Intro to Getting Into RC Drag Racing (Plus Tips!)

drag racing cars

So you wanna go fast? Love drag racing but can’t afford a real drag car? Well, this blog might have the answer you seek. We’re about to talk a little

about R/C drag racing.

The concept is fairly easy, build a fast car and be the first to cross the line right? Not quite. With as many choices for platforms to build on, you’ll want to choose the right car for you and we’ll talk a little about your different options.


Consider Scales

First thing you want to consider is scale. There are 3 main scales that race in our local scene that are most common:

  • 1/10,
  • 1/8
  • 1/5th

1/10 gives you a few options as far as setups and chassis layouts so we’ll start there.

For 1/10 scale cars, there are a few different popular styles. 1st would be 2wd cars and trucks. Most common are Traxxas based buggys and trucks like the Bandit, Rustler, and Slash. They’re affordable, easy to modify, and have a ton of aftermarket parts available along with tons of info on builds and setups.

Next would be 4×4 Sct builds with the most popular being 4×4 Traxxas Slashes and other Short Course Truck builds. Due to their size and durability, they can be packed full of power and made to be very formidable drag cars. Mix that with a ton of car and truck body options and you have a recipe for a personalized go fast machine.

Last for the 1/10 stuff is what I personally run which is 1/10 touring car. Lightweight, all wheel drive cars can be made into small ballistic missiles. Touring cars can be found all over and easily acquired for cheap on the used market. They come as two main types, belt driven cars like Hpi Sprints, RS4, Associated TC3, TC4, TC5, 3racing XI sports, Traxxas 4Tec ect and shaft driven cars like the new Traxxas 4tec 2.0 Tamiya TT01, TTO2, Vaterra V100.

1/8 Scales

We move onto the 1/8 scale stuff which is split between mainly three types. First is 1/8 onroad cars, AWD belt is driven cars in nitro and electric that was made originally for spinning high-speed laps on a road course. These are typically high dollar cars and even used will still cost a pretty penny. Examples are made mostly by Serpent and Mugen.

Next would be 1/8 GTC style cars. These resemble 1/10 short course trucks and 1/8 buggys in a lot of ways when it comes to chassis size and layout. They’re AWD big touring cars essentially that can handle tons of power. Popular choices are from Hobao, Serpent, and Mugen . Lastly for 1/8 scales, you have the buggys and truggy based builds. Very durable with tons of possibilities for go fast stuff. Parts support is high for most of these cars and trucks due to their normal use for off-road racing and bashing. Popular models from Arrma are Typons Talions and Kratons. Team Losi has its 8ight and 8ight T models. Most of the 1/8 you’ll see racing will be high powered electric cars.

Lastly, we have 1/5 scale cars and trucks. Not as popular and 1/10 and 1/8 but still worth noting. Both electric and gas variants run at our local spot. With the most popular models being from Losi  (5t, DBXL, DBXLE) and the 5b from HPI.

Now For Tips

Now that we’ve gone over some chassis’ here are some tips for you if you’re interested in getting into R/C drag racing.

  • First would be go to your local spot and check it out. Just watching and talking with the guys doing it will teach you a lot. It’ll give you an idea on what class or scale of car you should build. It will also give you an idea of what power setups and tire you should be running to be competitive.
  • The second tip would be don’t overpower your car. You want to go fast obviously but if it’s making to much power it’ll be hard to keep straight.
  • The third is the tires. Having a stupidly fast car is nothing if you can’t get the power to the ground. This also goes back to my first tip to see what people are running.

In most cases and on most surfaces a good foam tire or belted rubber tire is going to be the way to go. Also, there’s stuff you can use to enhance your tires traction. Such as Wd40 for rubber tires and Belt Conditioner for foam tires. Now if your running Sanctioned races or no prep you made need to check rules on traction additives.

My last tip is to do your research. Get online, watch videos, read articles, talk to your local hobby shop. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there to be had and most will be happy to help you get into this aspect of the hobby. And on a final note remember to have fun because that’s what it’s all about.