Taking stock..

2024 will see quite a big change in the 17.5 Blinky motor class for the BRCA nationals as voted in by members who attended the AGM in October.

Drivers will need to run the Hobbywing Justock 17.5 combo with a fixed RPM at all events.  As you can imagine, such a big change to the class has stirred up a lot of conversation on this move. 

With something like this there are many pros and cons.  So lets consider some of them.


Reduced Cost. If you are going to race a national you will want to buy the 'Best' ESC, Motor and Lipos. Sometimes you will change motors through the season when you see others performing well with a different make so it makes sense that it will give you more speed (Conveniently forgetting that the motor doesn't actually stop you from crashing).  The Hobbywing Combo is available for less than £100. Many top end motors cost more than that alone. It's cheap and there is going to be no new motor off the week to seduce your credit card. So on the surface it looks like it could be good for the pocket in the long run.

Fixed RPM kills motor voodoo. Capping the RPM should make all motors equal. We've all seen the racers who buy three or more of a motor, go through them all and build the best one with the higher RPM and sell the other two. The probability of this happening can be even greater for manufacturer backed team drivers. 

Lower cost can increase numbers. This year I can slap in a combo and go racing and just hope my actual skill can match my ambition. The combo has been a success in the frontie class, there is no reason to assume that it wont be a success in the TC class.
Easier for shops?  They don't need to have a lot of different stock on hand, they can just stock the combo, with the simple knowledge that it is what the drivers will need.  

No more motors of the month.. Kinda covered in the cost section above.. but one motor for the entire season.. Maybe multiple seasons is good.  

Less classes are better.  With a performance ceiling being established in stock. It will present a much clearer gap between stock class and the 'Open' racing that mod provides.  Those who don't want the combo and just run their current set-up in Mod. If you want more speed, just add boost to your 17.5 and run mod.. it's more than fast enough for most UK tracks. In fact this gradual step up in the open mod class will bridge the gap until you decide to replace your boosted 17.5 with a nice 5.5 turn motor. 

Frontie drivers can  easily move across. With the combo running in both classes, frontie drivers can move their electrics easily into a 4WD chassis. 

Sponsored drivers can step up. If a sponsored driver runs a different combo, just jump into Mod and you can do your sponsor proud by showing how great it is against all of the other manufacturers combos.


Everyone will need to buy new electrics for the Nationals.. There will not be anyone running the Hobbywing combo at at the moment. Some may have the Justock esc (It's excellent value for money), so they will only need to purchase the motor. However for the majority of racers you will have to buy the combo. In reality most national drivers would buy a new motor for the outdoor season. The Combo is less than most top spec motors so it will not be a huge impact on the majority of the field.

Less One day racers dipping a toe in? Looking at the entries there are some (Albeit not the majority) of racers that only do one event at the nationals. Having to buy an entire combo for one day's racing would deter most of these drivers.. However let's remember, you can always just run your current electrics in Mod. Yes they wont be the fastest, but its unlikely you would have toppled the top tier of Stock drivers doing the nationals anyway.  

They didn't fix the minimum FDR. At the moment the only issue is that the FDR is not set.. so in reality you can buy a load of motors.. and run a very low FDR to try to get the maximum speed out of the combo. If it goes pop, you can always buy another motor. In reality the combo seems to cope well with low FDR's in frontie.. but even then there have been some reports of people 'burning' motors for speed. So it feels a little like a missed opportunity. 

Could it impact clubs? As someone that helps run a small club, we actually recommend the combo to racers who are starting to run our 17.5 class. It works well on our small indoor circuit and if the driver wants to upgrade they only need to replace the motor. Some might argue that clubs will start enforcing the combo for their indoor 17.5 class. I can personally never see this happening, clubs are always way more flexible for rules, and the combo is only really going to be used by a small amount of drivers who run nationals. They don't even account for 5% of the amount of racers that attend clubs every week. 

It could kill frontie?.. Let's be honest, the frontie class is not particularly cheap. The top runners are racing cars that are hundreds of pounds. The X4F is £600, the full beans X4 24 is only £100 more. The shells now look like hatchback versions of the std touring shells in most cases so they are not 'Scale'. The main thing it had going for it was the fact that it used a cheap combo.. well now so does 17.5 Stock. I wonder if the popularity of Frontie will wain because of this?

So there you have it.. I think on balance it seems like it could be a good thing. It was a bold move and I can see why it's caused a bit of a stir.

Personally, I am more interested in doing nationals again. 

I can understand that other manufacturers would want in with the stock motor combo. I think that could be a disaster and would break the entire point of the rule. The only way it could be workable would be that the electric board would have to measure the overall output of all of the combos and ensure they were within a very small variance.. Otherwise you will just get people swapping combos if one is better than the other etc. 

It also doesn't eliminate choice.. If anyone wants to run a different combo they can just do Mod. It's important to understand that mod can be any motor, you don't need to run a 5.5 straight off the bat. 

For most of us weekly club racers though, it wont make a difference, we will just carry on as normal, and have fun at the track.
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