2011 Survey

FarrOut Slot Car Club

2011 Survey Results

First: thanks for all the participation.

  • 27 people voted representing 92% of all racers by attendance in 2011 and 23 of our top 25 attendees.  
  • Of the 14 who did not vote all except 1 attended less than 3 events in 2011.  I feel we can truly say the survey is representative of all our diverse views.  
  • FYI the order of all question choices was randomized for each person so the survey structure should not have any biases against or for any particular answers (tracks, classes, potential classes, rule changes etc.).

Full voting results and all comments are presented below. 

  • While we can discuss this tomorrow it seems to me the Major Decisions are
    • we will have the same main 6 classes in 2012
    • we plan to have 4 car preparation / race craft days in 2012 (same as 2011)
    • we will race at 12 tracks in 2012 (1 dropped out, adding 3)
  • Next Steps are to be discussed tomorrow

Thank you all for your participation in the survey.  Apologies in advance for the poor individuals who happened to make a suggestion that I find both against the core of the club values and idiotic beyond all belief.  You can see all the comments and votes below, as well as my reactions.  The entire vote count is attached in the spreadsheet

All the best,



In general we have a great variety of tracks that are all appreciated but each could be improved, except for Michael’s of course.  All tracks –  including Michael’s – got lower scores this year than last year so maybe we are becoming more demanding in our old age.  

In 2012 we will add races at Russell’s (substituting for Chris’), ITG (and yes we will be allowed to bring beer) and Jim Wiseman’s.  All 12 tracks will host 2 race days, except for Michael who will host 3 race days and Jim who will host one race day.

Where We Race (Scale 1 Best – 5 Worst)VotesPercent
Riverside (Michael) 1.2244196%4%0%
Farrout (Stephen)  2.02117481%15%4%
Nigelstone (Nigel) 2.11917676%16%8%
Cirrhosis (Russell) 2.31014663%38%0%
Villeneuve (Bruce) 2.413191054%42%4%
SSI Raceway (Rene) 2.41614664%20%16%
King Mini Boola (Eddie) 2.41415667%19%14%
Woodside (Gary) 3.08161236%36%27%
Autodromo BdS (Stan) 3.05151523%55%23%
Silverlake (Craig) 3.35131620%40%40%

Track Comments

  • I would like Russell’s track, without the crossovers!! For some reason my flag got caught twice in the crossover all by myself with no other car involved?  
  • I like racing on all the tracks! I will have some unofficial events at my house on my new routed track but should also be ready for official events on my track in 2012 if there are openings.
  • I like all the tracks we race on. Michael’s is my favorite and Craig’s is too short. I find Bruce’s track the hardest to drive due to the most critical area is the furthest from the drivers and hardest part to see. I like Stan’s track a lot but it is a very long drive for me.
  • I would like to see races hosted only by those who actively participate in races. I believe this is important because it assures that track conditions are what they should be.
  • Yes….I think that a track has to work perfectly to make the experience enjoyable. Rene’s track does not because he certainly does take care enough about it, same as Nigel’s track that could be great the day he fixes the power issue and does not pretend that it is because of the garage situation. I had a track outside under a tent, as big as Nigel’s, that was always working. I don t want to blame these people but maybe we should help them to make it fine instead of complaining of the poor condition. I’ll vote yes for Nigel only if it is solved and no to Rene because he does not race with us. Carlos is trying to have his track in the list and he deserves it. By the way, the new layout designed by Thomas is just great.

Class Voting

Overall we are happy with our 6 classes. I have only put classes up for change when I see heavy dissatisfaction which I don’t see this year.  

  • 68% of votes were positive, 19% were Cool Either Way/Neutral and only 13% were negative
  • Even the two lowest rated classes had only 6 negative votes (23%)

This is especially low compared to the dislike levels we had in respectively for Trans Am in 2009 and 4WD in 2008.  I would note the one thing the existing classes provide is a variety of chassis types to provide uniquely different slot car experiences, i. e. Slot.it, wide Ninco, narrow Ninco, Open wheel, Sidewinder and 4WD.

What We Race (Scale 1 Best – 9 Worst)VotesPercent
Slotit Grp C  2.7204277%15%8%
Ninco 50’s   2.8214181%15%4%
Fly LM  3.0194373%15%12%
SCX F1  3.2186269%23%8%
SCX 4WD  4.0146654%23%23%
Ninco GT1   4.4146654%23%23%

