Saturday, March 31, 2007

Carrera news

1/32 Carrera news:

The "Sunset Racing" set should be either at stores for sale now or will be there soon. I was told that single cars should be available in the next 2 months (and this just a guess so don't hold me to this).
Carrera "GO" news:

The Tuner Chasers set is either at dealers this week or is on the way.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Coming soon...MRRC!

Monday there will be photos and a quick look review of the new (or are they old?) trackside figures from MRRC...

...then later next week a review of the MRRC Toyota GT1. It's new for us in the US so international readers please bear with us ;)

And look for American LeMans Series updates and Carrera news this weekend.

DaveK

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Scalex TransAm Jaguar review


The latest Scalextric Jaguar XKRS offers an excellent model and a great running slot car but would you expect anything less from Scalex? A well contoured black and coral body does have more detail than I expected.

There's a really nice photo etched grille. And this car might be the winner in the "who can make the smallest tampo printing" contest. There are more unreadably small logos on this car than you can imagine. The Jaguar logo on the nose is so finely done it's amazing.

Another exterior details that really catch the eye is what I assume to be the top of the fuel cell in the rear window.

In the not so distant past you'd hear lots of talk about this type of detail from other companies (like Fly for example) but not as much talk about that detail being present on Scalextric cars. But if you take a look in the driver side window you'll see, that is you will if you've got great vision, a tach that's got the smallest printing I've ever seen.

On first glance I'd bet no one would guess there are numbers, 1-10 on the white face. The first time I looked I thought there was nothing more there than specs of hash marks...but no, numbers actual numbers less than a millimeter high!

One bit of design that's got to be noted is the pop out interior. It's a full interior and is held in place by posts in front and at the rear of the interior tray. it's a great design and allows kit bashers or fiddlers to easily remove and then put the interior back in without damaging what is a great model.


The car does not have a motor pod like some other recent Scalextric releases but that doesn't take away from the performance of this car. The running gear doesn't offer any surprises when you pop the body off the car. A standard S-Can which during the on going Slot Car News motor testing turns about 20-23k rpm is mounted as a sidewinder. But then most of the time "no surprises" is probably a good thing, eh?

During testing that legendary out-of-the-box performance was evident. The tires and wheels were round and spun well on the axles which are held in by plastic bearings. I'd like to see Scalex make brass bearings standard on every car, would it add much to the costs? Who knows, but I think that this is one area that might be at least a nice "window dressing" type of improvement to give nit-picking reviewers something to talk about.

This slot car is really a great buy and a good example of things that are the best qualities that slot car companies should have. Excellent detail. A well designed drivetrain that's quiet and mechanically sound. And a car that will appeal to the newbie driver who needs an easy to drive car, and the experienced slotter who appreciates a car that DOESN'T need anything to be a competitive car in a modern GT-type class.


Thanks to Fantasy World Hobbies for the car for review.

Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Nissan NISMO 350Z


From the Nissan website:
"For the first time in the Nissan Z’s 37-year history, a high-performance NISMO 350Z is part of the 2007 Z lineup, with an extensively developed list of unique equipment.
The NISMO 350Z’s aerodynamics package strongly resembles the Super GT championship winning Zs, with an aggressive front fascia with chin spoiler, side skirts, an extended rear fascia with underbody diffuser and a rear wing. This package produces additional aerodynamic downforce for enhanced cornering and handling performance.

Additional performance features include a specially tuned independent multi-link suspension, Brembo brakes with four-piston front and two-piston rear calipers and NISMO-branded gunmetal gray RAYS super lightweight forged-alloy wheels. A special NISMO-branded tuned exhaust adds an even more authoritative tone to the Z’s standard 306-horsepower VQ35HR V6 engine.

The NISMO 350Z is the fifth model in the 2007 350Z Coupe lineup and is available only with a 6-speed manual transmission."
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It's looking more like the Carrera Tuner now I think....ok maybe not quite that aggressive maybe.

