Monday, 8 September 2014

To 2WD or not to 2WD?

With the entry list for QLD Titles growing and the quality of the drivers entering quite high, the chances of myself achieving a significant result is getting pretty slim. I would be hard pressed to call myself A main material at the moment anyway so the main point of attending is more about personal satisfaction. This also forms part of the reasoning as to why I've decided not to go to the extra expense of entering F1.

On a whim before the last local meeting (which was cancelled again because of the weather) I threw together a slightly different car. I still have my Tigermoth LCG laying around as well as a decent assortment of parts. I had broken the chassis which had made me switch to the Mi1.5 project but on the Friday before racing I suddenly had an idea on repairing it and putting it back together - maybe as a bit of a different car for the Holden v Ford series I am hoping to attend at Logan after QLD Titles. Then, for some reason, possibly my well documented non-love affair with 4WD TC, I decided to convert it to 2WD...

... and fit the 13T HW setup from my M03, and the shocks and springs.

Now I know what most will think, but I have to say that, for most of my differing careers and interests, I've not been one to follow the easiest path. I enjoy the challenge of seeing how far I can achieve using less obvious or less accepted means. What's more the current ORRCA rules allow 2WD touring cars with the obvious requirements that will rule out pan car style chassis. 

There are obvious disadvantages to a 2WD car and 13.5T might just be enough power to make them untenable, but with modern electronics and radios there might just be enough adjust-ability to minimise them. There are some advantages as well, it is just a case of deciding if one outweighs the other enough to make a firm decision. Thats where I am now.

Despite racing being cancelled I did manage about 20 minutes of track time with it. Now keep in mind I did NO setup to the car at all. Everything was as it was the last time I raced it in 4WD form except the shocks and springs which were taken directly off my M03 with no changes or modifications. Motor gearing was a best guess based on the knowledge that M chassis cars are massively under-geared and even the ride height was a estimation without a battery actually in the car. The track was also very dusty and cold and it was nearly dark.

Frankly, it was awesome. Massively quick in a straight line and, for the limited track layout set down and no car setup, it was surprisingly well balanced. There was only one other TC doing any runs with a 17.5T and as could be expected mine was easily faster down the short "main" straight but once I got my head into the swing of driving it, was pretty much as quick through the corners. Out of the very slow corners the 2WD disadvantage does show but, given the track conditions, I don't think it will be anywhere near as bad on a higher grip surface. Overall it probably needs more high speed steering and a bit less low speed steering, It was also evident that the shocks need some tuning - considering what they came off that's hardly surprising.

So now do I take the 2WD LCG or the 4WD Mi1.5? 

Neither are front running cars against current chassis' with gun drivers and there ARE going to be some gun drivers in 13.5T class. I am considering taking both with me and making a decision after running both in Friday practice, before scrutineering, but that poses a logistical nightmare for preparing bodies, electronics etc. The 2WD is at least worth a little "shock" value if I do manage anything more than an average result. 

Considering my last major event (SA State Titles) I didn't make it through Saturday, my last large QLD event (Bayside interclub 2013) I managed 20th and my last visit to a big club meeting (Logan) I didn't manage one full lap in practice, I am really not expecting anything but to try and have some fun, but which car will deliver on that more?

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