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Proxy Drag Racing Anyone?
#1

       

With the prospect of club racing looking rather uncertain over the next few months, is anyone interested in a bit of proxy drag racing? These are the dates...

June 9 & 10th - Sign up HERE
July 7 & 8th
August 11 & 12th
September 1 & 2nd
September 29 & 30th

What is a Drag Race Proxy? It’s very simple. Competitors send cars to the race master (I like that title!) who races them all on a drag strip at their home. You sit back and follow the action online - lots of fun and lots of social distancing. We can start with one strip and one set of classes, but hopefully there will be more.

What is the Rock County Eighth Mile? It is a short 7-foot (2.13 metre) timed drag strip - a scale eighth mile in true 1/87 HO - built from the new 2019 Micro Scalextric track. Power to both lanes is triggered by a relay switch - so it is all about the cars. 15 volts is used for the Micro Scalextric cars, 12 volts for the T-Jets. It will probably handle some Aurora AFX 3 and 4Gear cars too, but probably not anything much quicker.

How does the racing work? Cars from each class have three qualifying runs and the best time is used to rank the knock-out eliminator competition. The fastest qualifier faces-off against the slowest and the winner goes through to the next round. Racers are eliminated until just two remain - the winner of the final wins that class.

How do you enter? When a race is announced, add you name to the race thread on SlotRacer Online or contact the race master directly. You will be sent the address to post your cars. You can enter one car per class being run. The entry fee is the cost of the return postage - £2.95 for a second class small package paid online and dropped in a post box.

What cars can you send to race? We’ll start with three classes - two of them using the old 1995-2018 Micro Scalextric cars. These are cheap and easy to find in the UK. Some WHO racers already have T-Jets - but these will need braid soldered onto the pick-ups. I'll sketch out some class rules below. I will also post various tutorials and resources here on SlotRacer Online.

Of course, this isn't just open to WHO or HO racers - it's for anyone that might be interested.
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#2

The first class I'm suggesting is the very simple and accessible Micro Scalextric Street Stock...

   

Here are some regs...

Class 1: Micro Scalextric Street Stock
  • Chassis: Micro Scalextric 1995-2018 version with braids. May be ‘narrow’ or ‘wide’ versions, depending on body fitted. No cutting, drilling or any other modification to chassis. Components cannot be glued.
  • Motor: Unmodified standard Micro Scalextric motor with ‘flywheel’ between commutator and armature stacks. Minimum 6 ohm armature (no low-ohm 'My First Scalextric' battery set cars). Original resistors and capacitor must remain fitted between pick-ups and motor.
  • Traction magnets: Two original Micro Scalextric magnets in original position, flush with bottom of chassis. Orientation may be changed (magnets can be flipped).
  • Braid plate and guide: Any 1995-2018 Micro Scalextric braid plate with either plastic guide flag or metal pin.
  • Braids: Any braids – steel, copper or plated. Must not be soldered to chassis components.
  • Axles, wheels & gears: Standard Micro Scalextric front axle and wheels. Standard Micro Scalextric rear axle, wheels and Micro Scalextric 7T pinion + Micro Scalextric 25T crown gear.
  • Tyres: Any single compound tyre. Maximum diameter on wheel is 0.476” or 12.09mm.
  • Body: Any Micro Scalextric closed wheel saloon or GT body – street-style or tuners liveries please. Re-paints most welcome. No cutting or sanding of wheel arches or of any other external surface.
  • Maximum width: 35mm or 1.378”.
  • Weight: Minimum weight of entire car 23g. Ballast may be added to body only.
  • Wheelie bars: not permitted.
Here are two of the filthiest Micro Scalextric chassis I could find (I was after the bodies, no doubt)...

   

It shows the layout, the very nice and smooth gearing (older versions have black gears, newer ones are a white translucent shade), the resistors (blue, red or black coloured) and ceramic capacitor attached to the front of the motor. The armature windings have been red, gold or green. Here's a close-up of the all important 'fly-wheel' between the stacks and the commutator - something that identifies the slightly under-powered Micro can motor...

   

Not a lot you can do to the car, apart from clean it, get it running smoothly and fit it with some silicone Supertires (from SlotCarsDirect in the UK: https://www.slotcarsdirect.com/shop#!/si...ual/page/2) and probably some new braids. There are some Micro braid-tweaking tips here: http://www.whoracing.org.uk/microtuning.html

In terms of bodies, there have been some nice street cars made for Micro Scalextric, plus race and rally cars you could re-livery into a drag strip monster. Andrew put together this excellent resource so you know what you're looking for on eBay: www.microscalextric.wickedlemon.co.uk
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#3

Micro Scalextric cars are cheap and abundant in the UK and they do make great drag cars. It's really only going round corners they are not so good at. Moving on slightly from the Street Stock, a second class allows more modifications - but still the same Micro Scalextric motor - rather like a modern NHRA Super Stock class...

