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Comparing 'performance brand' slot cars - Thunderslot, NSR, and Slot.It

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  • Comparing 'performance brand' slot cars - Thunderslot, NSR, and Slot.It

    I'm a solo racer who runs several classes of RTR cars in simulated races based on recorded lap times. The Trans Am class is comprised of Scalextric and Pioneer cars, with a lone SCX AAR 'Cuda. The Can -Am class is comprised of mostly Fly cars, but also has some other makes such as HSRR, Monogram, Carrera, Policar, and GB Track. Plus there are 4 Slot.It cars, 2 Alfas and 2 Chaparral 2Es. While the Alfas are not noteworthy performance wise, the 2Es have recorded the top qualifying speeds. The Le Mans class is comprised mostly of Fly cars with a few Scalextric and MRRC cars.

    About 2 weeks ago I purchased my first NSR car, a Porsche 917K (slightly used) on HRW, and recently preordered a Slot.It Ferrari 512M from SCC (due to ship tomorrow). These are the first 'performance brand' cars in the Le Mans class and for fairness each team (Porsche, Ferrari, Lola, Ford, and Chaparral) needs to have one on its roster. Current plans are to also get an NSR Ford GT40 MKII, a Slot.It Chaparral 2F, and finally a Thunderslot Lola T70 MKIII.

    I expect these 'performance brand' cars to be the best racers in the class, but am curious how others think they will fare against each other? Will the Thunderslot Lola dominate or will the NSR Porsche and Ford GT be good competition? What about the Slot.It Ferrari and Chaparral, are they likely to be able to hang with the Thunderslot and NSR cars?

  • #2
    A lot will depend on the track and driver skill. NSR cars are hard to beat. They are competitive right out of the box and require very little setup or tuning. But, they generally require more driver skill. Thunderslot cars are great on more difficult tracks because they are so light and handle turns extremely well. They are also easy to drive fast. Again, very little setup or tuning required. motors lack the punch of NSR motors and the chassis design makes it hard to add weight where it will work best. They require a good deal of work to get them to perform with NSR or ThunderSlot cars. I usually replace the motor with NSR Shark 25. It helps level the playing field a bit. Of all the cars I own I would rate the Chaparral as the most difficult car to setup properly, among the better brands. The wing makes it very top heavy and tail happy and there isn't any place to add adequate weight where it's needed most.

    Some additional notes: makes a lot of parts and upgrades. I use them a lot, for all car brands.
    NSR motors are a bit more "cold-blooded" than most others. They require at least 20 laps to warm up.
    My track is 60' , 3 lane MDF and has a fair degree of difficulty with very tight turns.
    All of my cars use Sloting Plus deep wood guides, Quick Slick Silicone tires and aluminum rear wheels.
    Last edited by Bal r 14; July 11, 2022, 11:00 PM.


    • #3
      Do you run on a wood or plastic track? you will find the Flys will be lagging behind The NSR and Thunderslots, and out of the box the Thunderslots are real smooth and need very little tuning. We run on a wood track and combine can am cars and lemans cars in the same class, and for the most part at our track the Thunderslot and some NSR dominate. I have slotit Chaparral with the light weight wing an I can not stay with them, and a I have a Policar Ferrari 330 that has had a lot of tuning and I have it real close to the average tuned Thunderslot but it will not keep up with my well tuned Thunderslot. When we begin this fall we will probably put the Thunderslots in there own class. To give you an idea of what we are running on you can view our track in the locater section of this forum under Iowa


      • #4
        I’m also a solo racer, non-mag on a wood track on 10.5V. I’ve found that the Thunderslot cars are generally fastest because of their wide track non-scale size, followed by the NSR, then (Assuming all are sidewinder). But they are pretty close and will be fast fun for you.
        Whoa! Those guys just beat me to the punch. Agree with their comments.
        Last edited by Mickey thumbs; July 11, 2022, 11:03 PM.
        Mike V.
        Western North Carolina


        • Bal r 14
          Bal r 14 commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm glad you made the comment about sidewinders. There is a considerable difference between the NSR sidewinder, which uses the 25k Shark motor and the NSR anglewinder that uses the 21k Evo King that has better double the torque of these other motors. They are insanely fast if you can handle it and retain traction. The NSR Mercedes anglewinder holds my track record by a
          comfortable margin.

