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
- Formula 1 – If I have to explain this something is wrong – see a good short Wiki entry link here
- And we used to race Rally Cars (until the Americans took over the club!) – think Monte Carlo timed stages racing on dirt, tarmac, snow and ice – 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 by year.
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 10 car types featuring paint-jobs from 70+ 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
- Jaguar E-Type Coupe
- Jaguar E-Type Roadster
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;
- I have allowed the AC Cobra Coupe to race as a hybrid even though it is a coupe and technically from ~1964
- 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 the real-life car must be 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 10 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 5 Liter 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 225+ 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 (not 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/Le Mans Miniatures.
Sideways Group 4/5/6 Silhouette Prototypes of 1976-81
The 3L Prototypes lasted only to 1976 when a new Silhouette based formula took over that lasted until 1981. This period was dominated by the Porsche 936 in prototypes/ Gr.6 (Spirit) and the Porsche 935 in GT/Gr.5/Gr.4 (many brands). We race the Group 5 cars of Sideways with ~16 body styles and over 100 liveries from which to choose, although Fly, Racer, Carrera, SCX, ScaleAuto and others have made Group 5 cars that could donate their bodies in this class as well. Note that the years noted in the class description are a broad guide – we are trying to race period Group 5 Le Mans/ DRM/ IMSA GTX/ JSPC cars.
- BMW 320i Turbo
- BMW M1 Turbo
- BMW 3.5 CSL (announced not yet released)
- Ferrari 512BB LM
- Ford Capri Zakspeed
- Ford Mustang GTP
- Ford Escort MkII Zakspeed
- Lancia Beta Monte Carlo
- Lancia Stratos Turbo
- Porsche 935/78 Moby Dick, 935/77A, 935 K2, 935L IMSA, 935 K4 (announced not yet released)
- Nissan Skyline RS
- Toyota Celica LB Turbo
Slot.it Group C 1982-92 Le Mans
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 being spent.
By 1993 there were no entries to the World Sports Car Championship and it has never formally existed since then…. of course F1 exists and Bernie got very rich……. 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 21 car types now featuring paint-jobs from 125+ totally realistic actual race cars.
- Jaguar XJR-6, XJR-9, XJR-12, XJR-10
- Porsche 956C LH, 956C KH
- Porsche 962C LH, 962C KH, 962 IMSA, 962 CK6, 962C 85
- Lancia LC2-83, LC2-85
- Mazda 787B
- Nissan R89C, R90V, R91 VP
- Sauber C9 Mercedes
- Toyota 88C, 86C (long tail), JTK 63C
Just like in real life we can run 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.
RevoSlot GT1 / GT2 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).
Fortunately for us, RevoSlot decided to first release their GT2 cars and then add the GT1 cars later on. This led to a very well balanced class of cars representing both historic classes – which had ran together on real world race tracks – and do not have any class killers. We currently have 8 body styles and 70+ liveries from which to choose.
- Porsche 911 GT2
- Marcos LM 600
- Dodge Viper GTS-R
- Toyota Supra GT2
- Ferrari F40
- Lister Storm (announced but not yet released)
- Mercedes CLK GT1
- Porsche 911 GT1
- McLaren F1 GTR
- Panoz Esperante GTR (announced but not yet released)
A couple RevoSlot cars will never be class legal: Toyota GT1, Ferrari 333SP, BMW V12 LM. Equally there are several cars not yet produced by RevoSlot that could become class cars as hybrids such as the: Jaguar XJ220 GT; Lotus Elise GT1 TurboLamborghini Diablo 132 GT1; Ferrari F50.
Note the Ninco version of the GT1 1994-99 Le Mans class was retired in 2023
It consisted of the
- McLaren F1 GTR
- Porsche 911 GT1
- Mercedes CLK – GTR
- Ferrari F50
At the time – for nearly 15 years – we allowed the Ferrari F50 because it was made by Ninco and performed at the same level as the others despite it never actually being raced. It;s a pity Ninco did not make a Ferrari F40 which did race against the cars in the class but SCX, Slot.it and Fly did. We banned the Ninco BMW LMR V12 after a couple of seasons, as it was just too fast relative to the other 4 and in reality was a LMP (prototype) not a GT1 class car.
NSR F1 1973-88
This one is simple, it is based on NSR’s F1 single chassis / body representing, broadly, Formula 1 cars from 1986 -1989. These are great handling and simple setup Formula 1 cars. Essentially the time period 1973-1988 covering a wide variety of classic F1 cars that could be created using other plastic bodies and the class chassis/motor etc. configuration.
SCX Formula 1 1973-88 – This class was retired in 2018
Formula 1 cars made by SCX (Spanish Scalextric) because they were simply the best handling F1’s without a magnet but eventually spares and cars became very difficult to get and they took a lot of setup effort. Essentially 1973-1988 covering a wide variety of classic F1 cars.
- Tyrrell Ford 002
- Ferrari B3
- Tyrrell P34
- Brabham BT-46
- Ligier JS-11
- Williams FW-07
- Lotus MK IV
- Ferrari F1/87
- Jordan 191-Ford V8
- McLaren MP4/4
- Minardi M-192
SCX Rally 4WD 1982-2010 – This class was retired in 2019
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 Impreza 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
- Open Roads & Front Engines (50’s)
- Spyders & Silhouettes (70’s)
- Monocoques & Ground Effects (80’s)
See links here to the BPR and FIA Sportscar Championship, here to a listing of every race and entry from 1953 to 1992, here to Formula 1 and to Rally here
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.
page updated 01/06/2023