Today's post is very special for us. Last week, our good friend Brad Wilson let us know that his son Wyatt, after having just started RC racing three years ago, is now sponsored by TLR and is moving up to Pro class. Brad thanked us for providing So Dialed, which he and his son use extensively to tune and manage their setups. I asked him a bit more about how he and his son made so much progress so quickly and how they use So Dialed, and the story is pretty great, so we wanted to share it with you all. Their story (written by Brad, headings by Editor) follows:
Getting started with setups
When my son, Wyatt Wilson, started racing 3 years ago, we were told by multiple people we needed to find a setup sheet for the car he was driving and the track he was driving at. We put that off and just ran the car how it was built, I mean after all, he was still a novice racer at 10 years old, and setup sheets were just down right confusing and scary.
As he progressed and started getting faster, we quickly found the limit of the setup he was running and decided maybe it was time to start listening to what we were being told. The whole “drive the car, make changes, record them, rinse and repeat” was tough, especially for a kid that just wanted to drive his car and have fun.
Using old-school setup sheets
We ended up getting a 3 ring binder that I would stuff with setup sheets that I found all over the internet. Some made sense, but some were complete gibberish and had no rhyme or reason.
We would use that for a few months and try to remember to add the setup that we landed on along with changes we would make to his cars throughout a race weekend. It was almost impossible on Monday morning to try to remember what we did and what the outcome was.
Testing So Dialed
That is about the time that Joel came out with the So Dialed RC Setup App. I’m personally all about technology so this app was intriguing to me. This was also about the time that Wyatt was starting to dominate the Sportsman class and was ready to jump to the next level in the Open class.
I downloaded the app on my phone and started playing with it. I sent Joel a few emails asking for some new features and to add new cars. Within a few days, he had not only made the requested updates, but took it even further and added more features.
To this day, So Dialed is our go-to for recording and referencing setups for Wyatt. The daunting task of thumbing through the binder, and trying to record multiple setup sheets in a practice session or race day were over. Now I can just pull out my phone and find everything I need in a few taps.
To top it all off, Wyatt is able to look at the same setups on his phone and discuss what changes he feels we should make. It not only gives me a tool, but it gets Wyatt’s wheels turning and makes him really dig into setups and understand the car.
So Dialed & our race program
So, how do we use the app on a day to day basis? We head to the track and start with a general setup that we use at our home track. Wyatt will run a battery or a tank of fuel and come in to discuss what the car was/wasn’t doing and what he needs the car to do.
The app has really helped him understand corner entry, mid, and exit traction, amongst other things. He used to just say “my car is loose” and it would leave me trying to decipher what his 12 year-old brain was thinking. Now I get things like “my car is a little loose on entry but good on middle and great on exit, oh, and I have zero drive off the slower corners.” At that point I know I can help him with some rear toe and some anti-squat.
Then we go back to the pit trailer, make the discussed changes, and go back out for another practice session. We will do this until we get as close to perfect as possible. I will then record the current setup in the So Dialed app so we can reference it later.
When you use the app, use it to its fullest potential. Don’t just add your setup and be done with it. Add tires, electronics, track conditions, temperature (ambient and track), and anything else you can. It makes a difference when you go back to reference it later, and it helps new racers be able to compare conditions to what they are running on.
This app has been a game changer, and I feel is the future of setups. Wyatt’s knowledge of the car along with the ability to quickly reference setups has helped him progress to racing in the Pro class at the age of 13, and the So Dialed app played a major part in that.
Helping others through sharing setups
One thing that I try to do is make our setups shareable. Knowledge is power, and we try to help others in any way we can. Another feature of the app is being able to download your setup as a PDF so you can share it with your buddies or new drivers at the track.
Don’t let the fear and frustrations of setup sheets ruin your fun. Use the So Dialed app to work smarter and in turn spend more time on the track.
Brad and Wyatt would like to thank Wyatt's sponsors: