I spent a couple days debating with fellow VBC Racing driver Max K about the merits of going transverse on the Lightning 12, primarily based upon our experiences at IIC and then his recent experiences at Snowbirds. In essence, all of the fastest cars tend to be transverse (go look at 2012 Worlds photos) with AE being the exception. As such, Max asked me to try going transverse with my L12 to see how good it was. I was skeptical, primarily because the CEFX chassis I ran before had issues with hiking when running transverse and I was worried that similar issues would occur with the L12. I also think the TOP is just really good at staying level and generating rear traction, which is partly why Donny’s car always looks so good. Either way, I agreed to try transverse when running my L12 at 5280 this past weekend…
Let’s just say, holy shit. I thought I was getting close on setup running inline. The car felt pretty decent and was relatively fast, and I figured it was just a matter of some small tweaks to figure it out. Oh boy, going transverse showed me that if you think inline is good with the L12, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The car was so much easier to drive as transverse, but was ridiculously fast. The difference is absolutely incredible. I was able to add angle to the center shock to get more steering without losing the rears after 5 minutes and was also able to go back to 10-degree reactive without the car feeling unstable. The extra weight being thrown side-to-side means that you will need to either go to thicker tube lube or stiffer side springs to keep the car from double-steering, but those are minor changes compared to how incredible the car feels transverse. If you own an L12, go to transverse. Now.
Now, I know that the L12 comes with a front battery brace and all that, so space can be a bit limited. I took a dremel to my front battery brace to make it look a bit better (pictures at the end). Also, I slammed the battery back against the rear brace, rather than using the pre-drilled holes for the battery stops. After that bit of dremeling I had plenty of space for my Flow, KO Rx, and Laje booster (look those guys up if you don’t recognize the name.)
I also ended up trying a change to Ulti XM rears and XH fronts. I have tried these before when I ran CEFX, but wanted to try them again with the L12 just to see. I think the XM rears are pretty equivalent to the Pro-One Blues (excepting rim design), but I think the XH fronts have an edge over the Pro-One compounds. Not sure what I will use at nats, but with more time spent on the Pro-One tires I will likely stick with those for now.
Anyway, here is a setup sheet showing where I ended up:
And the obligatory photos!