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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The Farnham slot car club is mostly about racing cars 'out of the box' with only minimal modification.

Generally permitted tuning modifications are: changing tyres (rubber only), weight tuning, and cleaning up manufacturing defects. The only class that actively encourages experimentation is the Slot.it Group C cars, where "aftermarket" tuning parts may be fitted.

This all sounds fairly straightforward, but I have to ask, where does correcting manufacturing defects - such as wheels fouling on the chassis - cross the boundary into full on modified? And, should fitting the manufacturer's own tuning parts be permitted? For example, changing the factory-fitted medium suspension springs on the Ninco Lancia Stratos to softer or harder springs, to better suit the track? And what about people running cars with missing parts: is this 'lightening'?

Then we come to the NSR class. NSR cars are explicitly banned from many of the classes. The rationale is that they're out-and-out-racers. In which case, surely the NSR car class should also permit the fitting of aftermarket tuning parts, in line with the Slot.it Group C cars? In fact, many NSR cars don't run that well 'out of the box', as currently poor QA results in front axles that don't turn, and tyres fouling the chassis, etc.

Also, for classes that encourage 'race tuning', which is all about chassis dynamics, we really should be running with the brake circuit switched on. That's because breaking radically changes the dynamic of the car; an area that really does require the fitting and tuning of suspension and weight balance to get the best from these cars.

These are a few things that I think we should be considering at the upcoming AGM.

Any thoughts?,
Richard
 

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QUOTE (LeMan1960 @ 4 Apr 2016, 15:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Farnham slot car club is mostly about racing cars 'out of the box' with only minimal modification.
Then we come to the NSR class. NSR cars are explicitly banned from many of the classes. The rationale is that they're out-and-out-racers.
I hesitate to comment on the workings of a club on the other side of the country that I don't attend, it's a private matter after all, but the above quotes tickled me. You're a racing club but ban 'out-and-out' racing cars. Why on earth would you do that?
There is, IMHO, a joy in driving a properly fettled NSR on a big Ninco track, the smoothness; the acceleration; the grip, that just can't be found in wrestling a toy brand clunker round. Instead, why not embrace the top brands and actively encourage fettling and modification, this is a big part of what makes slot racing fun. I find that it's only the fast guys who want a level playing field: the rest of us need all the openings we can get.

Peace,
Michael.
 

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Steve Hills
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Richard, I see your point and have to agree with Michael wholeheartedly.
I've raced a couple of times at clubs like this and though fun occasionally, I find I can't get excited about going regularly.

Having raced properly tuned cars on a fully specified track with conventional wiring, it's just not nearly as much fun to have no grip, no brakes and poor handling cars.

I guess though this is a matter of personal taste, but certainly for me tuning for better handling with smooth driving is the way to go.
If there was a night at these clubs that had brakes wired and allowed tuned cars I'd attend some of the ones that are fairly to me.
 

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Your NSR class should take a look at how the Wales and West championship runs:-

Rules

Works brilliantly well; cars are really fun to drive, easy to set up (I've done three and had no quality issues at all...) and the racing is always close.

When Pendle sell off classics at £40 it's exceptionally good value too!
 

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theres very few scalectric cars that go reasonably no mag. they all need at least the front end sorting and different rear tires the newer carreras are better in this respect. so on standard cars, new rear tires, weight and tubing-sorting the front end, should be allowd
 

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Jim Moyes
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QUOTE (stoner @ 7 Apr 2016, 10:54) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>theres very few scalectric cars that go reasonably no mag. they all need at least the front end sorting and different rear tires the newer carreras are better in this respect. so on standard cars, new rear tires, weight and tubing-sorting the front end, should be allowd

How many have you got?

I don't agree - Scalextric cars haven't needed front axle fixing to be raceable since the last century. My problem with some of the latest ones, is that they are overpowered. But then I prefer my racing to be more realistic, so unlimited grip and front ends that are so planted that you don't have to lift much to take corners is not my idea of realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Everyone,
Thanks for the non-member input. It's interesting to hear what other clubs are doing. Erik, for example, your rules are pretty much what the Farnham club is using for the NSR class.

My point, however, is that we have a separated NSR class, because these cars are different from the other hard bodied slot cars in that they sacrifice the accuracy of the modelling in favour of better track performance. They're slot car 'racers' rather than accurate models. In this respect, I agree the argument for the separate class.

However, I'm also arguing that if we're going to have a 'pure racer' class, surely that class should encourage people to really race tune their cars? We do have this in one of our classes - the Slot.it Group C - but that's the only class where any real changes of the out of the box car are permitted. For Slot.it Group C cars, you can exchange factory-fitted parts for aftermarket parts, or add tuning parts, such as suspension. For NSR cars, I think we need a similar rule.

As a general rule, I'm happy with the "as it came from the manufacturer", with only tyre changes and a few minor tweaks. But, heck, that's not what NSR cars are about, which is why they're segregated in the first place.

