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To Be Or Not To Be........a Racer

munter's Photo munter 08 Jan 2019

The 65 to 80 class in our group....needs a Thunderslot to be on the podium....I dont have one.
GT3 class I need a car....Sideways hurracan to be on the podium....I dont have one.

Question for me is....am I on a spending spiral just to be competitive?

Racing costs for sure but when does it end? maybe it never ends?

Do I or dont I spend the cash?

Questions questions questions.....

Any comments, opinions or thoughts appreciated.

Peter Gunn's Photo Peter Gunn 08 Jan 2019

You actually answered your own question by that phrase, just to be competative, and it,s yes if you do or no if you don't, :D

dangermouse's Photo dangermouse 08 Jan 2019

I don't care so much for racing slot cars any more - spent half a day running some cars with a couple of mates - for me that beats racing any day. :)

Caddo's Photo Caddo 08 Jan 2019

Chasing that last tenth gets a bit much of a time and wallet drain. The latest and greatest equipment always challenges the older gear to remain relevant.
I'm sure there are plenty of others that have formerly good race cars that are now no longer competitive for a podium.

The answer may lie in handicapping the newer, faster cars, to keep the older cars "in the race". Adding weight is a good option.
Involves some work to determine the right level of handicap, but means there will be a greater variety of cars on the grid.

I hate seeing 75% of the racers running the same, dominant car racing in a particular class - boring!!

Pauls Slots's Photo Pauls Slots 08 Jan 2019

Hi Munter,
You are correct with the thought, spend to keep up with the guys. Either equipment or new cars.
A car that was class top last season is no were near it this time around.

Do you purchase new cars, hot up what you have or just drive what you have as it is.

As most of us I have favorite classes and will "spend" to keep up.
Classes I am not fussed with the cars are good but not competitive.
Happy to drive what I have.
Enjoy meeting mates and have a drive.


munter's Photo munter 09 Jan 2019

Thanks for the input gentlemen but the spendagoround to keep competitive is similar to what has happened once before in slot car history.

...and they say history never repeats?....seems to me to be happening again .

Peter Gunn's Photo Peter Gunn 09 Jan 2019

I was in the first flush of slot car racing and your right John as things progressed and it got bigger it also got expensive especially if you was in a club like most of us were then when something new came out and a top runner bought it you were compelled to also buy it to try to be competative as we were all young then and were competative.
Alas many dropped out as they could not afford to keep up , and when 1/24th and the raceways were in their prime it was super expensive, and of course RC came along and the death knell was sounded, many clubs closed , and the local shops who supplied those clubs closed as well so apart from a few die hard clubs that kept going slot racing as we knew it died.
Some of us returned in later life with the advance of the plastic chassis cars like Slot it and NSR, and once again the bug was back but not like it was as there was only a few places you could buy from, and very few clubs you could race at, and gradually once again this sport has increased in the costs mainly coming down to the competative angle, you have to decide i suppose if you want to try for the podium and the costs that may incure trying to do it most good cars are £70 plus now , or do you just go to make the number up so the regular podium getters can carry on putting it across you as they need others to race against.
Same applys to a degree in proxies do we just take part to make the numbers up or do we spend more time and cash trying to get the podium once in a while, i,m running a Racer BMW M1 in the current ATCC it,s going reasonably well but not a podium car even though i have changed the motor , made it a sidewinder, spent out on gears, tyres just to try to get there i suppose on top of buying the actual car it has cost me around another £25 to get a car capabable of finishing 5th occasionally.
I love slot cars , don't get the chance anymore to race at a club as there is no longer one anywhere near me, hence the proxy racing , just feel the need to take part , to build something nice that goes well, enjoy the reports , pictures and a bit of banter with like minded people, but there is still that spark in me that wants to be in the top three, just like i was in 1963.

slotmadmac's Photo slotmadmac 09 Jan 2019

View Postmunter, on 08 January 2019 - 05:59 PM, said:

The 65 to 80 class in our group....needs a Thunderslot to be on the podium....I dont have one.

Do I or dont I spend the cash?

I know you are putting this thread out as a teaser - and good job too given there is so little new content on Auslot these days - but my view is that you do whatever you want to do.

Me? I am quite happy to win races and while I have been winning that 65-80 class with a Thunderslot recently, I used to win it with a NSR and, from memory, a Slot It before that. I could still podium with a Slot It or a NSR but race the Thunderslot because itís a dream to run. It makes me feel good and winning races wth a Thunderslot is not a bad thing. In fact I recommend it. You should try it.

The thing is that in our group there are really only 3 or so serious racers who put in the effort to get fast running cars. I suspect that a lot of smaller racing groups are like that. In the same way that you question why you need the latest brand to go fast, I question why most of our guys turn up week after week without trying to set up their cars to the best of their capabilities. I donít mind that they donít seem to care. I just donít understand it.

