Welcome to the beginner section of our website.  Our aim here is to provide newcomers to the hobby (or those considering getting in to the hobby) a bit of a starting point on information relating to all aspects of RC car racing run at BORRCCC.  

For those who have no exposure to RC racing, we want this section to be a reference point for providing a bit of clarity to what can seem a daunting amount of information.
This little corner of the website is dedicated to helping learn about the fundamentals of RC car racing.  Even though it’s titled Learner Lane, It hopefully doesn’t appeal to just beginners but also experienced racers alike as we will delve into aspects of the cars and their set-ups to hopefully dispel myths, unravel confusion and just get a kick out of understanding concepts if you are interested in getting extra geeky with it.

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Reflections from a recovering newbie

I haven't added an entry to the Beginner Blog for some time now and it's well overdue. I'm nearing 2 years into my journey so it's starting to get to that point where "beginner" is becoming a bit of a stretch. But I think I'll use this post to reflect a bit on my experiences over that period. I hope it resonates with new comers in other ways that they can draw on from my reflection.

Don't be a try-hard.

I can recall my very first race. It was under lights in a class of 12 for the BORRCCC Spec Class inaugural race. Like everyone's maiden race, I just didn't want to get in anyone's way or impact negatively on the result. So when the race started, I did not want to be the slow one everyone crashed into and well and truly over-compensated. I crashed out on turn 1 after taking off as fast as possible.
I think I continued with that approach for the first few races and was worried that this hobby was just one big hit on the wallet with busted parts accumulating whilst my confidence eroded.
I was getting encouragement all along and told I was having some bad luck. But looking back on it, that wasn't quite true nor what I needed to hear. I needed to be told to slow down. When you are inexperienced, you can easily wander out of your depth by trying to go too fast and keep up with everyone. The more you try to keep up, the slower you ultimately become. You crash, you spin out, you take bad lines and you have no consistency. You might drive one fast(er) lap to every four or five laps where you are erratic and significantly slower than that one fast lap. If you were to bring it back a touch your one good lap will be a fraction slower but those four or five others will be significantly more controlled and ultimately quicker.

Learn the right things first

There is so much to learn for someone new to this. There's the car, the controller and there's the driving. My advice to anyone starting would be to just focus all your initial effort on the driving. Learn to drive and let that be your complete focus. By all means, let those experienced direct you to how the car should be set-up based on their knowledge. Even let them do it for you.
But until you can drive consistently, tweaking the gear ratios, camber, toe etc, wont really affect your driving until you are confident enough in getting around the track without crashing.
I think after about one and a half years, I'm only now at the point where I could make some changes and actually notice any difference in them. That's just me. Your mileage will vary. I don't really get much track time for practice so the more you can, the faster you will learn.

The Noob Summary

My advice to newcomers is to not worry about speed. That will come with consistency. Fellow racers are very understanding and patient when it comes to new drivers. If you can't start in a novice class (if you can, you should. We run one here at BORRCCC), don't feel overwhelmed racing amongst experienced drivers. But don't do what I did and try to keep up with them. Experienced drivers will more easily work their way around you if you are driving consistently. It's when you are darting around uncontrollably and unpredictably that even experienced drivers will have issues negotiating you on the track!
I think it has taken me 18 months to become consistent and competitive. My driving has now become proficient enough that I'm not going to improve much more unless I start turning my focus to the set-up and mechanical attributes to get faster and more competitive. And that, I assume, is the normal progression of someone to this hobby. You learn to drive, then you learn the tricks needed to improve. So I'm now embarking on my next learning curve and hope I can report back on that at some stage too.