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  • Al's slotracing
    Indeed the introduction of protest fees in slot racing did reduce the number of protests. Getting on with the racing rather than waiting for unnecessary protests to be resolved is popular with racers. Of course if there's a good reason for a protest, everybody accepts that's part of racing and expects the organizers to resolve it properly with the minimum practical delay to the meeting.

    There is some sense in giving the "innocent accused" the protest fee where there is a real risk of a protest revealing setup secrets that haven't already been seen in scrutineering. That doesn't happen in the National slot racing meetings I was talking about. Perhaps I should explain why. Every car is scrutineered before racing. The amount of stripping down needed to resolve a protest is hardly ever more extensive than would have already happened to all the cars in that class during scrutineering. That means the scrutineers and any bystanders during scrutineering would have already seen any secrets that might be revealed by a protest.

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  • Bugleboy10
    Originally posted by Al's slotracing View Post
    Bugleboy's post sounds rather like the way protests are handled at the National championships over here. It has worked pretty well over many years at that level, but that level of formality is hardly ever used in club racing.
    It is used to deal with all protest, not just the ones about cars breaking the rules. Where a protest fee is forfeit, does it go to the organisers or the wrongly accused? In our Naional meetings stripping down a car far enough so a scrutineer can examine the problem hardly ever takes more than 30 seconds, and sometimes is done by the scrutineer anyway, so "compensation for having to take their car apart" etc. doesn't arise. However, for racing where typical protests do require the competitor to do more extensive stripping down there is something to be said for the protest fee going to the accused rather than the organizers.
    The idea came from other types of racing I've been involved in which have similar rules. I meant for the fee to go to the accused because even if it only takes a few seconds, anyone looking will see the racer's set up, and I know many racers who prefer their exact set up to be a secret. This would hopefully discourage people from making frivolous accusations just to get a peak at someone's set up, or at least make them pay for the privilege

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  • mtucker666
    I like to think it works well at our club, our motto is to promote competitive fun racing.

    We have rules set for each class that any member can propose a change too. Once a change is proposed we vote on it 2/3 weeks later, whomever is present has a vote - simple majority votes it in.

    The rules are focused on period or types of 1:1 cars, e.g. Le Mans Classics (Fly, NSR, Slot-It, Thurderslot, 3D printed etc. all allowed) although we have some very specific classes where national series are run e.g NSR GT3 or Slot-It Grp C. Rules specify max motor rpm based on a manufacturers rating (e.g 20k at 12v) (I have a feeling we might change this to max allowed irrespective of what manufacturers claim, to minimise they temptation to choose the best of the bunch which can be expensive), min and max tyre width and diameters, etc.

    We have 3 nominated scrutineers (not fair putting it on one person and useful if there is a debate to be had) who will check over all cars and if they find irregularities have three outcomes available to them:
    1) fix it there and then
    2) allow to run but expect to be compliant the following week or
    3) not allowed to run.

    Anyone new to the club can run whatever they like for the first 6m (incl club or borrowed cars) so they don't need to invest before they get hooked and don't need to worry about building legal cars. Scrutineering is done in a positive way, with ridicule only dished out to those drivers whom should know better (me in particular), our rules are clear and readily available (check out so nobody can argue they did not know.

    It seems to work, when people fail scrutineering they grumble but get on with it - most grumbles are about fitting new tyres that manufacturer state are a certain dimension but when mounted don't quite meet the specified criteria (usually too wide!) - not a difficult fix but creates grumbles!

    In terms of racing we run two styles over the evening. Firstly randomly drawn races, first to the line, you race on each lane but are drawn against anyone whom has turned up. Secondly the results from this format then group the racers together and we do a segmented race with total distance determining final positions with win from any group. Both types of racing are awarded equal points values which go towards class and overall championships for the year.

    We get 12-17 racers a week.

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  • Al's slotracing
    Bugleboy's post sounds rather like the way protests are handled at the National championships over here. It has worked pretty well over many years at that level, but that level of formality is hardly ever used in club racing.
    It is used to deal with all protest, not just the ones about cars breaking the rules. Where a protest fee is forfeit, does it go to the organisers or the wrongly accused? In our Naional meetings stripping down a car far enough so a scrutineer can examine the problem hardly ever takes more than 30 seconds, and sometimes is done by the scrutineer anyway, so "compensation for having to take their car apart" etc. doesn't arise. However, for racing where typical protests do require the competitor to do more extensive stripping down there is something to be said for the protest fee going to the accused rather than the organizers.

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  • Bugleboy10
    Here's an idea:
    Have a protest period after the race (cars will always be either on the track or in impound during the race). The accuser has to put up a nominal fee and state who is doing what. The accused car will be inspected for the stated violation only. If it is proven in violation, the accuser gets the deposit back and the accused gets disqualified. If proven compliant, the accuser forfeits the deposit to the accused as compensation for having to take their car apart and put it back together, and no disqualification. If no determination can be made, the deposit is returned and no disqualification.


