Touring Car Bodyshell Selection
The bodyshell that is currently on your touring car may be there for any number of reasons, it could be the one that came with the kit, you could be a fan of the full size car of or it might have been all they had in your local modelshop. All of these reasons are fine, but if you are a keen racer then you are going to have to look at bodyshell selection a little harder.
Protoform are currently the favourite choice of racers in the know and for the purpose of this article we will talk about bodies in their range:
Although RC Touring Car bodyshells must be a good representation of the full size car, the scale versions enhance certain features of the shape to create a design that will give certain handling characteristics.
So does this mean we need to carry a huge range of bodies to each race to get the handling we need on the day? Well don't worry, there are three bodyshells that cover just about every occasion.
Without doubt the most popular body worldwide is the Dodge Stratus and with good reason. This bodyshell with its flat and wide stance gives a supremely neutral balance to any car, making it the perfect choice in slippery conditions or tight tracks and is an almost universal choice for racing indoors.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Alfa 156, a gorgeously curvaceous body that is very slippery through the air. This has the smallest wing of the three and a very aggressive frontal shape. This leads to a bodyshell that is very fast in a straight line and gives the most aggressive steering of the three.
Alfa Romeo 156
The Protoform Vectra is currently the top choice of the A-Final drivers at National Level for the simple reason that this body is a near perfect compromise between the Stratus and the Alfa. The front is aggressive enough to enhance the steering while the flat bootlid and large rear wing give this shell a good degree of stability as well. This really is a bodyshell that has it all.
Choosing a bodyshell for your touring car should be based on the natural tendency of your chassis towards either understeer or oversteer. If you have a car that lacks stability then go for the Stratus.
For those times when you need a bit more steering or where straight line speed is the key to a fast lap then the Alfa is the way to go.
Some of you will be lucky enough to have a well balanced car, if you fit this category then the Vectra is the obvious choice.
Protoform, of course, are not the only company who produces race quality bodies. HPI also have a vast range of shells. Their bodies seem to be a slightly less extreme versions of their Protoform version. HPI do not have a Vectra in their range but their Ford Mondeo slots in between the Dodge and the Alfa, giving the compromise qualities of the Vectra.