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Alan Wilkinson
Joined
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1,374 Posts
My 10c worth,

- clubs that have grids full of obsolete cars are on a one way trip to extinction (specially if those cars are the winning cars) because a newbie can't get hold of the cars to compete. Still racing spirit pugs? Still racing AllSlot F1? Really??

- the "driver" versus the "engineer" should be balanced by classes that favour each. I am am more engineer than driver and fundamentally disagree that the best drivers have a god given right to win. Some classes should be box-standard but others should allow suspension, l/w interiors, wheel changes, etc etc to balance these two member types. There should also be non points scoring clases for those who just want to run around their beautiful, wacky or vintage cars.

- for members that complain about rules being construed against them, you should be considering it a badge of honour , not a vendetta. I really enjoy building a car that has a legal advantage and seeing it banned at the end of that year. That's a trophy all on its own. :)

- hobby or a sport?
Racing, tuning, meetings, lap times, trophies... smells like a sport to me but then I'm not a member of a national collectors club.

AlanW
- chequebook racing and the need to buy the latest greatest release:
I don't accept that a newer/faster release will always win you the race. OK, sometimes something comes along that is a grid killer (nsr mosler, thunderslot lola, AllSlotf1) but this is rare.
The best car performance comes from time and effort directed at tuning and testing. Unless you have someone who builds your cars, you just can't buy that kind of advantage.

- the" learning curve" ? It never stops. If you don't evolve, some snotty newbie will be killing you soon enough!
 

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Gary Skipp
Joined
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6,699 Posts
My 10c worth,

- clubs that have grids full of obsolete cars are on a one way trip to extinction (specially if those cars are the winning cars) because a newbie can't get hold of the cars to compete. Still racing spirit pugs? Still racing AllSlot F1? Really??
While I absolutely agree with you here Alan, I feel this is a problem that most clubs are going to struggle with. It was the case when I was club racing 15 years ago, never mind now. F1 was either an F187 or the Proslot Ferrari, neither of which were easy to find. Touring cars were dominated by the ProSlot Alfa Romeo, same story, and even if you found one the gear would be broken! Same story for the ProSlot GT cars, the Ferrari again being the best, which ruled the GT2 class at Phoenix pretty much until the Ninco Japanese GT cars arrived.

And the more restrictive a rule set is then the harder it becomes to avoid this problem. Some cars are just better than others. If a given rule set doesn’t let you do anything about that, then you’re stuck with that car, no matter how old or hard to find it may be.

The “standard cars” mentality offers a very curious paradox. It appears accessible, but often requires the most investment to find a “good” standard car/motor/chassis. Advantage seekers gonna seek..

Meanwhile the open rule set appears intimidating and costly, yet it’s actually the most efficient equaliser when it comes to building something competitive.
 

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Registered
Joined
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140 Posts
So read all of this with great interest.
This is my own perspective but feel like someone very much on the outside looking in.

I am a 58 year old potential snotty newbie nearing retirement thinking about getting along and joining
a club. My shift work patterns have always precluded me from committing to anything
set on certain regular evenings. Probably not of an age the clubs really want to attract,
given I am all for getting a younger generation into this hobby but I would have the time.

So given this thread started out as a look at the regs and touched on attracting new members,
I found it a tad off putting.
But I do appreciate that joining a club would mean being prepared to learn
and apply certain aspects of car prep over time.

Driver vs Engineer. Umm.
I do not know what kind of driver I am in a competitive environment but I am no engineer.
Love the cosmetic (given my scratch built efforts)
but only just delving into understanding the mechanical.
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.

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.

In a way the hobby is a miniature version of the world of motorsport.
Competition coupled with the engineering. Obvious, but where I think the compromising
mentioned comes into it is balancing the varying leanings and levels of ingenuity.

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.
Not turn up and be left feeling I ain't cutting it coz I do not know as much as others.
Eventually I would learn about 'truing' tires and all the other bits to do with ratios and everything else
if I decided to delve into other more involved classes etc....

As involved club members on this thread,
I wonder if you have had newbies come along once or twice
and then not come back.
Sure the welcome was a warm one but what was done to retain that member?
Or what was said and done that kept them away.

With my comments and outlook you may be thinking it would be best if I stayed away altogether! LOL.

For the ingenious amongst you running cars that do not fall into certain classes.
Is there not a formula libre class run from time to time?

Regards and respects.

Joe

P.S. North East London..............
 

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Jim Moyes
Joined
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5,238 Posts
Thanks for taking the time to post that, Joe.

That is exactly the point I have tried many times to make on here.

Statements like "you can't race Scalextric/SCX/Carrera on proper club tracks" or "this or that car aren't competitive unless you replace all components or fit a 3d chassis" just put off newcomers to the club scene.

Whatever gets people coming through the door repeatedly at your club is fine by me, but why, oh why do people have to say another way is not possible.
 

