TT-01 was never a great track car. None of the off the shelf non-TRF off-road cars are great racers. TL-01 was a better entry level car. TA-06 is still competitive in club events, TB-03 is still competitive, just released TB-04 Pro is a club killer. Like I said, serious about racing? Get a TRF car and you are instantly competitive. If you're talking short course trucks, I will agree Associated is great. Same with Sportsman 2WD buggy. Plastics have improved over the years as I said, TT-02 is a excellent entry level car and already competitive at the club level. Racing is about clean driving, not fastest laps, especially at the Sportsman level. My biggest complaint about non-Tamiya companies is the lack of realistic looks. You put a Porsche 911 body on a Tamiya car, it LOOKS like a Porsche, not kinda. HPI has been steadily improving and Vaterra is very close to the same quality.