In response to questions about what real life race series our race classes are based on, here are some useful links and references as well as a little more on philosophy of how we choose eligible cars.
In general the classes are:
- broadly based on a specific time frame and race/type;
- always base decisions on available equal performing slot-cars over strict historical accuracy;
- focused on the main "head-line" class of car raced and deliberately ignore / exclude the minor classes (e.g. Trans Am: we ran the big banger cars not the under 2 Liter cars);
- allow any paint-job so long as the car itself is part of the class / race e.g.;
- if a Porsche 956 is allowed then it does not have to have a paint-job from Le Mans;
- if a car is not in the class, then just because it's paint-job raced at Le Mans or was a rally car does not make it a part of the class e.g. Porsche 911
Essentially we race 3 types of cars:
- World Championship Sports Cars - think Le Mans long distance racing - see a good short Wiki entry link here
- Rally Cars - think Monte Carlo timed stages racing on dirt, tarmac, snow and ice - see a good short Wiki entry link here
- Formula 1 - If I have to explain this something is wrong - see a good short Wiki entry link here
Below is a short description of each classes real-life equivalent and attached is a spreadsheet listing most cars that raced at LE mans and splitting them into broad categories equivalent to what we race
Ninco GT & Sports Cars 1949-61 Le Mans
Broadly represents the front engined cars racing in the FIA sanctioned 1953 - 1961 World Sports Car Championship. The races included long-distance epics such as the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Sebring, Nurnburgring, Datytona, Spa, Carerra Panamericana and Le Mans featuring Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Mercedes, Porsche. They were split into GT (closed) and Sports (open) classes of various capacities.
The slot cars from this era with close performance are the Ninco Classics range with 8 car types featuring paint-jobs from 51 mostly realistic actual race cars.
- Ferrari 166 - Le Mans winner 1949
- Ferrari 250 TR - Le Mans winner
- Jaguar XK120 - C and D Types won Le Mans
- Porsche 356
- Porsche 550 Spyder - Le Mans Class winner
- AC Cobra
- Austin Healey 3000
- Chevrolet Corvette
Note that although we are broadly mirroring the 1953 onwards FIA championship for head-line class cars:
- We let the Ferrari 166 from 1949 be part of the class because it is available and equally competitive as a slot car in the Ninco Classic range;
- The Porsche 550 Spyder is allowed even though it was a lower class car;
- As stated above, slot car race capability at availability at equivalent performance levels always trumps historic accuracy. Therefore I will allow cars up to about 1964 but the key is they must be on approved class chassis and front engined.
In the latter part of this period, from 1962 The FIA refocused the championship on GT's (Closed coupes). Those coupe bodies (and there are many by many slot car manufacturers) from the head-line classes (E-type, Cobra Coupes, Ferrari 250 GTO, Aston Martin DB4 Zagato etc.) are welcome in the class so long as they use the running rear and chassis from the approved 8 slot cars.
Fly Mid - Rear Engined prototypes 1963 - 71 Le Mans
From 1963 rear and mid-engined cars had started to take over in the World Sports Car Championship, with the first mid-engine winner of Le Mans being the Ferrari 250P in 1963.
These years featured the big battles between Ferrari, Porsche and Ford as well as successful challengers from Alfa Romeo, Shelby Cobra and Chaparral. Cars were typified by the Ford GT40, Porsche 908, Porsche 917, Lola T70, Ferrari 512 in various forms as the rules changed to allow 5Liter Sports and Prototypes.
The slot cars from this era with close slot car performance are the Fly and GB Track Classics range, with 18 car types featuring paint-jobs from 224 mostly realistic actual race cars.
- Porsche 908, 908/2, 908 Flunder, 908 Flunder LH, 908/3
- Porsche 917K, 917 LH, 917 Spyder
- Porsche Carrera 6
- Ferrari 512S, 512 Berlinetta, 512 CL
- Ferrari 250LM
- Chevron B19, B21
- Ford GT40 MKII, GT40
- Lola T70 MKIIIB
Again - following the slot car first doctrine - the Chevron's are allowed in despite not being raced in anger in this form until 1972. Also you could put a Lola T70 Spyder body (or similar vintage head-line class cars) on a class approved chassis.
3L Prototypes of 1972-75 and Silhouette Prototypes of 1976-81-
NOTE: Neither of these two is a Current Club Class
In 1972 the World Sports car Championship banned the 5L cars and moved to a smaller 3L formula which lasted to 1975. It is in this era we see in the Sport class the Ferrari 312PB, Alfa Romeo 33/3, Lola T280, Matra MS670 from Slot.it/Sloter/LMM
This lasted only to 1976 when a new Silhouette based formula took over that lasted to 1981. This period was dominated by the Porsche 936 in prototypes/Gr.6 (Spirit) and the Porsche 935 in GT/Gr.5/Gr.4 (Fly, Racer, SCX etc.).
Having completely messed up endurance racing for the prior decade, the FIA accidentally got it right by creating a fuel consumption based format for 1982 which reignited manufacturer interest.
