What do the Class Goals Mean in Practice?
While I could be long-winded, basically the successful classes end up with:
- 1. a "control" spec set of tires, wheels, axles, gears, motors, guides:
- as much as possible they are what the car came with as OEM equipment
- it minimizes cost and, mostly, the time spent preparing a car
- we change any of these only if we absolutely have to, with a focus on preserving fun not speed
- the OEM item is difficult to obtain OR the OEM equipped item is inconsistent in performance leading to "have and have-not's" situation
- e.g. using Ortmann tire s on Slot.it due to original tires being of varying grip levels
- e.g. recent upgrade in SCX 4WD motors due to lack of availability of old spec motors AND SCX releasing newer cars with faster spec motors as OEM
- e.g. tires on SCX and Fly cars due to variation in grip levels in manufacturing or poor OEM (Fly)
- 2. where these spec "running gear" items are used in a spec set of chassis/cars that reflect a certain era/type of car
- 3. and finally - as little as possible because it adds to preparation complexity - we then consider adding weight to help the cars if and only if it helps make the entire class more fun to drive (e.g. Fly 60's LM) and/or ensures they can all be prepared to be more equal in performance (Ninco 50's LM).
- 4. and that all typically means a single manufacturer providing cars for a specific era in time, with tight control on the running gear.
- I wish this were not so but the reality is the manufacturers (with current exception of Slot.it, some Ninco items and maybe Pioneer and in the past SCX) are constantly upping the performance of their new magnet cars such that even if cars race together in real life the slot car from this year is invariably much faster than the prior year version.
- It does not mean that multiple manufacturers cannot be in a class together but we need to test it carefully first.
Who We Are (Not) As A Club
Finally - for those of you that managed to read this far - here are some key learnings from all the surveys of club members over the last several years, including the 2009 to 2012 surveys:
- We are NOT a magnet club: at its peak, only 20% of people voted to bring back any sort of magnet car (7 of 35 votes). This year that was down to 1 vote and 3 suggestions out of 29
- We DO NOT want to add expense/complexity of upgraded wheels/parts - 22 of 35 voted to expressly not allow hop-up parts (60%) - despite this possibly saving time with having to sort out issues with plastic wheels etc. We had one request for metal wheels this year, albeit from probably our best and most prolific car preparer and most willing to help people to prepare cars
- There is NO real interest in an unlimited/scratch-built class: 2 of 35 votes (6%), similar in past years and one suggestion for it in this survey
- There is NO real interest in racing Trucks: 4 of 35 votes (12%). We have plenty of other things we want to try in the Drivers Championship. We dropped them from the survey this year
- While we care more about fun than pure speed, the only thing really turning people away from racing with us is our group taking things too seriously. So don't, just focus on having fun!