Recently all the rage in RC has been front wings on 2wd and 4wd buggies. This is not the first time we have seen this trend in RC, but with mid motor cars and tracks changing all over the world it was time for the rebirth of the front wing. JConcepts has been at the forefront of this trend by offering 2 different front wings. In this article we will talk to JConcepts own Jason Ruona about some of the design features and the thought proses that went into them.
When did you first realize that a front wing was something worth developing for the newer mid motor vehicles?
Well, in this mid-motor generation we started to see a trend developing on the EOS events in Europe where drivers were starting to use this configuration race after race. Based on what we knew from the late 90’s and early 2000’s it was just a matter of time before the trend hit once again.
The new Finnisher wings are a direct fit for the very popular B5M line of buggies. We know that the B5M has the option to use flat front A-arms or Gullwing front A-Arms, How does the arm option affect the front wings?
Associated designed the B5 line of vehicles to basically have 2 different front A-arm options. Originally the B5 (rear motor car) had flat front arms and a front shock tower which gave them the geometry they were looking for. When they released the B5M (mid-motor car) vehicle Gullwing front arms were included along with a front tower which changed the position of the front shocks to accommodate the lower front shock positioning. Looking at today’s racing it was evident that we needed a front wing that bolted on directly to each front tower because the tower and front arm setup on the B5 line of vehicles is used as a tuning option and we needed to have both configurations covered. Essentially the Gullwing front tower has the shocks further apart and to cleanly install the wing as intended we needed 2 different versions to have a clean install. If you have both versions in hand you’ll notice the mounting locations for the Gullwing tower are noticeably wider than on the Flat arm version.
The Finnisher front wing is available in two different widths for flat front arms as well as gullwing arms. What are some of the handling differences between the two widths? And which width did Ryan Maifield use to win the Surf City Classic? So far, the most popular version of the wing has been the narrower version which is basically the width of the front tower on most 2wd buggies. Ryan used this width to win at the Surf City Classic and he used the Gullwing version of the B5M wing to mount on the TLR 22 vehicle. Not surprisingly, a lot of the 2wd buggies have similar front shock tower geometry so the front wings can be used on many of the competitive 2wd buggies on the market. I’ve personally ran both width front wings on my B5M and it’s just another tuning option. One thing to take into account is the wider version will not only have more affect, down-force, drag…etc but it’s also heavier which plays a role in the performance.
Well we know that Ryan used the wings on his TLR rides, was there any kind of modification needed to make them fit? He trimmed the Gullwing version out completely and then lined up where he had his front shocks mounted to a corresponding hole in the front wing. He drilled the front wing locations to match where he had his shocks mounted. It was honestly pretty easy for him to do.
Do you see the front wings only working for high bite tracks, our do you see them being used on any surface?
I see this being used / tested on all conditions right now. The reason being is typically when a track is low grip it’s also low front grip as well as rear so it will come into play in low and high grip conditions. Ultimately what a driver is looking for is the correct balance for each track and surface and this is just another tuning option for the driver. The things to look for will be size of the track, speed at which you are driving, and outdoor weather conditions. You really should consider the size, attack angle and gurney options on front and rear wings if you are racing outdoors. When the wind gets strong enough to affect the cars jumping consistency it should be a consideration to tune to that as well.
With off-road racers starting to embrace racing on Astroturf/high bite tracks more and more, do you think this is just another passing fad, or are the front wings here to stay?
Since front and rear wings have been used since the 80’s, I don’t see them going anywhere. They will come in and out of a trending setup but we will never really see them completely disappear. What we will see are more advanced or different methods to achieve aero advantage or balance to a vehicle and I think this is where the high-grip / high-speed surfaces are going to take us.
As our hobby continues to evolve so will the tuning needs. In the pursuit of more grip and higher speeds I think the Finnisher front wing is another great tuning option in a long line of accessories from JConcepts. Fad or not? I think not, only time will tell.