   

Micro Scalextric Super Stock
  • Chassis: Micro Scalextric 1995-2018 version with braids. May be ‘narrow’ or ‘wide’ versions, depending on body fitted. Two holes may be drilled to attach wheelie bar to rear of chassis. No other modification to chassis. Components may be glued in place.
  • Motor: Unmodified standard Micro Scalextric motor with ‘flywheel’ between commutator and armature stacks. Minimum 6 ohm armature (no low-ohm battery set cars). Original resistors and capacitor may be removed.
  • Traction magnets: Two original Micro Scalextric magnets in original position. Magnets may be raised or lowered and orientation may be changed (magnets can be flipped).
  • Braid plate and guide: Any 1995-2018 Micro Scalextric braid plate with either plastic guide flag or metal pin.
  • Braids: Any braids – steel, copper or plated. May be soldered to chassis components.
  • Axles, wheels & gears: Any axles, wheels and gears. Any gear ratio is permitted.
  • Tyres: Any single compound tyre. Maximum diameter on wheel is 0.500” or 12.70mm.
  • Body: Any Micro Scalextric closed wheel saloon or GT body – drag racing or tuners livery. Re-paints and body modifications – wings, hood scoops etc - are most welcome.
  • Maximum width: 35mm or 1.378”.
  • Weight: Minimum weight of entire car 21g. Ballast may be added to body only.
  • Wheelie bars: permitted.
Although you still have to use a Micro Scalextric motor, you can remove the gubbins at the front (and see if that makes much difference). You can play around with axles, gearing and wheels - and run higher tyres. You can also lose a couple of grams of weight and fit a wheelie bar. Modern Super Stock style re-liveries are very much encouraged...

       

I make my wheelie bars from piano wire and glass beads. Some wheelie bars are high-tech works of art - mine are rough and ready, but work. My three cars with wheelie bars are on their way to a race in Tennessee at the moment - I will take a picture when they get back or when I make more. The only suggestion is please make sure they don't short the power rails - or anything else.
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#4

A few WHO racers do have T-Jets for racing on my bullring oval. Those can be used as drag cars with the standard 'Tuff Ones' wide rear wheels and silicone tyres or - even better - by fitting some beautiful Vincent wheels (the wider D or E size) and appropriate Supertires or Jel Claws - but more about that later...

   

T-Jet NTRA Super Stock - based very closely on NTRA Pancake Super Stock rules
  • Chassis: Any Thunderjet 500 chassis – including Aurora, Dash, Johnny Lightning, Auto World, Model Motoring etc. Auto World Thunderjet 500 Ultra-G chassis is permitted. No chassis modifications. Top (gear) plate and chassis must match.
  • Motor: Minimum 14.0 ohm armature (eg Auto World, Johnny Lightning, Dash 3-Lam). Blueprinting allowed to include balancing and commutator polishing. No de-winding or timing adjustments allowed.
  • Motor Magnets: Ceramic grade only. Auto World, Johnny Lightning, Dash and OS3 (red, blue and white) are allowed in any chassis.
  • Traction magnets: Permitted. Two maximum.
  • Electrical: Original or direct replacement pick-ups, springs, plates, rivets and brushes. Braids and shunts allowed.
  • Braids: Must be soldered to pick-up shoes. Any braids – steel, copper or plated.
  • Axles, wheels & gears: Any axles, wheels and crown gears. Original top plate gears only.
  • Tyres: Any single compound tyre. Maximum diameter on wheel is 0.490” or 12.45mm.
  • Body: Pre-1979 closed wheel sedan or muscle car body. Injection moulded plastic or cast resin only. No lexan bodies. Drag or street racing liveries. Re-paints and hood scoops are most welcome.
  • Maximum width: 30mm or 1.181”.
  • Weight: Minimum weight of entire car 21g. Ballast may be added to body only.
  • Wheelie bars: permitted.
I do love these 60s and early 70s cars. Auto World have produced two sets of authentic 1960s NHRA Super Stock cars and there are bodies and decals available to create many more. Below is the blue Auto World 'Georgia Shaker' Ford Thunderbolt and a Dodge body that I tried to convert into Malcolm Durham's 'Strip Blazer' Chevy...

