Thursday, May 31, 2007

Resilient Resins-new Chapparal body

A new body from Resilient Resins to show today, the Chaparral 2F.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

McLaren cleared of "team orders" allegations

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team has at all times stated that the team did not breach the International Sporting Code at the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix, and as a result is pleased that the FIA, following an extremely efficient, professional and thorough investigation, has confirmed that the team’s actions were entirely legitimate.

Press comments following the Grand Prix focussed on two issues; the fuel strategy and the allegation that the drivers were not allowed to race each other. The FIA investigation shows that these criticisms were not justified.

Ron Dennis, Chairman and CEO, McLaren Group said: “The entire team was understandably disappointed that outstanding drives from both Fernando and Lewis resulting in a great one-two victory and McLaren’s 150th win was temporarily tarnished. The efficient intervention and subsequent inquiry of the FIA into the allegations of the last three days has removed any doubt about the manner in which the team ran its cars during the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix. The team, Fernando and Lewis, who currently are leading both World Championships can now concentrate on the Canadian Grand Prix.”

News and photo used with permission of, no reuse for any reason.

RP Motor Tester

RP is Racing Parts, a new company in Barcelona, Spain. Racing Parts' first product is the TE1100 motor testing machine. Slot Car News has received photos and a description from RP, which we have summarized here:

The TE1100 motor tester is a technologically advanced product for evaluating motors, to assist in slot car car preparation for competition. RPM at any voltage may be measured, as well as the magnetic field strength external to the motor.

An optical sensor is provided to measure RPM. The magnetic field strength adjacent to the motor case is measured electronically, not mechanically, with readings in Gauss. As the field strength of a motor varies, the TE1100 displays the readings averaged over time, and also displays the highest reading.

Power for RPM testing is provided by the TE1100 internal 9 volt battery, or an external power supply of any voltage. For most testing, an external power supply is used. The TE1100 drops the supplied voltage by 2 volts, so that you may test a motor at 7 volts maximum if using a 9v battery; if powered with 14 volts, you may test a motor at 12 volts maximum; if supplied with 24 volts, you may test at up to 22 volts, and so on. You can also dial down the test voltage output of the tester, to 2.5 minimum, so a range of voltages may be used for motor RPM measurement.

Shown here is the first version of the electronic circuitry which makes this possible, and the final version beside it. Firmware may be updated, with new features added in the future.

Racing Products is interested in racers' input about this new product. The TE1100 is available for sale now in Spain, and beginning in May in Portugal and Italy. It has been selling well, and production is not expected to catch up with demand until July. The cost of the equipment is of 75€ retail.

TE1100 motor tester information was supplied by:

Jose Manuel Sanchez

Slot Car News also asserts that the TE1100 would be of benefit for race technical inspection. The addition of non-magnetic spacers between motor case and the TE1100, simulating the ground clearance of a car, could be used to assess the magnetic downforce of motors raced over steel rails. Use of the tachometer function at the rear wheels only requires multiplying the gear ratio times the RPM at which the rear wheel rotates, in order to determine motor RPM. And Slot Car News observes that the price is "highly competitive". Although we have not obtained a sample for hands-on evaluation, the TE1100 looks very good to us.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

SCX Honda WTCC newsletter

Thanks to SCX for the newsletter!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tire Test: Urethane vs. Silicone

Much discussion has been had about the relative merits of Ortmanns vs. Super Tires, or urethane tires vs. silicone tires, particularly in the US and Canada, where these two types of tires are popular. Ortmann tires have a reputation for gripping regardless of dust, while silicone tires are said to grip best on dustless track. This test was designed to measure relative track speeds of these tires in clean and dusty conditions.

All tires were run on the same car (Fly Racing Porsche GT1-98), with the same wheels (Slot.It 17x10mm). This car was selected because it is very stable, and is easy to drive consistently. Testing was done on the same lane of East New York Raceway, a 61’, wood track surfaced with interior flat latex paint. For the first test, the track was cleaned by running a car with Super Tires, cleaning the tires every few laps with a sticky label, until no more dust was picked up. As a result, the track was very clean and dust free. Tires were then tested one after the other, for 50 laps each.

