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David H
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4,211 Posts
If more honest conversations were had around the fact the “fast guys” are fast because they’re actually good drivers and not just because of their car choice or spec then maybe rule makers would not need to create this artificial barrier that prohibits the inevitable rainbow chasing of the back markers who think they’ll just go a bit quicker if they had the latest XYZ..
Never a truer word spoken.

It's the perennial problem with motorsport at every level. Too many drivers overrate their own ability and underrate that of the fast guys, choosing instead to believe that if only they had better equipment, they'd be winners. The only real answer to that is to run club-car classes where everyone drives the same cars.
 

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David H
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4,211 Posts
What I find humorous is how often those who complain the most about BOP or handicapping or various rules that "level the playing field" are often on the podium.
They're more interested in retaining their advantage than they are in promoting close racing.

In my opinion, what clubs need is a benign dictator in charge of the rules, one who understands that close racing is the best way to keep and attract members rather than rules that mean the gap between the best and the worst drivers is huge. Someone willing to implement handicaps to some of the racing classes so that the weaker drivers have at least some hope of being reasonably competitive. The handicaps needn't be so large as to make it possible for a weak driver to win, merely large enough so that he doesn't finish miles behind. Sadly, that type of club doesn't seem very common.
 

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David H
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4,211 Posts
What I hate the most about the slotcar hobby is that you need other to race and fully enjoy it...and when you bring others in the picture, anyone has an opinion.
Compromises need to be made and I am not good at compromising.
Then you need to work on your persuasiveness, Grunz. :giggle:

I race at a traditional club and love doing so, but also run race meetings at home fairly regularly. Tired of the same old NSR, Slot.it, Scaleauto, Sideways rocketships, and the more usual methods of racing that clubs use - fixed-time races where highest cumulative distance wins, or fixed-distance races where quickest cumulative time wins - I implemented my own rules and classes which, despite initial scepticism by some, have proved popular and successful.

I wanted to race Pioneer Legends when most of my "racer" friends turned their noses up at such cars, so bought and modified a fleet for us all to use. Likewise with a fleet of Carrera vintage NASCAR and also modern Scalextric BTCC. Yes, most "serious" racers won't give a second glance to a Scalectric BTCC car because it's poorly built and slow (and I concede that they're justified in not doing so. The cars' mechanical bits are sh*te) so I bought and substantially modified a fleet, retaining the body, chassis and motor, but upgrading everything else, and now that class is one of the most requested of all the classes we race.

We race two classes per meeting, one where the drivers build and supply their own cars and which caters to the common NSR-type club-racing classes, and the other where one of my fleets is raced. Each of my fleets consists of at least twelve cars. Drivers are free to choose any of the cars, but must use a different one for each heat.

Instead of cumulative time or distance, heats a scored with points, 4, 3, 2, 1, so a disaster in one heat doesn't necessarily mean a driver's entire race is ruined. Everyone races once in each lane, points are totalled, then, depending on the number of people competing, drivers are seeded into last-chance, quarter and semi-finals, all leading to a single final.

My track is typical four-lane Ninco where the outside lanes are slightly slower, so to handicap the best drivers and give some hope to the worst, the lowest qualifying driver for any last-chance, quarter, semi and final is given first lane choice, the second-lowest gets second choice, and so on. This sort of reverse-seeding does occasionally mean that the best driver doesn't win, and it can lead to tactical racing where drivers deliberately try to qualify artificially low down so as not to get last lane choice in the final, but it works well.

"Build it and they will come" is the saying. If you believe strongly enough in a format and can be reasonably persuasive, "organise it and they'll enjoy it" is often very true.
 

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David H
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4,211 Posts
Amen to that!
I am curios about the typical monthly schedule for your slotcar activities: how many times do you meet at your club and how many times do you meet at your track over a month?
I race once each week on Molesey's wood track, plus usually test there once each week too, although test is really too grand a word. Mainly it's just a social for me. Once you've done a million laps of a track, there's not a lot more to learn unless a new class or component is introduced. :giggle:
I race twice a month at another less serious club on Scalextric Sport.
Meetings at my home track with 'serious' racers average about once a month but don't follow any particular schedule, plus I organise meetings at home for family and non-enthusiast friends several times a year. I'm doing my bit to try to keep the racing part of the hobby alive! And then I have daughters and grandchildren to keep happy, but they're very tolerant...

PS. Should anyone be reading this who's within reach of Molesey (click the link in my sig for the club's website) and fancies joining us, you'll be made very welcome, whatever your ability or experience. We're a friendly bunch who cater for everyone, with the added benefit of having some very good racers and builders amongst our membership from whom you'll learn a lot.
 

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David H
Joined
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4,211 Posts
Would love to come in and just race something bog standard to start with whilst not spending
a fortune, then perhaps look at getting my tool kit together and tinkering.
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What I do not want is to be made to feel ignorant or naive.
I have spoken to a couple of club racers way back when and they have simply blinded me with science.
Very knowledgeable and clever but left me cold with how smart 'they' were.
Maybe i just spoke to the 'wrong' people.
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I think to start with I would like to turn up and simply slap a car in the groove,
press the hand controller and keep it in the slot until the flag.
Joe, you sound like you're talking yourself out of venturing to a club!

You're in north east London, so come along to Molesey one evening. We have regular members who travel much further to race with us.

All of our classes are suitable for "bog standard" cars and, although as such they won't be race winners, they'll be good enough for you to enjoy yourself. Most of our members are in their 30s, 40s, 50s or 60s, but our youngest member is 15 and has been racing with us since the beginning of this year. He's persevered, has had help, advice, encouragement, spare parts and a good helping of good-natured mickey-taking from more experienced members, and this week for the first time since joining us, won a heat driving a car he'd built himself. He's never given up, has come back week after week, and finally has his reward of a heat win. Perseverance and realistic expectations are all that you need. Nobody turns up and wins first time out.

PM me if you'd like more info or have other questions, then come and join us. What do you have to lose?!
 

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David H
Joined
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4,211 Posts
Bet some don't even glue their motors, neither. 🙄
Christ, you're expecting far too much, Wankel.

At Molesey's NSR Classics meeting last Thursday, run to nice and simple rules that specify that the car must be an NSR Classic, i.e., a Ford GT40, P68 or MkIV, or a Porsche 917/10, 917K or 908/3, we had a Slot.it Sauber Mercedes C9 and a Sideways Toyota Celica racing.

Never mind getting people to do advanced stuff like reading the rules. Getting them to turn up with the correct car would be a breakthrough...
 

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David H
Joined
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4,211 Posts
..so remember the taking part is more important than the winning.
For many it isn't. Nor should wanting to win be frowned upon. One of the reasons that this thread has garnered so many responses is because a lot of those who are not capable of winning are dissatisfied with not being able to win. If they genuinely believed that taking part was all that mattered, they'd not be bothered by those who win repeatedly.

And sure, there is cheating in every walk of life, but many of the accusations of cheating have no basis in fact and merely reflect the lack of humility of those making the accusations. They're bad losers, and bad losers are just as damaging to the harmony of a club as genuine cheats are.
 
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