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RacerSideways Group5 ZakSpeed Capri

Racer Sideway ZakSpeed Capri

A one-off review of the Group Five Zakspeed Pentosin Capri for

The car
Racer-Sideways have been on the ascendancy for a while.
Recent releases such as the Lambourghini Huracan are making inroads at many clubs against far more established "high end" manufacturers.
So why review the Capri now given that it is quite an old release?
I race at two clubs weekly, both of which run a class for Racer Sideways group five.
Club one is an even split between two cars, the BMWM1 and the Capri.
The other club has far more of a spread in the types of cars but the Capri is the best performer and although the M1 shows much promise but is yet to get a firm grip on the top of the results table.

At the M1 dominated club, my racing pair is made up of two M1s.
Both of these cars are on their second (or third) motor after three years of hard racing.
The format at that club is that the cars are "virtually standard" (don't ask me what that means, I don't really know)

As a start point for racing group five at the second club, I took my pair of M1 down there, fitted the tyres that are permitted (urethane) and tried to compete. No chance! The second club permits multiple upgrades including unlimited inline motors.

So, a decision was made to take one of my trusty M1s, convert it, lock stock and barrel, to an inline.
This left a gap in my "racing pair strategy" so I was on the lookout for a replacement for the M1.

Swindon swap meet 2020, new in box, £40. Good value!

First impressions.
Lovely paintwork, well constructed. Straight out of the box, The car ran on my rolling road without any issues at all. ?
No paint flaws, no binding axles, no rubbing wheels. The guide even self straightened. ??
A quality build. The only issue with the car was a rear wing upright that had broken free (probably through hard handling as it was boxed up at the factory). A dab of super glue, easily fixed.

Upgrades Upgrades.
Racer Sideways construct many of their cars around Slot.IT compatibility and Slot.IT parts.
The Zakspeed Capri features a yellow Slot.IT 28tooth GA-1268 anglewinder crown.
Slot.IT compatibility can be very useful when upgrades are required.
The only upgrade permitted for this class of racing is the motor pod.
The racer sideways 5point pod (see pic) is perfectly adequate for most needs.
The pod even comes with parts to adjust the ride height of the car, effectively providing two offset options without changing the pod itself.
So... why change the pod? ?
Under high grip conditions the Racer Sideways pod can exhibit tramping, also colloquially known as "Ninco Hop".?
The tramping occurs because the axle is not held rigidly enough in line with the axis of the rear axle.
There are some fixes for the Tramping which may or may not be permitted at your club (if you do club racing)

1. A DIY truss/strut glued in place between the motor can and the right hand edge of the pod ( the non crown side)
2. Resin-fill the trough in the pod between the motor and the axle.
In the pic of the racer sideways pod above, I have pointed the long end of the Allen key exactly at the location of the trough.

At our club, these kind of DIY fixes are not permitted. A CH75 zero offset anglewinder pod is the upgrade path.

The Motor was fluid dipped and tested and runs at specification, probably the first Flat Six motor I have owned that meets spec.?
Track is Ninco polymer track.
Tyres : retrofit NSR Reds, the current fashion at our club. The Reds appear to give good adhesion, predictability and wear rate.
Fro t tyres : Slot.IT zero
Braids : NSR 0.2 race braid which do seem to have the best balance of low-spring, good contact and good wear rate.

Apart from the mods listed above, NOTHING has been changed.
Guide to rear axle length is identical to the M1, maximum rear axle width (before body fouling occurs) is also the same.
The Capri has slightly more overhang at the front and the rear making it a longer car. The length makes the Capri look thinner but its rear wheel arch measurement is identical to the M1 , 65mm.

See chassis pics above.

Final touches.
Some black sharpie to cover some of the car's graphics.
The rectangular yellow on the roof was sure to confuse some Marshals when reslotting the car after an in-race incident. That yellow rectangle looks far too much like lane ID tape.

A touch of oil on the axle bushes.