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Slot MiniAuto #30


NOTA DE PRENSA

SLOT MINIAUTO 30 - ABRIL

Slot MiniAuto dedica su portada del mes de Abril a la última novedad de Scalextric, el Citroën Xsara Pro, del que se puede leer una completa prueba a fondo realizada por uno de los mejores pilotos de rallyslot de la actualidad. Además destaca la prueba del nuevo BMW 2002 1600 de Spirit y del Simca 1000 Rally 2 de Revell. En las páginas interiores se puede encontrar la prueba del nuevo Ferrari 312P de Racer, el Bentley Exp Sped 8 de Le Mans Miniatures y la prueba en pista del Renault 5 Maxi Turbo de Scalextric.

Además de las secciones habituales, este mes se desvela definitivamente cuál es el coche de suscripción de Slot MiniAuto para el 2007, y además se anuncia un gran regalo sorpresa para el número 31 de Slot MiniAuto del próximo mes de Mayo. Seguro que nadie se lo va a perder.

Albert Boet
Director
Slot MiniAuto



PRESS RELEASE

SLOT MINIAUTO 30 - APRIL

Slot MiniAuto dedicates its cover of the month of April to the last news from SCX, the Citroën Xsara Pro, of which one complete test, made by one of the best drivers of rallyslot of the present time, can be read. In addition it emphasizes the test of new the BMW 2002 1600 of Spirit and the Revell's Simca 1000 Rally 2. In the inner pages the track test of the new Ferrari 312P (Racer), Bentley Exp Speed 8 (Le Mans Miniatures) and the test of the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo (SCX) can be found. In addition to the habitual sections, this month keeps awake definitively which is the car of subscription of Slot MiniAuto for this year 2007, and in addition the announcement of a great surprise gift for number 31 of Slot MiniAuto of the next month of May. Surely that nobody is going away it to lose.

Albert Boet
Director
Slot MiniAuto

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Coming soon to a winners circle near you....

...the MRRC Toyota GT1 is on the way to the US market.



Thanks to MRRC for the news and the photos!

DaveK

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

SCNews motor list updated

Rob Livingston, technical editor of Slot Car News, has been busy updating the Slot Car News Motor list with an Auto Art test RPM, Parma Homeset test RPM, and Tyco 901 6v test RPM. This list is a feature that we're proud of here at Slot Car News and it's updated as new motors become available to us for testing. Most of the motors currently available are on the list. The list is a service to the readers of Slot Car News and will hopefully be useful if you've got a question about how fast that motor is in your slot car.

Please bookmark the URL for the motor list since it's updated frequently.

The AutoArt motor was in the new Porsche Carrera S 911(997).

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Smoke 'em if you got 'em! Rothman's Porsche 962 review.


When the Slot It set of three Rothman's cars came out a while back slotters banded together to purchase and split up the cost of the set, now Maurizio has given racers what they've been asking for since then...a single Rothman's slot car.

The Slot It 962 Rothman's Limited Edition comes with a nice display box...but don't expect to see it there again. Limited Editions are generally aimed at collectors but allowing the latest car to stay on the shelf is going to be difficult. Before we throw this beautiful white and blue car on the track let's take a deep breathe, restrain that "holy cow let's race this thing already" feeling and look at the packaging because it's worth a second look.

The sturdy orange box has a brief history of the car on the bottom of the lid and a small card showing the limited edition number (in this case it's 4844 of 6000).

Also to ensure this car stays put on the base during shipping, aside from the small screw holding the car down attached to the chassis, there is a light weight plastic dome that hits snugly over the car. So even if the screw does come loose, the car won't bounce around in the box....EXCELLENT!

Ok, now let's get that car out of the box finally! There are certain liveries that inspire collectors and racers alike, the Gulf liveries, the Jagermeister liveries, and the Rothman's liveries. This Rothman's car (which comes with "Racing" stickers over the Rothman's markings) is an outstanding example of this iconic race car.

