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The SRC Porsche 914/6 GTs have been enjoying some great endurance racing all over the world. Next Sunday, they arrive in Watford for a six-hour race at Nascot Wood. Six teams will be taking part.

Each team has been supplied by SRC with the update of their Porsche 914/6 GT circuit racing kit...

   

Teams have built up the chassis and decorated the bodies in period style to look something like this...

   

Motors and pinions will be handed out on the morning of the race. Three of us from Worthing will be joining Nascot Wood superstar Martin Dixson - I'll let you know how we get on...

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Rock County Raceway,  part one - The original Tyco oval

   

The idea for the Rock County Raceway came from browsing obscure Californian slot car forums and learning about the great fun to be had with short 'bull ring' ovals. Real-life bull rings were the tiny ovals that appeared around the USA from the 1930s to the 60s that satisfied an appetite for racing where there was either a lack of money or a lack of space to build the more usual quarter-mile or half-mile local tracks. There's no official definition, but a track length of anything less than a quarter or fifth of a mile counts as a bull ring. The racing experience was a very short blast on a very short straight and then skilful driving round the tight corners. Here's a couple of pics of the Kearney Bowl in Fresno that inspired the Californian HO bull ring racing circle...

       

After much playing around and taking advice from the other side of the pond, I set about building my four-lane HO bull ring. I would use Tyco sectional track on a 4 x 2 foot lightweight board. The track and most of the materials were things I had lying around. The table was built with 3mm mdf on top of a timber frame. I squeezed some PVC angles between the frame and board to give an integral retaining wall on each side. The Tyco plastic sectional track was attached using silicone sealant with power wires soldered to the underside of the rails. I drilled holes for light sensors to hook up to a computer via a Trackmate board.

I tested the track and it was just what I'd hoped for. The straights were just under 4 feet long and the turns have an outer radius of just under a foot - a custom six inch radius turn piece inserted at each end to make the corner entry tighten. Overall, the outer lane was thirteen foot long and the inner is ten and a half feet. The average lane length is 11.82 feet or one seventh of a 1/64 scale mile or one sixth of a 1/76 scale mile. The Rock County Raceway was comfortably a 'bull ring'.

Having filled some gaps between track pieces and painted the main straight grey, I held a successful test night in late 2011 - and then that was it for nearly three years. The trials and tribulations of life in general, plus a leaking roof meant the oval stayed in storage until 2014. There was then a whirlwind of activity to get the oval ready in time for its first proper race in August.

The first task was to re-think the oval in light of things I had learned in the three intervening years. I had built two more tracks and my grasp of slot car-related electronics has come on leaps and bounds. I have also become fascinated with the original 1/76 scale cars - particularly the Aurora Thunderjets and their Auto World copies. On dusting down the oval and running some cars, I realised that it was really too small for the quicker cars I'd originally planned to use. The T-jets were perfect and Aurora Magnatraction and Auto World Xtractions quick, but not too quick.

I rewired the track, then built UK club standard 3-pin driver stations, using CAT-6 cabling to connect to the track. I fitted a relay to control track power and reed switches hooked up to Trackmate to provide lap timing and race management.

   

That done, I flipped the board over and finished painting the track, added an infield and painted that too. I used foamboard as end barriers and added some advertising hoardings.

   

I was basing the look of the raceway on a Wisconsin short track. My partner's mother grew up in Beloit and hung out at the local track with her friends - it was just something to do in the summer. In homage, the track was named Rock County Raceway and I added some local ads to the hoardings. Many of the Wisconsin short tracks have now closed, but I looked closely at one of the survivors, the quarter-mile Rockford Speedway just over the border in Illinois. I hope I  captured something of its character...

       

One thing I definitely needed was catch fencing. Nothing I could find commercially looked like what I wanted. In the end I found some plastic netting used for keeping pet reptiles and threaded through piano wire as poles. To avoid injury, I added heat shrink tubing to the top of the wire. The bottom of the wire sits nicely into plastic tubes cut from cotton bud sticks that are glued to the back of the side walls.

   

For some final touches I added a wrecker truck and ambulance to the infield and then we were ready to race in my basement kitchen.

           

Seven club mates from Worthing HO Racing joined me for an excellent evening trying out different race formats with a set of four race-prepared Auto World T-jets. By the end of the night, the quickest drivers were turning sub 2 second laps with the T-jets and even faster with their Magnatractions and Xtractions. The track got the thumbs-up. Here's a very quick taste of the action...



