Wednesday, November 29, 2006
A few days ago an emerald green and silver slot car showed up. A Spirit Reynard NASA MAX Sport edition came from Spirit's new US distributor Kimrey Enterprises of North Carolina. I'd only seen one of the LMP cars Spirit makes before but I knew right away this car was a serious racer.
The hardware on this car is substantive and well made. The motor is in a pod with only 1 magnet position ahead of the motor. The magnet itself, a small bar magnet, has been tested by a borrowed Magnet Marshall and has a downforce of around 140.
The pod fits in the chassis quite well and the pod can rattle well without any sanding and ONLY touches the pod on the 4 mounting posts and doesn't touch the pod and stop it from moving when the 4 screws are loosened. Kudos on that bit of engineering and design!
Gearing for this car is a 9 tooth pinion and 27 tooth crown. Which gives this car its great brakes no doubt.
The molding on the body is exceptional and one thing worth a note is that Spirit has managed to do something that most other company's haven't been able to figure out how to do...leave the vents in the front fenders open! Those little grilles that on most slot cars are just bumps are actual vents on the Reynard!
While I don't pretend to be an expert on the shape of the Reynard in real life, from photos of the car, Spirit have captured the shape of the body very well. The car is suitably low, the rear wing is the correct design when compared with the real car. The wing (or roll bar) above the head of the driver may be a bit too high, but again it may just be the way the photos appear. But that's being a bit nit picky with what is a very fine model.
The finish on the car is very nice, especially for those that like the color green...a certain racer friend in Iowa I know will surely gravitate to this car I bet. The overall feel of the car is very nice and the one thing that does take away just a tiny bit is a lack of wheel inserts. In the reference photo Spirit has on their website the green and silver car has nice BBS gold lace wheels....I'd just love to have a set of those to slip into the wheels on this car. But then maybe that's just me.
I put the car on my small wood track and it became clear that this is no small track car. I could only give the car a small blip of throttle and the car would shoot down the straight and slide around the turn. Wow...that's brutally fast. The new S3X motor that Spirit makes is rated at 24k at 12 volts...with TONS OF TORQUE! The motor is a long NC type can and it's at home on my uncle's track with it's 16 foot straight away but even so this car could even use a longer straight. Even at the end of the straight it wanted more room to run!
I ran the car on my wood track and it was stuck down well enough to allow both tail out racing (ie lots of sliding in the corners if you like) or a more tight controlled type of racing. The car would grip well around the corners if you kept out of the throttle but easily break free with you gave it too much power. With the stock tires the car performed well, but did still feel a bit too loose. A trip to the East New York Raceway meant that those stock tires were going to have to be replaced...sure enough within half a lap it was clear that the tires weren't going to stick well. But then pretty much nothing sticks on that track really well except Ortmann tires. So a set of Ortmann's was found. The type used for the stock Slot It wheels on the 956/962, since the tires fit Slot It wheels fit Spirit wheels.
Times for the Reynard on the ENYR:
Stock Tires: 6.5 seconds
Ortmann Tires: 5.32 seconds (with faster times probable with some weight)
All the testing was done to the car in stock form. NO WEIGHT was added during these test. So the car with its 84 grams of weight felt a bit too light for this non-magnet racing. When the car deslotted it was the front of the car lifting out of the slot. The the Ortmann's in place this car was blistering. It easily got into "very quick" class in stock form. Generally cars in this class do around 5.0 seconds around the East New York Raceway.
Natural competitors for the Spirit LMP cars are obvious, Slot It and NSR go head to head in European racing with these cars all the time. With the new US distribution hopefully Spirit will take it's place in the hearts of serious slotters in the North American market...did I mention they make a whole line of cool replacement parts too? It's a great time to be a slot racer, eh?
Thanks to Spirit and Kimrey Enterprises for the Reynard to review!
Publisher, Slot Car News