Richard
 

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Hi all
I am not a member of your club,
I attend NERCS up in the north east.
Our rules are very simple and I believe as a result of this we have very good attendance.
We have an open class were pretty much anything goes.
All other classes are standard. Truing tyres, adding weight is allowed, parts can be swapped between manufacturers and models but only standard parts. No NSR / slot it or othe higher end cars. and that's it.
Major benefit of this is anyone can turn up and be reasonably competitive from the first race, also it keeps costs reasonable.
Also as all parts can only be from standard cars if anyone were to try and gain an unfair advantage through nefarious means it is very easy to see.
This approach works very well for us.
I have attended clubs with more freedom in tuning and stringent rules ., I didn't attend them for long.
 

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Two pennyworth, offered for free. Talk about value for money!

Really modifying and breathing on cars is all well and good but does add considerably to the cost of running competitively, IMHO. And that can dissuade folk.

Keeping it 'box standard' is keeping it simple, stupid (K.I.S.S.). Truing the tyres she came with, sanding a bit o' bodywork to facilitate body-rock is okay. Digression: a long time ago, in a different life, racing at Maidenhead Slot Car Club (Happy days!), I was introduced to body-rock and told it 'simulated wear and tear' as the justification! Really? Really? Shut up! Anyhoo, I quickly followed suit.

I do think changing tyres is okay - basic handling and performance can be elevated with the purchase of some, relatively, cheap aftermarket tyres.

I'd say bolting 'in', as in under the hood, a brand's own tune-up parts like axles, gears 'n' motors is deviating from 'box standard'. So wouldn't go there. If the masses want some of that, then doodle up a purely 'open' class, Can-Am style, and let anything go in it.
 

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.
Let's be very clear - "cost" is NOT a big issue if it's only one or two classes we're talking about. It's optional whether you enter a car in a particular class: so, if 'tuning' isn't your thing, then simply don't enter a car in my proposed NSR 'fully tuned racers' class.

I'm NOT suggesting the club should change a good formula. The majority of classes should be 'unmodified'. But, we also need variety.

My point is that if we're going to have NSR's "racing cars", then we should respect what they are intended to be. This is NOT to say that I disapprove of "standard" cars, far from it, but you wouldn't buy a Maserati for the school run.

NSR cars are relatively expensive to start with. So, anyone who is concerned about "cost" could make a better investment elsewhere, and simply opt out of this one class of racing.

Richard
 

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It has made interesting but also to a degree, disappointing, reading so far on this thread, hearing everyone's opinions and what is the 'best' direction that a club should take with classes. But to redress the balance a bit I think it is worth giving a bit of background behind the way the club operates and how classes are chosen.

Operating for over 23 years now, the club started out with Scalextric Classic track and then progressed onto the Ninco track that we have now. Classes have always been proposed by members and voted in / out at each year's AGM - this year's of which is coming up in little over a week's time.

Over the years classes have naturally come and gone but overall we enjoy a broad range of racing, not only classes but also varying degrees of magnet: non-magnet, brown bar, button magnets, etc up to super-magnets. And whilst most of our classes don't have brakes, we also have classes with braking enabled.

The above comment that we "ban out and out racing cars" is a complete misunderstanding as the OP does not elaborate on the history of any classes. We have previously had a 60's LM class that had a broad selection of makes and models that brought close racing to the class. When the NSRs first appeared and started to clean up, most members went and bought an NSR with the result that by default it became an NSR only class. Despite this, many missed the racing that class had previously offered so it was proposed and voted in at the AGM that we have the class as was without the NSRs in addition to a dedicated NSR class.

Also, whilst most of our classes are box-standard, many without magnet, we do allow some modifications but only agreed modifications that have been voted in at the AGM I.e. what our members are overall happy with.

Since the club has been running in this manner for over 23 years now we must be doing something right.

Nerfee
 

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Bob Chapman
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Nerfee if it has been successful for 23 yrs and natural change has evolved through the AGM by the members, why change anything.
It sounds as if you have a system that works.
I race at 2 clubs. One is purely for fun and everything but tires is box stock. We allow urethanes .
The other club has a bit more range of open classes, but we also have box stock with urethanes, and a stated motor.
They both work, but to be honest , the first one has less issues about legality etc and is more competitive although a bit slower.
We always as a group make decisions, keeping in mind those with less budget, and those with less skill.
So the biggest rule our first club has is this,,, If its working , dont mess with it.
Bob
 

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mr M, I have quite a lot of scalextric cars and I don't run with magnets in. over the years I,ve found that every scalextric car I,ve owned could be improved on the front end. I come at this purely from a performance point of view as I like to run all my cars very low on my Carrera track. to me this is half the fun of slot cars. if you want to take a standard car remove the magnets and race it that's fine, but you will find one car that goes better than all the others and people tend to buy this model so you eventually end up with a grid of the same cars with just variations of the décor to make them stand out. to be honest I,ve given up buying new scalextric cars because I don't think their good value for the money anymore. I tend to buy Carrera cars because I still think you get the best deal with these cars. if your going to run a no mod single class it would have to be slot it. there around the same price as a scaley car and they go better out of the box. I must admit that the majority of scaley cars frustrate me because of basic design flaws in the chassis dept. John
 

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Jim Moyes
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QUOTE (stoner @ 12 Apr 2016, 06:59) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>... but you will find one car that goes better than all the others and people tend to buy this model so you eventually end up with a grid of the same cars ...

