An Introduction to M-TC (Mini Touring Car)
Mini Touring Cars are based on the dimensions of the popular M Chassis range of cars supplied by Tamiya and a few other manufacturers. M Chassis cars are mainly FWD (Front Wheel Drive) although there are a few that are RWD (Rear Wheel Drive). A Mini Touring Car differs from M Chassis mainly due to the fact that all M-TC’s are 4 Wheel Drive just like their 1/10 scale bigger brothers.
Why Does It Exist?
I have been racing RC cars since the age of 10 and turned half a century this year (2019). My local club has always been well supported but like so many others has seen numbers fall steadily over the last few years. The issue as I saw it was the substantial investment required to get started in our hobby. For example, our club races in a village hall and there is a social club attached, so there is never a shortage of youngsters queuing at the door to watch the racing. So the next thing is mum or dad gets dragged out of the bar to see this spectacle, at this point their youngster is usually quite excited as over exposure to the joys of computer gaming, social media and YouTube probably means they had no clue that hobbies like ours ever existed? So mum or dad strikes up a conversation with a group of the racers, they have much to learn but eventually the fatal question of cost arises. This is the point that most people say their pleasantries and leave. But what if there was another way? What if you could get a car on track and be competitive for PlayStation money? Would that be the game changer?
How Did It Start?
In 2015 a car emerged on the scene and we saw the dawn of the M.Rage era. This was a nice repackage of an original design by Chinese manufacturer Nanda Racing. Marketed by HobbyKing and supplied with wheels, tyres and a body shell, this carbon fibre, alloy and plastic kit could be purchased for around £80.00 fully Ball raced and with some nice touches such as full alloy oil filled shocks that would not normally be found on such a budget kit. Now 4WD M-Chassis car were not a new idea, the format has been tried a number of times in the past but for various reasons never really gained popularity and manufacturers soon lost their taste for the format.
Out of pure curiosity I purchased one of the first M.Rage cars, installed a 21.5T Brushless power package and turned up at our club and asked if I could test it in the lower GT12 Heat. The very next week there were 3 or 4 of us with the cars and the very first heat of what we now call M-TC was run. In the following weeks I spoke to a few local clubs that were already running the Tamiya M chassis cars and explored the possibility of them allowing us to race with them, but obviously with our cars being 4WD is was difficult to win over support for the idea. By now there was around 10 or so M.Rage drivers at our club with seemingly more arriving every week. So because there was initial difficulty racing with other classes, a number of us formed a committee group to define and take what we know as M-TC forward.
The main objective in establishing the new class was to control elements of the car that traditionally start to spiral out of control in the longer term. So the motor and speed control were set in the rules and all of a sudden it was possible to go racing competitively for PlayStation money.
It’s no surprise that given the above that M-TC is now one of the fastest growing formats in the world of the UK RC racing scene. The cars being of 1/12th scale are more suited to smaller clubs where track space is often limited. As the M-TC class has grown and gathered momentum, more and more manufacturers have come on board with their offerings, not just in terms of kits but hop ups and M-TC specific accessories too.