IFMAR ISTC 1/10 World Championship Cars

In this day and age where all chassis look pretty similar, we thought it would be good to do a brief retrospective of the types of ca...

In this day and age where all chassis look pretty similar, we thought it would be good to do a brief retrospective of the types of cars that we all used to race.

Background History of Electronic Touring

The first 4WD cars that we raced were lowered buggies with onroad shells, then Tamiya kicked-off the class we know as 1/10 onroad with their TA01.

Derived from the Manta Ray chassis and with a Skyline shell it provided a cheap class with scale looks and close racing and the class started to gather momentum.

HPI soon came out with a conversion that changed the layout of a standard TA02, but they were not content with just making hop-ups. The designers were working on a car that would be the first proper race spec chassis, the RS4.

The RS4 was a superb car with its belt drives signalling a big change to the shaft cars that were popular at that time. With kit bearings, universal drive shafts, adjustable shocks and geometry, all included in the box, people had to take notice.
The original RS4 with two speed transmission 
By 1998 it was a very popular class, and there was a lot of demand for it to be included in the IFMAR worlds roster. So there was a provisional race to go alongside the 1/12 and Pro 10 classses. Here all of the manufacturers would get their top drivers to race their latest touring cars ready for the first worlds touring race...

1998 Losi Street weapon IWC : Driver David Spashett 

David Spashett won the inaugural world Touring car championship with the Losi Street weapon. Note: He also won the 1/12 and Pro 10 at the same event! The only time a driver has ever achieved such a feat.

The Losi street weapon was a great car, designed by the legendary Gil Losi. The car has a very distinctive layout as you can see in the picture. With the motor upfront the car had a great amount of on-power steering for the time. The chassis was adapted from the XX-4 buggy but the revised suspension geometry really made the car shine on the track.

Soon there was a special IWC worlds edition released with lots of optional goodies
Pic from Jamin (Rc10)

2000 Yokomo MR4 TC  /  Driver : Atsushi Hara

This was the kit to own in 2001
For the millennium race at the Yatabe Arena in Japan, it was a much bigger affair. Touring cars has become the most popular class worldwide. The winner was Atsushi Hara, driving the Yokomo MR4 TC.

The MR4 was released in late 1999. It was originally meant to be a entry level car to be released alongside the YR-4 which was Yokomo's 'Pro' chassis. The car was fantastic, and it had a good level of specification for the time, with full ball bearings, ball diffs with lightweight outdrives being driven by the belts.

It was not only club racers who noticed the potential of the car, Yokomo team drivers at the time Barry Baker and Masami Hirosaka tried the chassis and found that the car was easier to drive fast than the YR-4.

Yokomo took the team drivers feedback and soon released the MR4-TC Pro kit. This had a lot more hop-ups included such as threaded shocks, turnbuckles, revised steering assembly and a new top deck to make the car stiffer.

When Atsushi Hara took the worlds victory with the car, there was a worlds edition kit released, taking the car and providing the following changes
  • Graphite main chassis tub 
  • Worlds upper deck 
  • Worlds front & rear suspension arms 
  • Aluminum driveshafts 
  • Titanium turnbuckles 
  • Front antiroll bar 
  • center one way & front drive pulley 

The MR4 went on to be a popular platform for Yokomo, and a shaft drive variant was released (The SD) and is still popular with some drifters.  The Yokomo is the only tub chassis to have won the worlds, although later versions of the MR4 would move to a carbon Double deck.

2002  Tamiya TRF414M / Driver : Surikarn Chaidejsuriya

In 2002 the race was in South Africa and it was Tamiya driver Surikarn Chaidejsuriya who surprised the crowds and took Tamiya's first worlds championship.

Despite being the pioneers of the 190mm touring car class with their affordable TA01 and TA02 cars, Tamiya soon fell behind as the class became more popular and specialist race cars were built by rival manufacturers.

In 1998 Tamiya decided that they wanted to create a car that would put them back in contention and their design team consisting of Masayuki Miura, Takanori Aoki and Takahiko Yasui started developing the TRF404X.
The Prototype TRF404x
The chassis had a two belt design with the motor central at the rear of the car, and saddle packs placing the weight in the centre of the chassis. It was soon apparent once all the test data was accumulated that the chassis was starting to do well, and after many iterations the TRF414 was released.

There were a few revisions to the chassis, the bulkheads were changed to allow anti-roll bars to be fitted, and the decks were revised with the batteries being moved, and also allowing a stick pack to be fitted.

The worlds edition that Surikarn drove had lightened bulkheads that helped make the car lighter and more responsive, it also had revised suspension mounts and a different front sway bar kit.
Here is the car that won the worlds in 2002
The 414 proved to be a popular car and there were a few versions released
  • TRF414
  • TRF414M
  • TRF414M2
The M2 was also the first TRF kit that came in the distinctive TRF blue, although the shocks were a slightly darker color. There were many cars that had similar layouts to the TRF414 including the XRay T1,

2004 Tamiya TRF415MS /  Driver Marc Rheinard

The 2004 championship was held in Florida. World champion Surikarn was using the TB Evolution IV and a young Marc Rheinard drove the latest TRF415MS chassis, and he took the winners trophy.

Tamiya had come back as reigning champions and reclaimed their crown (The only manufacturer to do that). The TRF415MS was sporting a very different layout and design from the previous TRF414.

The TRF415 was a collaboration between Tamiya Japan and Tech Racing. Tech Racing had been making some interesting conversions to other commerically available chassis at the time, along with releasing their own club cars.
Tech Racing My02 and TRF415
The Tech racing MY02 and the TRF415 share a lot of common design features, and the drive train was interchangeable. There was a large gap in build quality however and also the suspension arms on the 415 seemed to have much better geometry

The original 415 had 3 top decks, one for the front and rear, the other two for the front and rear stiffeners, this car was built in a time when flex was the anti-vision in car design, and this car was stiff. It was also epic on foam tyres. Although soon people would race without the side stiffeners.

As the car was developed, Tamiya fitted a range of new parts, including the reversible lightweight Suspension and shock towers, lightened motor mount and a thinner bottom deck (2.5mm as opposed to the 3mm original).

This MS spec car took the championship, although there was a lot more evolution to come from the TRF415 platform

2006 Hot Bodies Cyclone / Driver : Andy Moore

In 2006 the championship was held in Italy at the Collegno Track. Here HPI took the crown with their Hot Bodies Cyclone.

The Cyclone is probably one of the most under-rated cars in my opinion, it was one of the first cars to really move all of the weight towards the middle of the car using the conventional layout that we have now. The belt pulleys were on either side of the spur gear. The aluminium rear mount kept the chassis flex under control with a low turn brushed motor, but also allowed the batteries to fit closer to the centre of the chassis. The car also had easy to adjust ackerman on the steering arms.

The suspension was from the Pro4, and this car was the first proper Hot bodies Chassis, the big difference was the Cyclone was much easier to drive than the Pro 4.

2008 Tamiya TRF416 / Driver : Marc Rheinard

Now over to Bangkok and the 2008 worlds had some spectacular racing, as Rheinard pushed Hara to claim victory in an epic final. racing the Tamiya TRF416 WE.

This was an evolution of the TRF416 that was released a year earlier in 2007. The TRF416 inherited all of the changes and knowledge of the TRF415 cars and took it further to have a more balanced drive train. It also had front and rear bulkheads that were the same width, allowing you to just have one set of spares for the diffs.

The World Edition version of the TRF416 had a longer top deck which gave the car more flex, it also used the Tamiya short reversible suspension arms, these gave the car even better response on the track, the weight balance was moved forward, giving the car more steering even with the now kit standard spool. The car was very popular on club level, as it was easy to drive and really quick just out of the box.

