Tamiya TRF420 MiCC Rnd3 Race Report and Black Carpet Set-up

I was lucky to get into Round three at the MICC , despite initially being on the reserve list. This time the track was more flowing that the...

I was lucky to get into Round three at the MICC, despite initially being on the reserve list. This time the track was more flowing that the two rounds before, without much of a technical infield. The exception being the double apex corner section before the main straight, these looked like they would pose an interesting challenge. 

I hadn't made any changes to my set-up from the last round. The car was working well previously and work has been very busy so I didn't have any time to over analyse the previous outing to conceive if there could be anything new I could do with the existing settings. 


A nice early start ensured that I made it in time for practice (Two events in a row, that's some kind of record for me).  I placed the car down on the track with the new set of Volante tyres and the car felt great. I used the three minutes to try to learn the track, and get a feel for what kerbs were going to be ok to ride. 

With no drama, I just gave the car the once over and settled in for a long days racing. 

Primed and ready to race

The first race was pretty eventful. I picked up a bit of tape that started to trail behind the car. It was pretty frustrating as it just wouldn't come off. Then on one corner it snagged something and it send the car rolling. Once the car was retrieved (Minus tape). I set-off and the car was flying. I started to make up time, I was getting held up a little behind another car, so I sent it into the corner at the end of the main straight and hit the inner kerb too hard and sent the TRF flying. Once it was placed back on the track I had no chance of getting a decent time but just checked the car over and put in a few laps until the end. 

Second race.. more tape issues! .. This time it somehow rolled slowly under the car into the shape of a large cigar. I had no clue this was going on other than the car started to handle more and more inconsistently.  Suddenly the car just veered off to the right.. the tape roll popped out (I thought it was a bit off the car), this left me side on in the middle of a high speed part of the track where another car t-t-boned me (Not the drivers fault as they wouldn't expect to see a car at that position). The car was ace after the tape went I was getting into a groove but then the car stopped dead! Once I retrieved it after the race, I noticed that the the battery holders were loose (Caused by the earlier collision), this made the battery move around and ultimately pull the plug off.

Two frustrating rounds thanks to various debris getting stuck under my car. I was also quite stressed about trying to repair the esc battery connector. Luckily I used my 1up soldering iron, a purchase I had made in lockdown and not actually used. I was really impressed at how quickly it got to temperature using the 12v power source.  The battery connector was attached in a matter of minutes. Really impressed with how easy it was to use. 

The ZooRacing Wolverine is mounted at the neutral position on the TRF420

Time for the third round... this time the TRF420 felt like it was like it was driving on ice for a few laps. The car was a real handful. I couldn't get any power down without it wanting to spin out. Eventually it hooked up and the car was great. However it was too little, too late as I had lost so much time over the first few laps, I was not able to realise the ultimate pace I knew the car had. 

A pulled pork loaded hot dog with chunky chips and Sriracha sauce

I checked the car over. Everything was tweak free. The settings were all as per normal. I just couldn't understand why the tyres were not working.  I thought maybe with all of the repairs in the previous round, that I might have made a mistake with the tyre preparation. So I hoped it would be ok for the next round.  I was starving by now so time for some lunch.

Before the fourth round I changed to 500wt front shock oil. I wanted to see if this would give me any more confidence to attack even harder into the corners.  Unfortunately the  car was still really slippery at the start of the qualifier and I couldn't put the power down without the car wanting to go sideways. I lost 10 seconds on the first 2 laps. As the tyres came good the car hooked up and I started to put in some great laps. The stiffer front shock oil made the car even easier to push, whilst the steering was still really exact and reactive. I started to reel in some of the drivers but the opening laps had affected any potential to get a time that was indicative of the actual base performance of the TRF420

The final set-up that I used at MICC. 

The tyre issue was really bothering me. I had not had any issues any of the previous rounds, and it was really impacting my day.  At MICC you all use a control additive (CS High Grip).  I was sharing my tyre angst with another driver, and they pointed me towards the potential issue. My wheels / tyres were ice cold. Where I was pitting was right by the entrance doors (That are permanently open). The cold winter air was blowing through and my TRF420 was the first thing it would hit. We took out the temp gun and they tyres were 5 deg!  I walked over to their pit table, their tyres were 17 deg. I think I had discovered the issue.  Now, it was time to see how I could fix it. Tyre warmers are not allowed at MICC, so I couldn't use those, so the only option was to pick up my car once I had checked it all over and leave it on another racers pit table in the hall.

With the rather lacklustre performances I qualified fourth in the C-Final. Not too bad considering the many issues I had experienced. 

I lined up on the grid. I was in good company as there were a lot of good racers in this final, so I was looking forward to a nice on track battle. 

I started well, however one of the leading cars lost control, hit another driver and I tried to inherit their positions. Unfortunately they both kept battling each other and I ended up sandwiched and it sent my car spinning. Luckily the car landed well and I kept on the pace and found myself in third place after the first lap.  I hunted down the second place driver, my TRF420 was flying and I had a lot more corner speed. I used this to my advantage as the second place driver went wide and I took an aggressive line into the double apex corner leading onto the main straight. The move paid off and I took second place, now it was time to hunt down the leader who had a reasonable gap to the rest of the field. 

Now it was time to chip away at the race leaders advantage. The Tamiya TRF 420 was superb, and I began to reduce the gap to the leader, at the same time the third place driver was also catching up. I got close, looking for a way past the leader, whilst also trying to close down the third place driver from passing me. With two minutes remaining the leader made a mistake, however I was close on their tail and they hit me. This allowed the third place driver to inherit the lead, I managed to keep pointing the right way so maintained second. The car was still good but it didn't feel quite right. I decided to not push as there was not much time left and when I started to push hard on left hand corners it all felt a little inconsistent. I nursed the car back into a comfortable second postition. Not bad, although again I discovered that I was running a higher FDR (4.0) than others in the heat (3.6).

When I got back to the pits after collecting my trophy, I noticed that the front right wheel had a large tear in it. This explained the car feeling strange after the collision. 

Overall it was another great day at MICC. The Tamiya TRF420 was superb all day. The set-up gave me a good amount of corner speed, it was just a bit of bad luck that stopped me being higher in the final rankings.  Lets hope that the next round will still happen.

TRF420 7361866486562032303

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