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Slot King
Joined
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3,719 Posts
To me, the ideal mix is 4 club, 4 standard and 4 modified classes; 6 on first past the post and 6 on distance travelled.
Equally important is that the classes should have different speed and different on track behaviour an XK120 should not lap as fast as a group C.
As for the catch all rule for lazy people, I am all for it, the lazier the better. Why have pages and pages of rules and permanent arguments when it can all be stopped in 1 sentence?


Joel

PS: Alan, out of curiosity, how many sets of rules have you drawn up?
 

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Kevs Racing Bits
Joined
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4,843 Posts
We created classes to cater for all, Standard, Modified, Open.

We have Drivers and Engineers in this thread, there's also Artists, those whose skills centre around form over function, as I'd be classified as an Engineer I'm acutely jealous of those with the ability to create something that would look right at home on the cover of a magazine.

I was a racer first and foremost in my early Slot car days, now I focus 75% on enjoying the evenings proceedings and the winning aim has dwindled greatly.
 

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Registered
Joined
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1,368 Posts
Joel I might not draw up our rules but unbeknown to most I’m entirely responsible for the technical side as I go through it every year before and after the agm so Noel doesn’t have many problems To contend with,as for club cars it’s not so bad at the moment as John is supplying some good cars but in the past club cars have usually been utter garbage,spirt 2002 BMWs irest my case ,there’s nothing wrong with club cars as long as you start with a good car and then give them to the best Biulder you have in the club to prepare them,not as happened with the ninco Megan’s where I did 2 and someone else did 2 of which they put all 4 zero grips on one car. but in reality club cars handout tyres ect all the stuff that apparently levels the field does not and never will level it ,as the same 4 drivers are always the top 4 ,club cars ect are like a doctor’s placebo people believe it makes a difference to who will win it doesn’t it just reduces the gap buy how much they lose ,but lose they will,the only chance they have to win is do what I did which was put the time and effort in to learn how to build a car and more importantly how to drive it,but they won’t go to club at weekend like we used to on Saturdays and do thousands of laps cause if I took the same attitude as some of our members who love handouts ect I’d never have come back but I didn’t I saw it as a challenge to get better .I didn’t expect the rest of the club to come down to my level I learnt how to do it and progressed up to theirs
but that’s just me.ranting over
now where did I put those handout tyres
 

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Registered
Joined
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1,780 Posts
Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Joel I might not draw up our rules but unbeknown to most I’m entirely responsible for the technical side as I go through it every year before and after the agm so Noel doesn’t have many problems To contend with,as for club cars it’s not so bad at the moment as John is supplying some good cars but in the past club cars have usually been utter garbage,spirt 2002 BMWs irest my case ,there’s nothing wrong with club cars as long as you start with a good car and then give them to the best Biulder you have in the club to prepare them,not as happened with the ninco Megan’s where I did 2 and someone else did 2 of which they put all 4 zero grips on one car. but in reality club cars handout tyres ect all the stuff that apparently levels the field does not and never will level it ,as the same 4 drivers are always the top 4 ,club cars ect are like a doctor’s placebo people believe it makes a difference to who will win it doesn’t it just reduces the gap buy how much they lose ,but lose they will,the only chance they have to win is do what I did which was put the time and effort in to learn how to build a car and more importantly how to drive it,but they won’t go to club at weekend like we used to on Saturdays and do thousands of laps cause if I took the same attitude as some of our members who love handouts ect I’d never have come back but I didn’t I saw it as a challenge to get better .I didn’t expect the rest of the club to come down to my level I learnt how to do it and progressed up to theirs
but that’s just me.ranting over
now where did I put those handout tyres
Handout tyres ? blimey you spend all the time setting your car up to be given a wonky couple of tyres, sounds mad , why don't you designate a tyre say a Slot it 22 , the club buys enough sets to cover the members then sell the unopened packet to them to put on their car.
That way you can all run the same tyre in to the type of car you are running, and leave it set up for the next time you race the car.
 

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Slot King
Joined
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3,719 Posts
Hand out tyres are a great leveller (entire championships are run with handout tyres), but don't me started on the rumours that some people sneak in their own "ready prepared" tyres just to get a competitive advantage. As a matter of fact scrutineering at SSRC is so poor, it might as well be stopped.


Joel
 

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Registered
Joined
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1,368 Posts
The problem I have is not the prep it’s that the dam things won’t stay on the bloody wheels,unless you’re a child running on 3 volts your tyres should be glued on I’m not against everyone using the same tyres untreated, I’m against having to use a car that has not been biult properly as in the past ive lost the class .not because of any other reason than when driven on the limit the tyres come of the wheels and yet again it’s down to the fast being handicapped by the slow as when someone else says mine don’t come off They are doing 9.5/9.9 I’m doing 8.5/8.7 so if I drove as slowly as them mine probably wouldn’t come off but to drive as slowly as most of them I’d need to do it facing the wall blindfolded,but that aside a car that does not have its tyres glued on is improperly biult,as well you know,as for our scrutineering you’ll be surprised how many cars are actually ok,as despite what you may think I do descretly check a lot of our cars and only really find things that aren’t worth worrying about,now I do have an idea that gets round them not being glued on and it’s this vic keep the tyres in a box with separate compartments so we could have wheels with the tyres glued on and hand those out as there’s not much difference between changing wheels or tyres ,but I don’t doubt someone will find a problem with that as well.
 

