Shawn Ireland’s Team Associated RC10L
Back in the ’80s, cars were running on large ovals that were built for bicycle racing, and speed runs were a part of many events. Shawn Ireland was one of the guys who dominated these types of events, and here’s one of his cars from circa 1988. Shawn says that he called this car a “pancake car” because it was so low to the ground. Average speed over three laps determined the winner of the speed runs, which worked out to about 75mph for Shawn’s machine. Peak speeds were higher though—over 100mph.
Yep, there are 14 Ni-cd batteries in that car, and they add not only serious power to the car but also weight to the chassis. These cells are slightly smaller than the standard sub-c batteries being used in the day. These cells had a reduced capacity, which was not a problem for the short runs that the car made; the important thing is that they saved some weight.
Shawn’s car started life as a standard Team Associated RC10L, which was a 1/10-scale pan car. Here you get a good idea of why Shawn calls it a “pancake car.”
Yes, that’s a brushed electric motor under that wing, and it has been offset slightly to the left to improve the car’s weight balance.
Foam tires were where it was at for racing, but for speed runs, rubber capped tires were used. A Kevlar belt inside kept it from expanding and exploding during speed runs. Check out the thin strip of lead tape used to balance the tire to keep the car as smooth as possible.