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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After posting a thread in the pit lane re a club in my area and reading some of the replies in there ,along with talking to a few members in the forum, it has become evident there is a strong possibility that we might start our own slot racing club !!
Two or three of us have already canvassed the support of various interested parties and the response has, to my surprise, been very favourable.
The club will be based in West Yorkshire Pontefract/Doncaster area and will predominantly be for like minded racers who just want to get together and at the outset race very standard cars and actively encourage youth participation.
We are now actively canvassing in the forum both any members who may want to join us in setting this up or anyone with constructive ideas regarding the pitfalls and "must do's" when taking on a project as we plan to do.
In essence any help and anyone interested contact myself or Astro in the forum.
 

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This sounds like a great idea Kevin, so glad I thougt of it!


Seriously though, the hobby does need more 'introductory' type clubs where people will not be afraid to attend because of being shown up or embarrassed because they feel that if they cannot achieve the track record after 10 minutes racing they will look foolish.

Most clubs are not like this at all, of course, but to a newbie it is the impression they give. There is always room for beginners, because eventually the begnners become the experts and keep the hobby going.

Anything Gaugemaster can do to assist please do not hesitate to contact me.


Aaron
 

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Same here kev. Give me a shout if I can help. may well have some materials sitting around that you could use and it all helps mate. Best of luck
 

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Jim Moyes
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Good for you, Kevin!

Just in case you hadn't thought of it, ask your local High Street type model shop if you can put up a flyer for your new club. Lots of like minded people who don't know about the forum are likely to look there.

Best of luck

Mr.M
 

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At the moment we are considering a 50 meter 6 lane track, probably scalextric sport with sports world for lap times.

We are thinking of plastic sectional track so if we get a cr*p layout we can easily redesign it. Also implimenting the world system will be easier.

I have been advised by one person that 4 lane is better than 6 lane, do any of you have opinions on this? 6 lane seems good to me.

Also any general advice on layout, visisbility for racers and marshalling areas and so forth are very welcome.
 

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IMO 6 lanes is best. We have 8 and we had to work really hard to come up with a good track with corners of just one radius. With 6 lanes, you have two options, and with 4 lanes you have three options. Obviously 4 laners produce more interesting tracks, but there are more people standing around waiting to race. I think 6 is ideal for club tracks.

Might I suggest Ninco track. IMO it's the best plexi-track out there. It never bends, it's got perfect contact all round and grip is excellent (at least better than Sport in my experience).

Lotus
 

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Lotus pretty much took the words out of my mouth!

Scalextric Sport has 4 radii, therefore a six lane will have it's corners from 1,2 and 3 or 2,3,4. A four laner can use 1,2 or 2,3 or 3,4 but that isn't the full story since you can make bigger radiused bends by introducing short straights inbetween the curved sections (the sort of thing that Phoenix have in the near left corner as you stand on the rostrum).

I belong to a 4 lane wooden track club and a 6 lane Ninco track club. A six lane can be problematic if not enough are present as the extra two lanes take two marshalls out of action (since they are racing) which is something to be thought about if the club is new since it will probably start with a small membership. You could just race the 4 inner ones if that is an issue but then the question of "Why not build a better 4 lane?" springs to mind.

It is noticeable however how much faster meetings turn over when all 6 lanes can be used. For some reason it also seems to be faster than a 4 laner even though you generally run 6 heats on a 6 laner and only 4 on the more "lane-challenged" tracks.

When it comes to marshalling, a six laner is wide and this can create problems for shorter/younger marshallers. Our 4 lane is spaced for 1:24 cars and has wide gutters either side of the gutter lanes so is similar in width to a 6 lane 1:32 track and there is one section that only be marshalled comfortably by those around six foot and taller since if you are shorter than the likes of me you generally don't have the 'lean'. The same two of us always seem to end up marshalling here.

One thing about a six laner that not everyone takes advantage of is that most tracks seem to need about 5-7 marshalls. You can then introduce a club rule whereby people marshal after their heat and if no-one skives or is racing in the next heat then much of the hassle of arranging adequate marshalling is taken care of.

Expected numbers are useful to know when choosing the number of lanes - at Oaklands (4 lanes) we can generally race with 8/9 present with 4 racers in a heat and 4/5 marshals available depending if anyone has to shirk marshalling duties in order to repair cars.

Coop
 

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Good idea, Kevin. I have felt the same way.

Johnny S, is there a way that I could get ahold of "that information" you talked about above? I would find it quite useful also.

-Maltese
 

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Matt Tucker
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Kevin - I applaud you and its even got me thinking - I've got a cellar and a 4-lane smallish circuit that would be ideal for those use to home racing. Um - I think I need to persaude my good lady.

Any thoughts on what makes a good club jot them down here for Kev and whoever else is thinking about this will benefit.

What would be best day/time?
Should you offer club cars?
What classes (moped style box standard!) should be run?
How much to charge? - ie need cover overheads but not excessive to put folks off
Who are you ainimg at? - make that a key statement on your advert so people don't come with expectations. If you are aiming at home racer make a statement as such but in plain english. If kids are an audience say they must be with an adult if <16.

others?