          I had to swap the motor of my NSR Porsche 997 from the Evo King to the Shark 25 because I simply could not keep it on the track.
          Last edited by Bal r 14; July 12, 2022, 01:00 AM.

      • #5
        Lets be honest the designer of Thunder Slot was the designer at NSR until a few years ago those two brands are serious performance slot cars. Performance is their No1 goal. So scale detail and outline takes some what of back seat.


        • #6
          NSR and ThunderSlot are by far my favorite brands. But, they both have limited model selection. So, I am always looking for other good brands. RevoSlot and Scale Auto and definitely worth looking at. Sideways makes some good models, but requires careful shopping.


          • #7
            Thanks for all the feedback so far. I should have said I run these cars on a 57' routed MDF road course. It's a little twisty but over the years (built it in 2014) I've learned to negotiate it very well and lap times continue to creep downward. All my cars use PG rear tires.

            The comments have me thinking maybe I should not plan on getting a Thunderslot Lola T70 MKIII since top speed isn't more important to me than keeping things competitive. I can get a Slot.It Ford GT40 instead of another NSR, but don't yet see another option for the Lola. Right now all 6 of the Lolas in this class are Fly cars, with the #10 of Pedro Rodriguez being the top qualifier overall.

            I realize this will be considered sacrilegious by most slotters, but I could also look for ways to detune (slowdown) the cars that out perform too much.


            • Bal r 14
              Bal r 14 commented
              Editing a comment
              If you pass on the ThunderSlot Lola you will be missing out on a really satisfying driving experience.

            • Kevan
              Kevan commented
              Editing a comment
              The best way to detune a car that's too good is turn the voltage down.

            • Thunderjet 34
              Thunderjet 34 commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree with Bal r 14 the Thunderslots are my favorite cars and they are so smooth like Mickey says in the commercial try it you will like it.

          • #8
            Joe, I agree with a lot of what's been said above.

            My Thunderslot Lola shattered the long-standing fast lap record at Bent Tree Raceway. I really like the Thunderslot tire compound. It's been said that it is a rubber compound, but it seems to true as easily as urethane and the shavings that come off the Thunderslot tires are a medium to dark grey, not black like most rubber compounds. Could it be a rubber-urethane mixture? I don't even know if such things are possible. But I do really like the Thunderslot tires. I wish they were available in several alternate sizes.

            NSRs are also great out of the box. Nothing required to tune them other than to glue and true the tires. They have excellent gear mesh and are whisper quiet. They hold several track records on the various SCANC tracks.

            Slot.It are still my favorites. The cars strike an excellent balance of scale accuracy and performance. There are also so many models and a slew of high-performance parts readily available. Toss in the lower retail price, the outstanding customer service and Mr. Ferrari's willingness to listen to the needs and desires of his customer base and imo with Slot.It you get the best bang for the buck. Out of the box, Slot.Its aren't as whisper quiet as the NSRs, but with some basic tuning they can be made to run as fast as the NSRs. Several guys I race with have tuned their Slot.Its to be as quiet as the NSRs but not me. Most of my Slot.Its chatter slightly. But that speaks more to my tuning abilities than to the quality of Slot.Its products.

            Sideways also makes some great Group 5 and GT3 cars. They employ Slot.It running gear with a different motor pod design so much of what I said about the performance of Slot.It cars applies here also.

