I had planned to visit the club in West Molesey for some time now and finally made it down to South West London, from Islington North London on Thursday 2ndDecember 2021, for a round of Scale Auto and NSR GT3 racing. I have quite a few GT/GT3 cars so I selected a couple of cars for the evening, fancied running the NSR Corvette C7R, with white chassis as first or best choice, Porsche 997 GT3 & a Mosler also packed.
My regular Tuesday night meeting is at Wood Green North London, London Scalextric Club [LSC], just 10 minutes around the corner from my home in Finsbury Park. Therein lay the first challenge, London Traffic (I generally avoid public transport unless going into Central London).
Leaving home around 5pm, I reckoned on reaching my destination between 6.30pm to 7pm. Sat Nav lady [aka ‘err indoors
] confirmed that and after a few disagreements with “err indoors”, the odd wrong turn, I duly arrived at my destination – ish…
Using the postcode ’err indoors, (she how must be obeyed
) will tell you the club is in the middle of Ray Road, near an Adult Learning Centre or School. In fact it’s exactly at the “T” junction with Ray Road & Beauchamp Road. If you stand on the corner of Beauchamp Road and look directly in front it’s the single white door in front of you.
Why labour this point? There’s no sign at all to tell you this is where the club is! Unfortunately no signs can be placed outside the building that is the ground floor of an otherwise residential development, flats, with regular houses around the development. I did put my ear to the front door and recognised the sound of car being run confirming I was in the right place.
Prep Time –
The regular crowd were running their GT3 cars and getting ready for racing, starting at 8pm. After a quick hello/hiya to all, I took a couple of cars out and gave them run round. Ouch! That’s NOT like that should be.
A special thanks to Lee for helping with set up on the NSR Corvette C7R, I had some annoying excess rubber flashing on one of my Sideways frictionless fronts tyres which when lowered so they just touch the track made a slightly worrying noise. Also for loaning me a set well prepared rear tyres for the evening.
It did have rear spoiler and side mirrors at the start....
Other changes included:
- Gear change from Slot IT 28z yellow AW gear [I normally run in AW NSR cars at LSC] to the standard NSR 31z red gear made the car easier to control.
- Tightening the mount, normally run really loose at LSC, only slight movement needed here.
- Cars benefit from screw down guide, without any spacers, that we couldn’t change for the evening.
- Lowering the front wheel to just touch the track for better “lean control” around the mostly sweeping corners. At LSC can be 0.5mm to 1.0mm off the track at LSC
- Also rear axle slop was tightening up – that was more down to me!
All changes noted for my next visit, I should be better prepared.
The changes in car set-up proved what I normally tell people car, “set up” depends a lot on the track you’re going to be racing on. The difference between LSC Scalextric Sport, painted surface track and Molesey smooth painted wooden permanent track is chalk & cheese. Here’s my take on the main differences -
Running on rails/plastic track gives you magnetic effect. Even though you run without extra magnets the high torque racing motors, [Slot It Flat 6’s & NSR Evo King and others] have a high magnetic effect, meaning you can get some magnetic pull form motor alone. For this reason an easy tuning tip for rails is lower your car to the right height. My cars, at LSC run between 0.5mm and less than 1.0mm height at the rear. For Molesey lower centre of gravity works (as it would do anywhere) but even 1.0mm appeared to be fine to me.
My cars at LSC have suspension and motor mounts all run loose, really loose, almost like a pendulum with control being achieved by the springs, and weight. Hey, it’s not for everyone but it works for me as the times show. For Molesey, NO, NO, NO. Suspensions not needed and tighter mounts with some movement suit the track.
Tyres, my Achilles heal. At LSC I run on Ortmann urethane tyres, which are glued and trued so I have little experience with rubber tyres. I’ll need some better glue and true the down the tyres a lot more then the one’s I prepared.
The track –
It’s just brilliant! Looks great in the websites pictures but when you first see it’s just 11 out of 10. They are indeed a lucky bunch at Molesey to have that permanent layout of such high quality. It super smooth, more sweeping corner than hairpins, the run down the bridge/ramp to the start straight it is a continual powered pull on the trigger, step off for first corner after the start line and on to the next “trickier” corner with a slight undulation to the large sweeping corner before “Clarkson like” hammer down power for the long straight, followed by a coupe of medium corners, a hairpin, then mid sweep corner, bring you back under the bridge and that super sweeping powering up corner to the start line.
This is my first wooden track experience and I was surprised at the width of the groove but it wasn’t an issue with standard NSR guide. It looked like 50/50 on use of Scale Auto red guide flags and standard NSR guides. I didn’t notice that many larger wooden track guides….
My only issue, at the podium it’s not that easy to see the corner at the end of the main straight, especially on the outside red lane. And the starting could benefit from a bridge with lights, red to green, instead of being called out?
Marshalling is a fairly straightforward affair with just one hairpin requiring some effort to get to. Another good point is poor grip was recognised and a quick tyre clean carried out. Sounds like there would a lot of time lost but for me the resulting improved grip was much appreciated.
As usual debris builds up on the outer section of track, affecting the red lane mostly, resulting in lower grips levels. My heavy-hand trigger action meant I was sliding out the rear and on occasions my rear spoiler was up on the wooden guardrail, easing off set the car back on the track. Excellent “stunt man driving” but does nothing for best times.
Another big thank you to Lee for changing all the settings on my Slot IT SCP-2 controller (I’ve taken a picture of those settings for future visits). It’s a completely different set up to LSC as the track is very different. Where LSC has more hairpin type turns in the technical section of track, fewer long sweeping corners. Add in the magnetic effect running on rails and the trigger action changes between the “jabbing” on/off action at LSC to “feathering” sweeping action at Molesey. That’s new to me but entirely what I expected.
OK, out of 11 people racing I finished 10thon the night. Again completely what I expected. Another thanks to the other “newbie” for helping me with my self-esteem, as I didn’t finish last! 15 lap races, recording the shortest/quickest time taken. I’ll need a lot more track time to improve my times.
One of the reasons for the visit besides it sounded like a good idea at the time
, is that I’m on the list for the NSR F1 event, now I have a much better idea of the challenge, yikes!
AND finally – just like at LSC Wood Green all the guys at Molesey are a friendly bunch. I guess that’s the case with most clubs. It’s a welcoming, easy-going place and I really enjoyed the evening. Even David H (“Dopamine” on this site) doesn’t bite in real life.
It was also encouraging to see the “youth” in the front running, no disrespect to anyone here but the age profile of slot racers is one of my concerns as hopefully anyone reading this understands. Myself, I’d like to think I’m 39 years old but truth is I have batted out my half-century with some quality sixes along the way, so I’d like to think.
It took just under an hour to get back to Finsbury Park, meaning I was actually home around the same time as I do when returning from Wood Green.
I’ll be back….