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Gaydon Pictures 2024
#1

BARacer spotted me & Mike arrive on one of the many YouTubers' more-or-less live streams of the event...

   

I hadn't been to Gaydon since 2019 and we chose to break tradition and head up for the busier Saturday, mostly so we race in the two organised events on the fabulous Goodwood circuit. Five years away and some things were similar, but a lot had changed...

       

The event was really busy - not overly so at 10am, but then utterly rammed by 11am. Chat during the day with stall-holders definitely came to the conclusion that the influence of the YouTubers has had a big impact on events like this - finally catching up in terms of publicity with other similar hobbies like model railways and RC. That, in part, had made it a very international event too. Most manufacturers were there - with the notable exception of Carrera - or, in the case of Thunder, Team and Avant Slot, were represented by distributors.

       

And there were some great tracks - Slot Car Scenic's Red Bull Ring looked fabulous, as did Think Scalextric's Zombie layout. The latter are new kids on the block since the 2019 edition. There was a new chill-out room this year with lots of small tracks to play on - on such a warm and buy day, that was popular stop-off point for families, of which there were many. And there was one proper wood club track, brought along by Four Lane Blacktop...

       

They were positioned right next to title-sponsors Scalextric, which worked very well for both. Scalextric had samples of most of their 2024 cars, including those announced just a couple of days ago. The racing VW Golf did look particularly amazing and the Anglia didn't look quite so 'chinny' in the flesh. The new AMC Hornet was revealed as a sidewinder with full interior and - with authentic racing liveries - will fit into the Scalextric Trans-Am range. The two new Porsches were there and both did look sensational.

       

One of the team members gave me a full run through of the new Hot Laps app - due for release in July, just before the rally set goes on sale. The app looks great, seems very solid and is very easy to set up. The hardware in the set - a fairly robust cardboard gantry and a special straight piece with a line done the middle, means the app is essentially self-calibrated in seconds. Set-up of the existing timing apps like LapTracker and LapTrax can be a real pain. The stand-alone lap timer seems to do the business very well and the Sega Rally-style arcade options look to be a very good training programme for budding racers - encouraging drivers to stay on the track and gradually improve their times. I was impressed - and wouldn't mind giving it a Beta-test at our WHO Slot Rally event this month.

There was also a prototype of the new wireless controller which works via the Spark Plug dongle. Although there was no way to try it out, it does look a simple and effective way of delivering a wireless set-up without having to invest in an ARC system. The £35 bundle includes both the controller and dongle, plus access to a new app that allows configuration of throttle curves, maximum power etc etc.

Scalextric had samples of their new Micro cars, which were just a few yards away from the new, bijoux HO Zone in the most comfortably air-conditioned room in the building...

   

Four Lane Blacktop brought the track, which was pretty popular. They are one of three UK clubs to race HO monthly - the others being Derby HO Racing Club and Worthing HO Racing. There were plenty of racers from each at the event, with some chat around the new AFX Formula One cars - the latest rumours being that the 2023 Alfa Romeos will be joined by some modern McLarens and 1980s Lotuses by the end of the year. HO enthusiasts had slim-pickings from retailers, much of it horribly overpriced, but there were some gems in there.
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#2

Together with all the YouTubers, one big difference I noticed were the massively increased number of figures, buildings, scenic materials and hand-crafted cars and gadgets...

       

There are sections of the hobby that have gone upmarket - and seem to be doing extremely well...

       

But for most of the festival goers, the retail experience was one of traditional bargain-hunting...

       

And there was some kick-back against the digital age - print media still has a place at the party...

       

Our base for much of the day was the Slot Car Magazine stand, which was right next to Hub's rally track and the Mission Motorsport Goodwood track. Also in this section of the exhibition hall were all the manufacturers and distributors - all of them very busy talking or playing...

       

The new Thunderslot Ferraris were on show as was the first of the Fly 3D printed 80s F1 cars...

       

Plus there was talk of a tie-up with Fly and Scaleauto to put the latter's racing chassis under the former's wonderfully-detailed F1 bodies.

