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Old 2012.06.20, 06:17 PM   #1
efsee
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Are all RCP Track results comparable?

I would like to open a discussion about your opinion on RCP Track racing results, and if the results on the same track layout in different clubs/countries are really comparable. It's known for a fact that not all RCP Tracks are equal, some having more or less grip, others being smoother or bumpier, etc. Differences that end up requiring different types of setups, but in the end, do these differences make it impossible to compare "all" results worldwide?

As everyone knows, since the release of RCP Tracks, they have almost become the racing standard for Mini-Z's around the world and used in most mayor Mini-Z competitions. As a result, different series have been created to promote "virtual" racing among racers all over the world in order to compete with each other and compare their driving skills against one another, without having to travel all over the world. Such competitions are held through the How Fast Are You? racing series, as well as the recently created Mini-Z World Series, and is also used for the PNWC Ranking, but I am puzzled if at the end of the day, even if we are all running under the same set of rules and restrictions, and same RCP Track layout, if the results are really 100% comparable?

My questioning has rised recently after evaluating the differences in the 2WD Stock class results in series like the Mini-Z World Series, and for the latest example in the PNWC 2012 Regionals, which so far have been held in two different countries: USA at LET's Go Racing, and Spain at MadriZ. If you look at the results, you can see that at MadriZ the fastest lap was 8.712s and the top result was 53 laps with an "average" time per lap of 9.169s , which was 1/2 a second below the "fastest" single lap obtained at LGR's of 9.698s, and the top result was also 6 laps less.

Locally, we are also running the PNWC 2012 Regional layout, and our best driver has only been able to place 9.8s laps, and a maximum of 47 laps, which might lead me to believe that out local track might be comparable to the LGR track, but we are light years behind the MadriZ results! Can there really be that much of a difference in car and driver performance, or is the RCP Track making much of the difference? A 1 second fast lap difference in Mini-Z racing is an eternity!

Sorry for the long post, but I hope I can get your opinions regarding theses "huge" differences, and if you think that it's really possible to compare "all" results even under the same regulations and RCP layout.
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Old 2012.06.20, 07:20 PM   #2
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I think track conditions will play a part of it... just like how in full scale the track is the same but weather conditions change the track. But set-up and versatility of the car and driver, will and should be able to adapt to the track conditions. But the times will still be different.

Also another thing that can be taken into effect, is how often is the driver and the car on the track. One place may have the top drivers on the track once or less a week, while the other track have their top drivers on the track every day.

Also we are only human and have a certain consistency. When the results are needed the top drivers may not be "hot" that day.

If anything I would take the results as just a reference.
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Old 2012.06.20, 07:28 PM   #3
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^ I agree with what he said. There are many different variables that come into play when looking at race results such as how much grip the track has, how smooth it is, and how long people have been running on the layout. Setups, especially tires, will differ from track to track.

I think that in order to accurately compare results, everyone would have to drive on the same track and at the same time (ex: everyone drives on the layout the day of the race instead of some people driving on it a few days earlier).
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Old 2012.06.20, 07:50 PM   #4
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yes, there are always slight differences in material characteristics not matter if it/s rcp or carpet. environment, usage, care are all factors in how a finish performs. driver and car however will vary more than any track surface.

in the end, rcp is about as close as your going to get at exact same track layout comparisons. will it technically be 100%, never, unless you dictate track conditions and environmental conditions as well. it's the easiest means to provide identical layouts and why it's the standard.
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Old 2012.06.20, 08:47 PM   #5
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All tracks have their good days and bad days. I've raced all kinds of setups on all types of RCP. Some guys can find the right setup for each track, and some struggle (like me). I feel that the inconsistency brings a level playing field with it though. That may make little sense to some but when you've been to events where a car that ran excellent at home gets put back into the box after a few terrible laps... you start to build a greater appreciation for what it takes to tune these little cars.

