Tamiya 42250 and 42251 RC TRF Maintenance Mat Mini Review

Why would you want a Pit Mat? At first glance the idea of something to carry to your race and roll out before you place your tools / ...

Why would you want a Pit Mat?

At first glance the idea of something to carry to your race and roll out before you place your tools / car on the table seems odd, especially to those who are new to the hobby.

However once you turn up to your first club race, or larger regional and see 'bigger boys' with a well prepared pit area, and a mat / towel covering their pit area that they are busy working away in. You might wonder why they are doing that. The tables at the club are pretty worn, and it's not like when you have to get the newspaper out on the table to stop your partner complaining about making a mark on the dining table as you try to service your R/C car.
A pro's pit area, just a towel, Tsssk! you can go one better than that!
Soon though, you notice that they do not have to keep catching tools that are rolling around on the table, also they seem to keep a good grip on where all the little shims and screws are, and are not scrabbling around on the floor like yourself looking for that missing microscopic part that can make all the difference in your race winning car.

So over time you might seem to see some benefits of owning a pit mat..

Which Tamiya ones are available

So here is Tamiya's entry into the pit mat arena. The TRF maintenance mat. There are two sizes available Tamiya 42250 which is 125cm by 60cm and Tamiya 42251 which is slightly less wide at 90cm by 60 cm.

The first instinct is to get the larger one, however really think about it. You do not want to turn up at the local club with a huge mat thats going to take up more than the average space. 125cm is pretty large and it would be a bit much at even a larger regional race, pit space is always a premium.

I opted for the smaller one and eagerly awaited it's arrival from Fusion hobbies (which as always didn't take long).

A closer look

Once it arrived I opened it up and took a look at what you get.

The mat itself is made of a material very reminiscent of a Yoga mat, its 4mm thick and is very light and easy to roll out. Its dark grey and has a weave that makes it look quite racy and almost carbon fibre like. I opened it up on the dining table and the mat is a good size. 

You can easily fit your car and an array of tools and parts on the mat. 

I set about servicing my TRF car and the aforementioned benefits where there, screws would just fall into the weave, you can place them down and they will stay in once place. Also the dark colour helps make screws and shims really stand out, making it easy to keep a track on all the small parts.
Spot the shim!
I'm sure that my wife also liked it (although she didn't say so in as many words) but their was no argument about fixing up the car on the dining table (That could be worth the money alone!).

The mat also allowed my mind to drift and feel like I was living the dream of being a pro TC racer busy fixing my car between bouts of racing with the worlds elite..  but with the added benefit of being able to pop to the fridge or make a cup of tea.

Test Drive (or should it be Test pit?)

With my car now all ready to race it was time to bring the mat along for a 'test drive' at the local club.

After a days racing, I was able to quickly roll up my mat and pack away. I cant say actually improved my lap times, but I am sure that my pit times were more efficient with no lost screws, shims or hunting under the tables for dropped parts.. so I suppose you could say that it worked perfectly.


Its a grey spongy mat with the TRF logo in the corner.. it helps you keep track of all of your bits in the pits and it helps me live the dream of feeling like a pro TC racer... erm, it could also make others at the club think you are L33T and maybe it could also improve your chances with the opposite sex? 

If you have any interesting Pit Mat anecdotes please join the facebook group and join in.

The mats are available from Fusion Hobbies here

Small Mat
Large mat

trf 3875490366339679548

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