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MRE The Last Word

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  • MRE The Last Word

    A good read, and more than likely pertains to you!

    How many different types of tracks have you driven on, and what would be your favourite type. I am taking about style of track, not the difference between plastic and wood tracks, and there are many to choose from.
    In the UK a typical club track has 4 lanes and is usually around 100ft (30m) long, give or take a few feet or metres. Of course this isn't standard, there have been and still are many club tracks with 6 lanes (and even some with 5 lanes) but there aren't many that have been less than 75ft long. Clubs with plenty of space often use it by having a track up to 150ft long, but in reality this can detract from the actual racing - you can spend a long time without being near another car which takes away some of the enjoyment.
    There have been plenty of even longer tracks, and unless you are lapping very very quickly they are rather pointless. As well as never seeing another car, you quite often never see your own car as it disappears into the distance with the hope of successfully negotiating hidden bends and returning for another go. Of course some very long tracks are ideal for the speed racers, but you can hardly describe what they drive as model cars - vague blobby shapes in lurid colours, often with no front wheels, large aerodynamic flaps to increase downforce, and a required power supply enough to suit the average house. Model cars ? No, this is projectile guidance, and the "cars" simply wouldn't get round 99% of the slot car tracks in the world.
    Having a track that is too short can also cause a few issues. If the lap times are very short a simple incident can cause big disruption - multiple cars get involved in the same accident, and you could spend more time off the track than on it. But there are a couple of branches of the hobby where a short track is optimum. First you would think of stock car racing, where a simple short oval can be exciting especially if there is also a chicane section. This means that stock cars are quite specialised, they are very heavy to avoid being knocked off the track, and the handling is tuned to suit corners in one direction only.
    The other short track nirvana is the slot rally stage. A single lane track with many features built in to emulate a real rally stage. Steep gradients, tight turns, bridges and dips, multiple different track surfaces, etc etc. Basically, if you can build it you can incorporate it into a slot rally track. The excitement doesn't come from racing against other cars, but against the clock, and getting a car to work well in all situations is almost impossible as the variety of rally tracks is infinite and variable.
    So what sort of racer are you ? Are you happy at home with a track with plenty of corners to get round all the furniture or fit into a small-ish space ? Maybe, but do you ever experience the pleasure of getting a car up to full speed ? Or maybe you prefer the huge 8-lane banked raceway style tracks where a small car easily gets lost or is totally outclassed by specialist expensive machinery (don't blink, you'll miss the "car racing"). Maybe you are an averge type of racer who likes to get the most out of his cars by driving in races with other like-minded people with the same sort of cars ? Welcome to club racing, you can race anywhere in the world. If you are a real specialist, such as a drag racer, off-roader, vintage car racer, or anything else that you really enjoy, we are pleased to have you as part of the slot car racing hobby.
    Scott.....War Eagle River......Tampa, Florida, USA