November 12, 2017

Track Focus – Xiamen ARC International Raceway

Track Name – Xiamen ARC International Raceway
Host – 3-Circles
Country – China
Location – Xiamen
Direction – Anti-clockwise
Surface – Sugared and glued dirt

With China putting on an ultra impressive show when it hosted an RC World Championship for the very first time, with Beijing the venue for the 1:12 & ISTC Worlds, at that same event it was announced that they had been awarded the 1:10 Offroad World Championships for 2017. With high expectations given the quality of the facility that greeted drivers in Beijing, the city of Xiamen and the race hosts 3-Circles haven’t disappointed with even the more critical drivers complimenting the impressive Xiamen ARC International Raceway. Built on the same grounds of the 3-Circle battery factory, the facility boasts the largest drivers stand in the world. At 200 metres long, it provides pitting on the first floor, drivers standing area and tyre tech on the second floor and a third floor for spectating for both the offroad and an equally impressive onroad track. 3-circles is predominantly a producer of alkaline and Lithium batteries but through its Sunpadow brand of LiPos is involved in the competition end of the battery market supporting an RC boat World Champion, RC pilots and reigning 1:12 and former touring Car World Champion Naoto Matsukura. The Infinity driver is contesting the 1:10 Offroad Worlds driving Associated cars.

In terms of the offroad track that has been created for this the 17th running of these World Championships, the 42m wide by 35m deep track has been designed by Lung Chuan Lee from Taiwan who also designed the onroad track layout in Beijing last year. Originally built as a 1:8 Offroad track, work started on building the smaller 1:10 track 2-months ago however a Typhoon and Hurricane delayed the final build which was only finished last week. With the dirt having been both glued and then sugared, Event Director Max Lim, who was also at the helm in Beijing, expects that the surface will be maintenance free once it doesn’t rain with the only planned work being to re-sugar the track ahead of the start of 4WD proceedings.

Getting drivers reaction to the track after they got their first taste of the track in the first of four controlled practices, reigning 2WD Champion Spencer Rivkin summed it up as ‘definitely different’. The Associated driver added, ‘I planned to just go around slow but found it was better when I pushed, attacking it works better’. Asked about the traction, the American replied, ‘Its medium, I wouldn’t say high’. On the layout he said, ‘it’s a fun layout but the jumps are not built that awesome but that will make for good racing and everyone will adapt to them once they get a few more laps’.

With the last 1:10 Offroad Worlds held in Japan on astro turf, reigning 4WD Champion Bruno Coelho said, ‘I haven’t driven on dirt with such good traction before’. Adding the track is ‘super bumpy’, the Xray driver continued, ‘I think the layout is OK, its pretty difficult’. The reigning Euro Offroad Series Champion, a four round championship run on carpet tracks, he said the grip levels here are ‘weird’ adding the overall grip is not so much but then all of a sudden you flip’.

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