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  • Lancelotalove
    level playing field

    I hope your "club" racing gets together and straightens out.
    I believe in order to achieve a level playing field:
    First, rules must be made and documented.
    There are rules here on proxy races to assist you if need be. also on other slot car website.
    Second, Group has to agree to abide by the rules.
    Either weekly or monthly meeting to discuss rules and parts allowed
    Third, Tech guy or guys have to follow the rules when they tech the cars.
    1 or 2 tech guy to monitor for "Advanced modifications" that may be really cheating.
    (Motor with different specs than agreed upon or chassis or chassis modification not agreed on)
    The club I was racing with, told me my car did not pass because I did not have front inserts, I read the rules and in order to race with the club, I put some in. simple

    If your cub runs box stock, and most show up with scaly and 1 or 2 have slot it, the slot it guys are going to run away. The rules have to be clear and dont be afraid to modify them.
    There are not too many places or people that are open to run slot cars. I dont have anything like that here where I am at currently. At home, the local track likes the lexan rockets and no one wants to run the scale stuff. Keep on trying to make it work and hopefully it will work out.

    Last edited by Lancelotalove; 07-17-2017, 05:07 PM.

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  • Headhunter
    Thanks for all the posts/suggestions etc...haven't implemented anything as far as tech inspections yet. Going to let things ride with the rules we have in place now, and see how the next few races pan out. There are a select few who always are on the podium, but we realize they are good drivers. If things seem to get out of sorts, I think the way to go would be to suggest a simple clinic just to see what everyone is bringing to the table/track, and that way anyone who is stretching the rules will be forced to get in line. We have a great group of guys, and would like to expand the group. Great responses to this thread! Thank you!

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  • Giddyup
    Start with the end in mind

    First off Hundo, this is one of the best threads with some quality posts from SCI members.

    To Hundo’s original point around trying to level the playing field – lots of great suggestions so far, to recap:

    1. Host-based IROC class – which I would say masks the issue

    2. Break-out / bracket racing – which can be fun, but handicapping may not be everyone’s cup of tea

    3. Tech inspection – strict, pre-race tech inspections to call out any rule infractions or liberal interpretations; sometimes that can take the “fun” out of the atmosphere (but that depends on what atmosphere your club wants)

    4. “Opening up the Kimono” – I think it was Ecurie Martini who suggested this, is great for sharing and/or exposing “liberties” taken

    5. No rules – probably the easiest to enforce, but could lead to an arms war (and raise the cost of competitive entry by new people)

    6. Call out your rule breakers – can be touchy, depending on personalities and could impact the club atmosphere

    But before going down any path, I’d suggest figuring out if others perceive there’s an issue as well?

    As far as which option(s) do you suggest or implement? That’s tough without knowing the personalities within the club. That personality mix, as previously highlighted is key.

    Also, are there formal roles (club president, rules committee, etc) that dictate things, and if not – who are your “influencers” within the club that can get things done? Starting there, determining if others agree or see your point would be a good starting point to canvas support by outlining some options that could be voted on or implemented.

    If others see the same issue and you think can make change, I’d suggest framing your suggestions/changes to align your club’s purpose which should make it easier to gain agreement and for the club to sustain.

    For example, if the club is all about organized competition, some options like formalized tech inspection may be more viable (and probably more quickly accepted) than others.

    If your club is more about fun and trying to encourage close racing through rules and/or attract new members, then an idea like opening up cars for explanation will help improve the overall tuning within the club.

    We do the latter in our club by the way. The last two years I’ve managed to come out on top, and while I’ve opened up my cars (and tuned some for newbies) and put my entire fleet on display for folks to see how and why I did what I did. Not saying my junk is perfect but it isn't fun lapping people several times in a heat.

    Then again, we want club longevity/growth as part of our club’s goal, so some of what we try to do is to encourage people to come back every race/year.

    I won’t bore you with our club’s details, but for context, our little club has grown, diminished and changed (plastic, magnet racing to wood) and been reborn over the last 10 ten years. We experienced a sudden and fortuitous influx of new members a few years ago, which was good because it forced us to consider what we want to be about, how many people we could accommodate, and what the barriers to entry may be for new people, etc.

    At the suggestion of one new member, we ended up writing everything down into a club manual of sorts which helps to onboard and remind people of why we race, and what the decisions were behind how we do it, etc. We have since reviewed that document and updated it the last 2 years which has been helpful to get us on the same page.

    And to the point around personalities, a few of us screen people and try to be selective around new members as well, as there's a few people that haven't been invited back. But even then, we've openly talked as a group about what types of personalities we do want.

    Whether you document any of this or not, what’s key is getting people to agree on what’s important and from there, how you support those goals (e.g., calling things out or making changes) will be much easier as a result.

    My two cents, eh

    Last edited by Giddyup; 07-17-2017, 11:15 AM.