"One on one" against a racer sideways BMWM1 JPS special edition at my local club. Watford Nascot Wood.
Despite the motor in the capri being 8% faster than the motor in the M1 , it was not able to cut faster laps times.
It was , however, able to match the M1 which is indeed quite feat considering how many small refinements the M1 has had over the last 2 years or so.
The capri has quite a noisy and rattley behaviour on the the track, as opposed to the m1 which is whisper quiet.
Maybe some chassis&body trimming, damping gel and some mileage will sort that out.

In summary.
A well put together car of quality construction.
If you collect Group Five cars, The Pentosin Zakspeed Capri is a worthwhile addition to your collection.
If you race these cars and are looking for a new car to slam around the club track, the car will acquit itself well against other cars of this class.

I hope to use this can in anger on 31st Jan. Only then will, I see if it is able to replace the M1 as my "number one" in this class.

Hope you all enjoyed the read.
Comments and questions are always welcome.
AlanW - NonFractal ?
[+] 5 members Like Nonfractal's post

I do like a Capri, particularly a quick one  Cool

Very nice review Alan - and do let us know how it goes on the 31st. Like what you did with the roof - attention to detail wins races. I will try a pod in my Sideways Group 5 Porsche 935/78, it was rather chattery (on wood) the only time I raced it.

P.S. hope this review doesn’t turn out to be a one-off...

I have a Capri with a noisy body as well, it seems on mine that the points where the interior and "glass" clip into the body make it prone. As the body flexes, they creak.
I have used hot glue, soldering iron, and contact adhesive on 2 Capris with varying degrees of hush-success.

I do suspect, but can't prove, that the torsion from angle-winder setups causes chassis twist which in turn causes body twist/flex through corners - even with fairly loose bodies
I set on Capri up as a sidewinder, and it was defintiely quieter - but then the pod was heavily modified on that as well with piano wire and JB Weld :)  So maybe not a fair comparison

Outstanding review - thank you so much!!! Thumbup Thumbup


Interesting review. You say the motor was 'fluid dipped' - what does that mean?

(26th-Jan-20, 04:05 PM)Ken Mason Wrote:  Hi,

Interesting review. You say the motor was 'fluid dipped' - what does that mean?

Hi Ken, 
You're opening a big can of worms with that question( which should probably have a separate thread.)
Fluid dipping is an old school technique used to improve the performance of a new DC commutator motor (not brushless)
This technique can also be used to flush the accumulated debris from an older motor. 
Some manufacturer's motors respond well to this,  some not.
The motor is lowered into a liquid for a period of time while running, typically at three volts.

The liquid running beds in the brushes, moulding them to the shape of the commutator. 
The liquid?  Most racers have their own secret special brew. Some use water, some oils or other chemicals. 
Water is a good starter fluid, but ensure you run the motor until it is warm and dry after the dip otherwise you may get rusting on the armature .
Remember to lube the spindle bearings afterward.

Be aware that fluid dipping shortens the life if the motor and is really only a technique useful to hard core club racers. !  ?


I used to "fluid dip" my motors. I got lazy and stopped.
I can't even be bothered flattening chassis these days - if it looks about straight and 4 wheels touch the track....

But the technique I used, was water with a few drops of dishwashing liquid in it - that sequesters the dirt and holds it in suspension, and if you have made a motor smoke without actually burning out the windings with oil on the comm/brushes, this also fixes that quite nicely.
3 volts for 10 to 15 minutes seemed to be about right for common RTR motors.
After the soapy wash, I would drop the motor into a container with methylated spirits in it, simply to displace any residual water, spin the armature by hand a few times, then stick it on a paper towel to dry off from the meths.

Some motors saw a clear, measurable improvement in performance, some hardly any.

So to take this even more off my head, if you drop a running motor into a jug of water, there should be a big bang! How come there isn't?

Thanks for the replies. I thought that was what you meant. I have tried it myself with some fluid I bought from Pendles a while back (can't remember the name) but only for clearing motors that are clearly clogged up, particularly SCX...

(27th-Jan-20, 10:34 AM)BourneAgainRacer Wrote:  So to take this even more off my head, if you drop a running motor into a jug of water, there should be a big bang! How come there isn't?

Water isn't conductive as such. Certainly 12V DC isn't going to arc anyways across armatures.
[+] 1 member Likes slotloco's post

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