Beginners Guide

We all start somewhere.

I was around 13 when I first started with a Tamiya TA01, and I had no idea people raced at RC Clubs or had national events.

First Chassis

If you're getting into Radio Control Cars for the first time, rather then going directly into the top end class, it's always best to learn the ropes with a beginners chassis.
For your very first chassis i'd recommend getting a TT01, these things are pretty much indestructible (and you can get some pretty nice bodies with the kits), which is great for learning, i've seen many times people entering RC at the highest end classes and trying to learn driving an RC which goes 80KMH+. This is not the way to go, as you're more likely to break things which can hit you in your wallet.

Best to start slow, learn the racing lines, learn the track, learn your transmitter, learn how to setup your car, gather local knowledge. You'll then very much appreciate your chassis upgrade, you'll know exactly what to do with it, and you'll break less parts as you'll be a better driver. Plus you can thrash this car on your local street, where you'd probably not want to do that with a more expensive chassis.

Word of Warning

Try not to spend money on upgrades for your TT01, instead just replace the parts you break. The money you would spend on upgrades should go towards your next chassis, which will be better standard than the TT01 with all the hop-ups

Racing at a Club

Your best best in finding where your local club is to go to If you can't find one there, then shoot down to your Local Hobby Shop and have a chat with them there. You can also ask on the forums.

You don't need a club membership to race at your local club, you can just turn up on the day, register your car, pay a small fee and you're away. Racers are very friendly people, and are more then happy to share their racing knowledge with you and show you the ins and outs. Just think that they were in the exact same position as you when they started.

You'll learn heaps at your local club.

Joining a Club

If you are happy with your local club, you can join the club for a fee (which is different dependent on the club you join), and start earning some points for the championship, in which you can get some nice trophies at the end of the year if you do well!

On joining a club, you become an NZRCA member (for that racing season) automatically, and you'll receive an NZRCA Rule Book. This entitles you to race at NZRCA sanctioned events such as the Nationals.


Once you think you've mastered the TT01 and think you are ready for an upgrade, then i'd recommend getting your next chassis which your Local Hobby Shop stocks parts for, this will make ordering and buying spare / upgrade parts a lot easier. Have a good talk with the people at the LHS and decide on what sounds good. Usually the next good upgrade is to go to a Tamiya TA05 or Hot Bodies Cyclone for Stock Touring.

Going to an RC Event

If you think you are ready for your first Major RC Event, then you are able to get entry information through your local club. Before entering events such as the nationals i'd recommend entering other major events first (such as the Racing Lines International, Ultimate Open, North / South Islands), so you can get the feel of how a big event is run, these events are not only great for racing and getting valuable knowledge, they are also very great for socialising and having a good time when not racing.

Article Notes:

This article was written by Matthew van der Haas. Some people may suggest getting a better chassis then the TT01 as a starter car, but this is my recommendation. Views will vary depending on who you talk to.

Unique Visits as of 15th April 2011