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  • perrotoro
    Originally posted by Headhunter View Post
    How many or if any have a problem with insinuations or accusations at your home racing clubs? Has the competition become such that the fun factor diminishes? To try and keep everyone, and I mean everyone on a level playing field, what has to be done? In reading about races on a National level, the coordinators hand out motors, tires. With magnets I've heard they hand out one magnet/per person, and it can be placed anywhere in the car. What about gearing? Is that enough to keep it even? Just wondering what the best system is. And how to monitor things and not be made out to be an A@#$!
    Ha - age old question. How to keep humans from over stepping boundaries.

    Who was the Nascar racer that filled his roll bars with fuel to get extra mileage. Do the scouts actually build the super competitive pinewood Derbys? And when it comes to helping your children win, how many adults have helped easter eggs into the basket. I play league Tennis - the habitual foot falters won't call their own foot faults, though at least one of them has both feet inside the line - not just on the line. What basketballer hasn't pointed the other way even knowing that he/she. was the last to touch the ball.

    I say you can't keep all humans honest - always - in competitions at any level. Just won't happen. Age does seem to decrease our competitive level a bit - at least for most I think. Shame on those that it doesn't.

    I'm not familiar with slots at local nor National level - at least for the last 35 years. May get back in one day - maybe. Can't locals enforce a buy-out policy where another could by your winning car for a min/max price?
    Would that be too A@#$!'y?

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  • DB9
    Headhunter, I feel your frustration. First, in my opinion and experience, you are being taken advantage of. You open your home, provide a venue to race and get rewarded with poor behavior. Maybe your group's mix is off. Introducing a tech should help but guys will always bend the rules. So maybe you need to decide which rules matter and which can slide. I am easy going and would have a problem conducting a tech. Maybe you are too - if so, ask a member of your group who is assertive to do the tech. I have held races in my basement for the past two years and question whether I want to continue. Initially, the only rule I had was a motor limit which was a slot-it 21.5rpm or equivalent. Other than that, my view was do what you want 'cos you are going to do anyway. When a new guy joined, the group wanted rules. So I said okay, you write them. They did and I described them as "slot-it" rules -- basically any slot-it part plus the 21.5rpm motor. Even still, the rules are pushed. I agree with some other folks that bracket racing can solve many of the problems you have if you can get the group to adopt it.

    What you are experiencing is not unusual, I have spoke to a number of guys in the Toronto area that host basement racing and they have had similar challenges. The personalities of the guys attending is critical. Remember you not are a commercial raceway even though some guys act as if you are. Good luck with your racing.

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  • Slotbob
    very cool track, and obviously your system works!

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  • oldslotracer
    Each driver does a few laps to set his breakout time every lane change, then he can adjust it after every race. I like to give myself a .2 second cushion just in case. A few times a night we'll get 3 guys with the same breakout time and have 5 laps of door to door racing, but the whole point of brackets is to get cars and drivers of different abilities to the finish line at the same time.

    There's a one minute video of a bracket race on YouTube at

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  • Slotbob

    Got it, and very cool.

    Only thing, seems like the door to door racing is only at the finish line, and even then, are not all parties afraid of breaking out?

    In the same vein, could you determine "classes" solely based on time, then start heads up and race crash and burn, also with a breakout override?

    "[With bracket racing,] race nights are much more fun and social"--oldslotracer

    And that is the bottom line objective, in my book.

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  • Headhunter
    Bracket racing sounds interesting. How do you figure out the setbacks for starting. And doesn't the rear car catch and pass the front starter quickly?

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  • oldslotracer
    We race 5 lap crash and burn. Depending on turnout, we run 4,5 or 6 races per lane.
    The track is split into sections representing 1/10 of a second. We arrive at the number of sections by taking an average lap time. On our 90 ft Targa track it worked out to 17 sections.

    Everyone does about 4 laps to get a breakout time and then the slowest car starts at the start line. So for example the 3 car's breakout times might be 8 sec, 7.8 sec and 7.2 seconds, the 8 second car gets the start line, 7.8 car starts 2 sections back and the 7.2 car starts 8 sections back. If everyone drives close to their breakout time, we get a photo finish. If you break out, you get 0 points for that race and you have to adjust your break out time.

    You can adjust your breakout time after every race, but that also changes your starting position. On our track each section is about 63"

    Each lane has an adjustable power supply, so you can change your breakout time or change the voltage in your lane.

    Why we like this system...
    You can race every car you own
    You can build brass chassis rockets or run box stock
    The race line-up doesn't matter
    Differences in lane length don't matter
    You don't have to buy the latest, fastest cars unless you want to
    A well tuned car is easier to drive consistently, so tinkering still helps
    There are NO rules, so there's nothing to argue about

    We tell a first time racer to turn his power down to where he can lap without lifting. His lap times will be slow but consistent and he'll be very hard to beat. Then, when the other 2 guys turn their power down as well, you get very tense races and it won't be long before the voltage starts creeping up.

    The most important thing is consistency, so the better drivers still win a lot of races, but the finishes are very close.

    We've been using this system about 3 years and race nights are much more fun and social

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