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Race Prep

Posted 02-15-2008 at 07:09 PM by MZRSpoon
No one has really asked me about this but I figured it would be a good thing to post up anyway. You can be as serious or as casual about Mini-Z's as you want but I think it pays off to be prepared. I tend to live on the semi-serious side, but every once in a while I have to remind myself that it's all about fun.

I go through a few routine checks when I have time before an important race. I'll go through all of my personal race prep here...again...in no particular order.

Car - Wheels & Tires


Your tires can make or break you in a race. If you are racing at the same track every week or every month, chances are you have a setup that works really well for you. That's what a home court advantage is all about. Since I always use Atomic 20* tires for my fronts in DC I like to make sure that I have plenty to spare and the ones I am currently running have a good amount of tread left. It's also good to know the characteristics of your tires. The Atomic 20's start to lose grip very quickly when they reach a certain level of wear. It doesn't seem gradual to me, so I keep that in mind when my handling gets funny, it's usually time for new front tires.

I also take the time to retape my tires before each race day. I find the tape works best when it has some time to setup and you are using clean tires and wheels. I've run into problems trying to tape tires up on race day. I think I am going to start moving to GripLock or CA Glue but I'll leave that for another time.

Not quite as important as your tires is your wheels. You'll want to check them for cracks and make sure your wheel nuts aren't getting too loose. A lot wheel or tire is the most common avoidable thing I see in races. Do what you can so this isn't a factor.

Car - Body

I just like to give the body a once over for serious cracks. These things are tough but if you've got a 350Z or something else with huge light buckets you may want to think about reinforcing those areas.

Car - Motor

Motors definitely get dirty and worn out. I usually replace my HFAY motor once or twice a season depending on how it feels. I also clean them out either every race day or every other race day depending on how much time I have. A little bit of electrical parts cleaner goes a long way. Just make sure you remove the motor from the chassis and let it dry out before you put it back in the car.

Batteries

I charge my batteries the day before racing and try to run through my race batteries once before the Mains. They have a little more punch once you've run them down and charged them up once. I would try to avoid running a single set more than 2-3 times/day though.

For charging, cycling and matching batteries you really can't beat the Wizard.

Controller

Just make sure it's with your stuff and you've got plenty of battery power. Not much else to say here.

Most of the pre-race rituals I mentioned above apply to my HFAY car. It is really the only car that I race often enough that I need to make sure everything is in top form before every race. When the stakes are high (or they aren't and you want to pretend they are) you really want to bring your A game. There are always factors that you can't control but I like to keep the variables to a minimum.
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