Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
25171-EV Ferrari Racing
27332-EV Dodge Charger Daytona
27333-EV 41 Willys Silver
27334-EV 32 Ford "Fire Engine"
27335-EV Ferrari 599XX Geneva
27336-EV Ferrari 599XX Race
30147-DIG 132 Ferrari Competition-Set
30514-DIG 132 Audi LeMans Series
30517-DIG 132 Red Bull Formula 1 car
30522-DIG 132 Porsche 917/30 "Cam2"
30526-DIG 132 Plymouth Superbird
30528-DIG 132 Dodge Charger
30532-DIG 132 Ferrari 599XX " Geneva "
30533-DIG 132 Ferrari 599XX "Race"
30142-DIG 132 Pro GT-Set
30478-DIG 132 Nissan GT-R
30523-DIG 132 McLaren "Gulf Racing"
25165-EV Night Racers-Set
27297-EV Nissan GT-R "Motul"
27327-EV Porsche 917/30 "Sunoco"
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
In 2009 Audi introduced the R8 LMS. Intended to be more than just another German supercar – it was also intended to be Audi's standard bearer in GT3 racing by way of factory supported privateers. While 2009 was intended to be a development year, this car quickly racked up victories in the ADAC, FIA, Italian, and Belgian GT3 series. That's 23 victories and 1 championship for a machine that's barely a year old.
Carrera brings us a model of the ADAC GT3 version of the R8 LMS as part of their Evolution line. Out of the box the silver and black ABT Sportsline Nurburgring livery looks stunning. This car sports the race number 100 in honour of Audi's 100th anniversary as a car maker. The lines on this model are all very crisp with no overspray and sharp tampo. Carrera have done a very good job of capturing the feel of the 1:1 car with this model. The presentation is helped by more finely rendered details: for example the wing supports aren't as chunky as what I'd normally expect from Carrera. Surprisingly this car is not fitted with lights.
Included with the car is an extra guide flag, set of mirrors, and braids – something all slot manufacturers should emulate. Unfortunately the shorter/thinner guide keel that is compatible with Scalextric Sport track is not included. No problem – I just pulled the long keel out of the Audi and replaced it with the 'Special' keel (part #85309) from a Carrera Capri in my collection. Carrera has done some work on their guide system offering approximately 160° of rotation which is quite an improvement over the approximately 90° offered by their previous setup. This guide is also self centering which makes for quick reslots after an off.
Under the hood Carrera has left lots of room on the chassis of the Audi R8 LMS courtesy of the pan interior and flat chassis. This is great for anyone who wants to convert the car to digital, or to non-magnet running as there's lots of room for either the chip or lead weight. It's nice to see brass bushings front and rear though there's significant play owing to the knurled axles used. One interesting feature I noticed in testing is the ability to bypass the direction switch courtesy of the modular electrical connections used between the switch, guide, and motor. The guide and motor connections can be hooked up directly and the now redundant switch can be easily removed by just removing 1 screw. While the switch only weighs 1g, it's removal does provide and excellent spot to place lead for non-magnet tuning.
On my 22m test track the Carrera Audi R8 LMS offered few surprises. The dual magnet design offers decent magnetic downforce (137g) without being overly stuck down. The car could be slid in the corners but overall was quite controllable. The stock plastic wheels proved to be fairly straight and true, and the stock rubber tires offered decent grip. Racers wanting to get more out of this car should consider gluing the tires to the rims as the fit was a bit loose.
The drivetrain did seem a little tight on my test car and I traced this to the pinion rubbing against the shoulder of the crown gear. I'm sure with some running this car will eventually break in, or with a bit of work the pinion could be pushed onto the motor shaft just a bit further allowing the rear axle to spin more freely. Even so, the Carrera Audi R8 LMS is in the zone with a few other current GT racers:
6.875s Scalextric Ford GT
6.992s Scalextric Aston Martin DBR9
7.255s Scalextric Maserati MC12
7.386s Scalextric Ferrari F430
7.435s Carrera Chevrolet Corvette C6R
7.436s NINCO Lamborghini Gallardo
7.529s NINCO Porsche 997
7.688s Carrera Audi R8 LMS
8.372s SCX Morgan Aero 8
The Carrera Audi R8 LMS performed respectably without the traction magnets in place lapping my test track in 10.6s. Magnets can be removed from the top side of the chassis though the body must be taken off to do so. Without traction magnets this car demonstrated no hop under power and could corner with predictability. Non-magnet performance was no doubt aided by the car's 100g overall weight as well as the wide range of rotation provided by the current guide design. Upgrading the factory tires to Super Tires 1410C silicone tires dramatically reduced the non-magnet lap time to 9.194s. Further gains in performance can most likely be realized by getting a slightly looser fit between the pinion and crown gear, adding lead ballast, reducing play in the axle bushings, and by gluing the tires to the rims and truing them.