Class Comments

  • Seems that we have things sorted out very nicely personally I don’t want any changes whatsoever. Maybe cut the guys a break on metal wheels provided that appropriate appearance is strictly enforced.
  • I’m happy with the class’s now that we race… Maybe add NINCO PORSCHE 997
  • I would like to see the Slot-it 312, Alfa, and Racers allowed back in the Fly class. I raced my 312 with Ortmans & weight at Russells against the the current Flys with weight and Ortmans, and they Flys were as fast or faster? I still feel the NSR’s are too fast to be allowed back though.
  • Fly: Adding Ortmanns and weight has turned this into my favorite class. F1: I wish we could do something about easily finding good legal motors for the F1 class. Is there a cheap available alternative yet? Ninco GT1: There isn’t enough variety among the cars. The field is generally made up of the Mercedes and the McLaren, with very few exceptions.
  • The Ninco GT1 could be replaced by the Fly GT1. New configuration, the front engine is fun to drive once well set up, great details, certainly the very best of all, inexpensive, eBay for less than $30, shipping included, Powerslotcar also stocks some and even ElectricDreams, unbelievably and the variety is great! 12 car types multiplied by a large number of different designs. We will have to find out which cars are evenly balanced but, with a choice of 12 or more (if we include 1980’s Capri and BMW) we will certainly end up with 8 to 10 different cars. Then the NC1 of the Classic class,hard to find and so expensive won’t be an issue since we will take it from our Ninco GT1. The Fly uses the Mabuchi that is so easy to find and affordable…I have all the different cars ready for the meeting.
  • We should move to B-spec motors for F1 class, or else upgrade to newer cars. Ninco GT1 cars are over-priced, require the additional purchase of an over-priced motor, and you can get any car you want, as long as you want a McLaren.

Potential New Classes and Drivers Championship

There is overwhelming support for the Drivers Championship (92%), so they 2 who don’t like it might as well get used to it 🙂  It is also seen as a good place to test new classes (96%).

Two potential new classes stood out overall and should maybe be a focus of Drivers Championship next year:  

  • Ninco GT Championship was only one to get a majority of positive votes
  • Slot.it GT1 was only other class that got relatively strong support
  • Top 6-8 class votes provide great guide to Drivers Championship classes for 2012, so long as
    • we have volunteers to provide the cars in each class 
      • SFJ and Michael cannot be relied upon to provide the loaner cars for Drivers Championship
    • DC classes should be matched to track characteristics
  • I stopped asking about trucks and scratch-built unlimited classes this year, next year I am not going to bother asking about Modern Nascar or DTM or magnet classes (see next section).
New Classes (1 Best, 5 Worst)VotesPercent
Ninco Champ.   2.2157263%29%8%
Slot.it GT1    2.5109443%39%17%
Trans Am (Sc/Pi)   2.8811632%44%24%
Fly Front Motor   3.099736%36%28%
Modern F1    3.097739%30%30%
Cartrix 50’s F1   3.11031043%13%43%
Sc Modern LMP    3.187933%29%38%
Stocker Nascar   3.268827%36%36%
Fly Daytona     3.367927%32%41%
SCX 2/WD    3.3851133%21%46%
Carrera DTM   3.6381114%36%50%
Modern Nascar   3.7541323%18%59%

Potential New Classes Comments

  • Anything with a Corvette! They’re plastic and fun in any size!
  • I would like to race the Scalextric TransAm with Ortmans : )
  • The Fly classes require too much work/money to get race ready including having to add weight. Slot it out the box is at a minimum ready to rock-n-roll. Overall, I don’t want to have to buy, hard-to-find (at a decent price), “collector” slot cars for race classes. Let’s race the tin type cars (Scalextric), or modern cars that are easily accessible.
  • We need to move into cars that are currently produced with available motors. I love the older cars, but times have changed and I think I’ve grown up..
  • The Fly front motor cars provide a huge variety of liveries for a very low cost. With Ortmann’s and weight, they would make a nice alternative to the limited Ninco GT1 class. The Ninco Championship class appeals to me because I’d like to keep in touch with other clubs who are running these cars. Also, I know Carlos is planning on running this class with the ITG racers, and this would make for some fun additional racing crossover racing.
  • What about the classic Scalextric F1 from the 50’s, Cartix are to expensive [Benevolent Dictator note: only 2 body-types from, each of the 50’s, 60’s, 70′ are available – too few for a class and they don;t race well against each other] What about the Revell Monogram 60’s 70’s Nascar, ford Galaxie, Fairlane etc…I beleive 2 new cars are going to be release soon. Affordable, nice and very fun to drive. [included in survey and yes 2 new body-types being released in Q1 2012].  Well,anyway,the Fly Gt1 is the must have in my opinion.
  • As there are evermore slot cars produced the desire to add classes escalates, but the problem of which class to eliminate remains unchanged.
  • Don’t hate me, but SOMEONE must like trucks–maybe for a Driver’s Championship! [Benevolent Dictator note: No hate, just reality – Not going to happen, far more enthusiasm for other classes to be tested]
  • Modern F1 might be great to replace the old SCX F1’s, but not as a new class in addition to the SCX F1’s.