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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.
---------------------------------------------
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.
----------------------------------------------
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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Greg Gaub
Joined
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16,855 Posts
So read all of this with great interest.
This is my own perspective but feel like someone very much on the outside looking in.

I am a 58 year old potential snotty newbie nearing retirement thinking about getting along and joining
a club. My shift work patterns have always precluded me from committing to anything
set on certain regular evenings. Probably not of an age the clubs really want to attract,
given I am all for getting a younger generation into this hobby but I would have the time.

So given this thread started out as a look at the regs and touched on attracting new members,
I found it a tad off putting.
But I do appreciate that joining a club would mean being prepared to learn
and apply certain aspects of car prep over time.

Driver vs Engineer. Umm.
I do not know what kind of driver I am in a competitive environment but I am no engineer.
Love the cosmetic (given my scratch built efforts)
but only just delving into understanding the mechanical.
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.

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.

In a way the hobby is a miniature version of the world of motorsport.
Competition coupled with the engineering. Obvious, but where I think the compromising
mentioned comes into it is balancing the varying leanings and levels of ingenuity.

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.
Not turn up and be left feeling I ain't cutting it coz I do not know as much as others.
Eventually I would learn about 'truing' tires and all the other bits to do with ratios and everything else
if I decided to delve into other more involved classes etc....

As involved club members on this thread,
I wonder if you have had newbies come along once or twice
and then not come back.
Sure the welcome was a warm one but what was done to retain that member?
Or what was said and done that kept them away.

With my comments and outlook you may be thinking it would be best if I stayed away altogether! LOL.

For the ingenious amongst you running cars that do not fall into certain classes.
Is there not a formula libre class run from time to time?

Regards and respects.

Joe

P.S. North East London..............
Lots of good points and things to keep in mind for the clubs trying to increase membership.
Take this for what it's worth (nothing ;-) but a couple things you might consider...

Don't try to learn it all at once. Just enjoy pulling the trigger and being there with the guys. Let the learning come naturally, but don't be afraid to ask someone for guidance when you feel you're ready to add to your knowledge. We ALL started at square one, even if some of them were kids when they started. If they have lost sight of that, then it's sad for them. Just don't waste your time asking those people for help. Fortunately, I'd found that most of us are happy to share, because we want more people to race with, generally. :) Try not to let the difference in experience make you feel lesser than.

Same for cars. If you want to participate in a race where you need to have your own car, but you don't have one that will be allowed on the track for some reason, don't be afraid to ask the group, or maybe the most leader-like person, if they can help you with a loaner car. A lot of guys will have prepared more than one car and pick the one they like better for the race, and will have the other on hand as a spare either as a backup, or to loan to new racers.

You are pretty much the age of most newcomers to slot car club racing, to be honest. Ideally, the club is welcoming to someone who is completely new. If you are put off by the behavior of any members, I would suggest that you at least tell the club leadership why you are not planning to return. Some clubs don't even realize why people don't come back until things are REALLY bad.

You're right that it's not uncommon for someone to come once or twice and never return. When that happens, we usually try to figure out if anyone did or said anything that might have put them off. Sometimes, it's just that person felt overwhelmed by the level of experience, even though we try very hard to make them feel welcome, and that it's OK to be new and learning. Sometimes it's just the difference between home racing on their kids' scalextric track with magnets and club racing on a wood track without them.

Please accept David's invitation to check out Molesey. I'm sure you'll have a great time.
 

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Alan Wilkinson
Joined
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1,374 Posts
Joe,
Some links to clubs within your reach below
Wood Green club is likely to be your closest.
All of these clubs will loan you a car and Controller for the night.
Always best to make contact with a club before turning up. Clubs can be notoriously hard to find.


AlanW
 

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Registered
Joined
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140 Posts
Just quick line to say thank you to those of you who took the time to let me know about
what clubs are where and when you are running.

This thread was about a regs issue really but I kinda threw my ten pence worth in and
you have been more than helpful.

Won't happen tomorrow but I will likely make the effort when things settle down with my
unsociable working hours. May well take an evening out in the meantime when on leave just to pop along
and have a good look and chat about how to approach things and understand race formats etc.
All well and good home racing on my carrera digital with a few friends from time to time
but this is as much about wanting to learn as well as flexing my trigger finger in the midst
of other dedicated hobbyists.

Thanks again.

Joe
 
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