This month’ VRC Pro Column is all about the difficulties VRC encountered during initial 1/8th nitro buggy testing. After the first tests with the new 1/8 nitro buggies early August of this year, it was obvious that Todd ‘Doc’ Wasson, the VRC Pro physics specialist, had to go back to the research lab. The buggy drove, but nothing close enough to the real car so beta testing was halted for 2 months. In these 2 months a lot has happened. A lot of research was done in understanding the dynamics of the buggy better.
One of our beta testers, Nicolas Loriot from France, offered to build a differential dyno to measure differential torque with different oil viscosities. This data was then used by Todd to develop an algorithm or formula for the behaviour of the diffs. Another important step was to add the effect of camber to the tyre model. Until now camber was more or less neglected in the tyre model, but for the buggy it turned out to be extremely important to add that effect. Handling tyre rolling resistance in a different way in the physics added another important variable which influenced the way the buggy handles, especially on jumps. In this period VRC received valuable data from manufacturers like Associated, Serpent and Proline to update the moments of inertia of the drive line and the wheels, and the overall inertias of the complete chassis. Very important data as these moments of inertia have a big influence on how the car turns and behaves in the air. Just last week ‘Team Loriot’ provided VRC with important data from a special built roller dyno. This data gave them excellent insight on clutch performance as well as acceleration.
Todd not only has to analyse all the data, he also has to implement it in the chassis configuration and into the physics engine. And then have about a ton of variables to play with to tune the chassis. Not an easy job for someone who has never driven an 1/8 nitro buggy before. In fact his real RC experience is limited to about half an hour with 1/8 nitro on-road and 10 minutes with a 1/10 electric touring car. But in the past 12 years he has developed very good virtual RC skills and a good feel for how an RC car drives and feels. The last bit of fine tuning comes from VRC’s group of beta testers who all have vast ‘real life’ RC racing experience. For the 1/8 nitro buggy, European champion David Ronnefalk has just joined VRC’s beta test group to provide them with the highest possible level of setup and racing feedback.
Virtual Racing Industries has also published an early beta test video. The footage was captured from test events organised on two new tracks, Psycho Nitro Blast 2012, and Speed Paradise in Buenos Aires, the 2012 IFMAR Worlds track. The cars were driving decent enough right now to give you a first impression of this exciting new class for VRC Pro. The physics, graphics and sound are certainly not finished, expect even better performance in all these areas in the final release which is slated towards end of the year.