Chaps and Chapettes,
Most of the slot car stuff I cover on this blog tends to be 1/32 scale circuit cars; Formula 1, LeMans and such. However, the other month I discovered the MrD Slot Drag Racing Championship who race in Higham in Kent and Chelmsford which is just a short hop and jump from where I live. So last Friday I took the trek up there to see what was going on!
The track is built in one end of a corridor of the Cathedral School. It’s a scale quarter mile with a ‘christmas tree’ style light system, timing equipment and a speed trap. Once the cars cross the finish line the throttle automatically cuts and they roll to a stop or get caught by a pillow at the end of the track.
The cars all run 1/24 Parma Edge steel chassis or a kit built chassis comprised of thin steel tube and plate. The motors are a Parma 16D or equivalent and although there doesn’t seem to be an official control tyre they all seem to run the same.
The body choice was open though and with so many kits available on the market in 1/24 scale it really allows people to get creative! There were of course lots of 50s,60s and 70s American cars:
However, there were also a lot of unusual cars including this trio: A London Taxi, a Jaguar XJ220 and a Austin Mini.
There were a few minis actually. In contrast to the full size counterpart short wheelbases and narrow(ish) rear tyres seem to do well in slot drag racing. The best mini of the night for me was this beautifully airbrushed example.
American cars made up the majority of the field though. There were some brilliantly prepared cars on show!
All this made for some wicked looking line ups on track!
The actual racing itself is really close. Despite the variation in the bodies the cars underneath are very similar. With a scale quarter mile run being completed in under a second at 35-40mph the biggest variation between the cars is the drivers reflexes.
They had 3 knockout competitions in the evening with some open practise track time between. I was very kindly lent this club car to have a little go in practise with before I was convinced to try my hand at competition.
Practise didn’t go too badly but I got knocked out in my first round of competition. My reaction time was just too slow haha no excuses!
I’ve well and truly caught the bug for it though! I should be building myself a little car in the not too distant future! I’m just not sure what yet though…
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