In RC racing, there has always been an air of mystery, danger and excellence around 1/8th scale nitro track cars. Dubbed 'the Formula 1 of RC', this phrase is well-deserved - as these cars can easily hit speeds of 80 mph (128km/h) and higher, with jaw-dropping acceleration and cornering speeds that make every other on-road car look like a pale imitation at best. Thanks to the super-lightweight components, powerful big-block nitromethane engines, four-wheel drive and extra-wide and superlight racing tires, these cars are lightning-fast, requiring the utmost skill and unblinking concentration to make them perform at their highest. These cars demand the utmost from the drivers, with hyperspeed reaction times needed to negotiate chicanes, S-bends and other drivers. Every driver requires a fully-fledged pit crew as well, just to handle refueling duties and engine tuning during a single 5-minute driving stint - and of course extra equipment, spares and special racing fuel. This is a racing category that is not for the faint of heart.
Team HB has never been one to shy from a racing challenge, and has taken on the 1/8th nitro on-road racing class with the R8. The R8 is the fastest and most advanced on-road car HB has ever released, and every feature on it screams 'performance'.
The R8 is a fully-featured racing kit, packed with a host of pure performance features to make you the fastest driver on the track. With equipment such as a 5mm thick 7075 aircraft aluminum alloy chassis and bulkheads, woven carbon fiber upper deck, braces and steering arms, splashproof receiver box and aerodynamic front and rear bumpers, the R8 is lightweight yet tough enough to handle contact on the track. To turn your setups into podium places and wins, the R8 is equipped with centrally-mounted engine and receiver battery, coilover shocks, low-profile carbon fiber shock towers, pivot-ball style connections and adjustable sway bars front and rear. The lightweight 2-speed transmission, Kevlar-reinforced drive belts, tough layshafts and top quality ball bearings make the R8 super-efficient to let the maximum amount of engine power propel the car forward as fast as possible.
The HB R8 means business and takes no prisoners. It's meant for the elite, the racers who will accept no compromise to be the best. Will you join Team HB racing the R8 on the track?
5MM 7075 MAIN CHASSIS
The foundation of the HB R8 is a slab of billet machined aluminum, 5mm thick, formed of aircraft quality 7075 aluminum alloy. This lightweight yet extra strong material is commonly found on high-spec equipment such as fighter jets and performance sports equipment, and is the perfect material to use as the main chassis of the R8. CNC machined from solid billet aluminum, the chassis features openings to allow heavy components such as the receiver battery, engine and fuel tank to sit extra-low and as close to the ground as possible. Multiple openings lower the weight of the chassis while chamfered edges at the front, sides and rear provide extra ground clearance when cornering.
To enhance the handling of the R8, the heaviest items in the chassis are mounted as low as possible. Both servos are mounted in laydown style on the main chassis with specialized linkage to control the steering and carburetor and cutouts around the engine mounting allow the flywheel and rear cover to sit as low as possible. The battery providing power to the servos is installed underneath the fuel tank and the extreme laydown shocks help keep the weight situated low on the chassis. Even the fuel pick-up in the tank has a special opening in the chassis to let it sit as low as it can. Every enhancement we've made adds up to make the HB R8 a superb car to drive in the corners.
LIGHTWEIGHT 2-SPEED TRANSMISSION
Keeping the weight of all the rotating mass as low as possible is critical to make sure the HB R8 can accelerate and brake quickly and efficiently. Being able to use all of the engine's power instantly gives you the opportunity to decide exactly when to apply throttle to finish a decisive pass, likewise the ability to brake quickly lets you get the better line through tight bends. The centrifugal clutch allows you to fine-tune the bite point for precise control, while the adjustable 2-speed gives you maximum speed on the large track size that is normal for 1/8th on-road racers.
Keeping as much weight as possible in the middle of the chassis is critical to good handling on the race track. Just as it's easier to spin your body with your arms close to your chest rather than straight out to your sides, centralized mass on a racing car allows the driver to quickly shift the weight of the car around a tight corner. This principle of physics is known as the "moment of inertia" and on the HB R8 is aided by having the fuel tank, engine and battery as close to the centerline of the car as possible. With the solid rear diff and front one-way, you will never experience the kind of steering with any other car than you will with the R8.
The front end of the R8 is a fully-featured piece of functional art, designed around maximum adjustment for the ultimate in track tuning. The laydown shocks are attached to a thick woven graphite shock tower and shock mount on the suspension arm and are of course an oil-filled coilover design, with a fully threaded body for complete adjustment of the ride height, oil viscosity and piston. The camber is easily adjusted by the durable pivot ball design, and the width is adjusted by woven graphite shims on the outer suspension pieces. The sway bar is quickly adjusted thanks to its blade design and the camber adjustment is done with clip-on shims. The droop is easily accessed, and the upper hinge pins are supported by plastic inserts for extra durability in crashes. The HB R8 suspension is designed for easy, simple access and adjustment - what you need for fast changes in the pits.
Like the front, the rear suspension of the HB R8 is a highly tunable sculpture of function. Every piece has its purpose with no extraneous parts to take up space or add unnecessary weight. Thick pivot balls allow infinite adjustability of the rear toe angle and width, while an extra-thick turnbuckle adjusts the camber. Roll center is controlled by adding or removing orange-anodized spacers. An extra-thick adjustable sway bar helps stop chassis roll for faster corner speeds. The rear body mounts are directly attached to the uprights and can be tuned with a variety of mounting choices. The laydown shocks are mounted to a woven graphite shock tower, and also to graphite arm braces that stiffen the already thick rear arms. The axles front and rear feature quick-change wheel locks that will fit any of the popular 1/8th scale racing wheels available now.
Adrien Bertin is the most experienced nitro on-road racer on Team HB. As a former World Champion in the 1/8th Nitro On-Road category, we wanted to know what his first impressions were of driving the HB R8.
As a world class experienced driver and a legend in nitro on-road racing, how do you find the HB R8?
Adrien: I think the real first experience with R8 is its esthetic. To me it's the best looking car on the market and I immediately wanted to have it and touch it. I also noticed there is no compromise on the quality - the aluminum is best spec and the anodizing still looks like new even after driving my test car for a very long time.
As for the car's feeling, the R8 is really responsive, the front end is like a knife that cuts the racing line precisely and it's much better than I expected. I am working with the team to define a base set up and we are close to something really good.
The R8 is a World Championship Finals level car, but do you think it is also good for club racers?
Adrien: It is mainly done for them! Some of my friends that use other brands tested my car, as I wanted to make sure to be able to provide a set up for them. All of them have been pleased and performed really good after a couple of tanks. The designer Miyashita has great experience in this field and I have no doubt people will be happy immediately with the R8!