Slot car rac­ing can be in­tense as the real thing

Tweed Daily News - - SPORT - — - BOB ANTHONY

THERE’S ten­sion in the air as the high-tech race cars line-up on the start­ing line the light turns green and they’re off fly­ing around the track at break neck speed and the driv­ers aren’t even rais­ing a sweat.

The de­mand­ing track re­quires skill and co-or­di­na­tion to avoid crash­ing but if you do, it’s just a sim­ple mat­ter of pick­ing the car up and putting it back in the slot and off you go again.

This is the world of slot car rac­ing and for a ded­i­cated group of en­thu­si­asts at Bono­gin, it can be al­most as in­tense as the real thing.

The group gath­ers in the shed of Mark Stock­well, who is also in­volved with the re­vival of the Fes­ti­val of Speed on Tweed this year, to com­pete on two cir­cuits.

The large cir­cuit has four lanes and is 33.5m long but the lit­tle cars, 1/24 scale, fly­ing around it in sec­onds.

The slot cars and con­trollers have come along way since the days of the Scalex­tric sets.

“These cars come in kits and we put them to­gether, mak­ing slight mod­i­fi­ca­tions where we can and also put de­cals and paint work on them,” he said.

“They can start from around $200 up and de­pend­ing on the fea­tures you want on your con­troller, they can start from $250.

“We usu­ally race here on Wed­nes­day evenings but we also com­pete against other groups around the place, es­pe­cially in Bris­bane.”

Mr Stock­well said there were na­tional com­pe­ti­tions where rac­ers could com­pete in in­di­vid­ual and team events.

“The team event con­sist of three driv­ers rac­ing over an eight hour time frame with changes ev­ery 25 or so min­utes,” he said.

“We even have one of the guys who comes to race at Bono­gin who has com­peted in the slot car World Cup which is held an­nu­ally at dif­fer­ent places around the world - it’s a very com­pet­i­tive hobby.”

He said just as in real rac­ing, there weer lim­its and re­stric­tions on the car re­gard­ing motors but things like sus­pen­sion and tyres could be mod­i­fied slightly.

“For a lot of guys who are into this type of hobby, they have been or are in­volved in real mo­tor rac­ing and this is an ex­ten­sion of their pas­sion for the sport,” he said.

“We have even had some Su­per Car driv­ers come and try their hand at it.”

So what’s makes a good slot car racer?

“It’s all about hand-eye co-or­di­na­tion - know­ing when to ease up com­ing to a cor­ner and when to ac­cel­er­ate - just as in real life,” he said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Mark Stock­well on 0414 407490 or visit the Face­book page Bono­gin Val­ley Race­way.


THEY’RE OFF: Slot cars en­thu­si­asts Mark Stock­well and Nick Girdle­stone at Mark’s slot car cir­cuit in his shed at Bono­gin.

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