October 3, 2012

VRC Pro Column – Short Course trucks

11th of August was D-day for VRC Pro: launch of short course trucks class, Virtual Racing Industries’ first attempt into off-road. It became immediately clear how immensely popular off-road racing is compared to on-road racing. In off-road you crash with a smile, in on-road you crash with frustration to say it bluntly. The Intercept SCX-10 is VRC’s own ‘generic’ 4-WD short course truck and is partly based on the popular Associated SC10 chassis. However, the SCX-10 is equipped with 3 adjustable viscous gear differentials to distribute the power the front and rear wheels equally. Suspension, shocks and anti-roll bars can be fine tuned to optimize the handling of the car.

The result is amazingly close to the real thing, or as ‘Mr. Voice of RC’ Scotty Ernst, also an avid short course racer and organizer stated it: ‘it feels just like the real thing, this is awesome…’. This was after Scotty gave virtual short course a first try during the IFMAR Worlds in the Netherlands past summer. Since then short course has become the most popular class in VRC Pro, simply because it’s so easy to get into and so much fun.

Off Road tracks
With the launch of Virtual Short Course 2 off-road tracks were launched. The Rhein-Main track in Germany, is a full blown 1:8 scale off-road track with huge jumps but also very suitable for short course, fast lap times are in the 36 seconds with 7.5T motors. Our second track is the Mikes Hobby Shop Indoor racetrack in Carrollton, Texas. ‘Mikes 1’ as we call it is a relative simple but nice flowing off-road track with fastest lap times in the 16 seconds range. Recently ‘Mikes 2’ was added to the selection of off-road tracks, the lay-out is a lot more technical and demanding with sub-20 second lap times and as such it’s a nice addition to the indoor collection. These indoor dirt/clay off-road change layout quite frequently as it just takes a day to re-shape the whole track.

The new Bash Pit is ideally suited to get a first taste of driving a short course truck. It’s an open area without barriers, so you can drive about anywhere, even with just key-board control. It has some interesting jumps and a ramp where you can really fly your car. The Bash Pit is a free track. The Bash Pit Track is using the same area but now with barriers to define the track lay-out.

New tracks are under construction, among them the 2011 IFMAR Worlds track in Vaasa Finland, the 201 IFMAR World track in Pattaya Thailand, and the Silver Dollar track of A-Main Hobbies in Chico California. These 1:8 scale size off-road tracks are slated to be released towards the end of 2012, just guess why…

Game pad support
We have added game pad support for VRC Pro, this should make it a lot easier to get a good first impression of VRC Pro even without having a VRC USB adaptor to control it with your own radio. All Windows-compatible game pads can be hooked up and configured in a special ‘mapping’ screen where you can assign which control on your game pad you want to use for steering and which one for throttle and brake. You can also set the sensitivity and exponential for these controls. The game pad actually feels almost like a stick radio and lets you control VRC Pro with a near-to-rc feel.

Mike’s Hobby shop sets record
With their own indoor tracks featured in VRC Pro, Mike Darnell of Mikes Hobbies decided to put a VRC Pro system up in his store in Carrollton Texas to let his customers and visitors of his shop get a virtual short course experience. And what an overwhelming success that has been. In less than 2 months over one hundred thousand laps were recorded, covering a total distance of almost 30.000 km or 18.000 miles, that’s three quarters around the world with an r/c car. Obviously it’s important for Mike to entertain his customers, but more importantly it brings new enthusiasts to his store and is creating interest in the hobby, so potential new real racers through VRC Pro.

Source: VRC [vrcpro.com]


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