2010 Tamiya TRF416X  / Driver : Marc Rheinard

Burgdorf in Germany was the setting for the 2010 championship and the Tamiya Team took victory again thanks to Marc Rheinard. Giving Marc 3 Championships and Tamiya an unprecedented 4 worlds titles.

The 416X had quite a few tweaks to really ensure that the 416 could cope with the advancements of lipo and brushless technology. The motor position was mounted further back for extra traction and smoothness on acceleration, whilst also being more central for better overall chassis balance.

This picture above shows all of Marc's winning cars, here you can see the evolution of his 415, 416we and 416x

The 416X would also later have a lipo conversion chassis which would lead us on to the next winner.

2012 Tamiya TRF417v5 / Driver : Jilles Groskamp

At the MACH circuit at Heemsteed Jilles Groskamp took a popular win at this own circuit with the TRF417x.

The TRF417 itself had gone through a pretty quick rate of change from its launch only a year earlier. Flex was the main reasoning behind the changes, as it was the era when the concept of controlled even flex was becoming paramount to chassis design (It still is)

The original car had a solid rear motor mount (Soon to be cut by many asphalt racers to get more flex), the chassis had lots of cut-outs that were different on each side of the lower deck and the servo was mounted in the conventional way with two posts.

The TRF417x was a big jump to moving the flex around on the car, The motor mount was in two parts, and the chassis was softer and revised to have a floating servo mount. This gave the car much more flex (Although not enough for some, who fitted conversions to have even more).

The other distinctive feature about the worlds car is that it uses aeration shocks, these do not have a bladder like the standard shocks, and they let out air in the caps to allow you to build cars with negative rebound, ideal for the low traction surface / tyre combination that was used at this worlds final.

The released version of the car is called the V5 not the X as it was given this name to celebrate 5 Victories for the Tamiya TRF team. (We have a build and review here for more detail)

2014 Yokomo BD7 15 / Driver Naoto Matsukura

Returning to the 2004 venue of Full throttle raceway in Florida. This worlds championship was all about which of the two leading Yokomo drivers, Volker or Mastukura would take the crown.

The car that was dominating was the BD7 2015 edition. The original BD7 prototype was raced at the 2012 worlds and was a big step forward from the previous car. Yokomo had started to invest heavily on the on-road scene and BD7 took a lot of the design inspiration from rival cars, but importantly it also brought some big innovations of their own, including the motor mount which brought the motor much closer to the centre of the car.

The Worlds car had a few interesting changes, such as a motor mount that could be set into two positions (Forward or backwards) depending how how much grip was available at the track.

Other changes were shorter suspension arms, and a battery tape system that helps keep the flex of the chassis even more symmetrical than standard taping methods.

2016 Yokomo BD8 / Driver Ronald Volker

Yokomo was on top of the world and they kept the momentum by winning the 2016 event in China with the Yokomo BD8.
Pic Redrc
It was a departure from the BD7 with a lot of revisions. Smaller differentials to lower the centre of gravity. A refined drive train with a centre aligned front belt and moved the motor a whopping 2mm further inboard to improve the stability of the car. The new suspension mount system also allowed for the driver to change the settings to suit conditions, something that the Yokomo team insisted really helped them as the track conditions evolved over the course of the worlds event.

ARS is another feature, and one that was used to help Ronald have more grip and rear traction in Beijing.
pic RedRC
There are other new parts such as new C-Hubs and uprights and the lower plate has had the flex points changed.


2018 is next, all of our favourite brands are working hard to claim the top spot, will it be Yokomo again? Although the absence of Yukijiro Umino already seems like it has impacted their onroad effort. Could X-Ray finally get the world championship title that they so desperately need? Or will Infinity cause a big impact with their Team full of world champions? I do not have a clue, but I am looking forward to seeing what happens :)

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Post a Comment

  1. Nice Article!

    Wish you could share the other EP class too... the 12th Scale



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