Racers counting on out of the box magnet-car performance will not be disappointed. The car can be made competitive with only minor modifications. Those who prefer running their cars without magnets have a good platform to work with though will have to look at reducing this car's overall weight to make it competitive.
Thank-you to Carrera USA for the opportunity to test this car, Slot Car Corner Canada for the chance to evaluate a set of Super Tires, and to Mini Grid in Toronto for the use of their track.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
2141 Crompond Road
Cortlandt Mannor, NY 10567
Phone / Fax (914) 737-4070
Mon - Closed
Tue - Closed
Wed - 11 - 7
Thr - 11 - 7
Fri - 11 - 7
Sat - 11 - 7
Sun - 11 - 7
Friday, August 13, 2010
Carrera D132 Porsche 917/30 (model #30521) - Carrera Evolution M20 (model #27328) - Carrera D132 McLaren M20 (model #30524)
Carrera has jumped onto the Can Am bandwagon with their most recent releases, and they’ve done so with a splash. The cars Carrera has chosen to model represent the end of two separate lines of development for the Can-Am land missiles: the McLaren M20 and Porsche 917/30.
By the end of the 1971 season, McLaren had racked up 5 Can-Am championships. Peter Revson and Denny Hulme had wiped the floor with their competition running the M8F ‘batmobiles’. As 1972 dawned, a new competitor arrived on the scene: Roger Penske with the backing of the Porsche factory and it’s turbocharged 917/10s. McLaren had a turbo program of its own though it was unsuccessful. They elected to run the car that was to be powered by their turbo motor in 1972: the M20. At its peak the M20 was powered by a 9.26l engine which was good for 787hp in qualifying trim. This was enough to power Peter Revson’s McLaren past the Porsches for poll at Riverside that year, but there was not enough in race trim to keep him there once the checkers dropped. In the end, the 917/10s were too much for the McLarens and George Follmer ran away from the competition scoring Porsche’s first Can-Am championship with 130 pts. His closest competitor was McLaren’s Denny Hulme with only 65 points. The McLaren team decided to call it a day at the end of the season and their cars were sold off to privateers.
For 1973 the Penske Porsche squad took the performance of the 917 to the next level and debuted the 917/30. In the words of Mark Donohue, the 917/30 had ‘more of everything’. In race trim the Porsche’s 5.4l turbocharged engine provided 1100hp. This could be cranked up to 1500hp for qualifying runs using a cockpit boost knob. Competition for the Sunoco sponsored Porsche came from the Black Label liveried Roy Woods Racing M20 driven by David Hobbs. The M20 was the best of the rest of ’73. Mark Donohue’s Porsche 917/30 won another championship with 139 points followed by a gaggle of customer 917/10s. David Hobbs finished the season in 7th with 39 points.
So enough with the history lesson – what about the Carrera cars? The Carrera Can-Am models are available in both Analog and D132. The paint and detail on the cars looks great: nice sharp lines, good exhaust detail, and a pan interior leaving plenty of room for the electrical workings. Mark Donohue's spaceman helmet is a little on the funky side though. The tires on these cars are huge, with the Porsche’s being the widest I have ever seen on a 1/32 scale slot car. The wheels and axles on my test cars were all straight and true, though all the cars have some play between the rear axles and their bushings. Both the McLaren and Porsche have stub axles for the front wheels. This was most likely done to make room for the digital circuitry and guide mechanism. The digital cars both came with the Carrera ‘Special’ guide in the accessory pack so I swapped out the stock guide keel for the shorter, narrower version for running on my 22m Scalextric Sport test track. It would be great if Carrera included the ‘Special’ guide with all their cars. However, it is available separately (part #85309) should one wish to retrofit it to a car released from 2007 onwards.
The guts of the D132 Porsche.
The D132 McLaren
The Evolution McLaren – note the brass bushings for the front stub axles.
