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  • Opinions please

    Our local club has a dilemma. We are running a GT3 class that started out with Carrera only cars. Someone showed up with a Scalextric car which was allowed to run. The escalation started there and (hopefully ended) with the first Scalextric Ford GT.
    So my question concerns running Carrera against Scalextric. Can they fairly be raced against each other?
    Here are factors to consider:
    Carrera cars are heavy (some over 100g), have 18k motors (if you get a good one).
    Scalextric are lighter (70g on a good one) and motors are 21.5 (except the new slim can cars which are 27.5k and I think should be outlawed).
    On either brand car we allow NSR tires and any guide. Chassis loosening and ballast is allowed.
    So is there a path to parity between these two brands?

  • #2
    Run a Scalextric Class and Carrera Class, separately. Or you can start an arms race which could sour a club in a hurry. But there would be some fast, expensive toy cars that will cost more than a NSR, or Scaleauto to go just as fast.

    Comment


    • #3

      Aptosc6,
      Many clubs struggle with this dilemma.
      This is how I see it:

      You have to keep everyone happy, those who see themselves as "drivers" AND those who see themselves as "engineers".
      Classes should be either "factory" or "modified".

      Factory classes use a single manufacturer , out of the box with very minor changes (braid, eyelets, tyres) and a catch all "only the listed modifications are permitted".
      it may even be sensible to choose a single car from that manufacturer because there will always be a new car released that works better than older models.

      Modified classes allow cars from multiple manufacturers with multiple upgrades (suspension, gearing , motors, 3d components, guides etc etc)

      Factory cars keep the "drivers" happy. A fixed spec car allows them to show off their driving prowess.
      Modified cars keep the engineers happy because they can tinker and tune which gives them hope that they will one day build something that can win against the superior drivers.

      A healthy club has a good mix of factory and modified classes.
      One of the factory classes is often a set of cars that is provided by the club which every drivers races every car on the night.

      so, what for the middle ground , cars between factory and modified?
      I have never seen this work.
      as soon as the arms race starts, it never ends until the class morphs into a fully modified class. Tuners will always find ways to make the cars work better within the mods permitted.

      Trying to balance disparate cars by adding weight and restricting components (eg the carrera car can have a lightweight interior but the scaley cannot) is a fools errand. It never results is the expected balancing.

      Surprising that your GT class is so restricted. This is typically THE class where the top end cars compete, NSRs , Scaleautos, SidewayGT , Black Arrow.

      so, how to deal with your dilemma?
      I would slowly lift restrictions on your GT class while reinforcing (or introducing) some factory classes.
      allow the scaley cars to race in GT, but let it be known that this class will get annual changes, maybe small (component changes) or maybe the introduction of a new manufacturer?
      This approach slows down the arms race because no one will wants to buy a new car mid season when a new manufacturer may be introduced at the start of the next season?

      The factory classes should be cars from a major manufacturer that are available from major retailers. No good at all if the cars can only be sourced through boutique retailers or ebay "new old stock" sellers.

      And.. talk with club members during the club night. Ask what they want, let them know how the committee are thinking and ask their opinions.
      Eg "we're thinking about scrapping the rally class because... and introducing...." . Everyone likes to think that their opinion matters.

      I hope this helps. Every club struggles with this and some handle it better than others.


      Alan Wilkinson
      Nonfractal
      Last edited by Nonfractal; June 12, 2021, 03:03 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        The 'arms race' is the cancer of racing, particularly slot car racing where what many people have or care to invest is limited. If at all possible stay with a single car class as Alan (in the post above) laid out. Other classes can have varying rules, but I think an entry level class is essential. Newbies need a place to start for low cost and a good degree of fair competition.

        Racing without strict rules that are enforced is an invitation to chaos.

        Comment


        • waaytoomuchintothis
          waaytoomuchintothis commented
          Editing a comment
          Slothead, I definitely like you.

        • slothead
          slothead commented
          Editing a comment
          I appreciate that.

      • #5
        Different cars, scale and track, but we "run what you brung". We have a minimum lap time of 3.95 seconds. Every car is run on orange by a top driver, not by the owner. 10-15 laps are run and the car can't run faster than 3.95. The results are every car runs laps from 3.9-4.2 seconds. No matter what motor tires, body, gear, etc, cars run same lap times but do it thru torque, rpm or handling. It is totally up to the driver to keep run a fast lap. This is not breakout racing, as drivers run their cars as fast as they are able. When you start allowing faster, different cars you ruin racing for most of the guys. The fun is that everybody racing has an equal chance and will win every now and then,. I would rather get one or two guys mad then lose the whole group.
        Matt B
        So. In
        Crashers

        Comment


        • slothead
          slothead commented
          Editing a comment
          Let me see if I understand how this system works? In order to 'qualify' a car must pass the minimum lap time test. If I brought a car that turned in a 3.8 lap time does it fail to make the race? For the cars that do make the race they can run as fast as possible.

