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Electric Dreams Slot Car Challenge 2 Results

December 18, 2009
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Electric Dreams Slot Car challenge 2 Results
By Philippe de Lespinay, guest driver
December 15, 2009

Electric Dreams owner Scott Bader and I, along with the entire Electric Dream Team, would like to congratulate all the entrants for the quality of preparation of their cars. Indeed, not only did they look nice but there were zero mechanical failures, and other than readjusting a few braided contacts so as to provide positive contact on the Carrera track, there were no adjustments needed.

The track itself is fairly concise but very complete in its design. It has been used in various hobby fairs and demonstration runs. Its lap length is only 28' but it has three different curve radii and fits on a 4' X 8' table. For our testing we used a 14-volt, 1-amp Carrera 1/32 scale power pack. Controllers were Parma 45-ohm with Carrera terminals. The track had outer crash barriers and was cleaned before the event.
Each car was driven for 10 laps to familiarize the driver (Yours Truly) with its specific handling characteristics before going “on the clock”. While there was a fair amount of de-slotting due the difficult task of keeping a consistent form over five minutes on this tight and twisty circuit that requires plenty of constant attention, only a few tenths of a second were lost in each incident due to extremely fast marshaling. In any case, it never determined the finish of one car ahead of another. Magnetic down force was registered for each car, using the Magnet Marshal available through Electric Dreams. Also tested were three stock machines for performance comparison, including a standard, unmodified FLY Starters Porsche GT1 as used by two entrants.

Here are the entries, listed in order of their on-track lap totals with concours and BFB scores.

The winning performance entry was Lee Watson's modified FLY Starters Marcos converted into a roadster. Lee chopped its top and made a nice job of it. It had the best balance between its mild to medium magnetic traction, the motor and gear ratio able to overcome its down force while making its handling sweet and consistent. It also had one of the lowest Magnet Marshal readings. The upgraded Scale-Auto front-mounted motor drove Slot. It gears through a long shaft, and a pair of Slot.It bar magnets was placed just ahead of the rear wheels and on a wider location to allow for drifting, the perfect location for optimum down force. On this car, the Maxxtrac tires worked well. In the five allotted minutes for each lane, it covered 196 laps and a best lap time of 3.26 sec. It was one of the very few entries able to do better on the shorter but challenging inner lane. This car was simply a step above the others, lapping so consistently and so effortlessly that I could actually relax while driving, something a bit difficult with several of the entries that required all my attention. MM reading 283, Concours 6th, BFB 4th.

The second place car, and Bang-for-the-buck winner of Trent Koerner was a modified Joest-Porsche. It used an added Professor Motor traction magnet, Indy Grip tires and an 11-tooth Slot.It pinion that was only placed there because the factory Fly pinion was split. So fair is fair and it has not been added in the total cost. The car ran well and was again an easy driver. However, with its stock motor, it lacked the raw horsepower of the Marcos to win, at least on this track. It covered 186 laps with a best of 3.94 sec., remarkable for a rather lightly modified car. It also had the second highest recorded magnetic down force, but this did not appear to strangle the motor to any great degree. MM reading 651, concours 2nd, BFB 1st.

In third place was the Venturi V6 coupe modified by Alan Wood. This was built regardless of cost as it ended to be the most expensive car entered. It used Slot.It motor, guide and tires as well as an NSR axle kit and Professor Motor magnets, no less that three of them, round and bar. On track, it almost had a perfect balance, that is, until it began drifting, when it lost just enough magnetic traction to go into a snap-over steer. So I had to keep it within its limits, and that cost time, especially on the inner lane where I had to really nurse it. Regardless, it covered 171 laps, but remarkably was only one lap off the first-place car on the outer lane. It lost its chance for second place all on the inner lane that rewarded a judicious location of the rear magnet apparatus. MM reading 389, Concours 10th, BFB 13th.

Fourth place went to another car owned by race winner Lee Watson. This was a Joest-Porsche with minor modifications, including a Slot.It 11T pinion, a pair of FLY magnets and Indy Grip tires. Again, the cost of the replacement pinion will not be counted in the total cost as it appears that several of these models had cracked pinions straight out of the box. Altogether, the car was fine but its balance was marginal and it was simply too loose on the inner lane. Its tires lacked enough grip to overcome a relative lack of magnetic downforce. Nevertheless is ended only 1 lap from also being on the podium, with a best time of 3.76 sec. All in all, quite an achievement for the Watson team effort. MM reading 254, concours 11th, BFB 5th (tie).
Fifth on performance and the winner in concours was the first of three entries built by Kevin Fleming. This Venturi coupe decorated in Tab colors was entered for Lee's wife Brenda, who apparently is one of the diet drink's top customers. The car was named the “Polly Car” as 1/32 scale driver Polly Pocket wore no helmet to avoid disturbing her blond hairdo. Apparently, Polly has great fashion sense, since the car won the Concours, picked as the winner by two out of three judges. The Polly Car registered the highest magnetic down force and indeed was pretty stuck on the track, its stock motor unable to overcome the magnet drag that goes with all that downforce. It never came off, but simply needed more torque to get a higher placing. It managed 169 laps and a best time of 3.77 sec. MM reading 658, concours 1st, BFB 2nd.