Matt
 

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I'll try not to push or pull too much, but just mention a few points for thought and consideration.

While 6 lanes is a nice ambition and undoubtedly has some advantages,
1. It takes up considerably more space, than 4 lanes, so make sure the space and good access is available before committing to 6 lanes.
2. 6 lanes needs around 50% extra track over 4-lanes and plastic track is expensive. (Just check the price of a simple circle in 6 lanes!) So it might be wise to PLAN for 6-lanes but only place 4 of them to start with - wait to see how the membership goes before making the large extra investment. You might EVEN consider only laying 2-lanes if initial member numbers are very small, leaving options to build inside and/or outside the first two at a later date. My own feeling is that a good operational 2 or 4-laner is likely to stimulate more ongoing enthusiasm than a massive unfinished 6-laner because the need for 'instant gratification' does exist.

While saying nothing against Ninco, it's probable that Scalextric will be sourceable at cheaper prices, if only because there is MUCH more of it around, both new and second hand. Even consider starting out with partial Scalextric 'classic' rather than brand new, to keep the initial investment low. Also bear in mind that SCX track is interchangeable with Scalextric. SCX is certainly not top of most people's favourites list but don't dismiss it out of hand if a great hoard presents itself at a good price.

As regards track/tyre grip, this is personal.
Scalextric 'Sport' is definitely less grippy than almost anything else.
However that can genuinely be seen as an advantage OR a disadvantage!
Just think about the pros and cons VERY carefully before committing a pile of money to whatever make.

I may add more later.
 

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Another consideration is that most people have got Scalextric track at home.

It is easier to for new members to run on the same track in the club that they have at home because they are used to how a car handles and it makes setting up much easier in between club visits.

I know from past experiance that cars set up for SPORT track run entirely differently on track that is not SPORT, for example.

And think about the future and any digital upgrades that you may wish to consider.

A club in the area that can truely say it is a "Scalextric" club has far better marketing opportunities, especially if it is a new club. You are more likely to get the co-operation of local Scalextric stockists for example in terms of promotion with flyers etc. and the use of the "Scalextric" Logo, which does mean an aweful lot in the UK.


Moped
 

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If I was to start out with my experience, I would

1)Have a routed track at the very top of my list with magnabraid (magnetic braid)
2)look at premises which can offer the most avaliable room with area that could be used for a day or so for events etc.
3)would be a 5 lane circuit, 4 would be minimum.

If the routed track option wasnt avaliable I would Instantly start looking for carrera track as it is the best plastic track money can buy because of it's regidity
I would have 4 lanes, because it's easier to maintain and the outer lanes arent as disadvantaged as lanes 1 and 6 would be on a 6 lane track.

If Carrera is not an option for one reason or another, I would recommend Sport, I would consider Sport as the last option in my experience of tracks and how they withstand time.

Controller wise I would get parma plus controllers and ask Jim Brown to attach variable ohm dials, which is cheaper than buying 2 sets of controllers.

Club cars, I would go for something VERY robust. Somehow one of our nascars broke, people just dont take care with club cars and thats why I dont like to have them, although it does help the newbies.

Tuning 4 cars takes a hell of a long time, 6 would take a short ice age!

If you want anything else I will be in chatroom again tomorrow so just ask, if I think of anything else I will pass it on.

Rob
 

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There are a lot of experienced guys here that have a lot to offer. My advice is this...take it a step at a time and make an appreciation. Determine your AIM and make a plan.

First consider how much time you have to commit to this. Ask yourself what is it that you are trying to achieve? A small friendly club or a thriving business. Time is everything, take a look at the time I posted this! You cannot buy time, so think hard.

The location is the next priority. You cannot build a six lane 150 foot track in a garage if that`s all you can find? The room space dictates everything to do with the circuit and will determine the amount of income you need to raise as this will be what decides everything else about the way the club is run. The location size, cost, health and safety, security, insurance liabilty, public liability, employers liability, condition and access are all major factors.

Money is the next factor. You will need to invest to a certain degree at the start of all this for at least a portion of the track costs. The rest I will come to later . The running costs you can recover through the use of the circuit. More about this later too. For now take your time and consider the above in the order set out...time, the Location and money then set your AIM and make a plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the words of encouragement above and indeed all the advice.
The form of the club is, as yet, unclear as the way we see it at the moment <this may change through discussion> is there are two possibilities:

1 Just a low key club with a track where like minded folk can race fairly standard out the box cars. A basic club not a business and purely run for fun.

2 More of a business with shop facilities and some have even suggested bar facilities which will therefore be more of a venture prospect with all the financial implications and funding problems that will entail. The need therefore for indepth marketing and to be honest , as any of you who are in business will be aware, is more of a risk with all the capital expenditure that will obviously entail.

