Offroad R/C racing is divided into a wide variety of classes. Most recognize the modified classes as being the most the ‘premiere’ class to run, as this is where most of the industry’s top pros will be found. Although modified classes may be considered ‘premiere’, it does not always mean that is where you will find the best racing. On a weekly basis around the nation, some of the best offroad racing takes place in the highly competitive 17.5 stock classes, primarily being the 17.5 Stock 2wd Buggy class. This class seems to draw racers of all skill levels, including Billy Beginner up to local Joe Pro, and the winner comes down to pure driving skill, setup, and precision. In an effort to dominate this class racers will do anything and everything (including too often cheat) to win. Everyone works to build the ultimate stock racing vehicle, in which everyone has their own opinion of what that entails.
We have teamed up with our good friend Steve Wang of ST Racing Concepts to build what we are calling the ‘STRC Super Stocker’.
What is the STRC Super Stocker you ask? The STRC SS is a Team Associated B5 rear motor 2wd buggy built from the ground up using every STRC hop-up part available. In addition the car is setup and geared specifically for 17.5 stock buggy racing. The list of STRC hop-ups is quite impressive as the car includes CNC aluminum front bulkhead, rear chassis brace, steering bellcrank set, front hinge pin brace, caster blocks, rear hubs, motor plate, hex adapters, shock mount bushings, titanium screw kit, and graphite battery strap.
Many have asked us why we chose so much aluminum, especially for a 17.5 stock car (as it can be considerably heavier than stock plastic parts). The answer is simple. Stock racing has a lot of drivers, a lot of close racing, and with that comes a lot of contact. While your drivetrain may not take the abuse that a modified car does, the rest of the car certainly does. Wall hits, pipe smashes, jump jams, and hard hitting collisions with the competition seem to be more prevalent in the stock class. While we may have added some weight, we also added stability and most importantly durability.
To test out the STRC Super Stocker and all of the STRC aluminum hop-ups we made a bold decision to put the car in the hands of a long-time racer who is quite possibly the greatest at smashing into others, trying big air jumps, and crashing hard…my father “Homer” (nicknamed this due to his stunning resemblance of Homer Simpson).
We entered Homer in the highly competitive 17.5 2wd Stock Buggy class at the 2014 ROAR Region 8 Championships. Homer is quite possibly the only racer on the planet who never agreed with the a Team Associated B4’s handling, therefore leading into this test he had his mind made up the B5 would be equally unsatisfactory for his driving style. With the crowds looking on, Homer took the track for the first time with the STRC Super Stocker B5. His first few laps tested the durability of the buggy and its STRC hop-ups as he crashed hard enough I was beginning to feel pain in my own body watching the poor buggy tumble.
He began to get in the swing of things, and started clicking off some clean laps. This is where the weight test came into play. The GIANT back straightaway was a perfect opportunity to test whether or not the added aluminum weight would truly slow the car down. He was able to drag race a fellow stock racer (known to have one of the fastest stock cars) and held pace quite nicely. By the end of the straight, Homer had lost only a slight amount ground to his competitor, which could be due to a numerous number of reasons (motors, ESC settings, ability to pull the trigger, etc.). Regardless, it proved to us that the aluminum does in fact act some weight to the car, BUT is not going to be a win or lose race deciding factor.
After emptying an entire battery pack, Homer exited the drivers stand. I fully expected to hear all of the things he doesn’t like about the car, but instead I was pleasantly surprised to hear nothing more than, “It’s good, I think I like it.”
We headed back to the pits where most people work on their car, but Homer typically sleeps, reads a magazine, or gripes about the ways of the world while his car charges. While taking his much needed afternoon nap, I removed many of the STRC hop-ups, leaving the same setup with stock parts for him to drive. It was now time for battery pack number two.
The track was better, the traction was high, and Homer’s driving got worse. Not knowing that I had swapped out his STRC hop-ups for stock, he quickly made it more than clear he was not happy with the way the car was driving. “It feels unstable and too twitchy,” he said. A few more rough laps later, he came up short on a double (as he had done MULTIPLE times the previous time out) and snapped a front bulkhead.
Frustrated, he headed back to the pits where I told him that I had replaced his STRC parts with stock plastic parts for that run. In an angry father voice he said, “Good idea, the car was working good so let’s see if we can screw it up.” So needless to say I put back the STRC aluminum parts for the remainder of the weekend.
Homer experienced zero breakage (I have not a clue how) over the course of the next two days, was extremely happy with the way the Team Associated B5 handled with the full load of STRC parts, and says he is feeling excited for the winter indoor offroad season to begin.
So in conclusion of the STRC Super Stocker product test, here is what we have to say. If you are going for the lightest car on the track, then EVERY single STRC hop-up is not for you. We highly recommend the front bulkhead, rear chassis brace, graphite battery strap, and titanium screw kit. These four are our personal favorites of all the hop-ups, and add serious durability while staying lightweight. If you aren’t too worried about weight (or your running mod), and are looking for a very stable, and easy to drive car, then we say go all out. The STRC aluminum hop-ups are beautifully machined and manufactured to fit right in place of the stock parts, making installation a breeze, and all of which continue to add durability and SERIOUS bling to your ride.
It’s one thing for RCN to approve of a car and its hop-up parts, but for THE “Homer” Garrison to continually express his satisfaction and happiness towards something like this takes it to a whole new level. Two thumbs up to both AE and STRC!
- Team Associated – www.rc10.com – RC10 B5 Team Kit
- STRC – www.teamstrc.com – B5 Aluminum Option Parts, Carbon Fiber Brace, Weight Reduction Kit
- Venom – www.atomikrc.com – 4500mAh 100C “Shorty” LiPo pack
- Tekin – www.teamtekin.com – RSX ESC
- Novak – www.teamnovak.com – Vulcan 17.5 Brushless Motor
- JConcepts – www.jconcepts.net – Barcodes Rear Buggy Tires, Rips Front Buggy Tires
- Riggs Designs – Custom Painted Body