What class to run with kids?

ACME

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We've raced a few classes over the years and IMO hands down 1600 is the best bang for the buck with class 9 a close second. Fix up that Tmag and let them race it! The beauty of C9 is that an old car only requires minimal updates to be competitive. Plus Class 9/16/11/5-16 (just like 7S), will teach them to drive well, read and choose lines as well as drive within the limits of a vehicles capacity to save the equipment and finish.

Based on our experience: Anything with a hard body vs panels is harder to prep and unless you own a body shop, not as fun to fix after a mishap... And depending on your personal-shop situation; a 1500ish LB 16 car is way easier to deal with and live around than a bigger full bodied, solid axle car.

Pyle: I can't help but notice there seems to be a theme with your off road cars and mechanical issues? I'll be the first to admit axles and CV's are not fun, but not a major issue to most experienced buggy racers. If you had (have) consistent issues with things, it's either the parts source-quality, prep or set up.

I knew a racer that got flats all the time in a class that had a tire sponsor deal and was stoked when they changed brands because: "Those tires get flats too easy". I tested with him on the new tires and he hit the same rock 3 times in 3 laps on his test loop and flatted...
 

tapeworm

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If you are worried about your back, class 9 isn’t the answer. I’ve owned and raced 11, 9, and 1600, and ridden in a-arm cars in races. A-arm cars were the easiest on the body, class 11 didn’t beat you up because you have to be gentle enough to keep the car alive, 1600 has its rough moments but is generally pretty easy skipping a crossed everything, but 9 was always rough. Every time after getting out of the 9 car I felt beat up, even just testing in it.

The only expensive part of the 9 car is the transmission. To run a competitive class 9 program you need to do the transmission every race. $1000 minimum every time unless you do the work yourself.

1600 parts last longer, but cost more. The low comp motor package did greatly reduce parts replacements, the transmissions are lasting as long as they always have, but everything you put on a 1600 car is a race car part with a race car price. You aren’t using consumable OEM like class 11 or 9.

All 3 lower VW classes are competitive and you will have to learn to drive fast, consistent, and keep equipment alive to win in all 3.

My advice, look into a 5-16. It’s a good starting point that isn’t as competitive, same parts as a 1600 so if the kids do want to move into something faster you already have spares and knowledge of how it works. It costs less to stay competitive and will allow a better chance at an opportunity to win, build confidence, and pay a small amount towards prep and getting to the next race.
 

jon coleman

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the guy who built my 1700 did his in a three seat , Super easy, ( the kaw.green Nissley ), it was built out of erw mild steel on the cheep & lasted a long time, if you can chase down & scrounge parts, like i did, you can build a semi competitive 1700 cheep right out of the starting gate, super easy to set them up suspension wise, like any class , it can be big money if you buy a winning one off the classifieds or pay a shop to build one, do-it-yourself has always been cheep
 
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