Saturday, May 16, 2015

F1 Facts - full scale and RC - Aus/NZ

RC at a high level

Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton’s first contact with a form of motor sport came through driving RC cars. His father Anthony bought him one in 1991 and aged six Hamilton was runner-up in a national RC racing championship. “I was racing these remote-controlled cars and winning club championships against adults,” remembered Hamilton. After that Anthony wondered if Lewis’s skills might transfer to full-size motorsport. Lewis's brother Nic runs nitro off road competitively and is sponsored by LRP. You can also see Lewis using a smartphone app to control his full size F1 car here (Video #1).

Pedro de la Rosa

Pedro no longer races RC cars but in 1986 he finished second in a world championship, according to F1 Racing magazine (Feb 2013). Pedro's last year in F1 was racing for HRT in 2013 before the team folded at the end of the 2013 season. Pedro was the second oldest F1 driver on the grid at 41. Since his F1 debut in 1999 he has raced, or been a test driver, for Jordan, Arrows, Prost, Jaguar, McLaren and Sauber. The man gets around!

Australasian World F1 Champions


Jack Brabham (F1 world champion 1959, 1960, 1966)

Three times world champion. One of the few with that claim to fame which puts him in the esteemed company of Vettel, Senna, Lauda, Piquet and Stewart. The only drivers to win more than three times were Prost (4x), Fangio (5x) and Schumacher (7x). He is the only man to have won the world championship in a car that bears his name (1966). He sold the Brabham team to Bernie Ecclestone in 1971. 126 Grand Prix starts, 14 victories. Sir Jack passed away in 2014.

Alan Jones (F1 world champion 1980)

His first F1 race was in 1975. He started 116 Grand Prix and won 12 times.

New Zealand

Denny Hulme (F1 world champion 1967)

Hulme started in F1 in 1965 with a 9 year career. He died of a heart attack at Bathurst in 1992. Hulme made 112 Grand Prix starts and won 8 times.

Other Drivers of Note

Daniel Ricciardo (Aus)

Daniel's first year at Red Bull in 2014 is an outstanding demonstration of driving and we've been shouting ourselves hoarse. We look forward to yelling Daniel's name at the TV and from the grandstand for many years to come! Daniel is the 14th Australian to race in F1 according to FoxSports which has further interesting info on the subject. Daniel's home page.

Mark Webber (Aus)

Mark is Australia's third most successful F1 driver ever based on his number of podiums. Go webbo!!! Mark's home page. Mark retired from F1 at the end of 2013. Daniel Riccardo replaced him at Red Bull.

Bruce McLaren (NZ)

The man who gave his name to the current McLaren team started 101 Grand Prix and won 4 times. His F1 debut was in 1958 and he held the title of youngest winner for many years. Jack Brabham mentored Bruce. After Bruce McLaren's death testing one of his CanAm cars in 1970, Bruce's business partner Teddy Mayer continued to run Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd laying the groundwork for the team we see on the track today.

Chris Amon (NZ)

Competed at the top level for 14 years from 1963. He started in 96 Grand Prix but some believe he was unlucky never to win one. He was on the podium 11 times and won 2 non-championship F1 races.

Will Power (Aus)

Will is not an F1 driver but is the 2014 IndyCar Series Champion. Read our article Aussie Wins IndyCar Title 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Understanding The Basics Of A Nitro RC Car Glow Engine

The first and foremost consideration when attempting to tune your glow engine is understanding the basic parts and their functions. By understanding the fundamentals, you can better tune your engine for maximum performance while at the same time, expanding the life of your engine.

The carburetor is the mechanism that mixes fuel and air in very specific proportions and passes it on to the engine through the vacuum intake. The natural operation of the engines causes of flow of gases to pass through the engine (through the carburetor) and out the exhaust manifold and on to the pipe or muffler. The exact mechanism for this is unimportant for the scope of this tutorial, however it is important to realize that air and fuel pass into the engine by this vacuum method. Depending on how you adjust your carburetor, you can either adjust how much of this gas/air mixture reaches the engine and to what proportion of gas to air passes on to the engine. By reducing the amount of fuel per volume of air, you are making the mixture "lean" and by increasing the amount of fuel, you are making the mixture "rich".

Idle-Speed Adjustment
This is the most basic and easy to understand part of tuning your carburetor. This spring-tensioned screw limits the closure of the barrel aperture. Although this doesn't affect the mixture of the fuel it does affect the idle speed. The more closed the aperture is, the slower the idle, the larger the aperture, the faster. As you close this aperture up and the idle speed decreases, you will eventually (sooner than later) stall the engine out. In order for the engine to run, it must have enough inertial energy built up in the engine and flywheel to carry it through the entire ignition cycle. Generally speaking, you want to adjust this down to the slowest idle, just before it begins to stall.

Low-End Mixture Adjustment

Adjusts the fuel mixture at or near idle. Some engines lack this low-end mixture valve for reasons of simplicity, however this makes accurate tuning difficult.
For barrel carbs, this mixture valve is generally found where the throttle-arm pivots. Some are countersunk; others are clearly visible from the outside. On slide carbs, they are generally found on the opposite side of the carb from the throttle slide shaft (has an accordion billow type rubber boot over it) next to, but below the fuel-inlet and high-end mixture valve.

High-End Mixture Adjustment
Also known as the Main Needle adjustment, this is the primary fuel mixture adjustment. This is generally found on the top end of the engine, typically next to where the fuel line goes into the engine. Some are flat-head screws like the low-end mixture, others are hand adjustable valves. More