To me the best part of this hobby is not the actual racing. To me the most satisfying part is making a car go as good as I can possibly make it go. Thatís why, in our group, I promote so many events racing B for Basic cars so we can prove to each other how well cars can run if you put in some effort. I get more fun from these events that from any Slot It or Thunderslot races - thatís for sure.

Anyway, apologies for the diatribe, but in my view racing the latest brand is in no way a bad thing. Itís progress. Without being too big headed (is that even possible...) I think I could podium in our 65-80 class with a scalextric. Just to be a real prick I might start campaigning one to prove my point.

Bottom line? Just do what makes you happy. JK has ammased about 6-7 Thunderslots now. Does that make him the enemy? No. It just makes him broke.

Tony.A's Photo Tony.A 09 Jan 2019

Breakout racing is one way to keep it to a level playing field where the older cars are still competitive and it is the most popular class at MrSlotcar

kalbfellp's Photo kalbfellp 09 Jan 2019

Our group (about 14) have been racing for about 20 years and our rules restrict most new cars on the market,so the older cars are not made redundant.
We do not allow prodded cars into our 63 to 71 series, while this may seem to be stopping progress it does keep the cost down.
Many guys are still running Fly cars that they brought when they were first released.we do allow some upgrading of wheels and axles but the racing is very close.
IMO if we want to keep club racing going you have to keep the costs down and maintain close racing.
The NSR and Thunderslot remind me of the “Handling bodies” That appeared in slot racing in the sixties,making all the scaled bodies redundant
But every club will have there own ideas of racing.

branco's Photo branco 09 Jan 2019

Great thread Munter.
If you have the need to finish on the podium, then buy buy buy.
On the other hand if you are happy to race the wheels of the cars you already have and are not to concerned where you finish then carry on as you are.
No matter what rules are in place at clubs there will always be the same few at the pointy end.
I only do the major events in NZ so I only have a few "hi cost" cars the rest are cars I just like driving on my own track.

mattcrackers's Photo mattcrackers 09 Jan 2019

'No matter what rules are in place at clubs there will always be the same few at the pointy end'.
I couldn't agree with this comment more.
It doesn't matter how much you spend on your cars some will never win races.
Not being nasty here but that's a fact of life.
Not everyone can run the 1oom, play tennis etc, there is always someone else out there better than you.
We have around 9 classes at WASCRG, Ninco GT, NSR Le Mans, SCX Pro Nascar, Revell Historic Nascar, Scalextric V8/MJK Supercars, NSR GT, Slot.it Le Mans , Pioneer and Sideways grp5.
The cost to a new comer would be well in excess of $1000 to start racing at the club if they were to buy all the cars new and a controller as well, luckily Syd has house cars that he lends out to any newcomers.
When I first started racing back in 2012 I couldn't keep up with the fast blokes, was amazed at how fast they were lapping.
I got better over the next few years to the point where I finally won an A-main, I was stoked.
I had most of the newest cars as that's what I purchased at the time, I didn't buy them all at once, gradually accumulated them over the years.
Do I buy the latest cars to keep up with the front of the pack, not now, I'll use what I have and get delight out of beating those new cars.
Same goes for controllers, not just cars John.
There has been an uprising at the club in the last few years where everyone has the new fan-dangled controllers, Slot.it, Defalco, Tru-speed, Slotting Plus etc.
I don't care what controller people use, it helps some it hinders others.
Everyone at the club used to use the Parma Turbo Qualifier as the standard controller.
I did like a race night last year where I wasn't in the running until someone said "You need to upgrade your controller like the rest of us to keep up".
I went full concentration mode and went on to win the main event, held the controller up and said theres nothing wrong with the controller.
I probably should buy the newer style controller, probably would help with certain cars and make me even faster,
But how fast do I need to go, I'm more than happy trying to beat people now using sub standard cars and controllers, makes it more fun and challenging.


GRUNZ's Photo GRUNZ 09 Jan 2019

It is no doubt that the Thunderslot (TS) are on another league. being out of scale, they are the mosler of the '60 class (the designer is the same GM).
We at oraki decided to run them on a separate class (given that one by one all our members got one).
For the GT3, I am pretty sure that there are more options out there to beat the huracan. Examples are scaleauto cars (new R8, viper, porsche and the newly released AMG). Then there is also the fatastick Black Arrow 458. The key is to have the right wheels and tyres.

I like 'madmac's approach to slot racing: trying to make a car going as quick as one can.
And I like to test new things: for instance there is a new designer on Shapeways (pro speed) that is working with a good friend of mine (Tamar) on some interesting chassis.
Playing around with these chassis and pods, I managed to make a Carrera M6 going around our technical track in oraki on a good pace.
If you have not seen a carrera M6 yet, imagine two TS lolas in tandem and you should get an idea how big this car is (the stock body weighs 40gr!).

