Choosing Race Classes

What We Look For in Race Classes / Class Overview

While the process of coming up with classes for the farrOut Slot car Cub to race may not be obvious and some of the decisions may seem random, it is actually a very carefully thought through process designed to provide as much fun with as little effort as possible from either the individual racing or those running the club. Below is the basic philosophy we have been following since we started.

What We Are Trying to Find in a Racing Class?

We are trying to get 9 classes together that in any given class (and in absolutely no particular priority order):

  • 1 represent a broad variety of real racing classes and era’s that people care about; 
  • 2 with cars that offer very different driving challenges; 
  • 3 with as many available car types as possible; 
  • 4 with as many available liveries as possible; 
  • 5 with the best model detail possible;
  • 6 provides cars that are very very evenly matched, without any dominant cars;
  • 7 with the best out of the box capabilities; 
  • 8 with the minimum preparation needed, at the lowest cost in time and dollars; 
  • 9 with built-in controls to prevent “accidentally” get an unfair advantage (so it is a self-policing and non-confrontational as possible to maximize the fun and minimize the need for continual policing); 
  • 10 with easily available cars at decent prices; 
  • 11 with easily available and plentiful spares;
  • 12 all while avoiding the slippery slopes of too much work, cost, technology, complexity and potential inequality of car performance.

Achieving all those at once – almost by definition – will always mean compromise.

The classes I think best achieve the ideal are without doubt the now several classes where we have, so far, had to make no changes such as the RevoSlot Gr.2 Classic 1960’s, NSR F1 1973-88, Sideways LM Gr.5 1976-82, DTM/Gr A 1983-94 and RevoSlot LM GT1/2 1990-94 classes which tick all the boxes above.  The other classes are good but, on at least one aspect listed above, they miss the mark in needing different tires or added weight or a different motor or not having easily available spares or no longer being in production.  Equally not so many years ago only 1 out of 8 classes ticked all the boxes.  Now it is 5 of 8!

What do the Class Goals Mean in Practice?

While I could be long-winded, basically the successful classes end up with:

  • 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 getting absolute speed, typically as 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 tires on Group C and Fly 1960’s, due to original tires being of varying grip levels
      • e.g. recent upgrade in Ninco 1950’s motors due to lack of availability of old spec motors
      • e.g. needing to add weight to help equalize car performance in Ninco 1950’s and Fly 1960’s cars
  • where these spec “running gear” items are used in a spec set of chassis/cars that reflect a certain era/type of car
  • and finally – as little change as possible because it adds to preparation complexity
    • e,g,  we 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).  
  • and that all typically means a single manufacturer providing cars for a specific era in time, with tight control on all of the running gear allowed.
  • Fortunately with the emergence in the last decade plus of manufacturers such as, Sideways, NSR and RevoSlot they seem to have understood that sales come when the core aspects of a class are not constantly being upgraded over time in search of faster performance, rather such hop-up parts can be added by choice for each person’s needs

Who We Are And 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 the 2003 to 2022 period:

  • We are NOT a magnet club: at its peak, only 20% of people voted to bring back any sort of magnet car 
  • We DO NOT want to add expense/complexity of upgraded wheels/parts – while it  has varied with club membership over the years, there has never been a majority of people wanting to allow hop-up parts.  This is despite this possibly saving time with having to sort out issues with plastic wheels etc. in older classes we had. 
  • There is NO real interest in an unlimited/scratch-built class
  • There is NO real interest in racing Trucks or Nascar
  • While we care more about fun than pure speed, the only thing really turning people away from racing with us in the last 20+ years is our group taking things too seriously and getting caught up in ridiculous nit-picking details.   So don’t, just focus on having fun!

page updated 01/05/2023

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