What do you need to go Buggy Racing?

RC Kit

Pop down to your local racing club and spectate a meeting. RC Racers will be more than happy to give you handy advice.

  • A 1/10th RC Buggy. Although you can pick up cheap used buggies on Ebay etc, Many racers will tell you that building your ride from kit is an important and enjoyable part of the experience.
  • A transmitter & receiver. There are lots to choose from. I shall do a separate article on this .
  • Steering Servo. You want something that’s fairly quick, this Core RC one is a good start.. Core RC CR496 9008TG Digital Servo 9Kg .08 Sec (rcoctane.co.uk)
  • Electronic Speed Controller. You’ll want a 120a Brushless sensored ESC. The Hobbywing 10BL120 is a very popular starter ESC, its simple, tough, very well priced, enough features to get you through your first season. Beware, read the manual to find out how to set your Speed Control to Forward/Brake mode. Reversing on a buggy track is banned.
  • Battery connectors. When you chose your Lipo batteries, make a careful note what the connectors are. Most buggy Lipo packs have either 4mm or 5mm tube connectors, and a few use Deans connectors, XT120 or even Tamiya connectors. You need to be sure which because you will need the same connector on both your Speed Controller, and on your charger’s charging leads.
  • Motor. A 10 turn Brushless censored motor is a good choice for your first buggy. Some thing with adjustable timing so you can add more ooomph as you start to get better. Surpass Hobby V4s and V5s are my personal favourite
  • Tyres, again, your local club regulars will be able to tell you what and where to buy.
  • Timing Transponder. Although something like this MRT R9852H MRT mPTX HSK Transponder [MNDISC20] – mrtwebshop.com will be accepted at most tracks, do check this carefully before buying.
  • Battery. A 2S (two cell) Lipo hardcase battery with a nominal voltage of 7.4 volts. Beware that some clubs may require you to run only batteries on their approved list, I suspect because they have been checked for adequately safe construction. see here for those lists Battery Homologation Lists (brca.org)
  • Lipo Battery Charging Case or Bag. This is completely non negotiable, this is the one item that for your own safety you should get as good as you can afford, and if it’s not up to scratch, will make you very unwelcome at clubs.
  • A lipo battery charger. 1st, find out whether the track you want to race at have Mains electricity for charging. Many don’t, and even more don’t guarantee it’s always available. To be sure, most racers will opt for a charger that will charge from either mains or a 12v DC battery (see below). There are lots on the market. Your main considerations will be can it Charge, Balance Charge and Storage charge 2s Lipos, Does it come with charging leads compatible with your Lipos, and if not, can you buy or make them from parts.

Other none RC necessities

  • A BRCA Membership. You need to insure yourself for damage you might accidentally inflict on someone. This is the best way to do it, and any club worth racing at will be affiliated to the BRCA and will insist on it.
  • A 12volt Leisure battery. Back in the day, we used standard car batteries. The only problem with them for RC purposes, is they are generally designed to be high output but lower capacity. Lipo RC batteries can take a lot of charge, so Leisure Batteries (The high capacity 12v batteries sold for use in caravans, motorhomes and boating) are a better bet. For racing, I find that a 100ah capacity Leisure Battery will comfortably do 2 or 3 meetings. Please be sure you have a leisure battery charger also!
  • Tools. As a starting point, any tools you need to assemble your kit are probably the minimum your need at the track. As you gain experience, you’ll probably need other tools for setting up your car like a camber, ride height and toe gauge. But those can wait until you have what you need for basic trackside repairs. Changing a gearbox or making repairs to a steering mechanism can mean doing a lot of fasteners, which makes an electric driver a very worthwhile buy. I use this one which is very good: CR792 | CORE RC Electric Screwdriver 3.6V – 1300mAh | Schumacher RC Racing (racing-cars.com)
  • A portable/camping chair, table and a beach towel (as it says in the bible, a frood should always know where his towel is).
  • Good sturdy footwear.
  • A flask of tea/coffee/brandy. Refreshments not always available.
  • A high viz vest is usually mandatory for marshalling. Sometimes gloves are also.
  • A good hat that stays on in the wind and sunshades that also protect from wind are more often than not useful.
  • A notepad and a pen will almost certainly come in handy.

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