERVE THE ENTIRE CIRCUIT LAYOUT
Although several tips are offered when describing individual curves, a circuit is a succession of straights and curves.  It is therefore important to observe the entire layout and select a smooth running line for completing a lap.  Repeat practice laps, trying various routes to find the ideal line.  Shortening your lap times during trials is a very rewarding part of R/C cars.

 

2. ADVANCED CORNERING TECHNIQUES
Not just steering alone but combining with throttle control, various cornering techniques can be obtained.  Practice and master this for much faster and smoother cornering.

 

FOUR WHEEL DRIFT
This technique is achieved by oversteering while decelerating in the early stage of cornering.  As the rear wheels start to slide outward and the nose heads towards the inside of the corner, neutralize the steering and add power.  The car will take the corner with all wheels sliding.  This technique is suitable for rear wheel drive and 4WD racecars.

 

 

TACKING-IN
This technique is unique to front wheel drive cars.  Enter a curve straight, then cut power and steer around the curve at the same time.  The car will change direction quickly, straighten out and accelerate going through the corner.

 

 

COUNTER STEERING
The term means to steer the wheels against the turn of a corner.  If a car enters the corner too fast, the rear wheels could start to skid, resulting in a spin.  To stop this, steer into the direction of the skid.  This technique is used to prevent the car from spinning and is not for enhancing cornering speed.

 

 

WEIGHT LOAD SHIFT ACCORDING TO POWER APPLIED
When running at a steady speed, the load is divided between the car’s front and rear wheels in a fixed ratio.  During deceleration, more of a load is put on the front wheels because of inertia, resulting in sharper steering response.  Opposite of this is acceleration, where more of a load is put on the rear wheels, producing a slower steering response.  Both the four-wheel drift and tack-in use this weight load shift to obtain the desired cornering effect.

 

 

 

PRACTICE AS IF YOU WERE RACING
A race is run with many cars at the same time.  If you want to become familiar with racing, the best way is to hold practice sessions with your friends as a group.  It is important to feel the difference between driving a car by yourself and driving with competition.  You’ll notice that the track seems somewhat narrower with all the cars and becomes difficult to steer your car on the line you desire.  Experience is what counts to get your car ahead of the others.

 

START
The result of a race sometimes depends upon the start.  However, a quick start is not always advantageous.  Accidents are most likely to occur between the start and the first corner because participating cars are running close to one another.  Decide how you should start according to the characteristics of your car and the course layout.

 

TAKE AND HOLD THE INSIDE LINE DURING CORNERING
When competing with your rivals during cornering, take the inside line for maintaining the lead.  It is difficult for you to beat your opponent in the corner by trying to pass him on the inside line because both cars are running at about the same speed.  If your car can manage a higher maximum speed than the others can, only then, is passing on the outside line possible.  Trying to take the inside line too early can lead to over-running the corner resulting loss of time and opening a space for another car.  While you’re at the edge of the track, your rival can easily pass you on the inside.  In order to avoid this, stick to the inside, forcing him to delay his acceleration.  Taking and holding the inside line in the corner is a golden rule for taking the lead at corners.  Confrontation between cars during cornering are the most exiting moments during a race, but be sure to avoid the selfish type of driving that can cause a collision and damage that will spoil the race for everyone.

 

HOW TO PASS OTHERS
There are various places in which you can try to pass another car.  A straight is the safest place to do so.  It is dangerous to start passing a car when you are following too close behind it.  When you judge that it is possible to pass, steer your car a little as soon as possible and attempt to pass.  You may pass on either side, wherever there is more room.  If the space on each side is about the same, it is advisable to go inside to make the next corner negotiable.

Passing on a corner is dangerous as compares with passing on a straight.  If the driver of the car you are trying to pass is not skilful in control, your car is liable to be involved in a spin.  To make passing easier, it is advisable to go on the inside of the rival’s car and pass it after turning the corner.  It is very difficult to pass it on the outside of the corner even if your car is much faster.

 

 

IF YOUR CAR LOSES STABILITY
If your car has hit another car and control is lost, reduce the throttle.  If you try to restore control by steering, the car might be further disturbed.  Start accelerating again only after the car has slowed down and is stable.

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