Sixth was the Joest-Porsche entered by Brian Winters. It had lots of Slot. It parts, $105.87 worth to be exact. Motor, tires, a floating motor pod beautifully inserted into a finely detailed and cut chassis plate, a twin set of magnets, beautiful workmanship and finish, and fast enough to win…except for one small problem: it simply did not like drifting. And it went from solidly planted to snap over-steer immediately after the magnet gave up any hope of down force with a mild drift angle, then to under-steer that rushed it off the slot. So I had to nurse it, trying to keep as consistent as possible while actuating the controller like 200 times per lap, or so it seemed. In my final conclusion, I will explain why this car could have won, if it was not for a small detail. I tried hard but lost it a total of 3 times, losing ¾ of a lap in the process. It covered 169 laps, missing equaling the performance of the fifth place by nearly a full lap. MM reading 603, concours 4th, BFB 12th.

Seventh place went to Priestly Mance Jr., who entered a Venturi that only received a tire change, using Maxxtrac M5s. It was also one of the cars with the least amount spent on it, the total cost of modification being $4.79. On track, it simply did not have enough down force, being fast in a straight line but difficult to manage in the corners. I had to drive it quite prudently to keep it from sliding and de-slotting, and lost lots of time doing so. Regardless, it did quite well, achieving 81 laps on the outer lane, compared to the stock, out of the box FLY model that only covered 57 laps on the same lane. Its total of 155 laps is still quite good for so little spent. MM reading 384, Concours 9th, BFB 3rd.

Eighth place was achieved by Trent Koerner's second entry. This Vodafone Joest-Porsche simply would not come off the slot as the controller was stuck in full throttle. Simply too much magnet! It had plenty of good parts, Indy-Grip tires, Slot-It and Professor Motor magnets, Slot.It gears… and too much down force. It covered 153 laps, slowing down considerably on the inner lane as the minutes went by. MM reading 413, concours 5th, BFB 11th.

Ninth was the second entry by the Fleming family, a nicely painted “Pepsi” Porsche GT1 Evo. Again, very low investment in added parts, only Indy Grip tires and a FLY traction magnet. It drove nicely but was simply too loose for our short track, that demanded a perfect balance between down force and motor speed. The car covered 145 prudent laps as I tried to keep it from flying off (which it did twice). MM reading 239, concours 3rd, BFB 7th (tie)

In tenth was the third entry by Kevin Fleming. This Coca-Cola Porsche GT1 was prepared in the same manner as car # 4, and behaved in the same way. It demanded very careful driving, losing all kinds of time and requiring complete attention. Its very low cost simply was not enough to get it any higher in the race, as it had a tough time on the inner lane despite my trying everything in the book to keep it from de-slotting. I lost it no less than SIX times, but driving slower would not have achieved as many laps, so it was a calculated risk. It worked well enough. MM reading 278, concours 8th, BFB 7th (tie).

Eleventh was the Mike Garcia entry. This “Dukes” Joest-Porsche was nicely turned out and had plenty of aftermarket parts, including a Slot. It motor, SCX wheels, Slot.It tires and a drill-blank rear axle. Only one problem, Mike kept the stock magnet, and the car simply could not be driven fast in corners, as its new tires had not enough mechanical grip to overcome the lack of magnetic downforce. As soon as the car's magnet was a few degrees off the track rails, it spun. Again, careful driving was required to keep it on track and make as many laps as possible, 136 of them to be exact, the car really suffering on the inner lane. MM reading 250, concours 7th, BFB 10th.

Twelfth was the Joest-Porsche (a definite favorite of many entrants) of Voitek Dolinski. This had the least amount invested of all the entries, at a mere total cost of $1.09 over the cost of the model. It drove nicely but its stock tires simply were not up to the task and it slid all over the place. So cruising was necessary simply to keep its stock magnet from being moved off the rails by basic drift. 136 laps were covered, and I lost control a total of 5 times, probably costing it another lap. MM reading 304, concours 13th, BFB 5th.

In thirteenth spot was the entry of Lee Cummings, yet another Joest-Porsche. Maxxtrac tires and a change to Scalextric gears plus a Professor Motor magnet were the only modifications. With the lowest measured down force of all the entries on a track that cried for some, it covered 127 laps. It especially suffered on the inner lane, covering 57 laps in tip-toeing fashion. I concentrated as if I were performing a moon landing. This car was nice enough, but it just needed more downforce. MM reading 201 (lowest in the field) concours 12th, BFB 9th.

Prize winners:

Trent Koerner $400

Kevin Fleming $350

Lee Watson $200

Alan Wood $50

Priestly J. Mance $50

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