Saturday, April 07, 2007

SLOT.IT McLaren F1 GTR Goodwood-review

Review courtesy of Armchair Racer review written by Vince Rothemund. Please visit their site....

There are many cars on slotter’s wish lists but this particular model would have to be the one I have read the most requests for over the years. This particular version of the Long tail McLaren F1 GTR is a replica of the car paraded at the Good wood Festival of Speed in 2005. This particular car is a race car converted to a street car.

The Long Tail McLaren was a race car first, built to answer the growing list of manufacturers with purpose built race cars like the Mercedes CLK GTR and Porsche 911 GT1. The short tail version, first raced in 1995, was conceived after Gordon Murray was convinced that the McLaren Road Car would make an excellent race car. It raced in the newly formed “BPR Global GT Series”. The series became the “FIA GT Championship” in 1997 and major changes to the premier GT1 class resulted. McLaren had to react to stay competitive and the Long Tail was born. A total of ten Long Tail GTRs were built, with none of the previous cars being upgraded to the 1997-spec. McLaren was forced to build three production cars using the GTR '97's bodywork. These cars became known as the F1 GT, of which only three were built. The 1997-spec cars are commonly referred to as the "Long Tail" version due to their stretched bodywork, most noticeably in the rear. From the information I have been able to find, it is unclear which of the chassis this particular car originated from.

The version is a faithful rendition minus two black ducts on the sides of the nose in front of the front wheels. The proportions of the car look spot on. The McLaren Orange if faithfully reproduced although it does not show up as well in the photographs I have taken.

The body of the car is made up of a one piece nose and roof section with the sides between the wheel arches and rear bar under the rear wing being separate pieces attached by tabs and plastic welded together. As is expected of the detail is very fine, the pictures not doing the car justice. Due to the length of the car a full cockpit is fitted even though the motor is fitted inline.

The wheels are the larger diameter 17mm X 10mm aluminium rears and 17mm X 8mm plastic fronts. This gives the car an accurate look along with the new inserts replicating the 1 to 1 car. The tyres appear to be a P series compound as they have considerably better traction than the generic tyres fitted to recent releases.

So how does she run? A quick lube and check to make sure all was tight and onto the track. Once the track was clean the car quickly became the quickest runner. Being a wood track, the car was run minus magnetic down force which is the way these’s have been designed. I cannot recall a better balanced slot car out of the box. Bo’s new Warwick Farm track has some great left right esses and this car just flowed through them. Very little tail out action and it launched rapidly to the next corner. It really looked great the way it cornered and was surprising considering the fact weight is normally required to get the best from a car non magnet.

This chassis picture shows the offset motor mount and crown gear. seem to have changed the gearing now as they have gone for the more standard 9 tooth pinion and 27 tooth crown gear as apposed to the 28 tooth used with the old 25,000 rpm V12 motor. As with all new cars the motor fitted is the new generation 21,500 rpm high torque motor. As is usual with cars, the motor cables are routed along the chassis. This helps to keep the guide self centering when coming off the track. The car weighed in at 77 grams.

The front axle has the height adjusting caps mounted to posts on the chassis as has been the norm for a while now. These seem better set up than recent releases as the axle play was just perfect. The front wheels spun easily as opposed to the previous tight axle mounting on some models.

As is usual now for the car also comes with a set of Silicone tyres. These will come in handy for those who allow Silicone tyres on their tracks.

The only changes I did make to the car setup was to round off the square shoulders of the rear tyres and loosen the motor mount screws to give the car some float. I would normally loosen the body screws a half turn or so but with’s set up on the rear end loosening the cradle is a no brainer.

As a matter of interest I photographed the car from above next to a Ninco McLaren F1 GTR. The Ninco car still looks good but is noticeably wide when compared to the car which is more to scale.

In conclusion I recommend rushing down to your local dealer and pick up one of these cars before they are sold out. You won’t be disappointed.

By Vince Rothemund for Armchair Racer.

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