Welcome to SLOT CAR RACING!
Slot car racing is the growing sport of racing miniature electric cars on an indoors racetrack, guided by a slot. This means you control only the speed of the car, and the track controls the steering
Slot car racing is divided into 3 main scales, HO, or 1/87th scale, 1/32nd scale and 1/24th scale
The HO scale is the traditional, home set scale, where kids first get their taste of slot cars, but like anything else, there are serious "BIG" kids who race these as well. Commercial quality racetracks are available, and racing classes so serious, that the cars are almost completely hand made.
With the aid of magnets, the fastest classes of Ho cars go so fats they can barely be seen, and requires nerves of steel to drive. This scale of racing has the broadest range of racer skill and "seriousness" as there are small children racing these types of cars at home to traveling professionals racing hand made cars that can barely be seen when running on the track
The 1/32 scale class is also a home set derived class, but it's popularity is mostly in Europe, where space for commercial raceways is limited. The high end racing cars are scale versions of real cars, with thin plastic body shells, EDM cut steel chassis, soldered together with hinges and pivots, and small samarium cobalt motors to power them.
The scale cars racers in 1/32 scale, run without the aid of any traction additives, air control devices or magnets. Driving style for these cars are much different from the HO's as you can see these, and one can see the car slide in the corners much easier than in other types of slot cars.
The 1/24 scale type of slot car, is mostly popular in the United States as a Commercial raceway scale, and for many years consisted of small winged vehicles, that run with high current track power supplies and a traction additive, referred to as glue. Glue is a heavy bubblegum and oil or very heavy oil mixture that makes the car stick to the track when the tires run on it.
These 1/24 scale cars, called "Wing Cars" in the sport, go extremely fast, and is the fastest accelerating wheeled vehicle known to man, attaining 0-70MPH accelerations in about 500 milliseconds
Winged cars are raced in commercial centers, and have several motor/chassis classes. The fastest class, known as "Open" or "GR-7" race main events of 8 - 5 minute heats (one heat on each lane of an 8 lane track) and it's not un-usual to have to change motors every few heats and tires every 3-4 heats. Motors costing over $150.00 can make this a fairly expensive race.
Lucky for us though, there are many other classes where motors last much longer and cost much less. Even so, wing cars are a technology intensive form of racing and can be expensive
With the popularity of slot cars came 2 newer "forms" of 1/24 scale slot cars, the first is the Eurosport, or scale car, where entry level cars are stamped steel chassis with a low cost motor, and the high end car has EDM cut, complicated chassis with "wing car" style motors.
The difference with Eurosport is that there is no "Glue" used and no air controls, so the cars go slower and the equipment lasts a lot longer. Driving is a major factor in this form of racing.
The third form is Drag racing, this class uses glue, and pretty wild motors, but because of the short duration of the race the racing program is not too time consuming, and the equipment lasts a long time.
All these forms of racing have their own following, so commercial raceways have multiplied in numbers, mainly because the racing groups have tripled with following to the new racing forms. The successful raceway today, supports drag racing, wing racing and scale racing to build a big enough clientele to keep the business thriving
Check your phonebook in the area to find a raceway near you under 'slot car raceways" and check out what slot car racing is all about. Try it and you will be hooked!