Debating weight for a road course track

redlinederby Saturday, 1/4/2020
Site manager

As I was putting together a car for the recent Super Cars race, it had me thinking about weight on a road course like Bootleg Run. Popular thought is a heavy car goes faster, and in a straight line downhill, that's probably true, but what about around the curves?

Weight will get you speed and momentum but won't the heavy cars have more trouble in the curves? I'd think a lighter car could handle them better, especially when there are several like on the Bootleg.

I'm gonna test a little bit with my entries...one will be at weight (60g) and the other less. I'll still add some extra weight to help it off the line but I'll be interested to see if the less weight helps it handle the lefts and rights more.

I'm sure science has a real answer, but what have you seen and experienced?


Discussion

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LeagueofSpeed 1/4/20
Event coordinator

It's Bootleg Run...so who knows 


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Mattman213 1/4/20

I plan on sending in a little of both as I too have no clue what'll handle best on that exact track.  I can't replicate it at my house so I chose from what I have and will hope for the  best!

Matt


  • I feel with road courses it's less about weight and more about dealing with track joints and bounces and stuff. I dunno. Roll the dice. — redlinederby
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72_Chevy_C10 1/4/20
Event coordinator

I'm working on a truck for tge 2020 KotM race, and I just posted this...

youtu.be/Q8VpfxDMlnk


  • I've seen enough cars that I just feel like weight low in the middle of the car is a happy path. But yeah, open track is a whole different beast. — redlinederby
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LeagueofSpeed 1/4/20
Event coordinator

Once again...Bootleg Run has very little seams due to the 95% seamless run...it's just a different animal...nothing like the Boot 

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213Racing 2/5/20

In my limited experience, the car that makes it to the first turn first has an advantage because it avoids getting caught up with other cars. The more cars that are racing, the truer this is, and it is often true in 1:1 car racing as well, so if weight gives a downhill advantage to the first turn, there is some advantage there. A heavier car is also more likely to push other cars around or out of its way.

That being said though, a lighter car that coasts well, can pass the heavier car up, and often does if it doesn't get tangled with the heavier car. It's this randomness that makes me like fat track racing so much.


  • Good insight. Although I seem to find fat track a little too random to the point where it doesn't matter what you do to a car. There will be no trend over time. I feel like you could run the same group of cars 10 times and the results would be different each time. — redlinederby
  • Although my question about weight placement was in relation to a laned road course, not a fat track. — redlinederby
  • I completely missed the laned track. I was just looking at pictures of it the other day too. I have the dragstrip laned, but I feel the randomness of the fat track evens the playing field a little, which can be bad if your trying to build/find the fastest car, but great for entertaining racing. — 213Racing
  • Agreed. The open track lends itself to more commentary and interesting watching. Probably why my races feel cheap, ha! — redlinederby

As I looked at the list of events I'm entering in the next few weeks and trying to decide which cars would go unprepped due to time contraints, along with reading some of the comments about the wickedness of this track and the possibility that cars could see off-track flight time made me wonder if it's possible to "over-power" a car on this track. Maybe a car with moderate weight and good, straight tracking just might be the ticket. Seems to me that the heavier a vehicle is the harder it could push into a corner, creating higher resistance and scrubbing speed as it rubs along the wall through the corners, and on a course such as Bootleg (based on the pictures anyway) the multiple 180 degree turns could mean a substantial amount of accumulated resistance for the heavier cars vs lighter ones. Of course just like the real cars we race there's a happy medium between those factors and it probalbly changes with other factors such as chassis length, width, axle flex, etc. 

In other words, I really have no idea but of all the races I'm entering in the next few weeks it seems that maximizing weight and race prep could be less of an advantage on this track VS a simple straight track. My effort was to find stock cars that rolled straight and true. Really looking forward to seeing the action and results on Bootleg. 

- Bruno 


  • On my test setup for this race using the 1960's redline track sets Im finding that once you think you figure it out, another car comes along and does what it shouldnt based on your results. Heavy cars flying off the turns and crashing, light cars flying off and crashing then another heavy car blows the doors off the rest and completes the track just to be beat by a super light weight car etc etc. It was almost mind numbing picking a car for this and eventually I started looking at how the body (front lip and fender arches etc) rubbed the track into the turns and was able to get some slightly consistent results from it. Now watch, every one of my cars will fly off the Bootleg first pass LOL — Mattman213
  • I sent one heavy and one lighter car in for Supers. I’ll be interested to see which does better. — redlinederby
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LeagueofSpeed 2/5/20
Event coordinator

The February race is always something different...but from my observations...the Dixie Gran Prix in September is the perfect marriage of track and car...the Open Wheel cars are classed at 50g and that weight range with the Open Wheelers works very well on Bootleg Run.

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MDG_Racing 2/5/20

After running the Boot twice with open wheelers and once with the VW bugs, I decided to vary weights on my entries for the SuperCar race. 2 are maxed at 60g but the rest vary. 56-58 grams seemed to fill the bill. Mostly I chose low roofline, winged models. Leaving very little room for weight. Creativity was important to try keep the placement in the mid line of the casting for balanced performance through the curves.

What I had more issues with than anything was side rub and splitters being too low. Chassis filing, grinding and re-testing was key. And even after that several were cut from the possibles.

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