It is my opinion that if you use more than one pace car, you should take away the squeeze hairpin and use normal R1 turns. Also, remove any forced crossovers (racing curves). Turn off lane changing as well, unless you want to pick up crashed cars the whole time. If you want a pacer to change lanes, only use one pacer, and turn on lane changing ONLY to practice keeping out of the way of someone who doesn't care what they lane change into. ;-)
My personal use of pace cars has dropped off considerably, but when I do use them outside of testing my track (or cleaning it with the tires of the cars
), I only put one pace car in each lane, with lane changing turned off. The pace cars have magnets and are well within their ability to run the entire track at a fixed speed. I then race against them using a magless car so that I have to change lanes to pass (since there's always one in my lane somewhere) and make up my time in the straights.
Otherwise, it's a crash fest and I spend more time putting pacers back on than driving.
Mr. Flippant has said it to the "T". He's probably reading his crystal ball. I do a lot of pace car racing since I'm a loan racer. I have removed all of the R1 and hairpin curves in my layout. Even in variable throttle mode in SSDC, the R1's and hairpin's just don't work well. I do the same as MR. Flipp in regards to racing magless cars against pace cars with magnets, this has proven very challenging. I'm constantly designing what I call pace-car layouts, and have a few that have worked well with my limited space.
Pacer Cars and the R1 Hairpin- remove the R1 hairpin and you can have your pace cars flying around the track at speed. With the hairpin and pace cars I found that unless you run the pace cars at a crawl they will deslot nearly all the time at the hairpin. BUT saying that, it also depends on the space you have available for the track and what you like, I actually like the hairpins in a circuit and had a couple of them on my track a while ago but once I went digital and could'nt get the pace cars to a decent speed they had to go. I run five pace cars set up to roughly the same speed (no lane changing on like Mr Flip says) and they fly around the track while I can weave in and out of the pack and have a bit of fun.
Regardless of the layout, the pacer car must outclass the driver car, so you might as well really stack the deck in favor of the pacer. My pacer of choice is a Slot.it Nissan R390 (offset pod) with a magnet and silicone tires. This is the one I had tested my GMyers chip upgrade in. For that, I added a second magnet resulting in a magnetic downforce of 1000 grams. That's 4-5 times the typical Scalextric car out of the box. It could go full throttle around my entire track except for one spot, which was the INSIDE of the 90-degree left hand R1 turn in the crook of my L-shaped layout. Clearly that's overkill, but it was a great pace car, even for my other magnet cars to go up against. I've removed the second magnet, but it can still go pretty fast around the layout at fixed speed. I can still easily take it with any magnet car, though, so I have to go magless to make it a challenge.
Removal of squeeze hairpins (plain R1 turns are fine), racing curves, crossovers, level crossings, and random lane changing are suggested to prevent pace cars from blindly running into other cars. They have nothing to do with whether you can outrun the pacer car. The longer you can keep the automated cars on the track, the better.
I would like to thank everyone for your feedback on this thread.
Two things are important to me : first of all, it seems that running magless against pace cars is very challenging and i will give a try !
The second thing is related to the R1 hairpin. My space is limited and i have no choice than having one hairpin on my track.
My first idea was to run me against 5 pace cars running at fixed speed. I have the pit lane game (no pit pro) and the APB is placed so that if you go to the pit lane, you will miss a lap. whenever a car deslots or causes a crash, the race would be stopped and the car would have been placed in the pit lane area just before the pit lane game to give an extra lap penalty. When a car has 3 leds ON the pit lane game, this car is out of the race.
But i wonder if it would not be a "crash fest". The track has only one hairpin (no crossover) and 4 lane changes (2 straight, 2 curves) for a length of 12 m 75.
Mr Flippant is maybe right. I should place only 2 pace cars with fixed speed (no lane changes) and try magless to win the race. Or maybe a third pace car (with lane change) is also possible.
What do you think of this (taking my track into account) ?
The only way you can really have any success with R1's in a circuit is to place them shortly after the start/finish and use variable throttle pacers. The pacers will need to run in the outside lane. The reason for placing them early in the circuit is so that SSDC knows (as accurately as possible) when to slow down for the R1. It can then speed up for the rest of the circuit. If you place the R1 late in the circuit, variance in lap times will mean that SSDC slows pacers at the wrong time, and perhaps hits the accelerator too early - this clearly wont work well. But I'm with Mr.Flippant - if you can get rid of the R1, it would be better.
Personally with a small track you need R1's. As Mr F says you just have to overmatch the pace car. One option is if you use Scaley, is to race a Slot.t (scaley Motor) with mag and magnetic suspension. This is an evil car to beat magless. The mag suspension helps no end on a bumpy scaley track like mine. To be honest just a mag on a slot.it pace car makes a good race, particularly if you burn fuel and the pace car does not.
Having looked at it you can use 2 pace cars on one lane, start 1/2 a lap apart with same target speed and hopefully with care you should go 10 to 20 laps before they meet up. This is based on you getting them within about 5% to 10% on speed. This being about what SSDC trys to do anyway.
I have a R1 hairpin in my track, which was partly due to the available space and partly because they seemed like a good idea at the time...but I decided I wanted them to be a bit faster, so I put some grip on the surface, now they are great. You still have to slow down to get around them, but not to a complete crawl - and a pace car can get around nicely.
My recommended grip surface is a light coat of clear plastic primer and a dusting of sandblasting grit. The combination is not visually intrusive and does not raise the track surface so as to interfere with braid contact, but the fine grit is sharp as, and leaves a surface very similar to 400 grit wet & dry paper.
Ps: you must 'flame' the track before spraying the primer (see Tileguy's tips for track painting for full details)
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