Here is an imaginary RC competition line up. Which will win?
In reality, I'd expect the final will be between the sponsored cars with full comp spec engine upgrades. eg. Maroon Megan Racing AE86 vs Light blue Tomei AE86.
The stock 86 would be no match and the street tune cars are too pretty to crash.
But in RC... it could be anyone.
There is a lot of debate in RC drift land about the whole keep drifting fun philosophy and trying to apply it to RC. But although the body styles are taken out of the equation, the inequalities exist elsewhere.
This D1 Spec Rocket Bunny 86 with imaginary twin turbo 4 rotor 26B powerplant is about as D1 as they would come. Full wide-body, rear radiator conversion full cage and custom frame with modified sus points.
But in RC it has a 17.5T motor that only produces limited RPM and the CS 3.3 drive ratio is focused towards angle rather than outright speed.
It can hold maximum drift angle throughout cornering, braking, transitions.
This AE86 with black top 4age is the type of car you'd see at a KDF style meeting or drift matsuri. The owner just having fun in his weekender or cheap track car.
But under this one is a high RPM 7.5T motor and low 1.3 CS drive ratio. It will tend to straighten the angle under power. Maximum angle will only be possible under baking or transition.
Set them up for a comp? Why not? It does happen in RC.
But the judging is usually biased one way or another. Taking speed over angle and this is the main differentiator in RC drift.
But let's move past that... it's old thinking.
How much "reality" is included is usually THE SINGLE determining issue for RC drift.
In a way, Yokomo, with their strong links to D1, has been the driving force behind the RC drift scene and in order to promote and sell their D1 sponsored products. They developed the hugely popular RC Drift Meetings in Japan as a means to support and sell more Drift Package chassis kits with the D1 style bodies.
In short, to enter you must use Yokomo products and that immediately limits you to a maximum of CS2.0, the comps are usually held on large high speed concrete or smooth asphalt which immediately places the focus on speed which leads to CS 1.3 because you can't even see the front wheel angle from 50 meters away. The D1 look was only maintained by the mandatory D1 body kits and the large yokomo wheel range that must also be used.
The control tyre is the Yokomo Zero2-R2 tyres which effectively levels the playing field for all. A good thing.
So a specialist Yatabe Arena (Yokomo's track) setting is CS 1.3 and 6.5Turn motor, big pinion and smaller spur gearing, then you drive flat out for 40 meters then flick the car sideways and soon after apply full power during your slide. Some will place 400grams in the centre of the car for more slide.
This style is easily practiced in a huge carpark and has no real emphasis is placed on braking.
This would mean in real life driving straight for 400 meters then sliding for 100 while holding the steered wheels straight ahead. It's your typical 4WD drift that you'd expect in a real Lancer EVO.
I don't particularly like this 100% full throttle RC style, but it is the defacto standard that kind of penetrated the world.
When you buy a Drift Package out of the box in 50:50 drift setting, you can create the same image and that makes most satisfied.
In fact drifting my High countersteer RC EVO with full lock looks rather strange as it's the complete opposite.
In recent times. the Yatabe car has changed a little with a little more emphasis on steering.
Take a DIB, reverse the layout, place ALL the weight in the back half of the chassis to fake the chassis into an angled state. Remove most of the suspension compliance to make a pan car style chassis that rolls rather than suspends. Target is rear traction on the super smooth surface. Customize anything as long as its customized with yokomo parts to make the car faster so it will slide more with momentum rather than power.
Now here is something that may have a closer result. Hard Tune S14 Practice car.
Vs hard tune FD3s Practice car. One might say a classic 400hp battle with a result that would be decided after a number of "one more time"s.
But these no longer represent the Yokomo image. While Yokomo dominates and replicates D1 bodies. Companies like Pandora and many small manufacturers have focussed on the mid level drift user and other niche markets where realistic Weekend drifters and street cars live. The number of small parts to customise your ride allows you to replicate any car and with small companies now making parts available to replicate any style.
D1 has moved a long way since 1999 and the cars now have 90 degree steering and place a huge emphasis on speed and Slide but a REAL emphasis on steering input. If the driver even slightly corrects the steering they get almost zero points.