Whether leaving the car as it is suits your taste or you feel the need to show the world those cigarette logo's you can do what you like with this car and it looks good either way. Along the sides of this particular slot car the slightly darker "Racing" sticker is lined up well on the car and is quite close tonally to the base color on the body.


The paint on this car is opaque and there's nothing to catch the eye and ruin that "new slot car" experience. There is overspray inside the body, but hey...it's inside the body so who cares (photo below).

The stripes down the edges of the body and top deck of the car are straight, even, and perfect. I don't take quality like this for granted when I see it, so I thought I'd mention it.

The detailing on this model is exceptional. One nice detail are small "Cibie" logos inside the light covers on the nose.

Nearly hidden but still worth trying to get and eyeful of is the driver. Detail, detail, detail...it's all good!



If we remove the usual two body screws and pull the body off we see the "orange endbell" 21.5k motor (which actually turns 23k according to tests we've done at Slot Car News BTW) and standard 28 tooth crown gear. The motor is mounted on the endbell side and between it and the crown is the magnet. No surprises here just the usual slot car goodness we've all come to expect from Slot It.



On the 60+ foot wood track I did some testing on this car performed exceptionally right out of the box. Pre-testing prep work was only some lube on the bearings, motor and gears along with a few turns out on the motor pod screws to allow a bit of rattle. I replaced the stock tires with the S2's that come in a small bag with the car and off I went. Lap times for this car were very, very good. The car nearly did a 5-second-flat-lap which is only half a second slower than highly modified 956's that I race. Honestly I was apprehensive about the high-torque "orange endbell" because I hadn't raced one before. I found the motor quite well mannered and not overpowering for this car. It was smooth out of the corners and blinding down the straight. This was my first experience with a 962 as I mentioned earlier and I found the car much better in the turns than the 956's, which tend to be a bit more tail-happy than this car.

The bottom line is obvious I think... this is a car that every slotter who's into Slot It's, Porsche's, or just has a pulse should buy. It's simple, there are only 6000 of these to go around so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!

Thanks to Fantasy World Hobbies for supplying this car for review!

Dave Kennedy
Publisher, Slot Car News

Also note that reviews will appear on the Fantasy World Hobbies site as well....

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sepang testing starts



Sutton Images photo via Super Aguri, no reuse for any reason.

MALAYSIA TEST - 27th MARCH 2007
Date: 27th March 2007
Location: Sepang
Track Length: 5.543km
Weather:
Track temperature: 64.4° Celsius
Air temperature: 38.9° Celsius
Laps run today: 60

McLaren report Vodafone McLaren Mercedes arrived in Malaysia this week for the first test at the Sepang circuit, with an intense programme to complete over the three day session. Work for the team focused on general performance uplift, with a number of new components incorporated into the MP4-22, alongside Bridgestone Potenza tyre evaluation for next week’s race.

BMW report: The team's general programme for the three days of testing in Sepang includes set-up work for the forthcoming Grand Prix, evaluation of the two tyre specifications and some new aero parts. Fine tuning of electronic systems and also checking the cooling systems under extreme heat conditions will also be done. According to the new regulations, the teams can only run one car at the same time.

With Robert covering more laps than anybody else today, the team enjoyed a very productive test day and completed a substantial part of the programme.

What comes next: Tomorrow, Robert will continue to drive before Nick Heidfeld will take over on Thursday. Robert's programme for tomorrow is mainly aero set-up work and more work on the tyres for the race.

Renault report:
The ING Renault F1 Team’s on-track development programme resumed today in the sweltering heat and humidity of Sepang, Malaysia. The first test session since the opening round of the 2007 season will see each team running with just one car, in line with the new testing agreement for this season.

As always, the team approaches the three days with a busy programme to work through – and began its work with Nelson Piquet Jr. at the wheel. His planned focus was to be a set-up programme, but a mechanical problem with the R27 disrupted his running and left the car in the garage for a large part of the day.

The Brazilian therefore completed fewer laps than expected, but the problems will not impact on the coming two days’ work – as Chief Test Engineer Christian Silk explained: “Unfortunately, Nelson wasn’t able to do many laps today after we hit problems. However, we got a good baseline set-up for the car, and the balance is now good enough to continue our programme straight away tomorrow with Heikki.”