We raced on the oval again the following year, adding in a very enjoyable race with Gareth's Aurora trucks...

   

However, despite everyone's enthusiasm for the track and the racing, there were a few issues that I wasn't happy about - and they weren't going to be solved easily with plastic sectional track. The track surface wasn't as smooth as the T-Jets really needed and there were some electrical issues too. I took the plunge and decided to commission Cheryl and Paul at MaxTrax Scale Racing in New York to build me a plastic routed oval. That moves us on to part two of the Rock County Raceway story...

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Hi,

Owing to a miscommunication between myself and Patto, I've ended up with a pair of 1/24th Nascar decal sets that I can't use. They're a bit too big as you can see!

It's the complete set for each car but only one page of each is shown.

Send me a PM if you have a use for them and I will put them in the post to you.


   

   

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Not for me but I've had a request for help in finding a slot car club near Rotherham. However I've not had much more success than the enquirer.

The only possibility I found was in Pontefract but they're closed pending 'new' premises.

Nothing in the club section or obvious on the interactive map either.

Any help appreciated, thanks.

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We are back at the Barn on Wednesday 4 March for the first HO Formula One race of the year. And there is a minor earthquake about to hit Goring-by-Sea - the start of non-mag, brass-weighted HO racing...

We first started introducing 'sub-classes' or 'minor-championships' to WHO Racing back in 2012 as a way to widen access to end-of-season silverware. The F1 Classic Cup - for older, lower-performance chassis like the Tyco 440x2, Tomy Turbo, Micro Scalextric and Life Like 'M' - was first, followed by WHO Tuners  two years later and Nascar Gen6 in 2016. For a variety of reasons, the F1 Classic Cup field has dwindled, whereas the other two sub-classes have flourished. We decided at the last AGM to re-work F1 Classic Cup to feature the brass-weighted Viper-Jet chassis and custom-converted brass Turbos, Tyco and Super-Gs. They are great fun to drive and it was the perfect place on the WHO calendar to fit them in.

   

We are expecting to see at least half a dozen entrants in Classic Cup this year and they will include some of the club's top racers - including all three previous WHO club champions. The brass-weighted cars will not be competitive with the fastest magnet cars, so there is a big risk of haemorrhaging a lot of club championship points. It'll be great fun for those of us racing the brass cars and create an exciting battle to crown a first-time club champion in December.

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I stumbled across a post (then lost it Tappingfoot ) about "collecting software" and other ways that people record their collection, some use pen and paper (old school hey) others use Excel, yet I have not seen any mention of using specific collection/catalog software.

So I went on a search (after no luck finding the original forum post) and stumbled across Recollector (https://www.collectingcatalog.com/) from the limited 25 item trial I have done it appears to be what every collector would require. It can handle multiple images, no limit text boxes, fully customisable database system and at $49 to boot.

Recollector can save your data file to the cloud, you can export your collection to Excel. Recollector even has smartphone apps for Android and iOS platforms. The best thing I can say about Recollector is the ease of usage... from editing and sorting Field Names, editing pre-entered data, enteringin data, just so simple to use, yet so powerful.

So what do you use to catalog your collection? I am interested to see what others think about recollector, though not specific to Slot Cars like SCC it is a proper collection cataloguing software.

   
Recollector Logo

   
Screen shot of my testing Recollector

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It's that time of year again. You know, when those of us who still like F1 start to look at the pre season testing, and try to make wild guesses at who's looking good, who's sandbagging, and who's failing miserably.

With no change in the regulations this year, I wasn't really expecting any big innovations in the design of the cars. But then... boom ... Mercedes came out with two.

First, a completely new arrangement of the rear suspension to clean up the air around the back of the car, and increase downforce.

And secondly, perhaps more controversially, a system that allows the driver to change the angle on the front wheels, from a toe out on the corners, but then straighten them up on the straights.

If those systems work out, and are proved legal, it could be a grim season for the other teams. But there is an element of risk for Mercedes.

More importantly, it could be a historic season. Hamilton could actually equal Schumacher's record of seven world titles. I never thought I'd see anyone do that, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Here we go. Wrench

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Good afternoon all

Hope your all enjoying this terrible weather period and using the time well preparing for the years slot racing. Quack Quack.

Last night we had our first clockwise race for the American Muscle/ Nascar class.

Happy birthday to Gordon and thanks for the cakes.