If that's what you have experience of at the clubs you go to, then fair enough, but tuning toy cars isn't high on my list of life priorities. I prefer to try different cars in classes and find out their strengths and weaknesses.

All the fun for me is in the racing and the laugh at a club that doesn't take things too seriously. Farnham is one of those clubs.

I haven't met Richard, as I don't go to Farnham much any more, but he is trying to get some more interest in the tuning side of things, and as he supports the club more than I do at the moment, he should get his say at the AGM and put his ideas forward there.

I'll just make sure my, infrequent, visits are on a night for standard cars.

I have found in real racing as well as slots that, with an investment of time and/or money, people will have a higher expectation of success. If that expectation isn't met with results, then fun can often vacate the scene.
 

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Hi Nerfee,
Sorry, there is a misreading of my comment about "ban[ning] out and out racing cars". What I was trying to say is that NSR cars don't fit comfortably within the same framework as other manufacturers' models. That's because many of NSR's cars aren't *scale models* that can be raced on a slot car track, instead, they are racing slot cars (designed to win races) and where *scale modelling* is a secondary consideration. Indeed, I totally agree the club's philosophy of putting NSR car in their own class. As you say, nothing is banned.

"Banned" was probably a poor choice of word. They aren't 'banned', but the club has put them into their own class to stop them being overdominant. That is a good thing.

The point I am trying to make is that it's illogical to permit upgrading of Slot.it Group C cars ("Any OEM upgrade parts allowed") while, at the same time, not permitting the same upgrading of the NSR '60s Endurance class cars. That's because, as I think we're agreed, NSR is all about being 'designed for race performance'. It's what makes NSR cars different, and why they've been shifted into their own class.

You certainly shouldn't be despondent. Farnham is a great club with a really friendly atmosphere. None of my comments are a criticism. Rather, I've started this topic (ahead of the AGM), so we can have the time for a reasoned debate. It also gives us the opportunity to reiterate the rationale behind past decisions.

What IS disappointing is that there are so few inputs from the membership. Come on guys: if you're open minded to a few 'tweaks' (nothing too drastic), let's hear from you. Whereas if you disagree, it's also important we hear why. This isn't about 'loyalty' or criticising the club. We're all immensely proud of what we have - and grateful to those who put in the time and effort to organize things for us - but I'm sure we can make things even better.

[Finally, I would trust that any 'tweaks' we vote through at the AGM are "On Trial" and can easily be deleted if they're found not to be working as we'd hoped.]

Cheers everyone,
Richard
 

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QUOTE (LeMan1960 @ 12 Apr 2016, 09:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The point I am trying to make is that it's illogical to permit upgrading of Slot.it Group C cars ("Any OEM upgrade parts allowed") while, at the same time, not permitting the same upgrading of the NSR '60s Endurance class cars. That's because, as I think we're agreed, NSR is all about being 'designed for race performance'. It's what makes NSR cars different, and why they've been shifted into their own class.

As you'll find when we get to the AGM, classes are proposed and voted on and options such as modifications are then proposed and voted on too. The Slot It Group C class was run for a number of years and then voted out as we also had the set of club cars and to run both seemed superfluous. However, they were then proposed to be reinstated as a class with any Slot It modification allowed. This was voted in by the club members.

When the NSRs were proposed and voted in, no-one raised or proposed to allow such modifications. So again without knowing the history it is incorrect to suggest that we won't permit the same upgrades when the truth is that upgrades were not requested in favour of keeping standard.

It is all to easy to ask in an open forum why the club hasn't done this or hasn't done that with the consequence that others outside of the club jump to the wrong conclusions and lead off with derogatory comments. The best option would be to ask any of the long-standing members first and they will provide you with the history and justifications of why club classes are run in the manner that they are.

Nerfee.
 

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Jamie Coles
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QUOTE (LeMan1960 @ 12 Apr 2016, 10:37) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>What IS disappointing is that there are so few inputs from the membership. Come on guys: if you're open minded to a few 'tweaks' (nothing too drastic), let's hear from you.

Traditionally we discuss class changes and proposed tweaks at the AGM...amongst the members of our club, rather than open up how to run our club to people who aren't members.

As Alex mentions we tend to know the history of why certain things have happened.

J-C
 

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I don't see any harm in non-members contributing to club discussions on here. Outside views can help with the way a club is run and open our eyes to new possibilities, providing it is done in the right spirit of course. The mods are always here to help if something derogatory is posted.

This forum exists to facilitate the free flow of information between people with a shared hobby and the cross-fertilisation of ideas between slot car clubs is an integral part of that. It doesn't suit everybody of course and closed groups on Facebook are a logical alternative for clubs that choose a different path for their internal discussions.

I find the open discussion of club affairs/rules/classes etc on here most helpful and have often adopted other people's ideas for our own club.

After all, if your members don't like them, they are free to ignore them when you hold your AGM.
 
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