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Understanding Slot Car Races


To some people, slot car racing is not a hobby. It is an addiction. People have been racing slot car for over 39 years. The slot car comprises racing model cars with electric motors. The electric motor moves round a wooden or plastic track. The track can be any design. The size of the car and track depends on the scale. The most popular slot scales are 1/64, 1/32 and 1/24. The slot car is actually a model of the automobiles. Although some of the cars have shapes or bodies built for miniature racing. The commercially available cars are built and modified for better performance than the others.

Some enthusiasts modified their own cars for effective and efficient performance in a very serious competition. While some just casual ones for home track. Some hobbyists go to the extent of building big tracks to have the looks of a real life scenario in racing. They include tiny building, trees etc. Competition tracks are built as road courses in many turns. On a track, each slot car is marked with a lane tape of different colour. This enables the road marshals to return any slot car that has moved out of its lane back to its proper lane.


The electric power standard for slot car competition varies with the scales. The 1/24 scale uses 12 volts in racing conditions. Whereas 1/32 scale uses 12 to 16 volts. Many tracks use secondary cells like the lead-acid accumulator to provide power. However a cheaper means has been invented and introduced to supply regulated power.


As time permits, different race formats are introduced in formal competitions of the slot car. The fastest to run is referred to as the round robin. It can be run in one of two ways. The first way is to commence with one driver on a lane. The driver tries to finish as many laps that are possible. The second and commonest way to run a round robin is to have 4 drivers. The drivers move through all the lanes before being replaced by another set. This is called a consi or heat. Most times, round robins are adjusted to include a main and also a last chance. With a main, round robin runs normally. But the top competitors run the extra heat at the end. Some very serious competitions may require the use of bracketed formats.

Tips and comments

In the race of slot car, there are organizations. Few of them are 1/24 scale racing organization, HO organization, 1/32 racing organization and a host of others. Each of these organizations has their associations and they organize competitions from time to time. Some of the associations are the United Slot Racers Association (USRA), International Slot Racing Association (ISRA), the HO Professional Racing Association (HOPRA) and a lot more. The organizations have authenticated members.

It is my opinion that as the world of slot car racing grows astronomically, more and enhanced technology will be introduced to achieve better performance than what we have now.

By david mecheld, published at 03/28/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (11 votes)
Understanding Slot Car Races. 4 of 5 based on 11 votes.