        • mattb
          mattb commented
          Editing a comment
          If your car runs a 3.8 lap, you need to run different gearing, add weight or change tire size to slow it down to 3.9. When we race you can run as hard as possible, Every car racing has the same limit, so racing is close for everybody and it is up to the driver.

      • #6
        The Carrera cars I have are wound for 15v and the Scalextric cars are 12v. I just switched to individual power supplies for each lane and found I could create a lot of parity by adjusting voltage. I don't know if that's an option for formalized racing. On my track, I set up all the cars, even those that belong to others. I know what works best on my track. But, if somebody wants to setup their own car they are encouraged to do so.
        Last edited by Bal r 14; June 12, 2021, 10:37 AM.

        Comment


        • #7
          I think that your best bet would be to run each make in its own class. We did run a class just for Carrera cars with minimal alterations allowed. One problem that we ran into was that older Carrera motors had a bit more power than the newer ones. To level that out we decided to use Piranha 21.5K motors. We were running on wood tracks at 10 volts. With a little fussing with body float you could get the cars to run quite well but getting the float correct could be tricky. I think that the Predator 18K motor would be a better choice for non-magnet running or you could try upping the voltage a little.
          By the way we encountered the same problem with older Scalextric FC130 motors being more powerful than the newer ones. We decided to allow Gator 18K motors in those, but the best of the older Scalextric motors were a bit more powerful. Once Again the Predator 18K motor might be a good choice for a replacement motor.

          Comment


          • #8
            It should be pointed out that Carrera is built for a different voltage from everybody else (pain in the ass, I routinely replace their motors), and they are notorious for no brakes.

            Comment


            • #9
              Never should have allowed the Scalextric car to run. Period.
              Carrera cars were called for.
              A stock Carrera class has to be the cheapest way to get newcomers into the hobby. Tire switch and nothing else.

              Comment


              • #10
                As has been mentioned several times above, the best way to keep things competitive is to run each make in it's own class.

                We run most classes this way. In almost all classes we allow for a spec tire or a choice of a very limited range of tires. In others we allow gear changes. And we have one class, our Sportsman class that allows for almost unlimited modifications - this is our builder's class. Our group is very willing to share their knowledge and even assist in the building of cars for others. None of us are overly concerned with winning, and we all acknowledge that the most fun is had when the racing is competitive.

                Sometimes a manufacturer will release a model that is a class-killer. We found this to be true with the Slot.It Matras. And so we broke the Matra out of the Slot.It Classics class and made it a class of it's own (although we have some members who have Alfas and McLarens that are competitive.

                We've had the closest racing (and the most fun!) in these classes:

                NSR Porsche Cup
                ELIGIBLE CARS
                Porsche 997

                Chassis can be trimmed slightly and weight can be added to the chassis
                Front axle supports and/or grub screws can be added
                Body and interior cannot be lightened and body post sleeves can be added
                Baby King 17k motor
                Motor may be secured with screws, glue or tape.
                Stock Gears 13/31
                Screws, spacers and braid can be changed and can be any brand
                Rear Tires – NSR SuperGrips #5230
                Front Tires – Stock, no fingernail polish, floor wax, super glue or other treatment
                Tires can be glued and trued to rims but cannot be chemically altered
                Stock wheels
                Wheel/Tire placement cannot exceed body width


                NSR GT
                ELIGIBLE CARS
                Corvette C6R/C7R, Audi R8, Porsche 997, Aston Martin Vanquish, BMW Z4

                Chassis can be trimmed slightly and weight can be added to the chassis
                Front axle supports and/or grub screws can be added
                Body and interior cannot be lightened and body post sleeves can be added
                Motor – Spanish King 19k or King 19.5 k
                Motor may be secured with screws, glue or tape
                Gears – NSR 13/31 gears
                Screws, spacers and braid can be changed and can be any brand
                Rear Tires – NSR SuperGrips #5230
                Front Tires – Stock, no fingernail polish, floor wax, super glue or other treatment
                Tires can be glued and trued to rims but cannot be chemically altered
                Stock Wheels
                Wheel/Tire placement cannot exceed body width


                ThunderSlot
                ELIGIBLE CARS
                Lola T-70 (coupe and spyder), McLaren M6A, McLaren Elva

                Weight may be added to the chassis
                No alterations allowed to body or interior
                Motor – Stock
                Motor Orientation – Sidewinder
                Axles and bushings may be racer’s choice.
                Gears –11t pinion can be plastic or brass, 32t stock spur
                Chassis – Stock, minimum filing allowed
                Wheels – Racer’s choice but wheels must be same width and diameter as stock.
                Front Tires – ThunderSlot treaded or slicks
                Rear Tires – ThunderSlot treaded or slicks
                Tires may be glued and trued but no chemical treatment allowed.
                Wheel/Tire placement cannot exceed body width


                Sideways Group 5
                ELIGIBLE CARS
                Ford Capri, Lancia Beta Montecarlo, Porsche 935, BMW M1, Ferrari 512BB, Ford Mustang, BMW 320i, Lancia Stratos, Nissan 2000RS