   

Both cars are fitted with Vincent 'size D' T-Jet wheels (http://shop.vincent-wheels.de/) on the back with Jel Claws ST2060-F Tomy SG+ front tyres, which fit the size D hubs perfectly and give really good grip on a drag strip. Barry at Slot Cars Direct stocks Jel Claws in the UK. Although the outside diameter (OD) of the hubs and tyres is a mere 0.394" (10mm), it gives a quick T-Jet on the strip. I put a little weight in the nose of the body to stop the front lifting too much under acceleration. The front wheels are matching Vincent size B or C hubs with the supplied hard skinny tyres. In terms of dimensions, these are not dissimilar from the stock Tuff Ones wheel/tyre combo, but look a million times better, I think.

Braids are essential on the new Micro Scalextric track and add greatly to performance on a standard HO drag strip - so pretty much everyone uses them now. I solder ordinary copper braid to the pick-up shoes, leaving a small amount to curve up and over the front edge of the shoe. Please do remove the shoe from the car before applying any heat! It works best on plain brass shoes - plated shoes need roughing up, acid flux and tinning both the shoe and the braid first. I am very happy to solder braids to pick-ups for anyone who needs them. This is the finished item...

   

It would be great to run other Auto World drag cars too - they produce 'Nostalgia' Funny Cars on the 4Gear chassis, a new 'Nostalgia' Pro Stock release on the 3-gear Xtraction, plus modern Funny Cars, Pro Stocks and Top Fuel Dragsters - all 4Gears. And there are plenty of options for re-liveries too. If people have any of these cars, we could match race them stock (with replacement tyres and braids, of course) to show them off and see if anyone else wants to play. Almost all the Auto World cars will be coming from the States, so it's not cheap or easy. Barry at Slot Cars Direct stocks Jel Claws and SuperTires for all the 4Gear Funny Cars. Here are a couple of 'Nostalgia' Funny Cars on my strip...

   
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#5

Ok I'm up for trying this! I think as a first entry, I'll just send in a stock Micro and one of my TJets. Will be a little while before I have Super Stock Micro prepped up. 

Need to spend a little time choosing the right chassis. And bodies. Too bad I gave all my 350zs to Laurence. They would be ideal. 

Might have to avail myself of your soldering skills on the pickups though.
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#6

A couple of street stocks on their way to me. 

I was going to turn one into a super stock, but now Gareth has got me worried there might be more to this exercise that I first thought...

I love puttering with gears
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#7

It's more that if you want to add bonnet scoops and custom paint and stuff like that. It's harder than cleaning up a car and putting the fattest tyres possible on it.
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#8

On a short strip, I wouldn’t expect too much advantage from the extras you can do on a Super Stock. But who knows? It does give the option of indulging in some modelling skills to pimp your ride.

I can definitely spare a couple of Need for Speed Nissans for repaints. I also have some surplus Ford Focus rally bodies which might look really handsome with a flashy repaint. During my rummaging, I came across an American cop car with a flashing blue light, but I’m keeping that.

I think my Street Stock will be the Audi TT. Maybe a Focus or a 350Z for Super Stock. I have too many T-Jet options... and more 60s Super Stock decals on their way from the States.
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#9

I've got an Aston missing its wing. Might see if I can use that for a base. Unless I still have my Alfa. Can't  remember! 

I've got some water slide Nascar decals i can use to jazz the car up.
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#10

Looks like I have Trackmate Drag Basic working nicely on the bench, so I am going press ahead with hooking it up to the strip. Although the Drag Basic GUI is all blocky DOS graphics, it is an extremely reliable timer - which is what we want. There's no output to trigger a relay, so that will need to be manual - launching both lanes simultaneously.

So, with this morning's progress, I am going to set a date for a first shake down session to see if everything works - the weekend of 16-17 May. I can run the format with cars I have - but if anyone wants to send a car or two, we can test if the postal side of things works too.

Then events will then move to a regular monthly Tuesday and Wednesday evening...

June 9 & 10th
July 7 & 8th
August 11 & 12th
September 1 & 2nd - Brighton Speed Trials
September 29 & 30th

All cars will complete their qualifying runs on the Tuesday evening. Wednesday evening will be the proper race evening - all three classes will have their eliminators, plus any extra races we might schedule. I'd plan to post qualifying results on Tuesday evening and then a report of each class as it happens on Wednesday from 7pm. I may edit an event video, but won't stream anything live. Could do a pre and/or post-race Zoom meeting though...

How does that sound?
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