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Have you seen this new track yet

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  • Have you seen this new track yet

    Fellow racers,

    Have anyone seen this track yet? Harrel Racing Standard (link below). Came across it tonight and it’s very interesting. It has a section that can tie into a Carrera piece, allowing for the CU, pit lane setup, and changeover tracks to be implemented. It’s basically an advanced MDF track with premium power lines internally, and a nifty connecting system. It has borders as well. Of course you wouldn’t need any of that if you were an analog guy. It’s pretty expensive stuff, but maybe for someone who would want a more permanent track that runs more like wood.

    Have a good week everyone…


  • #2

    Yes, I've seen it.


    The real question is, has anyone actually bought the stuff and can they compare it to a routed track. And I mean genuine words of comparison, not marketing rhetoric from the company that makes it.

    It sure LOOKS nice, but... it's still sectional track.


    • #3
      The guy(s) defiantly have a lot of time and money involved in designing and building the track parts.
      As far as the sections, the cars shown on one of the videos, "seemed" to go very smoothly over the transitions. No bouncing, no being kicked sideways. Although in one shot with two sections on a table, there "appeared" to be a small difference in height...hard to tell.

      My main question, is it "appears" that they have a very shallow slot depth. It would appear to me, that any new, fresh design like this would accommodate a full depth commercial guide .

      I've got a wood track, still in good shape, so I wouldn't be interested. But if I were looking, I'd be contacting them with questions.



      • #4
        I've been aware of this for some time, and if there's a day when I have the space and disposable income, I might just buy one. Just for fun I laid out my current track using their pieces, including borders - and added about 15' more length to the lanes. Course dimension is 13'-11" x 6'-8" (my current layout is 10'x4'). Now it's not perfect and they would need to tweak it here and there to be sure the track joins perfectly at the end/beginning and all that. It came to 182 pieces in total at a cost of 8213 Euro. I'm guessing another thousand Euro to make it perfect and to ship it. Let's call it 9 thousand Euro - that's a little more than 10 grand.

        Capture.JPG Here's the layout but the elevation of the track isn't correct.

        One thing I've yet to see is how to connect controllers.


        • #5
          If I would ever had been interested in buying a sectional track -- no matter how high quality -- that day ended when I had my newest MDF track CNC routed.

          I've built quite a few hand-routed tracks in the past. CNC routing was more expensive, but being able to contract out all the fuss and mess was well worth the difference. And there was no need to compromise in track design. Basically anything I could draw could be made.

          I did have to install the braid, and the cost and work of assembling the track on a platform was no small project. Wiring, creating drivers' stations, supplying power and a Trackmate system was a big investment in time and money. But the finished track is as good as any commercial track, if quite a bit smaller.

          I'm sure there are people who would happily go with this sectional track system, and pay what it costs. Some people have enough money they can afford the expense, and would rather not invest the personal time and effort in creating a CNC'd track. Not everybody has the knowledge and skill required to go the CNC route.

          To me, the whole point of my hobby is to try doing things that I haven't done before, and learn the skills I need to do them. I've gained immense satisfaction from the many slotting projects I've accomplished over the years. Actually racing has been only a small part of it.

          If somebody wanted me to build them a track based on the Harrel system, and was willing to fund the whole project, heck, I'd do it. If only to have the experience. It would be interesting to see how it would all shake out. But I wouldn't do it just for myself. I have the skills to do a better project.

          Ed Bianchi


          • #6
            Originally posted by dinglebery View Post
            that's a little more than 10 grand.
            Jesus! Carrera sectional plastic isn't *that* bad to race on! I think I'd find the time to learn how to run a router rather than the money to buy those pieces of sectional wood.


            • #7
              My personal opinion is that the track is of high quality but not price competitive to a CNC track. I would love to have one, but looked into the cost as dinglebery above and discovered the cost was crazy. You could have a new custom built CNC wooden track for less and with the amount of used wooden tracks on the market, there are better cost options with equal quality.



              • #8
                Maybe Jay Leno will buy some for his kids. LOL


                • #9
                  The only advantage this would have over CNC or even routing your own: it *is* sectional. If you want to change layouts (and if we are all really, really truthful with ourselves- we would like to be able to change things up from time to time), you can.

                  So being wood offers an advantage over Carrera plastic. Being sectional offers an advantage over CNC or most routed options. Whether the increased expense is worth that advantage (and any downside other than expense) is a margin each slotter would have to call on their own.

                  It's an easy call for me LOL. As Greg suggests, if I had Jay Leno's money, sure, I think I'd try it.
                  Last edited by b.yingling; 12-07-2021, 07:33 AM.


                  • #10
                    But it still has the limitations of sectional track in that you can only get so creative with it. You can't have what is effectively an "R20" radius turn, almost straight. You can't have lanes that change their spacing randomly... there's all kinds of things you can do with non-sectional track that would require bespoke "Sections" to be made.

                    And I'm still not convinced it will match the "feel" of a properly constructed routed track, no matter how awesome the joins are. I don't think we'll ever hear a real comparison, though. The only people that will buy this stuff won't know anything about the other options (fool and his money, etc.), and the only people that do know the other options are probably company reps, who can't be trusted to provide an honest comparison.


                    • #11
                      I remember a custom track featured in one of the slotting magazines of the '60's called the "SoCal Raceway". (In my callow youth I didn't realize that 'SoCal' referred to Southern California!)

                      The track made use of extruded rubber forms that included a single slot, grooves that accepted metal rails on either side, and flat 'wings' that could be stapled to a wood-product underlayment -- possibly plywood, particle board or aspenite board. You could lay out the slot forms any crazy way you wanted to, then fill and level between them with plaster of paris, top-sealed with paint.

                      As far as I know that track was one-of-a-kind. I never saw anything more about that track, the materials it was made from, or any other track like it. Pity, because I think the idea had potential.

                      Upside, total flexibility. Downside, all that plaster would be heavy, and would probably never be able to be moved without cracking.

                      Extruding slot forms like that would be a pretty inexpensive process. The mold required would be cheap. Cheap as molds go -- hundreds of dollars, not thousands. A big issue is any shop that would run the mold would want to run off thousands of feet. The metal rails would probably be an even bigger issue. Not cheap to tool or to produce.

                      Here is where different materials might help. Instead of rubber the slot forms could be made from a flexible thermoplastic. Instead of rails you could use braid for conductors, held in place by glue or double-sided tape.

                      What to do about that plaster? Good question. There are lightweight spackling compounds that might work

                      Or maybe you could pour urethane. Rugged, certainly, but you'd need great ventilation while it cured. I bet it would be expensive. And the track would need to be rigid and dead level. Plaster has the advantage there -- it can be troweled.

                      Again, this is a solution whose time has past. A CNC'd MDF track would still be a better solution. Cheaper, less work, and easier to make modular and transport.

                      Ed Bianchi

                      Last edited by HO RacePro; 12-07-2021, 09:06 AM.