Back in 1998, Tamiya America strongly requested Tamiya Headquarters to develop
a competitive machine in on-road high-end RC races.
RC car racing fans are spread out all over the world, and there are a variety of types of races in those countries. Particularly in the U.S., lots of RC enthusiasts and manufacturers are involved in racing, and the level has been pushed up by those competitive people and companies. And of course, winning major titles is a status symbol in the RC racing society.
Tamiya also had been participating in such races, but we were a little bit behind other
race oriented companies that had been releasing competitive machines to the battles one after another. The official request from Tamiya America kicked off the whole project
of developing a truly competitive racing machine. The project was assigned to the team TRF (Tamiya Racing Factory), which consists of gifted RC designers and excellent drivers, who are active in major races.
The Prototype, TRF404X
For the basic structure of the chassis, they decided to use the 2-belt double deck type that had been proven effective at major races. Other details were temporarily designed based on that layout, and TRF404X, the prototype of the TRF series, was born.
The team TRF challenged domestic and overseas races with this machine. Through the challenges, they compiled data to find the best setting. The data provided the feedback for a proper length of suspension arms, most suitable length of wheelbase, etc. They improved the TRF404X incorporating all of the winning factors taken from the racing activities. The TRF404X evolved as a high performance and easy-to-handle machine.
TRF414X Released As Limited Edition.
The improved machine, designated the TRF414X, was released in the U.S.. On the other hand, the team TRF was very active at major domestic races, and took 3rd place overall at the 24-Hour Endurance Touring Car Race and 9th place overall at the JMRCA All Japan Touring Car Championships. These immediate excellent results proved the machine to have a great potential for high performance.
Released in Japan as TRF414
Toward the end of 1999, the machine was decided to be released in Japan under the name of TRF414. Many more improvements were incorporated in this edition. The chassis weight was reduced by changing the material of uprights and hub-carriers from aluminum to resin. The upper deck was symmetrized to be well balanced during cornering in technical courses. It became an absolute high-end machine for which every screw was considered to the utmost extent.
The machine was well accepted by serious drivers, and entered in major racers including the JMRCA All Japan Touring Car Championships. The team TRF also participated in various races and won 2nd place overall at the Ready Race, one of the most prestigious races in the world, in May of 2000. However, they were not satisfied with the results yet, and started to work on further improvements to the machine.
Further Evolution to TRF414M
The team TRF kept seeking the potential for further improvement. They entered more and more races with the TRF414 to build a tremendous amount of data. As a result, the TRF414M was born after changes of specs at the millimeter level. It was so hard to further improve the machine. They entered the TRF414M for the IFMAR EP On Road World Championships that was held at the Yatabe Circuit in Japan, in September of 2000. Although the race result was not so good, they were confident that the machine had great setting potential. After the race, they continued test driving of the TRF414M on various courses. The machine saw further betterment through this close scrutiny, and has reached an optimal performance level.
Release of Conversion Kit of TRF414M
A conversion kit of TRF414M was released for the TRF414 owners just prior to the JMRCA All Japan Touring Car Championships, which was held in November of 2000. Of course, the team TRF entered the race with the TRF414M. They stayed in the top group from the first qualifying race. Driver Miura secured a best setting with the machine first and the other team drivers followed the same. Each machine could be set exactly same as Miura's car owing to its potential of enabling subtle adjustments of key areas by less than one millimeter. At the qualifying race, they took 4th place in A Main and 3rd place in B Main. And at the final, they took 9th in A Main and 1st place in B Main. The result was excellent considering it was the first competion right after the release of TRF414M.
Release of the Complete TRF414M
The true revolution was the release of the TRF414M as a complete chassis kit. Its rigid carbon main frame and aluminum bulkhead are exactly same as the ones in the conversion kit, and the front one way/rear differentials are common to the TA04 chassis.
In the arrangement of those parts, great attention was paid to the points of market place availability and cost effectiveness. This race-oriented machine will surely satisfy the demands of all serious racing drivers.