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O’Donnell originally tested the concept back in 2003

A few days ago, RB Products caused quite the worldwide stir with news of their innovative ‘Automatic Damping System‘ – developed in tandem with Fioroni and a product they have resounding confidence in, not least because of them being adopted by several non factory RB drivers in their shocks. RB’s innovation however isn’t quite as ‘not seen before‘ as some readers might think, with rumblings on popular forum RC Tech of previously CAD drawn ‘by pass shocks’ – however it came as a surprise when an email arrived in our inbox from O’Donnell Racing’s original founder and figurehead Steve O’Donnell.

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Back in the early-mid 2000s O’Donnell was working not only with fuel and engine development but also released the Z01B car – memorably driven by star O’Donnell racer Jared Tebo to an impressive 4th at the 2008 World Championships before his return to Kyosho.

Steve stressed that he doesn’t want to take anything away from RB’s release – given the different slot shapes, 2003 was the first time they came up with the idea and tested with mixed results – in the right conditions the inserts were really good, they even tried multiple slot shape configurations and different numbers of slots, altering pack and rebound throughout the motion length for the particular track conditions.

The biggest challenge with the system was it’s sensitivity to temperature and weather; the system not being user friendly to the racer – requiring too much fine tuning in the end, Steve also tells us that throughout the process they also tested different types of dampening fluids, but again finding the system too sensitive for comfort.

See RB’s Automatic Damping system here