Elevation change and banking design help


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    Hi, I’m involved in designing a track for 1/10th and 1/12th scale radio control cars.

    I want to incorporate some elevation changes and banking into the design, however the cars have very low ground clearance and the scale speeds are like 300-600 km/h (i.e. 30-60 km/h real speed).

    What I need to know is how to gradually increase and decrease the gradient such that I don’t get cars bottoming out or jumping, what rate of change of gradient is going to be acceptable, how to work out radius of curvature and angle for banking, whether progressive banking might work, etc.

    I figured there would be some people here who would know about these things for F1 cars. Some of you might know what gradient change an F1 car is capable of handling etc. Perhaps someone knows about banking for Indy cars, and how this relates to their ride-height. F1 and Indy cars are low and they approach the same scale speeds so this seems like a good place to start.

    Thanks in advance,




    I don’t have technical info such as mathematical formulae for you in terms of percentages of gradient or degrees of banking, but suffice it to say that with low ground clearance you will have to make any changes gradual…anything too abrupt and the front or the rear of the car will scrape on the track. My experience on this is more with slot cars than RC cars.

    I suggest tilting your car forward until the underside of the nose hits the ground, and tilting the car backwards to see how quickly the underside of the rear of the car hits the ground and if there is little movement before it hits the ground then you can use that as an indication that your track contour changes must be gentle and gradual…there should be no limit to the amount of banking you can use, as long as the cars get a chance to gradually get there rather than abruptly.

    Obviously if you were running off-road type RC cars that have much more clearance, then moguls and jumps and banks are practically limitless.

    I’m not sure you car relate RC cars to real cars when it comes to your track design and I suspect that as gradual as you will have to make your track contour changes, they can likely still be more dramatic than real racecar tracks. Example, if you have 1/4 inch of ground clearance on a 1/10th scale car, that would be like having 2 1/2 inches of clearance on a full size car, and we know that F1 and Indy cars are closer to the ground than that, plus at speed they are being pushed even closer to the track due to downforce, which RC cars will not be affected by.

    I don’t know what you are making your track out of, but if you can feasibly do it try a little experimentation and before long you will know how extreme a contour change you can make before the cars bottom out.



    If you want to be really mathematical about it I would recommend the DMRB:

    Found here:


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