The downside is that I am broke and I cannot afford a freaking house in the freaking auckland housing market.
The upside is that once in a while I managed to win some races.

slotmadmac's Photo slotmadmac 09 Jan 2019

Another 5c.

Like any hobby, some are more committed than others and some have more disposable cash than others to play with too.

The cost difference between buying a NSR / Thunderslot and, say, a less competitive car like a scalextric is only about $40 but working up a Scalextric car to be competitive (wheels /tyres/ gears) easily pushes the cost beyond the price of a Thunderslot. In my book it makes the more expensive cars actually look like great value.

Enjoying this thread.

difinity's Photo difinity 09 Jan 2019

Iíve bought or ordered 4 new cars this season (month...): sideways Corvette for our open gt class (I like the style and challenge but donít expect it to be as quick as my SLS; the Thunderslot McLaren which might get a jack rabbit in it; a Revoslot Toyota and the SRC Yardley McLaren.
All up, about $600AUD when it is all said and done.
The Revo will join my house class, and might get a run sometimes. The TS might get a run, or sit in its box mostly. The Corvette will need a lot of fettling to get to speed, but provides an alternative to the 911 or SLS. Whether or not I run the F1 McLaren will depend on what happens with our class rules. None of this expense is wasted - it goes to my enjoyment before my competitiveness.

Last year I probably spent about $400 on a number of second hand cars and parts - mostly will stay in the box.

Getting 3-4 fast cars & a couple of interesting cars each year sees my collection much larger today then what I expected. None of this is wasted though.

big den's Photo big den 10 Jan 2019

Well Munter you certainly opened "Pandora's Can of Floodgates". I love it!

I can appreciate all sides of the debate.

I make a round trip of over 400 Km to join in racing with the Hobart Miniature Car Club group every two to three weeks so I think I can claim to to be an enthusiast.
When I think that the effort enables me to have somewhere between 18 and 24 minutes racing each night others might claim that I am stupid.

To me it's so much more than podiums ... it has to be because they have never allowed me to get one. But it's great to spend a night with fellow enthusiasts and I am happy if I can run mid-field because often my cars are not the latest, greatest thing ... and neither are my reflexes!

'We' run up to 14 different classes during each year and probably only introduce one new class annually. Last year it was the modern Scalextric BTCC cars, this year it will be Slot.IT DTM cars.

However I am comforted by the fact that in the course of time those classes we raced a couple of years ago will make a return. As Phil commented, the Fly Classics in the 1965 - 1971 Le Mans class have been raced several times over the years that I and the other "Northerners" have been traveling to Hobart.

But to those who have commented on just meeting up with a bunch of mates and having fun for a few hours I know exactly where you are coming from.

Last Tuesday night was a 'test and tune' night in Hobart and I took the opportunity to run several cars that might fall into the category of 'unfashionably uncompetitive' ... all from Carrera. They included the bulky Opel Jumbo, the narrow-gutted Chev Belair, a Porsche 917 Can-Am and the Stihl Mercedes DTM car.

It was probably one the most enjoyable nights I've had for years.


GRUNZ's Photo GRUNZ 10 Jan 2019

The new batch of Scalex cars here in auckland sell for NZD92! So is nsr/ts/slot.it really more expensive for what they offer?
I will still buy some of the scalex car because either they do a car that no one else does or because of a particular livery I like.
Sure thing is that if you want to make it more competitive, it is a hell of more expensive (eg NZD35 for 3d chassis, plus all the slot.it/nsr/ts/slottingplus/scaleauto etc. components that you need to through at it).

Having said that, having a way to control how much money you need to build a competitive entry for a class it is a very fine balancing act.
I am lucky here in auckland that both my digital and analog groups seem to understand this and our racing is really awesome!

Sports Racer's Photo Sports Racer 10 Jan 2019

Getting a new whizbang Mk2 because it's fast straight out of the box is the easy way to be competitive but there's a couple of guys I race with who use old cars and still come first in races. That's because 1) they are very good drivers and 2) spend a lot of time prepping their cars.

Unfortunately I can only build quick cars, not winning ones so I have the Thunderslot Lola and Sideways Huracan to help make my life easier. However, when I win using one of my old cars it feels SO much better.

munter's Photo munter 10 Jan 2019


so I have the Thunderslot Lola and Sideways Huracan to help make my life easier.

see that is what I am talking about...want to stay up the pointy end? then must have the gear to do it.... ie cost in dollars and prep time.

I do like a good race but ......

kalbfellp's Photo kalbfellp 10 Jan 2019

Thank for the comments Den. Our Adelaide visitor ( Peter) made similar comments today thst is was good for him to be able to just play, just goes to show that is is not all about racing. It was also one of the biggest nights for some time with a few old faces coming along.
Edited by kalbfellp, 10 January 2019 - 06:00 PM.