Saturday, 21 November 2015

FAQ - What Do I Need To Get Started?

(Image source: WRCC Drifters)

Credit where credit is due; Mike Hannon from WRCC recently put together a document highlighting all the key points for newbies getting into this hobby. Very comprehensive and detailed enough to get anyone started and covers all areas. I have copied it for this blog but I must state that this is not my my material. You can find the original post which has been pinned on their Facebook page.



So you want to start drifting but what do you need? Firstly you can always come down the club and chat to us but for those wanting to do a little research we’ve put this guide together to help you out.

First things first; it all depends on your budget! You can pick a 1/10th scale touring car up for around £100,  these are great for skidding around a car park but on dedicated drift tracks you’ll quickly find yourself selling it or spending a lot money to try and turn it into a real drifter!

We recommend going for a 10TH scale dedicated drift chassis. Prices start from about £100 new for the chassis itself and on top of that you will need all the electrics. If you need electrics too then in total you are looking at around £250-£300 new for a complete set up or you may be able grab a second hand bargain for less; there’s always cars for sale on club Facebook groups. It’s pricey but RC drift cars usually hold their price second hand too so it’s not a bad investment!

There are RTR (ready to run) packages available that include everything you need but you can opt to purchase everything separately. So what do you need? Here’s your shopping list:
-          a 1/10th scale drift chassis
-          a motor
-          an ESC (to deliver power from your battery to your motor)
-          a servo (used to steer the car)
-          a battery and charger
-          a transmitter a receiver (to control your car)
-          a gyro (only needed if you go RWD)
-          a body shell
-          wheels and tyres

Here’s a bit more info on each item you’ll need:


You need a 1/10th scale chassis that is dedicated to drifting. MST is one of the most popular chassis at WRCC but our members also use Yokomo, D-Like, Sakura, Eagle Racing and GRK chassis’.

What is CS?

Countersteer (CS) is a style of drifting that involves steering in the direction of the drift to prevent oversteer and hold the drift (along with good throttle control). The cars are 4WD but the rear wheels spinner faster than the front. The CS ratio is how many times the rear wheels rotate compared to the front: so a ratio of 1.8CS means the rear wheels spin 1.8 times for every one time the front wheels rotate. Around 1.8CS is what many use at our track.

RWD or CS?

Hot topic! Full-size drifting of course is done in RWD (rear-wheel drive) cars and many argue RWD RC cars drive are more realistic than CS. CS is still more dominant in the UK RC world than CS but RWD is catching up quickly. Driving RWD is a different experience to CS and, at the moment at least, RWD tends to be slower.

RWD requires a very good chassis set up whereas CS is more forgiving if the chassis tuning is not bang on! More people tend to start with CS but it’s down to personal preference as they are very different experiences.

Front or rear mounted motor? Belt or shaft drive?

There’s lots of chassis variations and none are ‘the best’, it’s just down to personal preference; you can’t go wrong either way!


Motor and ESC

If you can afford it a brushless, sensored motor and ESC. For our track, and many other carpet tracks, most use a 120A-sensored ESC with a 10.5T motor but there are other options which will work. Brushless systems are more efficient, give you longer run time between charges and have a host of additional settings to control. Otherwise a brushed, sensored motor is fine. Our members use manufacturers such as OMG, Speed Passion, Novak, Hobbywing and Acuvance. If you are buying your electronics separately check first they are all compatible or you could damage them!


For drifting ideally you want a fast, low profile servo. OMG is by far the most popular make at WRCC, probably followed by SAVOX.

Battery and Charger?

LIPO batteries provide the most power and the longest run time between charges. Specifically you want a 2S (two cell) hard case LIPO anything between 4000-6000 mAH (4.0-6.0A) with a discharge rate of 20C or above.  Make sure you have a ‘hard case’ LIPO and a LIPO bag for charging the battery in; that’s a must for safety reasons!
As for the charger, for LIPOs you want one that will ‘balance’ charge; something like the Core RC UAC-50.

Transmitter and receiver

We run 2.4 GHz radio systems. Most RC drifters use a wheel style transmitter rather than a ‘stick’ but either is fine. Ideally you want something with EPA (end point adjustment); this allows you to adjust the throttle and steering range. You can pick up second hand transmitters from eBay from £20-30, such as the HPI TF/RF-40. Experienced drivers tend to move on to more smooth and accurate transmitters/receivers with fast response, such as the Sanwa MT-4S.


Body shell

Anything that takes your fancy! If your car doesn’t come with a pre-painted shell then HPI, Yokomo and Tamiya do very good polycarbonate body shells from as little as £20; there are many others brands around too. They need to be painted so you will need polycarbonate spray paint and masking tape for this; we recommend Tamiya.

Wheels and Tyres

For wheels the only thing to consider other than the style you would like is offset (basically how far the wheel sticks out from the chassis) and that depends on your chassis set up and the width of the body shell you wish to use. For tyres you should check what tyres are allowed at your track: at WRCC we use DS racing CSII FFF zero tyres or MST silver dots. If you do want to go RWD check with us as there are other options you may want to look at.