Mark Raddenbury received our Execute XQ1S and quickly got it built in time for a race. See what he had to say about it and how he managed to take the win!
Well, after a hectic build where I “just” got everything done in time. It was time to hit the track with the XQ1S and see just how this “budget” race car would handle the pressures of a Championship night at Forest Raceway. I also had some new tyres to test out.
Contact RC Tyres have long been a favourite amongst the foam classes (LMP, GT12, etc) and with the news they were releasing a set of 30s carpet specific tyres, for a very reasonable price, myself and Mark Bruton-Young wanted to get hold of some to test out. From the reports we’d heard, they were a fraction slower than the usual carpet favourite that is Sorex 28s, but had a longer life span. We shall see! I was also back onto an old favourite as far as bodyshells go. The Killerbody Aeolus, this time in a part painted scheme to try and look a bit pro on track!
After getting the usual prep work out of the way (Lipo on, tyre additive on, bodyshell checked) it was time to hit the track with MBY for the first round of qualifying. I’d already decided the first round would be a bedding in round, and I wouldn’t push the pace too much of the XQ1S as I wanted to make sure it was all working and handling how I wanted. I ended the frantic 5 (probably boring for the marshalls) behind MBY by 1 lap, but, he hadn’t actually gone past me on track and was purely through time that he was ahead. Despite saying I wasn’t going to push too hard, I’d almost matched his fastest lap time already! Blimey this car has potential! Link below is for Round 1.
Onto Round 2, and the only change I made was to the SkyRC Toro speed controller I use. I went from “Weak-Medium” punch to “Medium-Strong” to see if I could utilise the natural flex of the chassis to create the grip that a more punchy esc setting would benefit from. Go too hard on your punch with a low grip chassis, and you’d just overheat the tyres spinning them up, so hopefully the natural chassis grip I was getting would help to overcome any wheel spin. It worked! A faster laptime was gained (by 0.1s) and a quicker FTD time as well. MBY also improved though, so I knew that going into the final round of qualifying I would have to really up my game and get even more consistency out of the XQ1S. Round 2 times are below.
Into the final round of qualifying then. I’d been running the contact 30s so far for this race meeting, but I needed more pace so switched to a slightly used set of Sorex 28s. Fingers crossed they’d give me the grip and speed I needed! I kept the esc settings as they were, I didn’t want to over work the tyres and find the grip going towards the end of the 5 minutes. Turns out, Sorex Work! There’s a reason they are the number one choice for carpet racing. They just work and Work and Work. Amazing grip and consistency throughout the run meant I could take TQ by a gold margin from MBY. Probably the best driving I have done, period. My fastest lap was bang on 8s with my slowest 8.9s (I tapped a bot dot near the end of the 5 minutes). My average laptime was 8.2s. Just shows how much concentration is needed on the Forest Raceway circuit. It’s so tight, and so fast that any mistake is costly. Luckily (for me) it was MBY who made the mistake with a long lap in the mid point. TQ was mine, with a 37 lap run. Round 3 results below.
Finals time! Would I manage to take maximum points for this the third round of the Forest Raceway summer championship? Yes I did! I made zero changes between the last round and this, and managed to hold on to take the win. It was a slightly bitter victory, as MBY managed to shatter a driveshaft and only had 3 wheel drive for the last minute and a half. Pretty impressive driving from him despite this issue! Finals results below.
As far as initial impressions go for the XQ1S, what a car. Amazing. Spot on handling, spot on performance. I’ve got some ideas of little changes to make to the chassis to further improve it. I was finding that I had a lot of chassis roll in the fast corners, probably because of a lack of anti roll-bars as standard in the kit. These are on the way from SpeedRC.co.uk direct from Xpress so should help to stop the roll. I’ll be trying different options for damping though in the meantime. Below is my setup from last night from the finals, expect this to change before the next time out!