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Is it the same track for both?
Many clubs and most raceways race both 1/24 and 1/32. They have tracks with wide enough lane spacing for 1/24, which of course means there is more space between the 1/32 cars.
Some tracks are built on narrower lane centres, so are only suitable for narrower cars.
Some places choose to run 1/24 only, there's no technical reason why they couldn't run 1/32 if they wanted to.

Why 1/24 or why 1/32?
Most clubs like to run different classes. Many find running classes for 1/24 and 1/32 popular.
Some clubs stick to just one scale.
There are plenty of manufacturers providing new products in 1/24 and in 1/32. Also there are plenty of vintage parts around in each.

If the track is the same than the cars must make the difference.
There are large differences within each scale in chassis technology and motor performance. Also there large differences in performance and handling between well set up and poorly set up examples of the same type of car.
The very fastest 1/24 cars are faster than the very fastest 1/32 cars, but a quick 1/32 is way quicker than a slow 1/24.
Having said that, if you compare similar levels of technology and similar standards of preparation, there are differences between how 1/24 and 1/32s go.
The larger cars are more stable, that means they tend to handle better and can be slightly more tolerant of track bumps, but are not at their best in very tight corners. The larger cars tend to be a little quicker round corners, and tend to be able to make good use of more motor power.
Please note I am saying what tends to happen, I don't dispute there are examples where the opposite happens

Which is better on a wood routed track?
Which ever you prefer is better for you.
 

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Ready to run metal chassis cars are available in 1/24 and 1/32.
For the sort of cars in darticus's photo, there is little price differential between 1/24 and 1/32. The price range starts well below the higher end injection moulded cars.
 
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