1. How can I attend Slot Car Club?
Although we are called “Slot Car Club”, it is a private club primarily for family and friends. We decided to build a website so that our friends can keep up to date with recent race results and upcoming events. We find the Slot Car community has a fantastic following and they have been very helpful to us, so if you want to say hi or would like to request a visit, then please do contact us.
2. Do you run analogue or digital?
We only run Scalextric Sport Digital (SSD). We find that SSD has changed slot racing forever and we love racing 6 cars together but also enjoy the strategy it brings with PC software. It is great fun to use fuel options to give the racing an extra level of excitement. We did consider using the Slot-it Oxigen system as that allows more than 6 cars to run together, but due to the number of cars we already have with SSD digital chips, sadly it would cost too much to convert. Scalextric is also the easiest brand to buy and race in the UK, so if your friends want to bring their own cars, it is simple for them to buy one off the shelf and add a SSD chip. We have no plans to run analogue.
3. Do you run only Scalextric or cars from all manufacturers?
As we run a Scalextric (SSD) track, we predominately run Scalextric cars. This is not to say that we think that they are the best, but they are the biggest brand in the UK and it is logical to run the cars on the track that they are designed for. There are some exceptions, as we do run a couple of classes with Carrera and Slot-it cars as these cars were only available from these manufacturers. All cars have been converted to SSD. There are plenty of other attractive cars that we would love to add to our collection from different manufacturers, but we have had to draw a line somewhere, especially as storage space is a premium. We also try to run cars from the same manufacturer together, as once you start to mix and match, you get differences in weight, speed and handling between the different brands.
4. Can visitors use any of the clubs Slot Cars?
Sadly not. We have a fantastic collection of slot cars and have added pictures to the website to give an indication of what cars run in each class. Some of our slot cars are very expensive so we are reluctant to lend them to anyone other than the more professional racers. Saying that, we would normally allow visitors to use our cars from Classes D & E, but we do try to run as “non-contact” racing as much as possible. Ideally, it is nice for racers to bring their own cars to race, then they have their own individual liveries and you get the feel for proper racing when you arrive at the track with your own personal race car and a bag containing a few spares.
5. Why do you not run “open or modified” classes?
We prefer to run “stock” or “out of the box” classes as we think this is a fair and easy way to run our club. Once you allow cars to be modified and changed, it can lead to some competitors having a huge advantage or the cost of running the class becomes prohibitive. Our club is only run for fun as a “home track” and as the owners we would end up with a distinct advantage on set-ups over people who only visit occasionally. We prefer to keep things simple where anyone can buy a standard car and come and race on equal terms (or as equal as we can be!). Slot car racing is not cheap and we want to encourage our friends to participate, so we are careful to keep costs to a minimum.
6. What is the racing philosophy at Slot Car Club?
Our aim is to create an experience as similar to real racing as possible, but in miniature. We are motor racing fans and would love to race in real life, but its only going to happen in slot form. In order to replicate real racing, our track is set up different to other slot car tracks. We have a full pit lane with two lanes and three separate pit bays so that cars can refuel and change tyres as they would in a real race. Our pit lane even has speed sensors to penalise any driver who speeds in the pit lane. We have digital timing and scoring so lap times and race positions are displayed in real time. We try to configure our races to replicate the real series, so GT races are longer, BTCC events have multiple races with reverse grids and we can even have a safety car come onto the track. We look to the strategy and excitement of real races and are happy to be classed as amateurs. We do not spend time trying to build the fastest slot cars or messing around with different tyre compounds so if someone came from a Slot club they would probably beat us in terms of raw speed, road handling or car control.
7. What tyre compounds/gears do we use?
Currently we are only using the stock tyres and gearing that come with the cars. It is something that we are open to changing in due course, but it will depend on the thoughts of the other members. Tyres is probably one of the cheapest items that we could modify and perhaps we may choose to do this for one class if there is enough interest. Gearing is another possibility, although as the track at Slot Car Club will be the same layout, it does mean that we would all eventually reach the optimal configuration anyway.
8. Is the club / track open yet?
We are not quite ready yet. Sadly real life can get in the way, so we are working on the club room and creating the space for our track. We are eager to get things running as soon as we can, although we still require some rubber flooring mats and work benches to create our tables.