The TC7.1, the latest competition touring car from Team Associated, made its debut at the ROAR Nationals where it swept the top four positions in the Modified class. Rick Hohwart, the highest-placing AE finisher at the World Championships in Beijing, China, continued his impressive 2016 outdoor season by taking the pole position and second-place finish at the Nats. Take a look under the hood of Rick's Reedy-powered TC7.1 and see what keeps him at the front of the pack.
Inside Front End Rick's car is almost completely stock. To make the shock even smoother, Rick polishes the shock shafts and uses AE's X-rings. He drilled the shock caps (1mm) help to remove rebound which in turn increased grip. Progressive rate front springs complete the shock package.
Instead of the stock steering setup, Rick uses the floating mounts bolted directly to the chassis. This improves flex in the front end and allows the removal of a portion of the carbon section of the servo mount to reduce weight. An aluminum servo horn replaces the stock plastic horn to improve strength and create a more positive steering feel. For carpet racing and/or tracks with unforgiving barriers, a servo saver replaces the aluminum horn.
Chassis The standard carbon fiber chassis is perfectly suited for asphalt racing. Although it's made for high-grip surfaces like carpet, the weight of the optional aluminum chassis lowers the car's center of gravity to improve handling and reduce the chances of traction rolling.
Rear End Like the front end, shock shafts are polished, X-rings were installed, and shock caps drilled. But linear rate springs are used instead of progressive rate. For improved reliability, Rick prefers the standard 87-tooth 48-pitch spur gear paired with an AE aluminum pinion gear.
Rick sets up his rear suspension with anti-squat which improves grip on power and improves corner entry and mid-corner steering. Diffs set mid-high (front and rear) help induce roll and increase grip on power.
Rear End To increase flex and improve traction on the lower-grip Nats track, Rick removed the top deck motor mount screw and the inner four top deck bulkhead screws. To achieve 49F/51R weight distribution and meet the 138g minimum weight, 20g of ballast was placed in the front positions and 40g in the center positions. The battery is installed with terminal forward, which effectively moves battery weight towards the rear of the car.
A Factory Team belt tensioner is utilized to keep the belt in position at high RPM.
Body, Wing, and Tires The ProtoformŽ LTC-R body is the gold standard on asphalt tracks and was Rick's choice, along with the LTC-R wing, at the Nats. Mounting the body 4mm forward (in relation to front bumper) provided more front-end downforce and more steering. As with most larger touring car races, spec tires were utilized. In this case, Team Powers 36.
Electronics Rick's TC7.1 was equipped with the full range of Reedy electronics. A pre-production Blackbox 510R ESC is the heart of his electronics system. With a full range of programming options, the 501R is highly versatile, making it suitable for a variety of applications and driving styles. This ESC is paired perfectly with a 5.0 turn Sonic 540-M3 motor. Instead of risking being overpowered with a 4.5 turn motor, Rick chose the 5.0 turn version as he does on almost all but the largest tracks he encounters.
The Reedy 5600mAh Zappers battery is the obvious choice for modified racing. It has more than enough run time and power for ROAR's 6-minute races but its reduced weight perfectly balances the chassis from side to side. Rick typically charges to a maximum of 8.2V to smooth power delivery but the low grip nature of this track meant charging to only 8.0V. Reedy's 1216-C2 Competition Charger can be set to charge from 8.00-8.44V, which makes it another tuning tool for the driver.
The Reedy RS0806 low-profile servo is lightweight and creates plenty of space for electronics installation. Equipped with a reliable metal gear drivetrain, the servo's speed and torque are plentiful and provide a positive feel for the driver.