Over the next decade the Group C class attracted Porsche, Jaguar, Mercedes, Mazda, Toyota, Peugeot, Nissan, Aston Martin and even Ford. There was also a lesser class (C2) with entirely forgettable cars such as Spice, Alba, Tiga and Ecurie Ecosse. All was going fantastically when in 1991 a certain Bernie E. messed it all up by insisting everyone use a motor also capable of being used in F1 which led to Mercedes and Peugeot doing the sums and figuring out F1 was a far better place to be for all the money.
By 1993 there were no entries to the World Sports Car Championship and it has never formally existed since then.... of course F1 exists.. one wonders if there is a connection there...
Fortunately for slot car racers Slot.it
figured there was a gold mine in Group C, with 10 car types featuring paint-jobs from 52 totally realistic actual race cars.
- Porsche 956, 956 KH
- Porsche 962, 962 KH
- Sauber Mercedes C9
- Jaguar XJR-9, XJR-12
- Mazda 787B
- Lancia LC-2
- Toyota 88C
Just like in real life we run can IMSA cars, a US based class with very similar rules and hence very similar cars running in both IMSA in the USA and worldwide for the Worlds Sports Car Championship.
Ninco GT1 1994-99 Le Mans
Since the FIA could not get its act together, the French and German GT series effectively combined to create the BPR Global GT series which morphed into the FIA Sportscar Championship for high-end GT cars in several classes. Of course in reality this morphed into a focus by the manufacturers on the GT1 class(out of GT1, GT2, GT3, GT4 classes).
SCX Rally 4WD 1982-2010
The World Rally Championship started in 1973.
Phase 1 of WRC - 2WD 1973-81: The focus was on 2WD cars until 1981 with such cars as the Renault Alpine A110, Datsun 240Z, BMW 2002, Citroen DS21, Fiat 124 Abarth, Lancia Stratos, Porsche 911, Ford Escort MKI, II, RS1800 Sunbeam Lotus Talbot, Fiat 131 Abarth, Opel Ascona 400 - nearly all made by SCX by the way.....
Phase 2 - Group B 1982-86: In 1981 the first 4WD, turbo charged rally car - the Audi Quattro - changed the rally scene entirely. Group B regulations - started in 1982 and ended in 1986 - allowed almost unlimited power culminating in the 4WD Lancia S4 capable of 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds on gravel..... Other cars in the Group B era included: Audi Quattro, Lancia 037, Lancia Delta S4, Ford RS200, Austin Metro 6R4, Peugeot 205 T16, Ferrari 288 GTO, Porsche 959, Renault 5, Opel Manta 400, Toyota Celica 400.
Phase 3 - Group A 1987-96: Following terrible crashes in 1986 - killing spectators and drivers alike - the FIA switched to the much lower power but still primarily 4WD and turbo charged Group A. This featured now famous cars such as Lancia Delta Integrale, Ford Escort RS Cosworth, Toyota Celica GT-4, Nissan Pulsar GTI-R,Toyota Corolla. Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer I-VI
Phase 4 - WRC 1996-2010: In 1996 the FIA stopped the pretense that a certain number of road cars had to be built, formally bringing into being the 2L 4WD World Rally Car era. As a consequence even more road going car derivatives were use including continuations of the Mitsubishi Lancer VII-X, Subaru Impreza WRC, Toyota Corolla WRC, Peugeot 206 and 307, Citroen Xsara and C4, Ford escort WRC Ford Focus WRC, Hyundai WRC, Seat Cordoba WRC, Skoda Octavia and Fabia.
Phase 5 - S2000 2011 - : 2010 was the last year for the WRC cars, with supposedly cheaper the S2000 formula taking over in 2011 with the same basic configuration but many more shared components among the cars.
Rally 4WD in Slot Cars: Curtesy of SCX using the same basic motor and other running gear in 4WD cars since the early 1990's for nearly 20 years, SCX has become the 4WD slot car Rally supplier. Our equivalent class starts with the Group B, moves through Group A and culminates with the current 2010 WRC cars.
- Porsche 959 Gr. B
- Lancia Delta S4 Gr. B
- Toyota Celica Gr. A
- Subaru Impreza Gr. A
- Toyota Celica GT-4 Gr.A
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV - Gr. A
- Lancia Delta Integrale Gr. A
- Ford Escort Cosworth Gr. A
- Toyota Corolla WRC
- Seat Cordoba WRC
- Peugeot 206 WRC
- Ford Focus WRC
- Seat Cordoba E2 WRC
- Subaru Impraza WRC
- Citroen Xsara WRC
- Skoda Octavia WRC
- Hyundai Accent WRC
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII WRC
- Peugeot 307 WRC
- Ford Focus 2003 WRC
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII WRC
- Skoda Fabia WRC
By far the best books on the World Sports Car Championship era are by Janos Wimppfen
- Time and Two Seats - just 2,300 pages on every race and car entered since 1953 and about $2,000 and I don't have a copy
I am lucky enough to have the 50's, 60's and 80's books which you can look at during our setup day on 8 January 2011.
For the World Rally Championship look no further than "The complete book of the World Rally Championship 1973-2003" very fortunately available for perusal at my place on 8 January. For Group B read here
as well as here
For Formula 1 "The Complete Book of Formula One" is great and again available for review at my house.