Wednesday , 22 May 2024

SoCal Rally Event – Rally Monte Carlo January 2024 Recap | CompetitionX

SoCal Rally Event - Rally Monte Carlo January 2024 Recap | CompetitionX

The first RC Rally event of 2024 took place this past weekend at Crest Community Church in Riverside CA. The weather was beautiful (about 62° as a high) with little wind and lots of sun! We spent a good portion of the day with the cars, chargers, tools and batteries out from under a canopy – it felt good soaking up some rays!

Since this is the first update of our (hopefully) ongoing Rally experience, we’re going to fill you in on the location in case you want to come and give it a go! The track is located behind a community church in a gated area. It’s a big, open field with lots of dirt, shrubs and tumbleweeds with the organizers carving a fun yet challenging track right in the middle of it all. The track features some jumps, bridges, underpasses and the option to run 3 (maybe 4) different ‘layouts’, all using the same track (but negating certain sections with the strategic placement of a pipe or board).

This was also the first event with which we were trying a new timing system. Previously, we would use stop watches to record a driver’s time though the Stage. However, a system was purchased that automatically computes your start time, end time, MPH and a few other variables that are fun to see. Again, being the first time using it, we experienced a few growing pains at this event, but the potential is awesome! We’re sure the organizers will get it figured out and up to speed in no time!

There are 4 classes that can be run on any given day: Open, Spec, Mini and Dakar. We won’t go into the major details of each – you can find that info on the SoCal RC Rally Runners website here:

SoCal Rally Event – Rally Monte Carlo January 2024 Recap | CompetitionX
Open Class
In the Open Class, we run the Tamiya XV-02 with only a few mods. It’s a stellar ride, incredibly fast and (most times) very reliable, however this day would prove to be a tricky one…

Our first run was good, setting a time of 2:40 (2 minutes, 40 seconds), the fastest of the day. It was a little edgy to drive but that’s what made it fast.

On our second run, we got about 15′ from the Starting Line before the car just shut off. Took the body and dust protector off, turned the car back on and was lucky enough to get a re-run in but, when approaching the first overpass, we clipped the barrier board and broke one of the steering arms – a definite weak point in this car. With that, run #2 was a DNF and we were out of contention for an overall win in this class.

Thankfully, one of our buddies had recently replaced the steering on his XV-02 with an aluminum set, so he passed along his stock plastic part so we could run the final Stage – thanks Raj! That would be great until, of course, the car shut off once again about 20′ from the Starting Line, resulting in another DNF. Apparently we have some electronic issues – we’ll be dealing with that before the next race.

Current Tamiya XV-02 Setup:
Car: Tamiya XV-02 Rally Car
Servo: Hitec DB777WP Servo
ESC: Reedy Blackbox 410R ESC
Motor: Reedy Sonic 21.5T Brushless Motor
Tires: Jetko AvantGarde Rally Tires
Body: Tamiya Lancia Delta Body
Notes: While we like the power of the Reedy system, we’re thinking about swapping to a stock Tamiya THW-1060 ESC and Mabuchi motor for the simplicity. We use this system in our Spec car and that thing is a rocket. Also, whatever system you do use, consider removing (or bypassing) the on/off switch. After a few runs in the dirt, it begins to get a little ‘sticky’ and could eventually fail.

SoCal Rally Event – Rally Monte Carlo January 2024 Recap | CompetitionX
Spec Class
The Spec Class is designed to pit everyone together on track with similar equipment – may the best driver win! It starts off with the Tamiya TT-02 chassis – any variation – with any power system but a minimum of hop ups. Everyone is also limited to the Tamiya Rally Block tires!

We run a bit of an anomaly car – it’s the TT-02 chassis but with an older ‘R’, TRF416 suspension system. This gives us alot of tuning options the stock kit does not. Definitely worth it if you’re looking for top times!

Other than a few mistakes, we had zero issues with the TT02 and posted 3 consistent-ish times: a 3:03, 3:05 and a 2:51, averaging a 3:00 after the final bell. This put us on the top step of the podium. This car is feeling good – no changes are in store for this ride anytime soon.

