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2010 ISRA Worlds In Chicago

October 2010 will see all of the world’s top Eurosport racers converge on Mid-America Raceway in Chicago for the 2010 version of the ISRA World Championships.

The week will start off with the annual teams race, where top racers will pair up  and race “flexi” type cars together. From thereracing moves onto 32nd scale Formula One cars, then onto 32nd scale Eurosport, then onto the feature race, 1/24th scale Eurosport.

With entries from all of the worlds slotcar powerhouse countries like The Czech Republic, Sweden,  Norway, United Kingdom, Slovakia, New Zealand, Belgium, plus of course the USA it is sure to be one of the all time great slotcar clashes.

To get an idea of the track layout, here is a video form an unusual slotcar perspective, onboard.

2010 R4 is not far away

March is not far off now, so it’s time to start to get ready for the annual trip out to the oldest surviving slotcar raceway in the US in it’s original location, Tom Thumb in Columbus, Ohio.

The first annual Retro Revival and Reunion Race (R4 for short!) was held at Tom Thumb in 2008 and attracted record fields in all the classes run. In 2009 the event grew once again and I am happy to say I was a part of it for the first time.

The R4 is now recognized as one of the “major”  retro races in the US now along with the Sano in Chicago and Checkpoint Cup in Los Angeles, and attracts many of the worlds current top retro racers as well as many of the top names form the 60’s and 70’s.

Below is a video form the first event in 2008:

Slot Car Nationals in Turkey

With Formula One visiting Turkey recently it is the perfect time to feature some Turkish Slot Car Racing, yes, Slotcar Racing in Turkey.

The Turkish apparently have a thriving Slotcar racing scene, complete with national events. The event in the video was held in the Tepe Nautilus shopping center.

Tepe Nautilus, opened in September 2002, is the second-biggest modern shopping mall in Turkey. Built by Tepe Group, it is situated in the Acıbadem quarter of Kadiköy district in the Asian part of Istanbul.

Tepe Nautilus, in walking distance from Kadiköy port at the Sea of Marmara, is the first thematic shopping mall Turkey’s with its name, decoration and architectural features associated with sea and navigation. It covers an area of 170,000 m2. The shopping mall consists of 130 stores on 3 floors, a department store and Carrefour supermarket. It has a smart-parking lot with a capacity of 2,700 cars, which indicates empty spaces. There are Cinemaxx movie theaters with eight screens, a bowling alley and entertainment center. The food court hosts 16 restaurants and cafes. Concerts and exhibitions frequently take place in the mall. 50,000 people visit Nautilus on weekends.

Not knowing too much about Turkey, the interesting thing in the above excerpt is that this is the second largest mall in Turkey and attracts somewhere around 50,000 plus visitors each weekend, and yet it only has 2700 car parking spaces! Can you imagine an American mall with only 2700 spaces, it would be parking hell!

Now, back to the subject at hand, slotcars. Watching the video the competitors all seem very capable, and the competition looks tough. While we struggle here in the US to get slot car racing known, the Turkish are out there getting the slot cars in front of the people. Maybe some lessons can be learnt.

[youtube 7vsJm1Yw0Gc Slotcar Nats in Turkey]

32nd Saloon A Main from the 2007 Ecurie Barnton BOC Slotcar Race

In recent articles I introduced you to the Ecurie Barnton Model Car Club in the UK, and then gave you a guided tour and pit walk at the 2007 BOC race at Ecurie Barnton, and then showed you the 32nd Eurosport A Main slotcar race.

Next is the 32nd Saloon Car A main. These cars are basically the same as the 32nd scale Eurosport cars we run here in the US, but they are longer wheelbase and are powered by a C Can Group 12 motor.

Winner of this race, in a very close finish is Brian Saunders of BSP Slotcar. Brian is familiar to anyone who has been to the USRA Scale Nats over the last few years, as he has made the trip across to race.

[google 8128324977282469790 Saloon A Main From BOC at Ecurie Barnton]

32nd Eurosport Race from the 2007 Ecurie Barnton BOC Slotcar Race

In recent articles I introduced you to the Ecurie Barnton Model Car Club in the UK, and then gave you a guided tour and pit walk at the 2007 BOC race at Ecurie Barnton, and now we move on to the racing from the 2007 UK BOC round at Ecurie Barnton.

First up is the 32nd Eurosport A main. The cars are the same as we race here in the US in 32nd Eurosport, but the track is a much tighter and twistier 4 lane track typical of UK Club Tracks.

[google -8652202190216144523 2007 BOC Round at Ecurie Barnton]

Pit Walk at Ecurie Barnton BOC Slotcar Race

Following on from a look at the Ecurie Barnton Model Car Club in the UK, here is another video fro the club, this time are the British Slot Car Racing Association (BSCRA) visited for the clubs local British Open Championship (BOC) round.

In the UK BSCRA is the equivalent of the USRA here in the US, but unlike in the US, BSCRA organizes many races each year all over the UK (hosted by the local area reps and clubs). This event is part of the year long National Championship series for 32nd cars, and culminates with the 32nd Scale BSCRA 32nd Nats, for which you must run in a specified number of BOC rounds to qualify.

Here is a cool look in the pits, with a lot of closeups of the cars and equipment they race with.

