Slot car racing can be intense as the real thing
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.