It appeared that a lot of club members had spent some time prepping their cars for this class as the speed and handling for many had improved greatly. We had some very close races through out the night/

With 17 drivers in attendance, it was great to see such a variation of cars used.

The heats passed very quickly and with Averill missing again due to Mike and Averill's pending holiday we all landed up making our own tea.
Over the evening we seemed to land up having two groups, Those below 7.7 seconds to those over 7.7 seconds per lap.

After our tea break and sorting out the lane choices for the finals, the racing started again

As normal Richard and James E had to leave before the Finals started leaving Ray being promoted straight to the E final which is where we start.


Final E

On the Grid we have just 3 drivers, Ray, Gordon and Alf.
The lights went out and all 3 drivers started at a steady pace along with a few minor incidents it wasn't long before the positions were decided and after 25 laps the result was: -

1. Gordon
2. Alf
3. Ray


Final D.

On the grid tonight we have Gordon, Keith, Ken and Lyle 
Some of the drivers were down in unfamiliar surroundings  as normally in one of the top 2 finals.
The lights went out and all cars raced away and it wasn't long before Keith broke down with no drive leaving the other 3 to fight it out for the places.
No major action here tonight 
Lyle managed to break away with Ken chasing.
So after 25 laps The result was: -

1. Lyle
2. Ken
3. Gordon
4. Keith


Final C

Lyle moved up to take his place on the grid with Tone, Richard T, and Iain M.
Again the lights went out and all four raced away for twenty five laps of fast racing. After a couple of laps Lyle found his form and started to pull away with Richard T chasing hard but not able to make any inroads to the speed of Lyles car.
This left Tone and Iain M racing for the lower places.
After 25 laps the result was: -

1. Lyle
2.Richard T
3. Tone
4. Iain M


Final B

Lyle took his second promotion of the night to line up alongside James H, Mike, and Ian R.
The lights went out and very quickly Mike took the lead from Lyle leaving James H trying to keep pace and Ian R chasing him hard.
This was a close race right from the start to the finish and the leading to finishing within a split second of each other.
Thus giving us the result of : -

1. Lyle
2. Mike
3. James H
4. Ian R


Final A

The nights big one and again the best drivers were here to give us we hoped the race of the night, but it was an anticlimax after the closeness of Final B.
On the grid we had Lyle after his third promotion to line up with Steve, Andy, and Alan 
Once the lights went out it began as a close race, but some it became a challenge between Andy and Alan with Steve and Lyle in the mix, again after a few laps the race settled down to see who could lap the fastest and stay ahead without making any mistakes.
So after the 25 laps and places swapping practically every lap the result was: -

1. Andy
2. Steve
3. Lyle
4. Alan



The championship points for the night are as follows: -

Andy                      25 + 1pt for fastest lap 6.860 secs

Steve                     23

Lyle                       21

Alan                      20

Mike                     19

James H              18

Ian R                    17

Richard T             16

Tone                    15

Iain M                  14

Ken                     13

Gordon                12

Keith                    11

Alf                        10

Ray                       9

Richard E             8

James E              7


Another great nights racing here at Presto

May we all wish Mike and Averill a great holiday in the Artic circle and look forward to seeing you both back in March.

Next week we come to the end of our first round races with the Formula 1 class and expect to see some of the new NSR F1 cars on the grid.

Have a great week 

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We've been working on a new section of the site, which we'd like your help with.

The SlotRacer's Manual

It's intended to be a reasonably comprehensive guide to slot cars, tracks, and racing, whilst attempting not to make anything too complicated, too long to read, or too expensive. We're hoping to cover most of the things that everybody needs to know, all in one place.

But our knowledge only goes so far, so we'd like to ask you to have a look and let us know what you think, and perhaps help us to fill in a few gaps.

We're particularly interested in...

  • Suggestions for things we've missed.
  • Ideas to simplify or improve the techiques we've mentioned.
  • Related links which you know of (these can be more complex or expensive).
  • Similarly any related videos which you think are good.
  • Any contibutions relating to areas we're not really qualified to write about, such as routing a track, scratch building, or running a club.
Basically, all opinions, suggestions, criticisms, links, videos, and offers of help would be gratefully received.

Thank you. Thumbup

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Good afternoon everyone, I'm sure this has been asked before on other forums etc but too much information to sit and work through, basically I want to time my laps on my modest Scalextric test track, but I want to be able to easily see the times, I run analogue. any help would be great I don't really want to spend loads of money but understand these things are not free. I looked into the DS stuff but getting it all isn't cheap  thanks again.

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