The aim of the club is however becoming clear, at the outset we want a club that anyone who even just has a passing interest in slot cars can come be made welcome and race any car they have in their collection straight out the box. It is our opinion and forgive me if this "rubs" the wrong way with some folk but most forums and some clubs can be very daunting and technically mind boggling to the newcomer to the hobby as i have found out and i know the others involved in this project have found the same.
That is of course not to say that if the project gets up and running that we dont specialise in certain areas of racing as most newcomers eventually do progress to being experienced racers. In essence we do want at all times to retain that user friendly welcome to all especially newcomers and kids. The hobby after all can only grow with new blood.

So the dilema at the moment isnt so much what track we are going to use its more of a what type of club is it going to be and we are courting all sorts of advice to help us make that decision. What sort of club therefore dictates the level of both commitment and the level of finance.The other factor of course is membership levels, like any business the membership level will be our clients and the clients pay the wages (in this case cover the costs). The client base, therefore to a large extent, may decide what type of club we start.

The aim of the club at least at the outset is very clear bring your dad,grandad, son and car and race it !! The rest as they say , for the moment, is as clear as mud !!!


We appreciate all the helpful comments above as just ask keep em coming any help is good help !!
 

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Here's another question to club owners mainly: is it a good idea to get premises which allow a second track to be built? ie - if membership does grow, does a second track become vital? (for example a rally track, maybe a routed or in this day and age, a digital track?)

Kev gave me the task of coming up with a track design which I am about to post in tracks and sceneries - critique and advice on it would be most appreciated!

cheers

Dave
 

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Allan Wakefield
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I designed the track and then we decided on the make.
Remeber that Carrera, though certainly a nice surface to race on, is very ridgid to elevation changes are hard to get smooth. it also takes an inordinate amount of space and is REALLY NASTY to put together properly


QUOTE Should you offer club cars?

Great question!
IF we can find away to discuss this within this thread without hijacking it great, if not I will start another.

We have 16 Club cars but encourage people to bring their own. Even 3 diferent choices seems to find people wanting more.
My main problem is resisting letting others use my private cars, which I then regret as it comes to repair time. But it seems mean to say no buy your own - I need to toughen up!

Club cars enable folk to turn up and drive, no club cars encouragwes them to buy their own.

So..

We currently have:
4 - Scalextric Porsche 956 (wild 360s) no magnet and SCW green end motors.
4 - SCX DTM cars - magnet
4 - Proslot Modenas - Evo 2 powered and light magnet
4 - Proslot Modenas - SCW green end motor powered and twin proslot mags.

This seems a good mix for driving on both Carrera and Scaley Sport and of course they are tuned to run as close as humanly possible (driver skill excluded)

For non mag racing, it is mostly the adults who are interested and they have their own for the most part.

One trick is to choose cars that are solid (nope! the SCX DTMs are not and to prove it they get repaired at least once a week
)

What do others think about Club Cars?

Is this hijacking the thread? or is it related?
 

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Graham Windle
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Kev ,Astro ,
Pendle started with a small 3 lane routed track which was used to build up the club untill enough people were involved to run a large set up , good close racing can be obtained just as well on a smaller track , before spending all your cash on setting the club up perhaps you need to establish if there will be enough people in your area willing to support your venture ,once you have established this then start building .
Good luck with your venture
 

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Astro, with the building then yes get as big as you can afford/find. As you know with our barn we are going to put in another circuit as big as the current circuit but probably a rally circuit/digital? It makes sense if you are going to have big numbers. You can also offer `business` meetings alongside `club` meetings at the same time without doubling your time commitment.

Unless you settle for a small club of dedicated racers, build big. A small circuit is not impressive enough to interest potential recruits and you will struggle for numbers. I feel that it`s a chicken and and egg situation but I believe, from my experience that there are loads of interested people out there. How you operate the club is the second most important factor to effect recruiting, after having built an impressive circuit. Place yourself in the shoes of the guy who has the farthest journey to make in the Winter and convince him it is worth the journey.

Swiss, club cars? Got to happen if you want to build a club up. Like you I have waved bye, bye to a number of sacrificed personal cars but it`s a must. Last night six new people came to the club. Within 3 minutes of me saying "hello and welcome " they were on the track with a club car and controller and running round. We run around 20 classes and I have at least ten cars for each class that are for club use. I mention the figures, not to try and impress but to indicate the level of commitment needed. The same story with controllers. As Swiss rightly said pick the cars for each class carefully as I feel I could write a book on that subject alone based on running Phoenix the past three years. I have a box of distorted plastic! It`s been a steep learning curve!
 

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I cannot stress enough NOT to go down the Classic or SCX route. This track may be good (acceptable) for home racing, but in my experience becomes a real pig after about a years worth of racing. It warps, bends and expands more than almost any other track I've ever seen.

The problem is that all the bits vary in size by around 5-10mm so matching up straight is hard, and similarly conversion to Sport (slightly better) is also quiet hard as you will find gaps everywhere.

I'd say Carrera, Sport or (my favourite) Ninco, but a three lane routed would be ideal for a small club too.

Lotus

PS. If you disagree with any of the above, then it's my opinion. Otherwise, it's fact.
 
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