This was my first race ever. We were racing in Hamilton Ontario, Canada. As a newbie, they put me in the C class with the rest of the newbies. My car is a HPI RS4 Nitro. The only hop-ups I got on it are titanium turnbuckles and a belt tensioner. The rest of the car is "out of the box". Some of the guys in the C class were running OS CV engines, tuned pipes, graphite frames etc. We ran 3 qualifiers and one main.
In the first qualifier, I finished 3rd on 5. From looking at my lap times, it seems that I found the proper racing line about 3/4 of the way through. This paid off in the 2nd qualifier however because I finished 1st. I ran consistent lap times of around 12 secs. I started in 4th when everyone just took off like rockets but I was so consistent that I just started moving up. 3rd, then 2nd then I held 1st for the last 10 laps. 3rd qualifier was mostly a repeat of the 2nd; I finished first there too.
My lap times were so consistent and good that they bumped me up to A class. I just kept doing the same thing: Racing the line. Sure some guys passed me. I even had to let one guy through in the esses because I was slowing him down. Obviously, he won. But I still finished 3rd.
Not too bad right? An almost stock Nitro RS4 and a newbie that finished 3rd in the A class.
Reason? I just kept racing my line. Once I found the proper racing line, I just disciplined myself to stick to it. An when others passed me, I let them go and sticked to my plan. I practically never wiped out or flipped over. Sure I occasionaly went too much towards the apex and hit the "Dot" and every so often, someone would bump me out of the course. But overall the guys that passed me wiped out more often.
So for you newbies out there: Take it from a successful newbie: Find your line and stick with it. If someone passes you, let them go. Don't get frustrated. And all the hop ups in the world to your cars don't do a thing if you can't control your car.
Personal info: I'm 29, bought my first R/C car 3 weeks ago. I did however race stock cars (full size) in Montreal a couple of years ago (but being outside the car is very different).
Christian "Zeuser" Lanctot