Current Tamiya TT-02 Setup:
Car: Tamiya TT-02 Rally Car
Servo: Hitec DB777WP Servo
ESC: Kit THW-1060 ESC
Motor: Kit Mabuchi Brushed Motor
Tires: Tamiya Soft Rally Block Tires
Body: Tamiya Toyota Celica GT-Four Body
Notes: As mentioned above, we added the TRF416 suspension conversion as well as a set of the oil-filled shocks to up the handling. To help protect the electronics, we’ve added a sealed receiver box from the TT-02B (TT02 D Parts) and a Lichifit Chassis Dust Cover from Amazon. The receiver box is bulletproof, however the dust cover only does an ok job of keeping the bigger rocks and debris out (unfortunately, a little big of dust still gets in).

SoCal Rally Event – Rally Monte Carlo January 2024 Recap | CompetitionX

Mini Class
We typically run the Mini class as well but, unfortunately, we’ve been struggling with some steering issues on this car since day 1. It’s one of 3 things: the steering servo, the servo saver or the entire steering system. We’re looking at removing the servo saver altogether but since it’s sort of a proprietary setup for the MF-01X, there’s not much in the way of upgrades out there. Either way, we ‘broke’ the steering in practice and didn’t get it fixed for the race. We’ll have it up and running 100% by the next Rally.

Current Tamiya MF-01X Setup:
Car: Tamiya MF-01X Rally Car
Servo: Futaba S9551 Servo
ESC: Kit THW-1060 ESC
Motor: Kit Mabuchi Brushed Motor
Tires: Team Associated Rally Tire
Body: Tamiya Ford Escort MK.II Body
Notes: This car is stock except for a couple things. We added the oil-filled shocks, custom-adjustable front camber links and some minor changes to the rear camber links (basically, extending the mount locations so there is matching left-to-right droop in the car).

SoCal Rally Event – Rally Monte Carlo January 2024 Recap | CompetitionX

Dakar Ultimate
One of the more interesting classes, the Dakar Ultimate class (formerly Dakar T1) requires any pickup or SUV-ish body with some minor requirements, mostly the use of a solid rear axle. It’s a fun class as it sits a little higher than any of the vehicles, allowing it to climb over some of the rougher obstacles. Most of the drivers in this class run the CC-01 (we’re one of them) or the CC-02.

We were signed up for this class but, because the program was running a little late, we opted to not run and head on home. At least our rig is ready for the next event!!!

Current Tamiya Dakar Ultimate Setup:
Car: Tamiya CC-01 Truck
Servo: Futaba S9551 Servo
ESC: Kit THW-1060 ESC
Motor: Kit Mabuchi Brushed Motor
Tires: Random Offroad Tire (we’ll be changing these soon)
Body: Tamiya TW Touareg Redbull Body
Notes: Our Dakar Ultimate truck has been a project since day 1. We’ve been messing with it to get more clearance, a more plush suspension and more speed (it’s limited due to gearing). We’ve swapped out the entire rear end and it’s been awesome on the jumps. As with the real trucks, it’s an ongoing thing that we’ll keep updated here during the Rally updates.

This is one of those niche RC events that is really fun to do – it combines driving with some exercise (if you’re into that sort of thing) and pits you against yourself – YOU have no excuses – it’s YOU making your own mistakes. We love it and have some plans to start doing a little more video to share our experience.

If you’re interested, here’s some links to check out:
SoCal RC Rally Racers Webpage (with dates, rules and results)

SoCal RC Rally Racers Facebook Group

About Tony Phalen

Tony Phalen - As an avid RC enthusiast, Tony has been building, bashing and racing RC Cars for over 30 years. He has participated in every kind of surface racing events - 1/18 scale trucks, 1/10 scale TC, Rock Racers, Rally - if it had wheels, he's raced it! He's also worked on both sides of the industry fence; collaborating with many major manufacturers (as well as being a sponsored driver) to working for a high-profile industry magazine. During this time he has learned many tricks, tips and techniques and is sharing that knowledge on CompetitionX - the most informative RC website on the internet!

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