The second round of testing was done several days later, after a moderate coating of atmospheric dust had accumulated. Ortmann and rubber tire cars had been run in the interim. No track or tire cleaning was done at any time for the second test. Dust was apparent, adhering to the tires, after each pair had been run.

All tires fit the Slot.It rims very well, with a flat tread. All tires were very true as run. We rounded the outer tire shoulder slightly, if it were square cornered. Each pair of tires was run for 50 laps; best lap times are shown below:

Clean track:
Super Tires Silicone 4.922 sec.
Ortmann Urethane 4.935
Slot.It S2 Silicone 4.981
Slot.It S1 Silicone 5.058
Tru Grip Urethane 5.137
Jel Claws Rubber 5.148

Moderately dusty track:
Slot.It S2 Silicone 4.977 sec.
Super Tires Silicone 4.979
Ortmann Urethane 4.987
Slot.It S1 Silicone 5.048
Tru Grip Urethane 5.176
Jel Claws Rubber 5.176

On a very clean track, the Super Tires were fastest. On a moderately dusty track, the Slot.It S2’s were slightly faster than the Super Tires and the Ortmann tires, and both Slot.It tires were slightly faster than they had been on a clean track. However, a difference of .003, or even .010 seconds may be attributable to chance, or uneven driving (an insignificant difference).

Only the Slot.It tires appeared to be unaffected by the presence or absence of dust. All the other tires were significantly slower on the dusty track. Ortmann tires were .052 sec slower, which is a significant difference. These tests show results which differ from what we expected, so expect more tests to follow!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

McLaren domination

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes continued their domination of the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix weekend when Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton claimed the team’s second one-two finish this season. Fernando crossed the line first with Lewis four seconds behind. Both drivers had lapped the entire field apart from Felipe Massa in third place who was 69 seconds behind Fernando. Both drivers were on a two stop strategy with Fernando coming in on laps 26 (7.5 seconds) and 51 (7.9 seconds) whilst Lewis pitted on laps 29 (8.9 seconds) and 53 (5 seconds). Fernando is leading the World Championship with Lewis second – both on 38 points. The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team extended their lead in the Constructors Championship and now has 76 points.

“This win means a lot to me and our World Championship Campaign. It’s a very nice surprise to see how the team’s hard work during the last couple of weeks has made our car so competitive. I have never had the experience of being more than one minute ahead of the competition which probably makes this one of my best victories. I didn’t get off the line brilliantly from pole position, but as there is such a short run to the first corner I was pretty sure that I would be able to keep the lead. However, as I was able to save fuel in my first stint I was able to stay out for two more laps than originally planned. After that the race was pretty quiet with only the backmarkers causing a few problems especially shortly before my second pitstop when I lost a lot of time. I will enjoy this victory and look forward to the races in North America.”

News used with permission from

Monaco Grand Prix Qualifying

Fernando Alonso claimed his first pole position for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team for Sunday’s Monaco’s Grand Prix. Team mate Lewis Hamilton will make it an all Vodafone McLaren Mercedes front row after qualifying second. Fernando did a time of 1m15.726 whilst Lewis did 1m15.905.

“I’m so happy to take my first pole position for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team here in Monaco. The car has been working well throughout the weekend, and we have been competitive in all conditions. As always seems to happen in Monaco I got caught up in traffic on my last flying lap but that is one of the challenges of this place. Qualifying was extremely stressful due to the constant threat of rain. We even started the third session on fresh tyres just in case. I don’t know what the weather will bring tomorrow which can make for an interesting race. Obviously pole position gives you the best possible start to the race but there are 78 laps and as its Monaco anything can happen. However the car is quick, and we have a strong strategy, so I’m hopeful of a good result.”

“To start my first Formula 1 race in Monaco from the front row is amazing and for the team to have a one-two is just fantastic. I have really enjoyed my weekend and qualifying was no exception. It’s hard to explain, but around this circuit you are just constantly on the limit. My last flying lap was affected by traffic in Turn 4 and I lost a lot of time but that is just the challenge of this place. The car has been super all the way through, and I believe we have a strong strategy. I think it will be a great race, and hopefully Fernando and I can provide the team with a one-two finish.”

