As regular readers will know, I have no local asphalt track suitable for the 4WD ISTC class touring cars, at least not with Pro Stock or Modified power levels – a fact that complicates matters when it comes to running these cars. I always try to get in at least a couple of full days of testing though, even if that requires some travelling and careful studying of weather reports and such beforehand. These last two summers have of course been a bit extra special, as everyone all over the world will know, but just like last summer I still managed some good test days.

The main focus for this summer’s TC testing was on the Mugen MTC2, which I got and built when it was released. In addition to the MTC2, I still have my Tamiya TRF420, which I was super happy with last summer.

All testing this summer was done at the Laukaa track here in Finland – you’ll find a picture of it in this post from last year.

During the test days I did, I always followed a similar plan, in that I did a bit of baseline running with the TRF420 which I know well, and then quite quickly switched over to the MTC2.

Around 70% of my time was spent with the Mugen, which meant that I did no real setup work with the TRF420, which I already had a good setup for from last summer’s testing.

The MTC2 is obviously a very different car. Based on reports and race results I had quite high hopes for it, but it’s fair to say that the first day was a bit of a struggle. Even though I had tried to prepare the car well, I still had some reliability niggles with the car. Those were quite quickly solved though, and since then the car has been fully reliable.

Still, during most of the first test I was struggling with the car quite difficult to drive in the low grip conditions.

I started out with Ronald’s setup from the first ETS race, but had to work my way through various ideas to get the car more comfortable. Some worked, others not, but by the end of testing I was fairly happy with the balance of the car.

Before I did the final test day, Tonisport released this video on things learned with the MTC2 so far, which I found really quite helpful.

I found that changing which mounting positions I used for the motor mount was very effective in altering the balance of the car, and I tried various configurations. Ride height and downstop settings were also critical in getting the car to work for me on that track. Finally I will also mention that moving weight rearwards in the car worked really well for me.

The MTC2 is really quite responsive and you can feel the effect of each change well. With each change, the difference on the clock was not as big as the difference in feelingthough.

Even after I made the car feel well setup and and balanced, I was still clearly faster with the TRF420. With clearly I mean a consistent 0.15s difference in best laps, and a couple of seconds over 5 minutes. That came from the fact that the TRF420 felt more comfortable and forgiving, and I felt that it had more grip, making it possible to push that car harder.