The 917/30 and Black Label cars I tested are both digital – and my test track is analog - so I needed to be able to test the two D132 models in analog mode. Converting them couldn’t have been easier: I placed the D132 car on the track, I blipped my controller three times, flicked the switch under the car, and the Digital 132 cars were good to go. While Can-Am cars of this era never ran with lights, the Black Label car is equipped with an orange glow in the exhaust when the car is under power. This feature still works with the car in analog mode. A small yet subtle touch that looks very cool as the car is racing along.On track both McLarens and the Porsche both ran well. The current guide design aside from allowing for an interchangeable keel offer approximately 170 degrees of rotation. The two traction magnets each car was equipped with made them easy to drive at speed though they would step out if pushed in the corners. I brought a few other Can-am models to the test track with me that day in order to compare lap times. Here’s how they stack up:
- 6.088 NSR Porsche 917K
- 6.107 Revell/Monogram Chaparral 2A
- 6.590 Slot.it Alfa Romeo T33/3
- 6.703 Carrera D132 Porsche 917/30
- 6.759 Carrera D132 McLaren M20
- 6.788 Carrera Evolution McLaren M20
- 6.906 Slot.it Chaparral 2E
- 7.124 Fly Porsche 908 Flunder
- 7.812 Fly Porsche 917PA
- 8.855 HSRR McLaren M8D
Even though the Porsche and McLaren have different motors – the Porsche a standard S-can and the McLaren a slim FF can – the cars are very comparable in performance.After running the Carrera cars with the magnets in place, I decided to remove them and see how they ran without. Both cars have two longish bar magnets mounted in the chassis. Carrera mounts them inside the chassis on these cars as opposed to attaching them to the bottom of the chassis in plastic housings held in by screws. To get them out, the body had to be removed as well as the motor, rear axle, and digital chip assembly.
This sounds harder to do than it actually is. I used a small screwdriver to pop the retaining clip on the rear magnet, reassembled everything and was ready to do some non-magnet running in about 5 minutes.
- 10.268 Carrera D132 McLaren M20
- 10.394 Carrera D132 Porsche 917/30
- 10.416 Carrera Evolution McLaren M20
Overall, these models are a welcome addition to my stable of 70’s prototype racers. Carrera’s price point makes them very affordable especially when compared to the price of building up a resin kit. Hopefully Carrera will bring us a few more cars that populated the Can-Am grids of the 70’s
Thank-you to Mini Grid in Toronto for the use of their track.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
And BTW, why the heck are they all wearing the same shirt?!?!?
Monday, August 09, 2010
On track the Carrera Dekon Monza proved to be a solid performer straight out of the box. I had to fit the optional Carrera thin/short guide (part # 85309) in order to run it on my 22m Scalextric Sport test track where it clocked a respectable 7.036s lap time. This car’s chassis uses the two magnet design whereby the magnets can be adjusted or removed from the bottom of the car. While the car would step out in the corners if pushed, the 109g of magnetic downforce available in stock form was sufficient to put it on a par with many of its Camel GT/Trans Am slot car competitors:
6.654 Revell BMW 320i
6.687 Fly Porsche 934
7.036 Carrera Dekon Monza
7.059 Fly Porsche 935K3
7.076 Carrera Porsche 935/78
I expect that lap times could be further reduced by lowering the stock magnets and/or by fitting lower profile aftermarket tires.
Non-magnet performance was a big surprise. The rear tires have some crowning so the contact patch is not as large as it could be with some truing. Even so the car clocked a respectable 9.879s lap time without the traction magnets in place. The car’s nose got a little light in the corners deslotting and going wide if pushed, but could be driven predictably at the limit. The car exhibited no undesirable handling traits thanks to round and concentric wheels mounted straight onto the axles. Aftermarket tires, lead weight, and elimination of play in the bushings are tuning options that will bring the lap times down.
Carrera is the only manufacturer save for Fly to take on the subject of silhouette racers from the 70s with gusto as their previous releases of the Porsche Carrera RSR, 935/78, Capri RS3100, Opel Commodore Steinmetz, Ferrari BB512LM, and now the Dekon Monza demonstrate. The out of the box performance of the Carrera Dekon Monza is in the same league performance-wise as their 1/32 scale competition.
Thank-you to Carrera USA for the opportunity to test this car, and to Mini Grid in Toronto for the use of their track.