Are you planning on racing in a short course race? Read these essential tips to give you an edge!

In August 2018, the Fergus Falls Regional RC Flyers opened a track in partnership with the city. The club's president, Tom Davis, explained to readers of The Journal that RC racing has come a long way over the years.

As enthusiasts know, you can adjust your truck's suspension, steering, and gears for best performance on a track.

For those of you who are newer to RC short course racing, this article contains some tips to improve your performance during a short course race.

1. Achieve Lap Consistency

Perhaps one of the best goals for the short course truck racing beginner is to achieve consistent lap times. The only way to accomplish this is to learn to avoid wrecking. Like any sport, racing demand discipline. If you tend to gun the throttle at the wrong time, you lap times will start to suffer.

Take it easy on the throttle. Finishing smoothly also helps you finish the RC short course ahead, especially when the other drivers are rookies as well.

2. Control Rear Traction

Spinning out is another common error for the beginner. Getting that rear traction under control takes care of that. Racing brings out a driver's nerves. If that leads to a twitchy finger along with low rear traction, you will eventually spin out.

To improve your rear traction, you can do one of several things. For example, you can upgrade your rear tires. You can move the truck's battery further back. You can also modify the position of the front and rear shocks to increase traction.

Finally, you can add an anti-squat rack, also known as a kick-up. By adding this to your rear axles, you increase the angle of the axle to the ground. The result is an increase in rear traction. Though, there are some losses to the front steering.

3. Choose the Best Tires for the Track

Speaking of tires, they are the most important part of your setup. More than likely, you will race on clay or dirt. Tires come in different compounds and degrees of firmness.

You have ample choices to match the tread and compound for the RC short course track. That ensures the best handling for your truck. Most racers choose slicks or even bar style tires.

Also, you'll want a bottle of traction compound if allowed on your track. Traction compound is liquid you can brush on the tires to soften them for better traction.

You can also ask the track owner, race director, or other racers for their recommendations. Note that you don't have to have the same tires in the front as you do the back.

4. Drive Smarter, Not Faster

Sometimes it's best to let the faster trucks pass you. No one wants to give up his or her position, but sometimes it's the smartest choice to make. If you get caught up with another truck, that only slows everyone down.

Also, if you know another driver is faster and more skilled than you, slow down and let him or her pass. As a newbie, you're not set out to win your first few races anyway. At some point, you'll be competing for the win.

As we said earlier, it's important to drive your truck smoothly. Keep your truck rolling steady. IT may be more fun to fly around corners and spraying dirt on your competition. Though, as the old saying goes, steady wins the race.

5. Watch and Learn from Other Racers

Watch the other racers during practice. Pay special attention to the best drivers. What jumps are they making? Which lines do they take?

Track conditions change daily. This means the optimal racing line changes as well. Observe what the experiences racers are doing. If they are avoiding a certain jump, there's most likely a reason.

6. Become Familiar with the Logistics of the Race

The race director can provide a great deal of information about the race, so you can be prepared. He or she can tell you which responder you will have and when the next race takes place.

You can ask about the starting order and how long the Quals are (as well as the Main). The more prepared you are, the more you can focus on the race.

7. Upgrade Your Motor

Choosing a motor for short course RC trucks is no easy task. The choices are almost endless. Upgrading your motor gives you an edge on the track. Just about all RC trucks, such as the Traxxas Slash models, come with adequate motors.

Though, many drivers choose to upgrade. The easiest way to select the right motor is to talk to your fellow drivers at the track. Experienced racers are happy to answer questions to help newbies like you.

Another factor in your decision is the class in which you plan to race. A decent 17.5-turn brushless motor qualifies your truck for stock class. You'll need a 13.5-turn motor if your track offers this class, but you're not ready for full modified.

If you do want to venture into modified, go with a mild one like a 10.5. Keep in mind the type of speed control required for this.

Ready for Your Next Short Course Race

When you are ready for your first short course race (or your second), don't be afraid to ask questions. No matter the sport or hobby, whether it's target shooting, mountain hiking, or RC truck racing, be prepared to ask lots of questions.

Everyone from the owners of your local hobby shop to your fellow truck racers is happy to answer questions. Like you, they are excited about RC truck racing and are willing to share their knowledge.

Racing is competitive of course, though it's also something that fosters community and fellowship.

Please explore our site for more articles on competitive sports and hobbies.