SlotForum banner

The ideal club meeting - What does it look like?

3470 Views 44 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Michael363672
What does the ultimate race meeting look like.

Ground rules

• This is a digital discussion, analogue racers contributions are welcomed but must be constructive and "analogue is better" is not constructive.
• The race meeting has at least 6 folk , one of which is a rookie adult - Children can come in only as honerary adults.
• The doors open at 18:30 hrs for play/chat/ad hoc testing. Official festivities finish at 22:30 and kick out is 23:00
• The track is up for the duration and packing away bits is not a time limiter.

My Straw man of the ideal race requirements-

1. Drivers should spend most of the time driving not marshalling.
2. Some time should be allowed for Chat, vital repairs, Confort breaks and tea (very English me).
3. More than one class to be raced in an evening , if your car class A breaks you have only lost half of the evening at most because you can race in class B.

This leads to some basic requirements/organisation

• Auto yellow flag is a requirement towards meeting (1) and is set at Race stop in current positions. All drivers may re-slot/check and re-align car (but not move) prior to the re-start.
• No marshals are available as none are required under yellow flag.
• The obligatary cards for re-slotting are as follows:-
• Utter rookies 1 card, They should be lapping well inside their abilities in formal racing and just getting into the scheme of things. They need to satisfy the marshals they are sufficiently capable of meeting reasonable standards before given Mid standard i.e with 3 cards they can reasonably expect to make the end of the race. 3 de slots in a lap is definitely back to Rookie without a VERY GOOD EXCUSE.
• Mid level, 3 cards but are not eligible for the elite championship.
• Top level 1 card (they should not be making mistakes). I have seen analogue racers come close to this anyway. Any mid level driver is welcome to upgrade to Elite, but can only count results toward the standard they are driving at the time. This will encourage mids to become elite. The one slot looks (to me) possible if the cars are of high quality (i.e.on my track with magnets are not prone to de slotting for no good reason). With less able cars this may have to be increased.

The meeting
• Class qualification periods 10 mins for each class. 5 min between periods. Two periods each (Class A Class B, ClassA, Class B,Time now 20:30.
• Racing proper Heats 3 (Class A, ClassB, ClassA) 10 min duration (or equivalent laps) 5 min between heats.
• Race interval 30 min.
• Racing proper Heats 3 (ClassB, ClassA, ClassB) 10 min duration (or equivalent laps) 5 min between heats.
• As its all computer regardless of whose system results for evening will be avialble in last 30 min of evening.

Result with two cars you get 40 min driving in qualify mode. 1 hr in racing mode. That is just under 2 hrs. This is a bit on the low side but probably acceptable. Should qualification be dropped 1 1 15 min session a bit longer for each and extend racing? Is ½ hour break too long for chatting/tweaking? More shorter heats?
See less See more
1 - 3 of 45 Posts
QUOTE (UshCha @ 30 Sep 2011, 17:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>With digital there is no issue with how many folk turn up.
In my experience digital racing doesn't work out well with too many cars on a short lap. The solution to that is a longer lap.
Then there are issues like how much space is needed for the longer lap and how much space is needed for all the extra bodies.
Affordable club rooms are an issue for many slot car clubs. What's affordable for 20 racers looks expensive for 6.

More cars on the track means more potential for cars to come off.
Cars can be reslotted (if it is chosen to allow that) or removed from positions where they are blocking the track.
Either way somebody has to go and do it.
If everybody is driving, the race is suspended while a driver walk round and sortsout the deslotted car
If there are marshals, they can sort out the deslotted car without interrupting the race.
There will be different opinions about which is better - interruptions to the race or taking a turn at marshalling?
The answer could be different depending how many cars are on the track at once.
No substitute for experience to sort out what works best. There is some experience of digital racing up to the 6 car limit of SSD, Carrera etc. Who knows what will develop as experience of greater numbers grows? It's a safe bet that it'll need experience of running races with larger numbers and not just figuring it out on paper or trying it out with small numbers on the track at once.
See less See more
QUOTE (snurfen @ 1 Oct 2011, 18:49) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If there is a small number of racers, 3 or 4 perhaps, then wouldn't track calls with reduced power for the rest be best - your responsibility to reslot your own car. Works well most of the time for me.
That's one of a range of options, it penalises falling off more heavily than a fully marshalled race, but not as heavily as "crash and burn". Obviously it only works on tracks that have the right sort of reduced power facility.

There's always room for discussion of just how much penalty should there be for falling off.
Normal practice at a lot of clubs is marshals at each corner whose job is 1. clear the track so cars still in the slot can proceed 2. reslot the cars knocked out of the slot by somebody else's accident 3.reslot the car that caused the accident
Another way of racing is "crash and burn" where if you fall off you are out of the race. There is some variance in how to deal with deslotted cars blocking the track and cars knocked out of the slot by somebody else's accident.
An in between option of reduced power track calls and marshal your own car does still leave the question of deslotted cars blocking one or more lanes of the track. With digital it is sometimes possible to get round an obstruction by changing lanes, but experience shows quite often you just have to stop till the offending car is removed.
Some places have local difficulties with one driver causing the others to loose concentration when squeezing past to get their car - this is often an issue when the maximum track has been fitted in the track room leaving a rather tight space for the driver's rostrum (which is common enough).

When groups of racers are just racing amongst themselves the technology is the only restriction on them all doing it differently.
Once groups start racing one another there is inevitable pressure to standardise at least some parts of the racing system.
See less See more
QUOTE (UshCha @ 2 Oct 2011, 06:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Having read this it does seem that the approach for digital does need to be fundametally diffrent, rookies do need to be taught that there job as the rookie is to keep clear and just get rond the track without de-slotting. Personally with the right cars de-slotting is fundametaly a driver issue, not a technology issue.
Keeping rookies from inconveniencing more experienced racers is OK up to a point, but rookies need encouragment too.
Rookies need to learn how to drive quickly, they need to learn how to make cars work well. Without that they will never develop into the next set of experienced competitive racers that just about any club needs. Nobody is going to learn without making some mistakes along the way. Rookies need to be encouraged, we all started out as rookies at some time in the past and racing will die out without rookies.

QUOTE (UshCha @ 2 Oct 2011, 06:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Like in real racing De-slotting (comming of the track in real reaceing) should come at a very high price.
Watch any full size GP and you'll see cars take the escape road round a chicane or go on other run off areas very much more often than you see them retiring on the spot. Unless the driver is judged to have gained a place or hits other cars on his return to the track, the organisers rarely hand out penalties for this, and the delay from most trips through the "grass" is rarely more than a few seconds out of a race of well over one hour.
If you are of a mindset that slot racing should reproduce full size racing as closely as possible, the majority of offs should involve very little penalty although if you have a really big one and damage the car then it needs fixing. That equates pretty well to the marshalling at each corner that occurs at many digital clubs as well as most analogue ones.

An alternative mindset is that digital or analogue slot racing is real slot racing, so run the way which suits slot racing best. Full size racing has its own constraints and traditions not all of which work well in slot racing. In both digital and analogue slot racing you are competing against the other drivers - real people just like the competitors in any other form of competition.

In some ways the "lets make slot racing as much like full size racing as we can" and the "think of slot racing as a real competition in its own right" approaches are separate branches of our hobby and its an individual choice which you prefer.
See less See more
1 - 3 of 45 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.