All About Slot Cars<FIELD> A person who has recently been introduced to slot car racing immediately realizes that they have discovered an interesting hobby. Fans of this fun hobby can be found throughout North America and around the world where people meet to have fun.
Scale size cars are motorized mini racing cars that are guided by slots on a race track. A pin extends from the bottom of the model into the slot. Some slot cars are modeled after regular cars but most are modeled after the full-size racing cars made famous on the NASCAR, Indy, and Grand Prix circuits. These are the cars used in competitive slot car racing, also known as slot racing.
All racing slots have bodies that have been specially designed for mini racing. Most people involved in this hobby use slot cars that are commercially available for purchase. Some of these cars have been modified to provide better performance. Some slot car racers build their own racers from parts and mechanisms that can be purchased from slot car manufacturers and at many online specialty stores.
The “driver" of the car uses a handheld controller to send low-voltage current to electric motors hidden inside the car. Typically, each individual car will operate in its own lane. Several new technologies have been developed recently to allow cars to share lanes. You can find this features in some new digital racing sets. The biggest challenge for drivers comes when these miniatures have to make turns at high speed. Drivers must be skilled enough to ensure that their cars do not “disappear" or leave the track altogether in corners.
Some people involved in this exciting hobby build detailed tracks that include mini stands and buildings and scenery. Most hobbyists tend to choose tracks that are not obstructed by views because they are very distracting for the driver when racing.
Power to the motor is carried through a metal strip located next to the slot. This is picked up by contact along something called a guide flag which is a rotating blade located under the front of the slot car. The car's speed is regulated by a resistor found in the hand controller held by the driver.
In all modern slot cars, traction magnets are often used to provide “downforce" which helps the car stay on the track when racing at higher speeds. Many slot car racers believe that using cars without traction magnets provides a much greater challenge. They also enjoy the way the magnet-free car slides or “floats” outwards while racing with confidence that this provides more visual realism.
Racing slot cars come in three scales or sizes. They are made in 1:24 scale, 1:32 scale and what is often called HO scale 1:87 to 1:64.
Scale length refers to a unit of length (either an inch or a millimeter) so that 1 unit on the model is equal to 24 units on the actual car it is modeled after. Most 1:24 scale cars require tracks that are too large for the average home enthusiast so people who race 1:24 scale cars usually do so at club tracks.
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