Other Things to Consider / Lack of Participation

There is relatively strong support for running the heats in a more timely fashion on race days.  We will continue to have 4 car preparation days and Michael – and/or others if they wish – will continue to provide car preparation services or sell preprepared cars.

Last year we wrote the following but never acted on it: “There is support for better (not stricter) race day time management and better etiquette.  We plan on addressing this in two ways

  • we are reintroducing a race meet Race Director and co-Director, they will be chosen on the day and will rotate among all club members
  • we will be calling out the heat after next before taking lap scores and handing out lane stickers to those drivers at same time so they are prepared to start right when the next heat stops.  Our Thomas designed software easily supports doing this”

In general we have lost participants only to their private lives (work, family, health, moving) rudely interfering with their slot car lives.  I know from private conversations we have also lost less than a handful over the years to being interested in more scratch-built/unlimited focused slot racing and, to the best of my knowledge, two people were lost – in prior years – to behavior of other club members.  

Improvement Comments

  • Team races are discouraging for me. The reasons being: a. Teams seem often unbalanced. b. Eddie Shorer seems to be one of the few team leaders that gets that this should be fun event. Eddie does a great job at not making underachieving drivers feel bad for their contributions.  [Benevolent Dictator: This is extremely disappointing! Team captains should specifically be trying to help their lowest ranked drivers and make them feel the most welcome.]
  • Better time management would help, but there are days you really want to talk to those you consider friends also. 
  • Magnet cars would be fun: however we all saw the difference in just one magnet size (500 gauss) from one magnet to the next, how do we make it fair. 
  • More meetings: well I don’t see very many of us making more than we do now unless we become time Nazi’s and start at 9 am so everyone can be home by 1 pm. 
  • Drop points tracking and counting, get serious. 
  • Class legal store: how would that work? [Benevolent Dictator: Michael is already operating one]
  • Remember they’re just little plastic cars, don’t be a Kyle Busch!
  • Cars in some classes need magnets, others don’t.
  • I like the non magnets (OMG this was Carlos of ITG!) 
  • Can you have a F1 style format? Have the racers race for pole. Have a racer do one minute for their best time in one lane. Go from 1 to the 20th racer. Group them into 4 in each group heat and so on. 
  • For fun race days, have tracks that people want to add to next years schedule.  [Benevolent Dictator: in theory this is already happening.
  • I (Carlos) could donate a printer to print out the race schedule for the race day so people know what heat they are in. [Benevolent Dictator: Gratefully accepted.  I (SFJ) also have a spare laptop that could be come the club laptop] 
  • To speed up the time between races, the last 4 racers should be spotters for the next race. Track owners could make on their tracks where spotters should stand so we always know how many spotters we need.
  • Could we acknowledge both “Good Marshall’s” and “Great Sportsmanship” through the points system?
  • It’s a fine line between RACING and FUN, but I think as a whole we do it very well. I attend just about every race, so what we’re doing works for me. If there’s something that I don’t like, it’s the superfluous LOUD talking across the track DURING racing. Sometimes it reaches a fevered pitch that just isn’t “fun” for me while I’m racing.
  • Participation rates seem generally good. The club seems to be doing well in providing a fun environment at the races that makes people want to return, and letting the word spread at a rate that is manageable by the constraints of the time actually needed to run the races. Too many participating members would not really be fit into the current racing format, even with three minute heats, And the current racing format is good as is.
  • Qualification. That will make people race against each other at the same level and have more fun instead of being passed 5 time by the the fast guy and crashing 5 times because of the slowest. Racing at the same level gives more satisfaction. When you are too slow compared to someone else, it makes you feel bad. When you are racing with someone pushing you at the same level, you improve your driving. The heats can be reduced to 3 minutes each to give time for a 30 seconds qualification…you know the math..it ends up even. [Benevolent Dictator: IMHO this is not a good idea.  Our club heats (4 for each class) are deliberately setup to improve everyone’s driving skills over time by driving twice against people of similar skill levels (per your current ranking) and once against worse drivers and once against better drivers. While it can be better satisfaction to race against your exact peers every time, it also dooms the lesser skilled drivers to not improve – not in the spirit of what the club is about.  qualification itself could be done for an extra point or two but I don’t see any real benefit and I see real problems with using it to determine who races who for the day. Go to a raceway if you want to race people in that way 🙂 ]
  • If it taking to long on race day then make it stricter. But I will race all day! Can never be to long!