[google 8718468279335824360 Pit Walk at Ecurie Barnton BOC Race]

Club Racing in the UK at Ecurie Barnton Model Car Club

Slotcar Racing for the most part is very different in the UK than it is here in the USA. For one, most of the “raceways” are clubs, and do not operate as retail businesses, but rather are based in out of the way places and are usually supported solely by their club members.

The second major difference is most of the club tracks are 4 lane, and they race mainly 32nd scale cars. The cars are usually Eurosport cobalt powered cars with racing in three main classes, 32nd Eurosport as we know it here in the US, 32nd Eurosport type chassis with Saloon (sedan) bodies and C Can Group 12 motors, and 32nd scale Formula One Eurosport.

Years ago there was very little production car racing in the UK, but these days there is a lot of racing for 32nd production chassis like the Parma 32 International and Demon. Some of the clubs also run strong plastic track 32nd scale car racing programs, usually on their wooden routed tracks, but some clubs also have a plastic track layout.

This video is A typical club night at Ecurie Barnton Model Car Club, Edinburgh UK. BSCRA racing is often described as “extreme Scalextric”, what we racers know as Eurosport.

[google -7114712517546026636 Club Racing in the UK]

2007 Australian HO Championships

2007 Australian HO Championships.

Now here is something a little different.

The 2007 Australian HO Championships were held recently in New South Wales in Australia

They were held in Port McQuarrie, a resort like town many hours driving north of Sydney.

Just like with our 24th scale cars, top line HO cars are way too fast for the camera, so you will see a lot of blurs as the cars speed by.

[youtube 871S_32f6TA]

2000 Wing Nats Buena Park

2000 USRA Wing Nats Main

Below are links to a John Ford video of the 2000 Wing Nats at Buena Park.

Turning 1105 laps this was another Beuf win.

Gugu from Brazil was 2nd with Mike Swiss in 3rd.

A great piece of film, and summary of the main event.

[youtube sBk2rQ6jXTg]

Pacific Coast Hobbies

Pacific Coast Hobbies located in Oxnard, California,  is the latest new track I have raced on, with my first race there at the June 2007 SoCal USRA Race.

The Raceway is a fantastic Raceway, well laid out, and of course "The Wall of Parts" is probably the best inventory found anywhere in Slotcar Racing.

The track is a Kingleman, but it is the largest Kingleman I have ever raced on, and is very similar to the Buena Park Hillclimb, but without the kink before the donut, and the overlapping main straightaway. The PCH Kingleman is very smooth and fast, probably faster than it looks.

Racing on the PCH Kingleman

Track length:
Approx 150 feet, a large Kingleman.

Direction of travel:
Standing at the drivers panel the cars come out of the banking which is to to your right, and pass before you traveling to the deadman which is to your left.

When we visited this first time the track was run completely on 3 power supplies. We did experience some problems with one of them, and I think next time we visit there will be a battery to filter the AC ripples that we experienced.

A lap of the track:
Starting out in front of the drivers stand you arrive at the deadman at maximum speed after the long main straight and bank. The deadman is a 180 degree corner, and is almost flat, so you need to be careful under braking, and then on the exit. Too much power too soon and the tail of your car will slide out on exit, either causing you to de-slot, or at least, lose plenty of time.

Out of the deadman you are heading towards the finger. The lap counter is  on this straight not far form the finger, but it doe snot affect your entry to the finger. The finger turn is another 180 degree corner, but is a little banked, but not as much as you think, so you need to be careful, especially on the lower (red, white, green etc) lanes, otherwise you will pop out and go up the track, waiting to be hit by the cars on the upper lanes.

After the finger it’s a long long haul down the middle straight towards the donut. It takes a while to be able to remember that there is no kink in this track before the donut, and with the entry to the donut being quite fast you can dive in pretty deep. The entry to the donut is completely blind as it is hidden by the bridge, and if you do not carry enough speed into the donut your whole lap will be slow, so it’s quite a balancing act to get it right every time.

The donut is quite tight, and is uphill. As usual it is almost impossible to see your car in the donut when you are on purple or black lanes, so you do need to be careful. I found the best way to get around the donut was to constant speed the first part, slowly accelerating through the middle, and was actually able to get to the bottom of the controller before having to brake for the leadon. The donut is quite tight on the lower lanes, but it is fast.

The transition between the left hand donut and the right hand leadon is nice and smooth, and really you do not need to worry about it. The leadon looks very tight, but providing you do not carry too much speed into it you can get around it very fast. With the long long main straight and long banked turn getting through the leadon fast is important.

Out onto the main straight and there is nothing to do apart from slam the controller to the bottom and hang on. The main straight is long, so good horsepower is a necessity, and the bank is quite steep, but the transition into it is not great, so the car will accelerate all the way around it if you are able to gear it right. The  exit of the bank is downhill, and you are now back at the drivers stand, so that’s a lap of the PCH Kingleman.

Final Thoughts:
This is a fun track. Scott has done a great job with it and it is very smooth and very fast. In June 2007 Gary Gerding re-braided it, doing his usual great job, so the braid is in excellent condition. Figuring out tires for the track did take a bit of time as soft tires were a bit too sticky, but then treated tires were a little hard, and surprisingly this really did not change even once the rubber was put down on the track.

Picture Gallery including Pictures of the PCH Kingleman