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Dave Capelen
2,801 Posts
Evening all

Just spotted this thread, so I thought I would add my contribution as Chairman, for the benefit of all club members, especially those not on the Committee.

As a recap, the objective that we had when we started up the club was to provide cost-effective, fun racing in 1/32 scale, for as wide a spectrum of slot enthusiasts as we could, with a variety or RTR, modified and scratch-built classes. That remains the objective.

We all (at least those of us who were members at the time) discussed and agreed a basic set of rules and classes, which we introduced in Feb/March. It was very much a first attempt and we expected there would be areas that might be improved.

For the sake of ease and consistency with UK standards, in the event that people wished to race in the UK as well, we adopted the GB Slot Rally Rules for our rally classes and the CSCRA (Classic Slot Car Racing Association) Rules for scratch-built events. These are produced by experienced slotters and used in practice - but subject to review from time to time. In fact, the GB Slot Rally Rules were amended after the Manx Rally, as the series organisers found that one particular car was entered in the wrong class, or rather that a Pro-Race variant of it had not been put specifically into the Pro-Stock class. The other rules we adapted from various sources, simplified as far as we were able, to make them easy to understand and administer.

At that time we also had the election of a Committee and it was agreed that we, as a Committee, would listen to and take on board any feedback from members about difficulties with the initial rules or suggested improvements. We undertook to review our rules and classes at the end of June and make any adjustments at that point for the next 6 months up to the end of 2011.

At the Committee meeting on 30th June, as promised, we considered the rules and potential revisions and as a Committee, we made certain changes which we all felt would assist most members with maintaining their cars and keeping some competitive, without a huge extra outlay.

Once we were all happy with the revisions, the new rules were circulated to all club members by Steve Morrow, who is our Club Secretary. These will apply for the rest of 2011 season and we will sit down again before the 2012 season, hold an AGM open to all members and look at Rules, finances and any other relevant business with you all.

In the meantime, as Steve has already said, if anyone has any queries, questions about a car's eligibility, comments or suggestions, all Committee members are quite happy to listen and discuss them with any other Club member.

I appreciate that in a few pages of rules we cannot cover all eventualities, but we will try to ensure that any gaps are filled by applying the spirit of the rules and common sense.

Now I will deal with a couple of specific points and I will deal first with the issue of tyre treatments.

Our Rules for all racing car classes allow treatment of tyres by 3 in 1 oil and/or lighter fluid. Either or both is/are normally applied only to the rear tyres if it is a 2 wheel drive car., or to all 4 wheels if they are driven. No other tyre fluids or additives are allowed. This is so that all cars have consistency of grip and that the standard fluids are readily and cheaply available to all members in shops on the Island. You are also allowed to rub the tyres on gaffer tape to clean them, although this is not specifically mentioned in the rules. Identical rules are often applied to UK race meetings.

There is no rule for our racing car classes which prevents tyre treatment between heats or races, either with oil, lighter fluid or gaffer tape. Several club members have done this in the past, me included, but usually if I have a break after say one heat, before my other 3 heats come up at the end of the class.

However, common sense needs to be applied to all this, so that we do not spend too much time between heats playing with the tyres and delaying racing! Quite often at UK meetings you can give the tyres a quick scrub with gaffer tape, but have no time to treat them.

What is not permitted is for cars to be placed on the track whilst tyres are still wet. This can leave a residue on the track which may affect the next man on your lane, especially if he does not have treated tyres. There are tell-tale tyre-spin marks on our track where such tyres have been placed. To prevent this happening, simply roll the tyres over a piece of tissue....that's what I do. UK clubs are very hot on this and will insist that tyres are dry when placed on the grid. Our rules mirror this and I have already pointed out wet tyre marks on a previous race-night, during racing. I will be checking on this.

GB Slot Rally Rules do not permit liquid tyre treatment between stages, but you are allowed to use gaffer tape to clean muck off them. However, if a rally car is not running under GB Slot Rally rules, ie in another class, then tyre treatment is not prohibited between heats/races.

Other "tuning" tricks are normally allowed in the UK, but not mentioned in our rules, like the use of braid conditioner to improve conductivity of the braids. Small bottles of this are available from UK slot spares suppliers, of various brands, and I have used some occasionally. I have no objection to this, but cleaning muck off the braids will help a lot too, possibly more!

Using clear nail varnish on the front tyres of a rear-wheel drive car is usually permitted in the UK. I have done this myself and personally have no objection to it, but it is not covered by our rules. This helps reduce the friction between front tyres and track and theoretically reduces resistance so making it faster or keeping its speed longer. On the other hand, ensuring you have oiled the bearings carrying your axles also helps a lot, probably more! Not allowed on the front wheels of a 4 wheel drive car, however....!

But again with these two latter tips, tyres and braids should be dry when placed on the track - and these two tips I do not think should apply to any RTR classes, which are essentially in "out of the box" condition.

One general point about the racing, if it weren't for the marshals, we wouldn't be able to race and we appreciate the job they do. If it weren't for the drivers crashing, it would make the marshals job easier, of course! But just a reminder to all, that where possible after a multiple car crash, the car which causes another car to crash should be replaced on the track last, and the other cars replaced in the order they were knocked off. I know it is difficult in the heat of a race to get it right all the time - I don't always manage it myself - but please bear this in mind, as it is frustrating if you are not the offending party and are replaced as last car!

Finally, as I've often said, I'm happy to speak to anyone about club or other slot car matters at any time - except when I am at work between 0800 and about 1400.

Lets keep it fun!

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