Newsletter October 29th, 2013
New (old) manufacturer announces first release
Policar R01A Ferrari 312PB, Monza 1972. Preorder now! – $59.99
The old Policar name is being revived with this car, which looks to us very much like the Slot It Ferrari 312PB under a new name and offered as an RTR instead of a kit. Time will tell, but we suspect Slot It is farming out some of its older tooling to produce cars at a lower price point. The info provided to us says the cars will have Slot It running gear and be made to Slot It standards. So, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
Coming soon from Carrera
First actual product photos released, so it can’t be long…
Carrera 27447 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, "Young Driver". Preorder now! $36.69
1/32 scale TransAm cars race at LeMay Museum
The LeMay America’s Car Museum scored a solid success with its firs organized slot car racing event, the ACM Miniature TransAm Challenge, on October 19 and 20. A field of 28 Scalextric and Pioneer 1/32 scale TransAm cars competed in two classes with close, hard-fought battles in both classes. Two 4-lane Scalextric Sport tracks, nearly equal in length but different in design, challenged the entrants with racing on two different track configurations as they rotated across the tracks’ 8 lanes. With only limited practice drivers had to adapt quickly to track designs they had never seen before arriving at the event.
All the competitors came from the greater Puget Sound area except for one mail-in entrant, Arrold Martin of Nashville, Tennessee, who sent a Scalextric Mustang for each class and saw his efforts rewarded with a solid third place out of ten entries in the Modified class.
Close racing was the order of the day with five positions being decided by less than one lap after 40 minutes of racing in each class.The Modified class saw Jim Berg of Duvall, WA pull out a fairly comfortable 10-lap margin of victory over Brett Harrison of Everett, WA with mail-in racer Martin’s car taking third less than a lap behind Harrison. In Stock the margin of victory was just over one lap with Ray Bishop edging out Craig Rieland for the win with the day’s biggest winner, Jim Berg, taking third, Less than 3 laps covered the top 3 finishers.
Scalextric cars outnumbered Pioneer Mustangs 23 to 4. All the Scalextrics were 69 Camaros or 69/70 Mustangs except for one Dodge Challenger and one 70 Camaro. A number of unique liveries turned up among the factory pint schemes, making for a colorful field and not too many look-alike cars, though we noted that George Follmer was entered 3 times and Bill Maier twice. Here are some of the custom-painted entries.
Bob Novack, Scalextric Mustang, Stock class
Bob Novack, Scalextric 69 Camaro, Modified class
Craig Rieland, Scalextric Mustang, Modified class
Craig Rieland, Scalextric 69 Camaro, Stock class
Gerry Brott, Scalextric Dodge Challenger, Stock and Modified. This was the only car in the race that was not a Mustang or a Camaro.
Roger Fossum, Pioneer Mustang, Stock class
Pat Clifton, Pioneer Mustang, Stock class
Brett Harrison, Scalextric 69 Camaro, Modified class
And what race would be complete without a car in primer? This Scalextric Mustang was entered in the Modified class by Dallas Dixon.
The event received solid support from several sponsors who supplied prizes, essential equipment, and valuable assistance in organizing and conducting the racing.
Pioneer Models sent cars, including its last two unsold Bullitt Dodge Chargers in North America. The Bullitt Chargers have become significant collectibles.
Hornby America sent several of its latest Scalextric cars including the two newest 1970 Camaros.
Innovative Hobby Supply provided an attractive selection of its decals, sign kits, chrome trim kits, and wheel inserts.
Griot’s Garage, a manufacturer and retailer of high-quality car care products and the museum’s official car care products provider, sent bottles of its wheel cleaner and Speed Shine.
Electric Dreams paid out cash prizes for top-3 finishes by cars carrying its decals. The Electric Dream Team also put in many hours of time and effort in the organizing of the event.
Fantasy World’s Bonus Bucks, good for merchandise at its Lakewood, WA store, went to the top 8 finishers in each class.
Professor Motor provided two essential elements of the event, the controllers used with the two Scalextric Sport tracks and the Maxxtrac M06X handout spec tires used by all the cars.
Two Scalextric Sport 4-lane tracks made up the layout for the race. They functioned as one 8-lane layout, managed by a DS timing and scoring system. Race director Alan Smith provided one of the tracks. The other came from Lighthouse Christian Center, a church in Puyallup, WA that uses its track for various church events.
The museum rented folding office tables to make up the platform on which the tracks were set up. The original design of the 2-track layout, done on track design software, took into account the various sizes of tables available, enabling the table arrangement to be planned as an integral part of the layout design. Both the track layout and the table arrangement were designed entirely on a computer. The layout had never actually been built before the setup day for the event
Here you can see how the table arrangement was laid out to fit the track plan and provide turn marshal access.
The finished layout fit the tables with only very minor adjustments and worked well for racing. The only significant problem turned out to be the concrete pillar, at the left of the photo above, that interfered more than expected with the sight lines of two of the drivers’ positions. Those two driving positions had to be moved to the opposite corner of the layout using extender cables for the controller cords. The two tracks, though different in configuration, were within 6 inches of being the same length. With two different track designs and one track running clockwise and the other counterclockwise the drivers had to learn quickly in the limited amount of practice time available.
The tracks were laid out so that the start/finish lines were adjacent to each other about 2/3 of the way down the longest straightaway, A line of borders in the middle provided space for the ends of the light bridges and also kept the cars on the two innermost lanes from sideswiping each other entering the side-by-side straights.
The museum’s guest services manager, Jeff Keys, expressed great satisfaction with the event, which was understood by all involved in its creation to be something of an experiment and learning experience. Its success clears the way for more slot car racing at ACM. There are plans for two events in 2014, one in April and the other in October. The details of the April event will be announced as soon as the organizers analyze the lessons learned and incorporate them into the planning. The eventual goal is to hold slot car races of national and world stature in keeping with ACM’s own stature as one of the premiere automobile museums in the US. The events will have two central purposes. One is simply to be a lot of fun for participants and for the museum visitors who will watch some part of the racing as they circulate through the area of the tracks on event days. The other is to re-create in miniature specific race series and eras from the rich history of motorsports, celebrating automotive competition in all its many forms. This first event has made a good start toward achieving those purposes.
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