Tamiya TRF420X Rnd1 Race report

Last weekend I was racing at the excellent MiCC 3.0 event in Telford. The Micc has quickly established itself as a great indoor carpet series in the UK. Its a friendly, slick days racing and the track is massive. 

This was to be the first large event I have attended with the TRF420X. Unlike last year, I had a lot going on away from toy cars, so I hadn't managed to get any high grip testing with the chassis before the event. With that in mind I was still looking forward to the Micc, confident the Tamiya would perform well as I have been achieving good results racing it at my local circuits. 

The day started well, I managed to get there in time for practice, and actually had a decent nights sleep before hand (Why do race events start so early?. why not start after breakfast and finish late?). I was also sitting with a gang of other Tamiya racers, there were four TRF's all sitting together.. (I should have took a photo of this rare 2022 occurrence, that will be next time)

This season both the tyres and additive have changed. The Volante V5's have been replaced with the newer and slightly softer V9's. The additive has changed from CS high grip to Deadfly Fly Juice. 

I have been running the Volante's with the water based MR33 V4 at club level, and found them to provide excellent grip throughout the run. So I was interested to see how they would run with this new oil based additive. 

As practice came around, I drove off  and the car felt ok.. The tyres were new and the Volante's do need a few minutes to scrub in, so I wasn't overly concerned that the car wasn't biting as hard as normal in the corners. It was a little soft and when it did grip the car was very edgy.

Lots of drivers were experiencing similar results, and we all put that down the the carpet being 'green' after being in storage for a while. 

So ready for round one and the car was again just 'ok'. I just didn't seem to have the real connection with the car that I had experienced at other tracks. It wasn't bad, but the car would go away from me, it  didn't feel smooth coming out of a corner and I would sometimes struggle to keep the rear planted, something I have not experienced with the 420X at any previous race event. 

I didn't want to get too stressed about it, I thought I would eat and have some caffeine to help me sort out the car. I tweaked the camber, and also moved the rear shocks outwards. 

The car was a little better, still felt odd out of the corners and the grip would really fade away over the  final couple of minutes.. I was a bit bemused. Speaking to other drivers, several were experiencing a similar sensation. Many were putting it down to the additive, as those who had tested it in the run up to Micc were informing drivers that they had the same results at their local race tracks. 

With that in mind I went more aggressive with the set-up. Moving the diffs to a lower position, (I have been running them both high, and it's felt great on technical small circuits). With this change the car felt much better, still a bit odd and notchy out of the corner. Despite the difficult day  I was still clinging onto a position in the C-Final, but the car was much quicker now so it looked like I would solidify my position in this final. However I was hit by another driver along the main straight and that ruined my run and pushed me down to pole in the D Final. 

The TRF420X was now giving me a lot of grip, almost too much and it did almost feel too numb. However I decided to keep the set-up for the final as I wanted to just retain my position and drive a steady race from the front.  So with not a lot of pre-race tinkering, it gave me time for lunch.

I lined up on the grid.. waited for the tone and then drove off  holding my lead into the first corner.

Unfortunately as I was approaching the apex  my car was hit so I went from first to very last, ruining my race. Once I was placed back on the track, I just pumped in some laps and the car was great. The TRF420X started to reel in the cars and performing a couple of nice overtakes along the way. I pushed very hard and made a mistake which stopped the charge. 

So overall not a great day on the track, but these things happen. Luckily the off track stuff was great, chatting to other drivers and just soaking up the experience.  Also watching Will Everett drive brilliantly against a formidable field in his final and take the win was brilliant.

After inspecting the chassis this week I discovered that the sensor cable had been out of the esc😱 That would explain why the car just felt odd when applying throttle, especially out of the corner.. I have a club race this weekend so will hopefully see what difference it makes once it's plugged in😒 Hopefully Rnd2 will be a bit smoother.. although the sensor cable will help with that :)

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