My basement track is in a very controlled environment. The temperature varies maybe 10 degrees all year long because it's underground. What really changes my traction levels is the humidity! I don't run the de-humidifier in the winter because the furnace does a real good job of keeping it dry down there, usually around 55%. In the summer months I keep my dehumidifier set at around 60%.

What I've been noticing lately is that if I let it get up to around 70% down there before race time, my cars get more planted onto the turns. Seems like my cars begin to prefer PN tires rather than Kyoshos too. In the winter, we're running 20s but I can switch them up in the summer to a mix of PNs and Kyoshos (depends on the car too).

Best advice I can give to any group... Push each other to go faster, and do it often! Any club that races 2 or 3 times a week are going to be ultra-fast, some are just naturals though. But if the novices keep chasing and trying, they can catch them eventually! Practice is key for anything you want to get good at and I can honestly say that when we used to race once or twice a week, we were faster than when we ran once a month.

If I didn't have my crew, I doubt I would push myself to drive and tune as hard as I do.
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Old 2012.06.20, 11:06 PM   #6
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Well for me the humidity and temperature play parts in the rcp grip. When it's in the morning the track is cold and we don't have enough grip. As the day went by the grip start to picking up and we will start to traction rolling when we use our morning setup. Now we use air conditioner and such to make the rcp more predictable. And also we never clean the rcp. Like never.
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Old 2012.06.21, 06:21 AM   #7
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As for the differences between different RCP tracks and possible reasons for it I think the most important items have been touched.
What can help you interpreting the world results is most likely having raced against someone else from a different club at a single race and event. This reference helps eliminating track issues for your personal "reading" of the list: e.g. at the PN Finals you and driver X (preferably a good racer) from a different club attend. Over the whole event driver X is 1 sec per lap faster than you. In the PNWC regionals leaderboard with each driver racing his own club track the difference is 2 sec per lap. This would indicate your local track is "slower" than the club track of driver X.
Of course this is not a precise method, but it helps a lot not to over- or underrate your own performance in such leaderboards.
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Old 2012.06.21, 08:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unearthed name View Post
Well for me the humidity and temperature play parts in the rcp grip. When it's in the morning the track is cold and we don't have enough grip. As the day went by the grip start to picking up and we will start to traction rolling when we use our morning setup. Now we use air conditioner and such to make the rcp more predictable. And also we never clean the rcp. Like never.


You at least vacuum right?

Between all the dust, dirt, and occasional roadkill spiders or millipedes... my track gets too disgusting to even look at after a month.

I always run my brushed vacuum before each race and have never had a problem except if it sits still for too long and cuts a wear line in the track. I would never use a cleaner on the track surface. I have wiped it down with a wet rag once in a great while to get footprints out though.
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Old 2012.06.21, 08:14 PM   #9
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using a misting spray bottle can help get moisture back into the track if your in a dry space. our space has a roof mounted ahu just off to the side above our track that blows down and it really does make a difference once that thing turns on blowing cold air on the track for a good 10-20 minutes.
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Old 2012.08.02, 09:23 PM   #10
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To answer the first question, I have raced Mini-z in different RCP tracks since 2005 and I can conclude that RCP results are absolutely not comparable. Traction depends on what type of tires are most commonly used at the given track.
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Old 2012.09.07, 07:25 AM   #11
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My answer is no, I am not an experienced mini-z racer but my friends etc dont prefer to race on different RCP tracks , i want to race when i saw my different friends ,and they always wanted to go for the best one , and according to them the track that has best grip is the best RCP. So all tracks can have same grip,
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Old 2012.09.07, 07:38 AM   #12
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it is my opinion that people read to much into this and have unrealistic expectations that 100% comparable results provided. expectation vs. reality, it often gets muddled and sometimes disappoints. what you get are comparable results in that everyone is using the same layout and all else is within a range varying conditions with respect to car and track and driver. this applies to all track surfaces though.
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