Everyone throughout the venue seemed very happy with the state of the hobby. Yes, the huge boom of the pandemic has waned, but the numbers involved and money being spent is still significantly more than before April 2020. One retailer local to us in Sussex is opening a bricks & mortar store next month, with a four-lane Policar track being designed to form the basis of a new club - that is just one indicator of the confidence at Gaydon this year.
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#3

For me, the highlight of the show was Hub's new rally track 'Slot Rally Hill'...

       

Much as I loved driving on Flat Over Crest, this new track adds a completely new dimension. The endless elevations and continuous camber changes make Slot Rally Hill an engrossing drive. Hub's use of 4mm mdf has given him flexibility in the road surface to do all this - and his build thread should be a key text for all budding slot rally builders. Hub also allowed me to run some rally cars I'd brought with me - and Mike took a close look at Hub's work to hopefully inspire a first effort for our new WHO slot rally adventure...

       

And then it was the afternoon - and time for some Goodwood racing...

       

Despite an amazing track that had been busy all morning, there was some disappointment with the numbers entering the two 'official' races. It was similar on the Policar track - only the established Policar Grand Prix going ahead and other races cancelled. But we went ahead with a four-car RAC TT Celebration race for front-engined GT models - two Fly Ferraris, plus a Cobra and E-Type Jag from Scalextric. Mike led the way with his silver GTO, two Andy's having a spectacular scrap for second, before I lost a guide wire on my red GTO in the final stages (I'll be ditching eyelets for grub screws after that!). Graham got in some valuable digital racing experience and brought the Jag home fourth...

       

Scalextric had donated the prizes - and they descended en masse at the end of the day to have a play on the track with the Mustang track cars...

       

That left just one race on the Goodwood track - the St Mary's Trophy pairs race. Sadly, Graham's Galaxie broke down in practice, which left just three cars - teams from Worthing HO, East Worthing / Gaugemaster and Slot Car Magazine...

       

It was a cracking opening stint, with myself, Marc and Matt all circulating in very close proximity - but then Mike showed all his digital racing nous to pull away from Tony and Andy. This felt a much better race than earlier - but Paul and his team of marshals said both the competitive races had looked spectacular on the big Goodwood track. Having made off like bandits with the Scalextric goodies, Mike and me are keen to pay something back and help Paul come up with a strategy for 2025 that might include club or company teams racing cars prepared by WHO/digital. That certainly worked for the St Mary's race today.

All-in-all it was a very enjoyable return to the event, catching up with old friends, meeting some in the flesh for the first time - notably Tony from Australia, Nico from Austria and our very own Proxy supremo Graham - and having the opportunity to see and chat to some of the new kids on the block. There was loads I didn't do - especially racing on all the tracks - and I only spent £5 on purchases. Maybe plan for two days next year...
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#4

Great write up  and pictures. 

Another excellent day out at Gaydon. 

We had 3 club members present,  and spent the day racing, buying and laughing! 

Managed to miss going on the lovely looking Goodwood track, but would definitely be keen to have a go next year.  Andy, your idea of Club teams etc sounds interesting.   

Mr D's Drag Strip was back to its best, and was providing a great challenge. 

Club member Andy managed to win "Fastest time of the day"on the awesome Think Scalextric Zombie rally layout, coming home with  brand new Scalextric Jaguar E Type, plus a cool light up designed perspex style trophy, which was engraved with "You  saved humanity!", nice!   Fellow Club member Ciarán had best time on the rally layout (track 1), and all I managed was a draw on the excellent Top Trumps interactive game in the superb Museum!!

Thanks to everyone involved in organising this event,  looking forward to next year already  Thumbup
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#5

It was a great day, and at last meeting up and racing (or attempting to) with Andy after the covid years was a real pleasure. I have to remind myself that if it had not been for those unfortunate circumstances of those times, I might never had become involved in proxy slot car racing or Slotracer online at all, and it is thanks to Andy for his encouragement then as indeed now.