                Chassis can be trimmed slightly and weight can be added to the chassis
                Front axle supports and/or grub screws can be added
                Body and interior cannot be lightened and body post sleeves can be added
                Motor – Slot.It Flat 6R (20,500K)
                Motor Orientation – Inline and angle winder configurations allowed
                Motor may be secured with screws, glue, or tape.
                Motors in Anglewinder configuration may be braced or upgraded to hard pod to alleviate axle hop issues with the stock Anglewinder.
                Gears – ANY gear ratio may be used
                Screws, spacers and braid can be changed and can be any brand
                Rear Tires – Slot.It P6, NSR SuperGrips or Stock tires only
                Front Tires – Stock and Zero Grips allowed, nail polish or floor wax allowed
                Tires can be glued and trued to rims but cannot be chemically altered
                Wheels can be changed but must be same width as stock wheels
                Wheel/Tire placement cannot exceed body width

                Slot.It Group C
                ELIGIBLE CARS
                Porsche 956/962 (all variants), Lancia LC2 84/85, Jaguar XJR 6/9/12, Toyota 86/88, Mazda 787, Mercedes C9, Nissan R89/90

                Chassis can be trimmed slightly and triangular inserts may be removed
                Weight can be added to the chassis
                Motor – Slot.It white or orange (21.5k), or MX 16 (23k) purple or orange endbell
                Motor must be mounted in an inline configuration
                Motor may be secured with screws, glue, or tape
                Front axle supports and / or grub screws are allowed
                Screws, braid and spacers can be added or changed and can be any brand
                Body and interiors cannot be lightened and body post sleeves can be added
                Gears can be changed but must be Slot.it brand
                Rear tires – Stock, Slot.It F15 or F22s or NSR SuperGrips
                Front tires – stock
                Tires can be glued and trued to rims but cannot be chemically altered
                Stock wheels
                Wheel/Tire placement cannot exceed body width
                Team SCANC
                Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
                OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
                Leadfinger Raceway

                Comment


                • #11
                  Every club includes those who can't tune and so resort to buying parity on the track and those who can't afford to buy parity but know how to tune...the problems start when those who can tune also buy parity and the arms race begins a never ending cycle.

                  This year we voted for the very first time to do something about motor limits and chassis mods as some were taking the p*** so we now have three distinct classifications covering all our classes:
                  - Standard - any wheels/tyres/gears/guide and a 30k motor limit for the same type of motor as original - this pleases the 'race out of the box less magnets' guys, the 'limited resources' guys and the 'I prefer slow motors and like basic tuning' guys
                  - Modified - any wheels/tyres/gears/guide and a 30k motor limit but allows any plastic chassis mods including 3D alternatives or cutting in a plastic pod - this pleases the 'replace the chassis with a 3D one' guys, the 'I can modify that with a pod' guys, the 'mix & match from different manufacturers' guys, the 'fit an aftermarket adjustable chassis' guys and the 'I made this myself' guys.
                  - Open - any wheels/tyres/gears/guide and motor in any non plastic chassis of your choice - this pleases the 'you can never have enough power' guys, the 'it needs a racing metal chassis' guys, the 'I prefer brass & wire' guys and the 'I'll just stick a falcon motor in a standard car' guys.

                  So far, it's working great, why do you need only one winner at the end of the night, we often have three now, the guys who raced out-the-box all these years who never win anything are now regular podium finishers, the racing has been great and we're seeing cars raced that you'd normally throw everything but the body and throw a hundred bucks at it.

                  We did this for Slot Rally a few years ago and it works especially well so made sense to unify the normal track racing also.
                  Print It, Build It, Race It, Improve It, Repeat...

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    [QUOTE=Fast Co.;n102782]As has been mentioned several times above, the best way to keep things competitive is to run each make in it's own class.

                    NSR Porsche Cup
                    Baby King 17k motor

                    NSR GT
                    Motor – Spanish King 19k or King 19.5 k

                    ThunderSlot
                    Motor – Stock

                    Sideways Group 5
                    Motor – Slot.It Flat 6R (20,500K)

                    I'm perplexed my your motor rules.
                    Why spend all that money on a (near) factory car classes and force motor changes?
                    This leaves the newbie with increased startup cost and a handful of motors that can not be used in other classes at your club.

                    Wouldn't a better approach be to use the factory supplied motors and reduce the track voltage?
                    I see you also mandate an upgrade to the flatsix R with nowhere for racers to reuse the factory fitted flatsix yellow.

                    You also have no post factory equivalent retrofit for the thundrrslot. Good motors yes, but expensive to buy separately.

                    In summary, you have increased costs for no apparent reason. Why is that?

                    Alan W

                    Comment


                    • Fast Co.
                      Fast Co. commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Yes. This is true. But we have around 20 classes, most of them box stock with just a change of rear tires. The classes I posted are the ones where we have the most competitive racing. I went off on a bit of a tangent there from the op.

                  • #13
                    Where I race all brands of GT cars race side by side but we do have an 18k and open class. If it's got a wing and looks like a GT car it's in. Certainly can't complain of too many rules.

                    Comment

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