Heikki Kovalainen will take over driving duties tomorrow, in preparation for the Malaysian Grand Prix, round two of the 2007 championship, in ten days’ time.

Duration of test: Three days (Tuesday 27th – Thursday 29th March)

Driver
Constructor Time Laps
Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1m36.187 92
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m36.302 55
Alex Wurz WilliamsF1 1m36.334 90
Rubens Barrichello Honda Racing 1m36.826 83
Pedro de la Rosa Vodafone McLaren Mercedes 1m37.106 60
Franck Montagny Toyota 1m37.267 74
Takuma Sato Super Aguri 1m37.389 72
David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1m37.609 84
Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1m38.199 33
Scott Speed Toro Rosso 1m38.503 69

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New SCX banked curve

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SCX Slot Spot-2nd edition

Guido from SCX Slot Spot has released the second edition of SCX Slot Spot. Give it a download, there's lots to see...


DaveK

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Monday, March 26, 2007

SCX Pro Cars are coming!



A new range of higher quality cars and accessories designed by slot racing champions for slot car racing enthusiasts in all forms of competition and racing.

* Cars with multiple adjustments to enable the perfect setup for every race situation or track surface.
* Components and spare parts compatible with other slot cars brands.
* Designed to comply with most recent slot racing and rallying regulations.
* Highest quality materials and finished to the highest standard
* The latest advanced technologies and innovative ideas and features

ENJOY RACING WITH US!!

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MRRC brings back the classics!


From the MRE website:

MRRC are bringing back their range of plastic figures and buildings.

Starting life in the 1960's with Airfix, these buildings have been released 4 times previously but endure the test of time because they are ideal for decorating circuits for classic racing. As this is one of the most popular types of slot racing, MRRCare making a wise move by bringing these simple but effective kits to life again.

The figures are also original Airfix, completely compatable with the buildings. Five different sets with a total of 52 different figures, all you need is a selection of paints to give them character, then add to your classic racing scenes and around the track.

Thanks to MRE for allowing reuse of their news!
DaveK

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Coming soon....


....Racing or Rothman's it's your choice.

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50 Years of Toyota Motorsports


A really great video of Toyota's efforts over 50 years in Motorsports. Mostly about the F1 teams but there is a few seconds of the Toyota GT1 and some rally clips too.

DK

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Monogram "Classics" review


Harry Wise of Home Racing World has a review of the latest Monogram releases. The Porsche 904, Shelby King Cobra, and Chapparal 2 are all reviewed at this link.

Excerpts used here with permission...

"Starting the line up we see the Porsche 904 GTS from Sebring, 1966. There are many Porsche models found in our hobby but this one has always been a very unique model. Either you will like the lines and shape or you won't. I find it very appealing and feel it was an excellent choice to produce in this classic series."

"Tampo stamped markings were clean and crisp and found no runs or fades in either these or the clear coat. Fine scale purists will find issues here and there, but overall it appears they have done a decent job of recreating this classic."

"The half tray interior is detailed enough for my tastes as well. Items like the molded windshield wiper in the front glass I found interesting. Of course this mold is rather old and although we have seen models with finer detail than this, it can have it's advantages as at least this wiper arm will not break off. I did notice some slight mold lines in the rear and the left front near the A pillar. Nothing to offensive but I mention it as many enthusiasts do care about the detail and quality levels of the bodies."


Thanks to Harry for the review...please view the full review here.

DaveK

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***Update***

I thought I'd post a few photos of my own 904 which is the original Monogram 904 from the 60's for comparison.



Here's a shot of the roofline that I go on and on endlessly about. The roof of the 904 should be rounder over the side windows. It's kind of distracting from what is otherwise a nicely done model. The nose looks good and the back end is pleasingly round as well.

It would have been super to have Revell redo the model this time around with a model that's a bit closer to the real car...but you can't get everything you want can you?

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