In my view it was a great idea for the Goodwood competition, and the theme attracted me sufficient to have a go at Digital racing for the first time, the result was that having got the hang of the track a little when running the Mustangs with the family's and children, I never got to press that "overtake button" when it came to the professional races. My cars were not really "battle worthy" with technical issues one way or the other and my lack of experience, however I enjoyed playing the back marker spoiler role and perhaps next time would be wearing my "hard hat"  Bigsmile 

I was not particularly surprised by the lack of entrants, these things take time to establish themselves, I have participated in every one of the Policar F1 races at Gaydon over the years and it the first year we barely had more than a handful of entrants. This year we had 24 in the Standard class race and 19 in the modified class race, so if the Goodwood track is run again next year I am sure that with more notice you would get more participants.

And like Andy, I spent very little money this time, just went for the racing and entertainment, the chat with old and new friends. But I did buy a coffee and cake  Rofl
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#6

I had an amazing day yesterday. Took my son for his second festival and had my brother, dad and nephew visit for their first time. Plus some of the guys from my sim racing league as well made me feel like I had quite the entourage! 

So nice seeing so many people from the HO National days; Alan, Andy, Clive, Henry and Marc from FLBT, Callum and David from Kent, Nick from Derby, obviously Andy, Mike and Terry from my home club WHO.

Finishing 4th in the time trials was awesome. Shame I slipped from this highpoint.

   

Only bought 1 car. How measured of me!

Huge thanks to all the organisers for such a brilliant event.
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#7

Thank you Andy for the lovely write up and concise feedback on the racing element. Graham, you are absolutely correct and anything worth doing does take time to develop.

Form small acorns....

With a bit more planning and communication for what to expect from Goodwood next year, I am sure there will be a few more takers.

I recall a previous year when I handed over a set of 6 prepped Scalextric Caterhams to the Black Country club and they had a fantistic battle on the Slot Track Scenics Silverstone.

I am sure there are many more who would like to have a go. If we could dedicate time to clubs for heats between themselves and then a final of interclub teams, that would create some healthy competition, but allow for racing amongst known entities in the first instance.

And how ironic our conversation on grub screws was repeated by Andy. I use M2 x 6mm as recommended by Angelo. Here is a link to them:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/361344804728?...dia=FB_MSG

At the end of the day, whilst it was full on with only just enough marshals to manage the track, everyone on the team had a great day. Today we had a full compliment of marshals and I even managed to spend a bit of time taking in the show and making a few purchases :-) We will definately have a nascar fleet prepped for racing on Goodwood next year, which would be a nod to the 2023 Revival where they had a demonstration of 20 odd NASCARS running around Goodwood.

And finally, thank you Graham for explaining the Proxy racing idea, which could offer another great opportunity for getting cars out on Goodwood through the year.

And finally, finally.... thank you to everyone who either paid to race or made a donation to Mission Motorsport.
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#8

I've previously bought those same grub screws from that seller which reminds me I've only got a few left and need to order more.

If it wasn't for the expense of taking a car on the ferry (£320 return...that's a bag full of Slot cars) I'd love to go to Gaydon so it's brilliant to read your guys reports on the festival.

Life is like a box of Slot cars... Cool Drinkingcheers
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#9

And just another little ambition that should get attract another group of our hobby..... 
Goodwood and Edwardians..... Bring it on for next year (Phil, get well soon).
   

PS - Thank you Woodcote for the marshal hats. That will be treasured :-)
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#10

I had a great day out with my little boy at Gaydon this year, only bought 2 cars each (he chose a Scalextric Sidecar and a cheap, damaged Indy car  Thumbup) I ended up with a couple of do-er up-ers + some sport track that was too cheap not too buy. Prices of things, cars especially seemed cheaper than last year or at least the scrapyard ones were.

My lad has not really shown that much interest in slot cars (he's still only 3) but hasn't played with his micro set much at all and had a couple of session on a drag track I set up for him but he was all over the drift track set up in the far room at Gaydon. Couldn't get him away from it!!

   
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