News and photos used with permission from

SCX Corvette C6.R newsletter

Thanks to SCX for the newsletter!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

SCX Pro Audi-review

So let me ask you, what do you think you know about SCX? Well the Pro Audi may... just may change what you think SCX is all about.

As you all have seen by now the latest SCX release, the Pro Audi, comes in a great display box and includes a book that has tips for performance and maintenance. Also included are a handful of extra screws for the chassis and front axle adjustment.And a small wrench to do adjustments to set up the car to your liking. There is extra braid, guide, and a replacement motor pod. The pod is interesting because it's not for an SCX motor, it's for the long can Mabuchi (most commonly called a Boxer or NC-style motor). On the end of the pod there are holes to screw down the motor, something which, if you're able to find the 2mm screws, you should take advantage of. I applaud SCX for taking this car so seriously to include the extras. It's great to see them acknowledge that someone might want to modify a car to their own taste.

The body is a light weight injection molded clear body painted white. There are a few bits of flash on the details on the body but this is maybe a bit of nit-picking on my part.

The parts all fit perfectly on this car. The body sits flat on top of the chassis pan, and screws down easily with no warping or flexing across mis-aligned internal parts.

The gears mesh perfectly, the wheels/axles/bearings are quality parts that you'd be happy to have on any and every car you own. Mechanically this car is on a par with the cars by Slot.It, and firmly puts SCX into the realm of the "serious racer slot car".

The Audi, like many of the SCX releases, is a car that's not long on RPM, but that DOES NOT mean it's not fast. This car can be driven at more than partial throttle around even my small 21' wood track. Because of the driveable motor you can "look for the speed" rather than have to hold back the throttle and just give it little blips of full throttle now and then. Because of this you can easily control the car more than cars with much faster motors. It may be overtaken on the straight but if you're on your game you can overtake in the corners.

A lot is made of a car's out of the box performance; well, this car just leaped to the top the charts on that account. I lubed the car where appropriate, screwed the body and chassis together, and replaced the stock SCX tires (which never seem to work on my track) with "Yellow Dog" #1410 SuperTires and proceeded to race for 1 hour non-stop. In the over 500 laps of driving I was amazed at the performance of this car. It felt as if it had been tuned for days.

The pod was nice and rattly out of the box, which you'd expect since there's more clearance around the pod on this car than ANY other slot car out of the box.

To adjust the pod there are 3 small screws, 1 in front and 2 behind the pod. With the pod loose, the pod can not only rattle but has generous side to side play as well. And then there's the brake... well frankly SCX is just about the last slot company that needs MORE braking on their cars. If you feel you need just a bit more of that stop-on-a-dime feel it's an easy adjustment to make the small white dog bone shaped bit of plastic to contact the crown gear and slow down the car. One of the things I like best about SCX motors is that they have great brakes...more IMO is maybe too much of a good thing.

There is one "issue" that I have with the car, and it's obvious to anyone familiar with the real Audi...the wheels on this car are too small. They should fill the wheel wells more than they do. As the car is, the small wheels don't hamper performance, but rather it's an aesthetic issue that might make some not want to purchase the car for that reason. Well, I can't make your mind up for you on that one. This car is a fast racer, a well made slot car, and does perform like every other car in this type of class of racer (ie, Slot.It, Spirit, Fly Racing, etc.) and with a bit more tuning should be able to hold it's own against cars with much higher RPM motors.

Thanks to the new US distributor for SCX, Distributoys, for the car for review.

Publisher, Slot Car News

*Publishers note
Soon Slot Car News will conduct a shoot out of sorts that will have the SCX Audi, MRRC Toyota GT1, the recently released Slot It's, and Spirit's upcoming and recent releases against each other...something that I'm sure is making the slot companies that send SCNews cars cringe now.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Spirit updates

The RAC Rally BMW and Esso Peugeot are on their way to the US via airmail as we speak. And the Porsche 936 should be on the way within the next 3 weeks to the US! Good news from Spirit.

Thanks to Spirit for the photos.