In RC... the body makes no difference at all. So you can basically accept many styles into the hobby.
The Yokomo driving style though default needs to be challenged. It should no longer be the default competition standard as it hasn't changed to keep up with current chassis styles.
If it is kept, then it will only be considered for chassis in the "STOCK" original configuration.
V1 Extreme and Pro RC seem to be evolving more towards realistic angle but change is slow.
Japan always needs someone to set the style, then many will follow. In a way Kondo's RWD FR-D has been like this. Even though you can RWD any chassis, the FR-D has a real stronghold as the "default" realistic drift style and many are jumping over to RWD.
However, how do you judge a gyro? thats yet to be determined.
For our circuit, the smaller track and relatively low grip means there is NO NEED for CONSTANT FULL POWER so it makes a great venue to concentrate on more realism. There are a lot of guys running high countersteer or Rear Wheel drive. Realism is focussed on the correct wheel angle to be judged as if you were in a real D1 competition.
Chassis manufacturers and small companies make numerous kits and parts to change the way chassis behave and with these now readily available, CS 2.0 seems to be the minimum that creates a realistic look.
Another focus is on NO correction steering. Once you turn in, returning the steering to centre is simply unrealistic. The Japanese term of FULL COUNTER DRIFT means just that. You should be driving with full over steer characteristics until you finish the corner and straighten again.
Is this KDF? Or is this Competition.
So, The Yokomo drift meeting style does not reflect current D1 reality and actually never did.
Even in 2002 when the Asamoto FD won a round of D1, countersteer was already a major judging criteria so why not in RC?
For me, I'm happy to drift lap after lap for hour after hour. no stress, no winners, no losers.
My D1 looking machine or my Drift Missile will drift with 50:50, 1.5, 2.0, 3.5 or RWD. I couldn't really care. But at many times you cannot separate the competition mindset from the relaxation mindset.
The MOST FUN I can have is with another similarly powered car, with similar final drive setup and similar driving objectives. It's the ONLY way to Keep Drifting Fun and have super close side by side. I can spend 1 hour sometimes changing my setting to match another car before this can occur.
With the differences in car speed eliminated, the proximity is easily maintained for excitement. The differences in speed come from Driver Line, Aggressiveness and less so from chassis or power difference.
So what about the other players who are faster or slower. Well they either pull out in front and have a lonely time or remain at the back trying to pass others. Being in the drift train with similar speed cars never gets old for me.
I can do 500 laps a day side by side. yes 500!
Why would I trade this for 3 laps qualifying and maybe 3 battles at a comp?
That's one the difference between RC Comp and RC KDF.
It's hard to justify at the RC level. Tyres are Zero cost so do not limit enjoyment.
I'd rather see round robin SUMO style battles all day than top 16 pyramid.
For Drift Competition you need a standard that is very well defined.
Yokomo did it. How about a new standard?
Here are 4 or 5 possible classes for drift
ALL classes will use the Circuit Specified Control Tyre. NO EXCEPTIONS.
STOCK CLASS 2014
Drive Ratio 1:1 (50:50)
MOTOR 17.5T No Turbo
BODY Street car style body.
Judged on line, aggressive transition and proximity (determination of speed) without contact.
KDF CLASS 2014
MOTOR 10.5T MAX + Turbo allowed.
Judged on constant counter steer, line, aggressive transition and proximity (determination of speed) without contact.
PRO CLASS 2014
Drive Ratio 2.5+
BODY : Formula D or D1 Style
Judged on realistic full counter, line, aggressive transition and proximity (determination of speed) without contact.
TEAM DRIFT CLASS 2014. 2 or 3 entrants per team.
OPEN... Drift Performance. 3 rounds x 10 laps.
Judged on realistic full counter, proximity (determination of matched speed) , consistency and sychonisation
RWD Class not yet classified.
I'm not going to discuss tyres. because in RC land, on a given circuit the tyres should ALL be the same compound. I don't know of any drift comp where tyres are free choice.
In order to do this properly, proximity is what makes excitement. Get your setup ready and practice.
STOCK or PRO , KDF or RWD, Individual or TEAM drift. Let's see if there is any interest out there.