Building a RC drag strip


Creating a proper rc drag strip can be a daunting task. Before you can start with the construction of a (temporary) strip you should of course first find a suitable location.

The key to a good location, it is of course that you are not a burden to anyone and nobody will bother you. Especially traffic can be very tricky. A relatively quiet area is the best starting point. For this reason, industrial sites are often the most suitable. Even large parking lots with little or no obstacles, and especially no gutters and curbs can perfectly meet. Sometimes you can find a parking at larger companies that are accessible and not used in the evening or weekend. A parking space in an industrial example would be an ideal location.

During a search for a suitable location it can sometimes be useful to use Google Earth and Street View to so you do not have drive around / search for a suitable location for an eternity.

Substrate rc drag strip

If you have found a good location then watch the substrate. Drag Racing only works on asphalt or concrete. Preferably as smooth as possible, not decreasing, concave or convex. This makes parkingís more convenient than roads. Roads in the Netherlands / Europe are often sphere constructed to eliminate excess water to the drain gutters direction along the curbs. Are you still on a piece of road, keep in mind that you put the center of the rc drag strip in the middle of the road. In this way, two participants both have to take account of the same deviation to the outside of the track. An additional handicap, .. but sometimes it isnít any better.

Construction of the strip / preparing a rc drag strip

At first you may think what has to be built or prepared? I can do fast and straight anywhere? That's true of course, but if you want to do some more serious drag racing you have to prepare the track. The key here is that the drag strip be clean. Cleaner than you can see at first eye. There should be no pebbles, sand or other dirt on the track because otherwise you'll have no grip or perhaps youíre base plate ends up on a pebble while driving and you will completely lose your grip. Even the smallest amount of sand or dust will seriously reduce the grip.

To get a completely clean track thereís is nothing else than wiping or blowing with a leaf blower. After that, you can further increase the grip by spraying a sticky liquid on the track to. You can do this with strong tempered syrup, soda or sugar water. The easiest way to do this is with a refillable weed sprayer. You do not need to spray the whole track but will benefit a lot from the first 8 to 10 meters after the starting line. This part of the track will need the best grip.

Dimensions rc drag racing strip

rc drag strip layout

The total length of a drag race strip will be about 80 meters and a minimum width of 4.86 m (two lanes).
You have 40.23 meters drag strip and if you want to stick to the rules, at least 30 meters roll out area and a sufficiently large starting zone and pre-placement area. Obviously for test drives and test runs you can start with less space but a roll-out space is not a luxury.

At the end of a roll out area you can create a soft wall with a piece of cloth or plastic to collect dragsters shooting true the roll out area.

Time measurement with a light tree

Do you really want to race professionally in rc drag racing there will be need for time measurements. The start and timing in official matches is done with a light tree (Pro tree) which consists of 3 amber / yellow lights that indicate that the race starts within 0.5 seconds. After 0.5 seconds the green light lights up and the race starts. The red light indicates a false start. When bracket racing (also called index racing) starting works differently. The 3 yellow lights light up 0.5 seconds after each other so that drivers can be more prepared for the start. After the last yellow lamp, the green light will light and the race should be started. Again, the red lamp indicates a false start. The idea for Bracket Racing or index racing is that the race time is specified. The race should be as close as possible to the given time, but not to be driven faster. If you drive faster you lose. In this way slower cars ride with faster cars. Often the tree starts much later for the specified time of the fastest vehicle than for the slowest. So if the fastest time is 1 second faster than the slowest, the tree will turn on green 1 second. That way the cars theoretically finish at the same moment.

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