Rule Change Comments

  • I think there should be a definitive rule on loaners. This is a slot car club, that said….everyone should own at least one of the cars in the classes raced. Although I think it’s very generous that Stephen and Michael Smalley make your liveries available…The majority of the membership takes great pride in setting up to race their own cars… 
  • In order to vote on whether a class is included/removed, you must meet the following requirements:- 1. Own cars in each class, 2. Attend at least 50% or the race meetings, and 3. Attend the annual meeting when the decision is made. This will mean that those members who have invested both money in their race cars and time in actually racing get to decide the future classes. Those who show up infrequently and only use loaner cars should not be allowed to vote.
  • NO VOTING ONLINE… You have to be present to vote. You MUST own at least one car in all race car classes to participate in voting. I wish to offer my home as a venue for a “race meeting”…
    • [Benevolent Dictator: If any of the above 3 points EVER becomes part of this club then I (Stephen) am immediately no longer a part of the club, no racing, no participation whatsoever.  The club was not setup for owners of slot cars – it was setup for people to have fun, playing with slot cars irrespective of how many they can afford, own or choose to own.  If you want to discuss this with me you may but, I can guarantee I will get very emotional and I won’t guarantee that what I will say will allow us to stay on speaking terms going forward.] 
  • A time window for new members to pony up should be enforced. The so-called $5.00 kick in to use the loaners is far from honored!! As is the honor system for the $10.00 race fee [Benevolent Dictator: Guys this is not something that should be requiring policing.  If you can’t be bothered to be honorable enough to contribute to the kitty, please do not bother turning up in the future, you will not be welcome.]
  • None that I could think of
  • Are there rules these days?
  • Lap penalties for “unsportsmanlike” conduct.
  • Allow Fly 1960/70’s Le Mans class to change front tires from Fly to Ninco 20x10mm. A simple quick setup trick to reduce time spent with fiddly stub axles and most cars in the class benefit from the change
  • Over 60 category. [Benevolent Dictator: not clear if this is age or weight] 
  • Allow one to bring one’s own hand controller!
  • I’m good.
  • PLEASE revisit the formula of including the Team Race points as factors in determining individual and overall class championship points. While this method may increase attendance and boost some positions, it simply isn’t fair that some racers’ standings are lowered through no fault of their own. Comparing overall point standings WITH and WITHOUT the Team Race points is informative: a number of podium positions changed. Even though we’re racing for bragging rights alone, and we’re really a fairly humble group of braggarts, it does make a difference.  [Benevolent Dictator: originally Team Races were included in classes to encourage participation, that is no longer needed.  In 2012 they will be removed from each individual class standings calculations BUT still contribute to the Overall Championship and the Team Championship] 
  • I think making the team races not count in the overall standings would make for a more relaxing time. A few guys take the team races too seriously
  • I heard rumblings of a desire to allow the Slot.its, Sloters and NSRs to rejoin the Fly class. Two respected tuners say that the Ortmanns nullify these cars previous superiority. I am fine with that. I liked the old open-maker format. We are seeing more makers with nice cars.
  • Allowing the Slot-its & Racers back in the Fly class with or without weight, it didn’t seem to help my car with the weight.
  • Qualification, qualification, qualification….
  • Allow metal wheels provided that adherence to proper appearance and size are strictly enforced.
  • Maybe fewer classes but more prep options (e.g. change gearing for particular tracks)
  • Three minutes between heats and if you are not ready the race starts without you. It is always the same guys who take too long to get their car to the line.
  • Make all races heats 3 minutes.
  • [Benevolent Dictator: It is downright rude to not do your share of marshaling.  If other club members do it for you how can you think you are so special that you should not provide the same curtesy to others?] 

Rule Changes for 2011

  • We will not switch to metal wheels, as there is not huge support for it.
    • they would be good to help reduce preparation time but are hard to police for proper size and appearance and are an added cost
    • we are hoping the extra car preparation days/services will help eliminate/fix bad plastic wheels for all members and thereby level playing field for us all without added cost or cars looking wrong
  • We will change the way Team Points are allocated as outlined above.
  • We won’t be adding other makes of slot cars back into the Fly 60/70’s Le Mans class, for a very specific reason.  Fly are reissuing a series of those cars with a new inline plastic chassis [that should be identical in performance to the current cars in the class] at lower prices than the “rare costly” cars that were sold over the last 15 years.
  • We will allow Fly 1960/70’s Le Mans class to change front tires from the OEM Fly to Ninco 20x10mm, if you want to.  Saves time and effort. 
  • All other TBD
1. What steps could we take to improve or preserve participation?
Stricter Race Day Time management
 answered question23
skipped question3
Car prepping services
More frequent race meetings
Car preparation days
Class legal cars ‘store’
Bring back magnet cars
Drop all points tracking
Drop all lap counting 0.0%0

Posted by: Stephen Farr-Jones

November 04, 2012

Despite being run by a benevolent dictator, every year the members of the club are surveyed about what they do and don’t like and are asked to vote for the race classes for the coming year.  We then have an annual meeting where any questions about the classes and any back-to-back testing can take place to make the final decisions.

We find that it usually brings forward new ideas and allows us to discuss any problems.  Below are the surveys and answers from past years.

Page created: 12/17/2023 – PK

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