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Zen Racing RS-GT12 review

The GT12 class is picking up momentum very steadily within the UK. It seems to be an ideal class for novices and pro alike. Novices can...


The GT12 class is picking up momentum very steadily within the UK. It seems to be an ideal class for novices and pro alike. Novices can race on a very limited budget & the pros can concentrate on driving skill to achieve good result

As this class is still in its infancy, not many manufactures are currently involved within it. At the time of the review, there was just Schumacher & Mardave

Zen Racing made the decision to enter this class to see if they can make a splash with a competitive car that can help offer more choice for those wanting to

This car has been out since late 2014 and seems to be very popular. So much so, they have waiting lists every few months!

Currently, I am known as a touring car racer. Although I enjoy the class an awful lot, I wanted to race a class that is less hassle on a club night than TC. The GT12 option seemed like the perfect choice. It should require minimal set-up and so I can just focus on driving it.
Let's take a look inside
A phone call to Zen Racing lead to a RS-GT12 being dispatched. I asked Paul for the recommended parts to get me started and they were sent with the kit. They offer 2 types of kit, a base model and a race version. The race version comes with the following upgrades over the base model:
The car is pre-made and comes with a a lot of essential goodies in the Race spec version
  • Aluminium servo mounts
  • Kimbrough 66T spur gear
  •  Duraluminium turnbuckles
  • Kimbrough Medium Servo saver for all servos
  • Full set of rear ride height adjusters
  • Front ride height adjuster shim set
  • Full positive lock rear diff with thrust race and spider clamp
  • Fully Ball-raced
  • Machined front suspension blocks 4 deg castor 2 deg camber
  • JFT 50 shore front tyres T&G
  • JFT 35 shore Rear tyres T&G

Build

Um, this will be a light section as the car is prebuilt!
Normally, when you buy a prebuilt car, it always recommended to strip it down and check everything it built properly. As this car is built by Zen, just a quick nut/bolt check is needed. This car has been built by pros with many years experience and many titles won under their belts

Rear pod

This is a very well thought out part. Its based on a 1/12th pan (LMP12) design. Its simple yet it works perfectly. It incorporates a regular LMP diff and a positive wheel lock system. Its very easy to put a wheel on and its not sitting flush and causes imbalance, the positive lock removes this problem. Ride height is taken care of with the supplied axle height inserts. When you fit your tyres and have them trued to your desire, you can choose what inserts you need to fit. I found a little trial/error to get the ride height I wanted

The rear pod is based on LMP12 design to ensure perfect balance
The rear springs are a simple touch which can be adjusted to eliminate tweak. Upon recommendation, I stripped the rear dampers and applied the Zen blue 60k damper syrup (ZENL051). This smooths out the suspension movement and can be used as a tuning aid

The front suspension is a very simple system. a kingpin with fixed arms. There is no need to make this part complicated for no reason, it just works! Spacers are supplied to raise/ lower the ride height

Simplicity and strength for the front end

Electrics

Most GT12 clubs run to 13.5t motor with 1s lipo rules. I chose a Hobbywing V3.1 1s esc, Gforce 13.5t motor, Vapex 1s 6700mah lipo and a Futuba S5690 servo

Sensor cable is temporary, the right size will be added soon as the TC ones were way too short!
Fitting the servo was the only main part of assembly. You have to build the turn-buckles and fit the servo horn

The other recommended hop-up part (not included) was to use a 90g brass weight under the lipo. This raises the weight so its over the 930g limit and it actually provides better handling (Part number ZENA018)

The option part no (ZENA018) helps with weight restrictions
An Ascari GT1 bodyshell was painted up with a simple colour scheme to test before my race colours get applied to future shells

Mean green machine!
The kit supplied JFT tyres were trued to recommended sizes and I was ready to hit the track

Since the build took place, I have fitted a Schumacher foam front bumper. It slides over the bodyposts, a worthwhile investment

Race night

Racing at WORM
I chose the W.O.R.M. (weston off road model) GT12 club as the initial shakedown location. This was the last night on their exhibition carpet. New primafelt carpet is currently on its way. The club doesn't allow additive. This suits me for now as it takes away a tuning option for now, I can just concentrate on driving

Practice was used to test the car works and drives in a straight line, a quick adjustment of steering trim was made and I was able to lap the circuit. Due to low grip and freshly cut tyres, The car was sliding everywhere, I wasn't able to put the power down. The locals assured me this is normal and improves for round 1.

Although I was a novice with this car, they also run the on road circuit at Mendip so, stuck me in the top heat!

I tried to go at a decent pace, but the first 2 minutes weren't great. I was happy to learn the track and letting the faster cars passed. after that, the tyres were settled in and the car was transformed! There was a lot of grip and no traction issues. I was able to push harder and gain confidence with the car. I finished 4th overall in the first run

Results from Round 1
For Round 2, I added a little toe out to give more steering. I started off well and made swift progress. The car was very confident and didn't give and nasty surprises. I was able to take TQ by a couple of seconds due a few small errors from 1st place

Picking up the pace in Rd2
For Round 3, I reduced the front toe out and went out on a good place. unfortunately, I got stuck on the barrier and I lost TQ

Chasing Dan Osborne
Round 4, I changed nothing and just went out to drive a clean run. I caught car 1 and was on for a TQ run. Unfortunately, car 1 crashed in front of me and I collected him, putting me in the barrier. It is a tight track and the mistakes can happen, just a racing incident. I lined up 2nd overall for the final

Not bad for the first qualifying session for the car
The final was a clean start, cars 1, 2 & 3 pulled away from the field. after 2 minutes, we pulled away from car 3 and I was glued to the back of car 1. I was trying to find a small gap to make a pass, but he kept closing the door. unfortunately, I tried making a move at a hairpin, but I hit the barrier and it cost me the chance to challenge for the win

A great nights racing, and a fantastic result for the car's first night out.

Overall

A great entry into the competitive GT12 class
The car is a simple design, and better for it! I wasn't sure what to expect, but any doubts were eliminated as soon as I touched the track. The car is easy to get going and quickly be competitive at the track. Taking tried and tested designs within other classes and translating them to the GT12 class, Zen Racing have created a car that can be raced and competitive at any track in the UK. There are optional tuning parts available, but I think the best tuning method will be tyres. They play a bit part in the cars set-up. That will be my only tuning method for now

If you just want a competitive car to race and have fun, this is the perfect choice!

The car is available from Zen racing via this link (HERE)

Zen Racing 957181119427966221

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