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Apologies if this has been raised before but I can't find it anywhere.

I would like to know what talents a really top racer possesses that us ordinary mortals lack.

To set the scene - three people at our club consistently win everything - no I am not amongst them! It doesn't matter what level of modification is allowed - if we run absolutely box standard cars they still win.

If I give one of my cars to any of them they will put it round our 100ft track at least 3/10ths of a second faster than I can. I would guess that most clubs are the same although the number of "super racers" will vary.

Now the only variable in this is a single spring loaded accelerator/brake called a hand controller. Obviously they can use it to take corners faster than I can and, as a result are quicker down the straight.

Presumably the major factor, as in computer games, is hand/eye co-ordination. In which case the younger generation should have the upper hand. However, our club champion is in his sixties and, with two exceptions, the juniors are not in the ascendant.

Most of the top men are also very good at preparing their cars but that doesn't explain their continued superority when cars are equal.

They also stay on the track more but that doesn't explain their outright speed.

Obviously we all improve with practice but why do some people reach a higher level than the average racer?

Over to you gentlemen - what is the X factor?

Brian
 

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Mark Wain
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Well i guess a common feature ive noticed is that the top drivers are all relaxed about it. Maybe thats the key? personaly if im in the lead for more than a lap my legs start going and i just get more tense wich means more offs and more frustration
 

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I'd absolutely agree with that!
I have no doubt that my major failing is inability to stay cool. When in good form, I am every bit as fast as, or even faster than anyone in my club and I very occasionally win races. But the guys that win consistently do it because they are cool throughout.
Someof them can even chat while doing it - the b******s!
 

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I have no experience with 1/32nd racing when you get right down to it but I came from the HO world so I do have experience racing HOs.

In the HO world I was considered an acceptable racer. People would actually pay attention if I stepped up to the drivers station. Either they were expecting me to walk the dog on the field or be asked to leave, I was never really sure
Who let that bum in? I'm hoping at least some of the driving skills will carry over to 1/32nd cars but if not, I should still have fun.

When racing I always use smooth trigger movements, block out the rest of the world and sort of 'time' my laps in my head. So in my head I'm saying "Trigger full throttle, 1, 2, trigger lifted slightly, full throttle 1, lift for turn slightly, begin accelerating smoothly so that the car is at full throttle just before exiting the turn" and so on. I'd keep this going on in my head all the time. That's what I'm doing in practice, memorizing the track and approximating the throttle positions and for what length of time. I also paid close attention to how much traction was available in different sections of the track as well as numerous other details that might affect my racing. By the time I was done practice I had run the track slowly one or two laps, run corners at too fast a speed a few times and tested traction as well as the car that was going to be raced. I never bothered with seeing how fast the car was in the straights because I already knew I had plenty of motor, it's the turns that win the races.

I was the guy that others went to for info and tuning locally. I was also one of those guys that not only talked while racing but also helped out other racers pointing out where they lost time and where they could make it back up, while we were racing
"You're braking a bit early in that turn" while my car is headed down another straight and then suggest "you can gain some of it back if you come out a little harder" "not quite, but you're going too fast for the next turn" "good one, put some pressure on Tim and he'll drop back"


I think that in order to do well with any slot car racing you need confidence in yourself and equipment. I never work on my race cars on race day unless it's a new track to me and I need to sort out gearing and chassis height. If it's a track I've raced on before you will NEVER see me working on my car, it's ready and I know it. I will work on other peoples cars though. I even loan out my cars, including the ones I plan on racing, if the rules allow it.
  • Prepare cars before race day
  • Prepare controller(s) before race day
  • Study track conditions during practice
  • Always use smooth movements
  • Get comfortable and relax
  • Watch YOUR car, there are no other cars on the track
  • Have fun
I do go on at times
 

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Peter Farrell
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simple really. Ability allied to concentration. The ability to focus your attention on thetaskin hand. Something I do not posses in spades my attention span is not great enough to be a good racer. Sprinter yes.
Alfetta
 

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A very good question. If the top racers at our club were clones of each other I could probably answer the question. The problem is they are very very close at the moment and they race differently. So to stab in the dark and pick one of probably many factors I`d have to say.... dedication. Sounds a bit naff but if you lean more towards this being a sport than a hobby,clearly it is both, then dediction is needed to perform consistently at the highest level. It takes consistency to win our championship which takes place over 50 weeks of the year.

The top visiting racers that compete at ours show this same dedication in their approach to the event and it produces the right result. Whatever it is that makes the difference I constantly marvel at the guys at the top. Of course it also helps if they are `Gentleman racers` too.
 

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dunno.. consistency is the key.

i can drive pretty much anything and drive fast in and even faster out which screws with peoples heads lol
 

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In 1:1 racing one the most important factors to being quick is how you take the bends. The more speed you can carry into a corner the faster you can be coming out of it. This may sound silly but I found something that helped me be a better slot racer was reading Paul Frere's book "Sports Car and Competition Driving." It gave me a better feel for the physics of what was happening to my car. Needless to say it made me a better 1:1 driver as well!

Also, there's something to the phrase "10/10ths". To be quick you must try to push the limit. As you do it more you start to develop a feel for how quick a car can be and it gets easier to keep it on the edge smoothly - and to just feel where and how you can squeeze out a tad more speed.

Then, of course, there's talent. God made us all better at some things than others. The better drivers seem to have an instinctive feel for their car's capabilities and can stay on the edge with less effort.

Thankfully, God allows dedication and practice their own rewards. Practice, practice, practice, pushing all the time! The Challenger car is a great practice tool to increase your ability to concentrate, even if it is much slower than you are. You also want a good lap timer. How else would you know if you were getting better?

Paul
 

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Hi

Over the years, I have built for a number of pros..and they are always faster than I am!

Worst example, I was in a serious money race in 71, prepped 5 cars for the race, and finished FIFTH! There was so much money then, that my 5th place was enough to pay my rent for 7 months and I also got my first color TV!

Sigh.

What I notice is that these pros drive sort of like the Scaley challenger is supposed to do....they drive a fairly slow lap, think and then DIAL UP the times. At a certain point, they will be hitting their best lap and STAY THERE. I have watch one friend I still build for dial up, and hit his marks, and the timer wont even flicker down to .001 seconds.

You can turn away from the track and just listen, and HEAR exactly where he is and how the car is working.

If I knew HOW he does it, I would do it as well!

Grin

Fate
 

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Hmmm.... good question... watch out for my poll inspired by this post.

I put my speed down to my car preparation. My cars are usually amongst the quickest 2 or 3 on a race night, and sometimes I'm the quicest driver leading to a win overall. However, I have a few main competitors. Two of which could win any evening, and one who could win in one or two catagories.

I have noticed two breeds of FAST drivers. One is the cool, calculating, smooth power applicating professor. And the other is the hot shot (usually younger) who jams in the throttle and seems to make the car do impossible things. However, the latter comes off more often, but increased speed usually tends to even them out. I consider myself to be one of the latter, and the fastest guy at our club is the same. The other contender is the professor...

Key points: Practice. Good hand/eye co-ordination. Good reactions. Ability to stay cool under pressure.

The last comes from practise. It's something that I think I'm getting better at, but I'm still nowhere near as cool as the Ice Man... (that's Kimi
not the guy from SF...).

McLaren
 
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