            At SCANC we race most classes within a specific manufacture category. For example some of our classes are Slot.It Group C, Slot.It Classics, Slot.It GT, NSR GT, NSR Classics, NSR Porsche Cup, Thunderslot Can Am, Sideways Group 5, etc... We have some builders classes such as Trans Am and Sportsman that allow the use and exchange of various manufacturer's parts and other aftermarket parts including 3D chassis'.


            Team SCANC
            Woodland Trace Raceway - SlotZuka - Bent Tree Raceway
            OFI - Buena Vista Motorsports Park - Slotkins Glen
            Leadfinger Raceway


            • #9
              you could always detune the Thunderslot/NSR and pop a Predator 18K motor in them to bring them back to field


              • Bal r 14
                Bal r 14 commented
                Editing a comment
                Pepsi 62 - sorry to go off topic but you mentioned Sideways BMW 320. I was thinking of getting one but I was concerned about the big tail spoiler causing handling problems. Please comment.

              • Pepsi 62
                Pepsi 62 commented
                Editing a comment
                BA...... big wing not a concern, there's a couple of these in our group and they are all very good, in standard setup with the flat 6, with a SW pod/ 23K slot it, inline 1mm o/set pod 23k slot it ( original setup in mine), I think they 320 went very well in the original Grp5 proxy too.
                I'm waiting on a clubmate to sell me his JPS and gold Warstiener cars to add to my fleet

              • Brumos RSR
                Brumos RSR commented
                Editing a comment
                The 320 Won the Group5 proxy one year on the old HRW board with several others in the top 10. It’s better than you would expect especially in the SW configuration.

            • #10
              Like most others, my problem(?) is I like buying new cars. In my case the major attraction is to replicas of iconic cars from the '66 to '74 era that were also driven by top drivers. Even though I don't need anymore cars at all, when a really nice replica is released I'm likely to get it.

              Yes, I can easily tame 'performance brand' cars by lowering the voltage when using them, I just need to remember to reset it afterwards. Since I record individual lap times for each car for every lap and keep them in a database I could also employ a 'statistical restrictor plate' and add a set % to a very fast car's lap times. This way the goal would be to still drive every car to be it's best at the standard track power knowing those with historically faster times would need to sustain that to be competitive in a race.

              Being a solo slotter means getting creative at times.


              • #11
                If you haven't ran a Thunderslot Elva you are really missing out because they are the fastest at 2 places I race at. They are the easiest cars to tune I have ever ran as all I do is set ride height and add a little lead to the pod and change tires out and I am on the podium. Where I race the Elva is faster than the Lola by Thunderslot. In group 5 I have a Sideways Porsche Moby Dick and a Ferrari 512 that are podium finishers if I do my part.


                • #12
                  I would think finding the best balance of car handling through tuning when combined with picking the right motor, is far better than choking the voltage if you've already found what voltage serves most of your classes well.

                  We have a few classes of cars that the specs for the motor was changed, particularly NSR, based on the track technical sections vs. overall speed on roughly 73ft of track. Love me some Baby King! NSR GT, also used for Grp5.

                  Can't overstate what others mentioned too about ThunderSlot. While TS may be going for performance over exactness, you simply will never be disappointed pulling the trigger on one!
                  ... Hobbit Racing...
                  ...Tampa, FL, USA...
                  Hobbit Racing on YouTube @



                  • #13
                    Even though the comments here confirm my thoughts about TS cars wrecking the competitive balance in my Le Mans series, I think I will get one just for comparison purposes. But that will have to wait awhile because I've just purchased 3 new cars including Slot.It Ferrari 512M and NSR Ford GT40 that haven't arrived yet.

                    The TS Lola T70 MK3B will be my next gift to myself.

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                    • slothead
                      slothead commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Correction - the Ford GT40 I ordered from Electric Dreams is a Slot.It car.

                    • Bal r 14
                      Bal r 14 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I find ThunderSlot cars need to get worn in before they reach their full potential. About .4 seconds between new and a couple hours use.