A regular 16D motor has a 0.7 ohm armature, that is about the mildest motor that is used on commercial 1/24th tracks. At 12 volts the starting amperage would indeed be 17 amps, that is why my 20 amp Pyramid power supply screams when I first turn one of those motors on. You could try slow blow fuses, start at maybe 5 amps and go up if that blows, or down if it doesn't. If my calculations are correct the car will be using about 2.6 amps once it gets rolling. If the track uses a power supply with a digital display you can use a cell phone camera to do a video while the car is running, like this one:

http://vidmg.photobucket.com/albums/...psfeozjs2u.mp4
In that case I was running a car with a 4 ohm armature at 18.5 volts for a calculated stall current of 4.6 amps, but on the track the amps peaked at 0.7, except at the end when I did a standing start that took 1.2 amps.